Exploring Farm to Table Destinations?
California’s Central Coast ranks at the Top
Farm to Table destinations seem to be the trend, but believe it or not it’s always been a reason to visit California’s Central Coast. The Central Coast offers everything a “foodie” could want in a spectacular environment. So, what does this trend say about the destination?
- Great Weather with Lots of Sunshine
- Beautiful Landscapes and Picturesque Surf
- Friendly Passionate People
- Culture, there is a history about the flavors of the region
The Early Days
The culinary landscape of the Central Coast began when missionaries arrived and planted their huerta-oasis beginning the process of establishing Spanish agriculture. These mini farms introduced many crops (oranges, olives, grapes, and much more) that form the basis for California’s agricultural success today. Plants grown within the walled huertas eventually spread to the surrounding regions. A great place to understand the roots of California Cuisine begins with a visit to the California missions.
Visit ~ Mission Santa Barbara, Mission La Purisima, Mission San Miguel with a beautiful new hall, Carmel Mission Basilica
The first wine grapes came to California with the missionaries. Following a wine renaissance in the 20th Century California accounts for 90percent of American wine production. The Central Coast is a diverse landscape that offers a distinct terrior with over six regions to explore. Today’s wineries offer great opportunities to enjoy local wines while exploring the regional food for a variety of budgets.
Visit ~ Carmel Valley, Monterey, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Rita Hills or Santa Barbara Urban Wineries
The California Rancheros era sparked the tradition for California barbecue. The original barbecue was a thick cut of boneless top sirloin. It was cooked in an earthen pit over red oak coals and served up to the hungry cowboys or vaqueros after each roundup. These days, the cut of choice is the best-kept secret outside of California known as the tri tip. This sirloin style of barbecue is served up on ranches and farms for celebrations through out California’s Central Coast.
Visit ~ The Hitching Post, Far Western Tavern, McClintock’s, Jocko’s, Harris Stage Lines, and many private ranches offering group barbecues
Farm Meet Restaurant
The Farm to Table movement has landed on the Central Coast in full force and it continues to evolve. The pleasure of walking onto a farm and sitting down to break bread with your colleagues puts relationships in a different perspective. Meeting the folks that have toiled over the food you are consuming creates a new respect for the nurtures and laborers of life. The flavors are so distinct when you enjoy them in the place of their origin memories will be etched forever.
Visit ~ Earthbound Organics, Wind Rose Farms, Olivas de Oro Olive Company, Rancho Olivos
Making a Splash
One thing the Central Coast has that other foodie regions don’t is ocean! And a spectacularly beautiful coast line that not only provides seasonalseafood, butsustainable aqua farms of abalone, oysters and spiny lobster. Local charters take seafarers out for chartered fishing trips that bond participants and send them home with fresh fish to stock their freezers. For those preferring a less animated experience a visit to an oyster bed with a sparkling wine and oyster tasting may be of more interest. And if you don’t like fish, take a cruise around the bay to enjoy the abundant marine life and local flavors of the land.
Visit ~ Monterey Aquarium Sustainable Seafood Program, Lost Isle Adventure Morro Bay Oyster Tours, Ty Warner Sea Center
Community Sustainable Agriculture thrives on the Central Coast with opportunities for community to come together to support those less fortunate or seeking a healthier lifestyle. Volunteers are often welcomed to work these farms and give back to the community.
Visit ~ Fairview Farms, Mt. Olive Organic Farm, Natures Touch
Cuisine to Go
Food trucks have certainly changed since the days Helms Bakery would coast down the street wafting aromas of freshly baked bread. Today gourmet food trucks launched from trendy restaurants provide laid back themed parties in unusual and fun venues. Pair an urban winery with a grilled cheese truck and walla, a flavorful new Central Coast experience.
Group activities of all flavors abound on California’s Central Coast!
- Group Food & Wine Activities
- Oyster Farm Tours & Tastings
- Dining on the Farm, from Farm to Table
- Urban Winery & Food Truck Rally
- The Art of Cheese Making
- Olive Oil Tasting like the Masters
- Santa Maria Style Barbecues
- Team Building with Wine & Culinary Programs
The Central Coast of California offers visitors many opportunities during the year to attend festivals, dinners and tastings featuring regional flavors and personalities.
Kris Penick, CMP Reserve Events & Destinations firstname.lastname@example.org