Destination food and wine event will showcase historic venues
"When we chose the Central Coast for a celebration of Western living at its finest, we wanted to make a point of weaving the area's history and roots into the event," said Barb Newton, president of Sunset Publishing, Inc. "The use of historic locations connects us to the Central Coast's earliest champions and pioneers-the first people who saw the potential of this incredible place."
One such legendary location is the rustic Asistencia de Santa Margarita, the building in which celebrity Chef Cat Cora will give a "Classics with a Twist" cooking demonstration during the Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast 2011 Main Event, October 1 and 2. First established in 1787 by Spanish padres, Santa Margarita began as a farming and ranching outpost to support the operations of nearby Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. Named Santa Margarita de Cortona Asistencia, this land was eventually privatized when Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1822 and awarded to a young officer of the Mexican Army as a land grant. From that time forward, the Ranch would be owned and operated by several prominent California citizens, playing host to lavish rodeos, fiestas-even a circus-and today retains many of its original and early structures. Attendees to the Main Event can take a stroll through history or catch a ride on the beautifully restored Pacific Coast Railroad Company locomotive. From the rails of Disneyland to the tracks of Santa Margarita, this train steams with history.
Recalling the days of Hollywood grandeur and lavish soirées, Hearst Castle in San Simeon will serve as the setting for the Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast 2011 VIP Reception & Opening Night Event, Thursday, September 29. Designed by architect Julia Morgan for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst and completed in 1947, this 90,000 square-foot Mediterranean Revival estate was named La Cuesta Encantada, or "the enchanted hill," and hosted the glitterati of Hearst's day, including Charlie Chaplin, Cary Grant, the Marx Brothers, Charles Lindbergh, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, and James Stewart. Today, Hearst Castle is a state park and one of the most visited private homes in the United States, with over 7 million visitors each year. The VIP Reception & Opening Night Event will celebrate the ongoing restoration of one of Hearst Castle's most beautiful artifacts-the Morning Room's sixteenth century Spanish Mudéjar coffered ceiling-with attendees enjoying spectacular ocean views, award-winning local wines, and tapas beside the Roman-style Neptune Pool.
Join Sunset Wine Editor, Sara Schneider, Sunset Editor-In-Chief, Katie Tamony, as well as the West's top wine writers, sommeliers, and winemakers at this year's Sunset Western Wine Awards Gala, which will take place under a large tent on the historic Pismo Beach Pier on Friday, September 30. Originally built in 1881 as a commercial wharf to receive and ship lumber, rock and other cargo, the Pismo Beach Pier gave way during a heavy storm and was rebuilt in 1924 and once again in 1985. Since its beginning, the pier has served as one of Pismo Beach's major attractions, both as the site of many saloons, brothels and bootleggers during the Prohibition Era, and as the world-class surf spot and family vacation destination that it is today.
At the heart of San Luis Obispo, one of the most vibrantly alive cities in the U.S., lies Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, the fifth mission founded by Father Junipero Serra in 1772. In his recent book Thrive, author Dan Buettner recently named San Luis Obispo "America's Happiest City", specifically citing the creation and importance of the mission plaza. SLO, as locals fondly call their city, was also featured on Oprah as a result of Beuttner's proclamation. On Saturday, October 1, Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast 2011 will stage the Mission Plaza Winemaker Dinner, as an al fresco feast for the senses. Enjoy SLO's most revered chefs as they prepare a themed, farm to table dining experience underneath the stars, accompanied by divine wines carefully selected by SLO vintners. The sight of the Mission aglow, the sounds of the nearby creek, the soft melodies of a live band, and the aromas and tastes from San Luis Obispo's finest chefs and wineries will combine for an unforgettable evening.
An equally significant landmark on the Central Coast is Paso Robles' City Park, where Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast 2011 will present the Paso Glow culinary experience on Saturday evening, October 1. At the head of the park lies the storied Paso Robles Inn, often called "California's oldest watering place" after years of welcoming weary travelers to partake in the curative powers of its natural hot springs. While the Salinan people had taken these waters for centuries, by 1868, visitors were coming from as far away as Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, and Alabama to see El Paso de Robles or "the pass of the oaks." (One guest happened to be the notorious bandit Jesse James, who came to visit his uncle and soak in the hot springs to heal a bullet-shot wound.) This October 1, the park will once again enjoy visitors from afar as the site of a magical illuminated reverie, with guests Cat Cora, Sunset Wine Editor Sara Schneider, as well as gifted local chefs, winemakers, and farmers to celebrate the delicious abundance of the region.
For tickets or more information on Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast 2011, please visit www.SavorCentralCoast.com. Tickets are also available at Farm Supply locations.
Sunset magazine has partnered with the San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Conference Bureau to launch Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast 2011. For more event information and tickets, visit www.SavorCentralCoast.com, or call 800?768?6653. Become a fan on Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/SavorCC, or follow us on Twitter (@SavorCC). Ticket proceeds and sponsorships are considered donations to the San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Convention Bureau, a 501 c 6 non?profit tourism organization promoting San Luis Obispo County.