Meet the Central Coast Foodies
As this is a subjective site driven by our tastes and palates, I’d like to take a moment and introduce the CCFoodies.
While I lived with my family in Dayton, Ohio from 1972-1988, my parents kept us fed but personally I found the food far from interesting. I remember lots of cereal for breakfast, my mother’s impatience with the labor of producing salads and, in later years, bland poached boneless chicken breasts with a chaste sprinkling of lemon pepper for the suggestion of flavor. We grew up with copious amounts of generally uninteresting Midwestern food highlighted occasionally with a standout meal of roast turkey or stuffed flounder when Mom decided to pull out the stops. There were no farmers markets in the city/suburb where we grew up, just occasional individual farm stands. No one had heard of an Edible Schoolyard. Over the years, our family encountered attractive but increasingly flavorless fruit. One Ohio-based relative complains that “They ruined the red delicious apple” while recalling a recent past when local midwestern fruit tasted better.
On our visits to the nearby Cincinnati Zoo, even as a kid I was sadly impressed with the story of Martha the last Passenger Pigeon who had died alone and in captivity at this zoo. Stories of how the skies were darkened by massive flocks of this once-ubiquitous bird seemed incomprehensible next to the silent bronze memorial of this final representative of a formerly robust population.
A stint as an Outward Bound instructor further cemented my commitment to keeping litter and stupidity from befouling beautiful natural places while I delivered courses in Minnesota, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. This job also allowed me to experience numerous memorable landscapes including northern Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the north shore of Lake Superior as well as Big Bend National Park and the Rio Grande of west Texas. A Seafood Watch Advocate, I also view literary criticism projects through an environmental criticism lens and could easily make the Olympic composting/recycling team.
Coming Home to California
In 2004, I moved to California, the state where my maternal grandfather was born and raised. After living in seven different states from Arizona to Massachusetts to Washington, I finally felt at home. I chose the Central Coast in part because this region hosted a relatively young wine country and the surrounding landscape was superb: Big Sur to the north, Yosemite to the east, Santa Ynez to the south and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Within a few months of arriving in the Central Coast, I had a job at the Wild Horse Winery tasting room. Eventually, I began to work on their wine club newsletter and learned a great deal about the language of winemaking by reviewing old newsletters written by Ken Volk, the founder and original owner. The friendly, supportive people in the Central Coast slice of the wine industry impressed me. I decided in 2007 to explore the foodie field as my primary career. SOMEONE’s got to do it.
The truly Mediterranean climate of the Central Coast allows gardeners to grow food and cyclists to ride bikes year round, and yet the region’s lack of a major airport or interstate has until now kept its pleasures less well known among the general population. This intersection of factors inspires us to help promote the foodie’s Central Coast both to support the producers committed to sustainability and to introduce visitors to the area and its many gastronomic and natural delights.
Mr. Spice Adds Some Sweetness
With an outsized sweet tooth, Mr. Spice ensures that this blog will always remember to order dessert and savor the sweetest California-grown fruits. A recent convert to gardening, he transformed our apartment garden by adding terraces, trellises, and as much compost as our kitchen can inspire. In possession of an excellent palate, a thirst for experience, and the tendency to go a little crazy with the spices, Mr. Spice keeps things cooking.
Join us as we explore the four corners of the Central Coast and beyond, searching everywhere for exceptional food and drink.