Join our food and wine blog and enter the discussion to learn about the latest food and wine happenings, as well as our recommendations for dining, wine-tasting, relaxing and recreating here on the Central Coast of California. A MUST READ for Foodies.


Most people who visit Paso Robles head for the glitsy or larger wineries in the area. While these places have something to offer newbies to the region, Anglim wines is where I hang my hat.

Anglim Wines

We’ve featured Anglim wines on both our food and wine tours and have yet to be disappointed. I hate to let the secret out, as these folks produce only a limited quantity of wines,  but “ssshhhh, this is where locals “in the know” buy their wine.” 

Steve (the winemaker, and husband to Steffanie) and Steffanie (the tasting room guru) are a dynamite team. Steve crafts sophisticated blends, and brings out the best in his single varietals (need I mention his Mourvedre and Grenache … and then there’s his Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon…. yikes, too many to mention!)

So beloved are Steve’s wines that my daughter wanted them at her wedding, which was 1,5oo miles away in Park City, Utah. For what it’s worth, we took out the back seat of our car and drove these wines from Paso Robles to Park City over Labor Day 2011. Murphy’s Law prevailed, and as we hit Las Vegas for our overnight stop, the temperature tilted at 114 degrees. Not to let these wines spoil, we hefted this nectar all the way up to our air conditioned room on the 24th floor. Little did my daughter know all that went into getting her Anglim wines to her wedding.

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I love Central Coast Food Tours recipe for French Onion Soup – especially on a cold, rainy day. And, I just heard that we have more rain in the forecast for the later week and weekend. The soup’s warm savory broth with the caramelized onions is just the right mix of savory and sweet. This soup is just as much fun to make as it is to eat – just plan on hanging around near the kitchen so you can stir your onions every 10-15 minutes to prevent burning.

Central Coast Food Tours French Onion Soup

Ingredients:

4 large yellow onions, thinly sliced

6 TBS. of butter

4 TBS. of flour

3 cloves of garlic, minced

4 Cups of beef broth

1 cup of red wine

1 cup of gruyere cheese

1 tsp. of thyme

1 tsp. of Italian seasoning mix

Salt and pepper

Loaf of crusty bread

  1. Slice the onion into thin threads and saute along with the butter. Saute the onions on med-low heat until the mixture is caramelized – this can take some time and you don’t want to hurry the process. Add a little water if the mixture starts to get dry. When the mixture is nicely caramelized, add the garlic and cook for 5 more minutes. Set aside.
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Here’s Central Coast Food Tours’ Recipe for Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

We’ve all tasted Panera’s version and love it – but I wanted to do a lower fat, more vegetable-oriented version (but just as tasty!) This recipe includes broccoli, carrots, onions and parsnips – and it’s delicious!

This is a generous soup and encourages your crafting and contribution. If you prefer cauliflower or some other vegetable – you can adapt it. Get creative: consider all winter vegetables and use your favorites. Go with a theme of a single vegetable and taste along the way, adjust per your preferences. 

  • 2 tablespoon melted butter
  • medium chopped onion
  • 1 medium chopped parsnip
  • 14cup melted butter
  • 14cup flour
  • 1/2 cup half & half cream
  • 1 1/2 cup of low fat milk
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • lb. fresh broccoli (chopped into bite size pieces)
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 14teaspoon nutmeg
  • 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • crusty bread
  1. Sauté onion, carrots and parsnip in butter. Set aside.
  2. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and add the half & half and low fat milk.
  3. Add the chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the broccoli. Cook over low heat 20-25 minutes.
  5. Add salt and pepper. I like to Purée in a blender to make for a soothing, smooth soup. Return to heat and add cheese. Stir in nutmeg.

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O.K. – restaurants are in flux in SLO. Some wonderful ones have closed, new ones have opened and all this chaos keeps us on our toes. New to the scene is Thomas Hill Organics in SLO. We look for the best. It might be in an alleyway, perhaps in a well established restaurant. Whatever the environment, we seek to bring you our favorites in a rapidly changing environment. 

Thomas Hill Organics

Mom and I were looking forward to dining at the new iteration of our favorite Thomas Hill Organics in Paso Robles. Debbie Thomas’ new restaurant, Thomas Hill Organics Kitchen, is a much needed and delightful addition to the San Luis Obispo restaurant offering. 

We’re happy they’re here! Located at the corner of Monterey and Chorro St. in San Luis Obispo, they are in the heart of downtown SLO. While most access the restaurant off Monterey Street, I suggest you park in the parking structure on Chorro and Palm and take the easy walkway to the restaurant (note: your first 60 minutes of parking are free!) Entering the restaurant you’ll find both outdoor and indoor seating – both are lovely. I dined there today with my mom and we both found inventive and delicious menu items. It was raining so we dined indoors and enjoyed a pot of mint tea while we chatted and waited for our lunch.

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Olive harvest on the central coast is an exciting time of year. With new acreage dedicated to growing olives added each year, the olive harvest has become a ‘big deal’ here in San Luis Obispo county. The olive harvest traditionally follows closely on the heels of the grape harvest. It’s a convenient event in that folks here to pick the many thousand acres of wine grapes stay around to also pick the olives.

Olive oil originating from San Luis Obispo county is some of the best produced in the United States, and competes with the finest olive oils from around the world. If you haven’t tried our olive oil, suffice it to say you are missing out! As a result of many of our imported olive oils from abroad found to be adulterated by lesser oils, California has taken the lead in establishing quality standards for EVOO – or extra virgin olive oil. Oils that pass these extremely strict standards receive a special label/sticker indicating its quality.

To learn more about the central coast’s olive oil we recommend a visit to an olive farm, and visiting during harvest is as good as it gets. A few of our favorite local producers are Pasolivo, Oleo Olive Oil and Kiler Ridge. All these folks are gearing up for harvest and will be busy over the next few weeks as they pick the olives and ready their mills.

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cc_foodtours_logo_whiteAnyone working in customer service knows the value of customer feed-back. At Central Coast Food Tours we actively ask for your feed-back and consider it most thoughtfully to improve our tours. Especially with a new tour, it helps us to know if our efforts are on track or if our tour is a loser. Our newest tour is the “Double the Fun” tour which includes both food and winery visits. Since we started the tour in May, we have been listening to guest feed-back to fine tune this new tour – based on this guest’s review, I’d say were almost there!

Thank- you for this wonderful review:

NEWWe did the Food & Wine Tours in Paso Robles and had an absolute blast. Yul is very knowledgeable, entertaining and we learned a lot about local history, wines and oil . The food was first class and he took us to some beautiful wineries. Loved the small group of only 6 people and we all became friends at the end of the day. No stress and very relaxing — kinda like the Garden of Eden where the grapes grow into your mouth. Can’t think of a better way to spend a day in Paso Robles.

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Enjoy Your Labor Day!

Labor DayEnjoy your Labor Day!

With the availability of wonderful Paso Robles wines, local meats, and all our farmers’ Market product, Labor Day is a big day around here.  For us it centers on a BBQ and being around our family and friends for one last celebration of Summer.

Every Labor Day it’s ribs on the BBQ, and over the years we’ve tried many recipes. This year we’ll be making some luscious and tasty ribs by the “coca-cola method”, generously shared by a friend we met on one of our food tours (see, I really do save your  recipes you generously send to me). Since we are having Russian family from out of town, we’ll also have an assortment of Russian salads, and not to forget caviar (the standard for this group when celebrating).

We hope you and your family take this opportunity to visit, share

 

Margarita and Avocado Festival

Margarita and Avocado Festival

MARGARITA AND AVOCADO FESTIVAL SEPTEMBER 10/11 IN MORRO BAY.

If you love avocados and margaritas, you’re in luck! September 10th, 2016 the city of Morro Bay hosts its Annual Margarita and Avocado Festival. The entry fee is only $5 and gets you in to enjoy refreshing margaritas, beer, specialty foods, live entertainment, arts and crafts vendors as well as a good old time on the embarcadero in Morro Bay. The festival operates Saturday, September 10th from 10:30 am – 7 pm and Sunday, September 11th from 10:30 am – 4 pm.

For more information contact 805.772-4467

Cheers!

It’s always nice to know a little about your tour guide.FullSizeRender (19) In this post I’d like for you to meet your food & wine tours guide:

Yule Gurreau.

Yule loves living on the Central Coast and has enjoyed watching the area mature into a World-Class wine region. His love of great food and stellar wines fuels his interest in constantly learning more and more about the areas wines in particular, and the art of enjoying wine in general.

Not shy, nor intimidating, Yule loves to share his knowledge of wines with our tour guests and is more than happy to take wine neophytes through the whole process of what a traditional wine tasting looks like and consists of. Before you know it you’ll be acting like an old pro as you taste and enjoy the wines on your tour!

Perhaps one of Yule’s finer qualities as a guide is his desire to always deliver a superlative tour that will WOW! his guests. All our wine tours offer flexibility and encourage our guests to select the wineries they would enjoy visiting. Yule facilitates this by his knowledge of what’s out there and pairing guests with wineries most likely to please their palate. Yule’s a wealth of information and is generous in sharing his knowledge with guests.

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San Simeon Beach

San Simeon Beach is one of my favorite beaches on the Central Coast – especially when you add dogs. Being one to ever accommodate, we love

DOGSBEACH2

DOGSBEACH2

to bring our dogs to San Simeon Beach. This shot is from a few years ago when we still had our beloved “Peaches”, the pretty golden retriever. The brown poodle was still a puppy, happy to let Peaches be his teacher in all things canine, and human (as far as she knew them).

We recently acquired a standard size “parti-poodle”. He’s a gorgeous boy in colors of deep chocolate and white. He loves people and is proving himself to be a much lovable, though most troublesome puppy. Since Wolfgang or “Wolffy” has been in residence we’ve lost 2 pairs of Yules shoes and two of my prized Persian rugs. Not to mention all the “Bully Sticks” and assorted toys we’ve bought to keep him entertained. I thought Charlie was expensive with his $2,500 vet bill from UC DAVIS to yank out his eye (with accompanying MRI’s and other assurances to “dog mom” (me) that we were doing the right thing.)

Well, all this mischief and mishap fall wayside when we land at San Simeon Beach. The dogs are free, and somehow, I feel free, too. We run into the surf and lap it up despite the water’s chilly temperature. Charlie runs from the cold water while Wolffy runs in as if to challenge the water’s fury. This is his first time in the sea. Quickly he understands the water’s power and races into dry territory. Left alone to the sea and my resources what more can I do but smile at my accomplices and…laugh. I am alone, after all.

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