Posts filed under ‘Food & Wine Events’

Celebrating The Art of BBQ

Autumn-ArtsMost hardcore barbecue fans would agree that there truly is an art to cooking, grilling or smoking meat. Thus, it’s no surprise that barbecue will play a prominent role on October 4 at Santa Maria’s 31st-annual Autumn Arts Grapes and Grains Festival.

This family friendly street festival takes advantage of the Central Coast’s idyllic fall weather . . . when the coastal fog retreats while the sunshine plays on. Celebrants can look forward to live music, arts and crafts vendors, wine and beer tasting, a chalk art expose, a “paint” run and a fine arts show. Add to all that cooking demonstrations and a variety of food vendors and you have a can’t miss afternoon.

The day’s Santa Maria Style BBQ tri-tip delicacies will be expertly served up by the Minerva Club, one of the longest continuously running women’s clubs in California that was founded by pioneer women in 1894. In 1928, Julia Morgan (the architect of Hearst Castle) designed the group’s clubhouse, and in 1984 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Meanwhile, G. Brothers Smokehouse will present its famed barbecue chicken and ribs. The brothers pride themselves on smoking all meat on-site using an authentic, high quality, wood-burning smoker flown in from Mesquite, Texas. As ever, Santa Maria takes its barbecue seriously, with much flavor, color and flourish!

October 1, 2014 at 4:26 pm Leave a comment

Bring Your Own Meat to BBQ (& Wine) Country

CottonwoodHere in California’s BBQ Capital, smoke runs through the veins of locals to such an extent that it doesn’t phase them to be asked to “cook their own.”

Such is the case at the annual Labor Day weekend “Cook Your Own” event at Cottonwood Canyon Vineyard & Winery, which is located along the picturesque Santa Maria Valley wine trail.

Happening on Saturday, August 30 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., this event asks attendees to bring their own meat or entrée plus a tasty side dish to share.

The $15 general admission includes barbecue spices, plates, napkins, utensils and one glass of wine as well as live entertainment. Wine may also be purchased by the glass or bottle. Particularly exciting is that the guest with the best side dish in tow will win a magnum bottle of wine!

Cottonwood Canyon specializes in estate-grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, two varieties that excel amid the Santa Maria Valley’s pronounced coastal climate. Come out, cook your own and enjoy the fruits of your labors.

August 25, 2014 at 9:14 pm Leave a comment

Saluting a Santa Maria BBQ Legend

Tesene BookBring the kids–and your appetite–to the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum on August 31 as the museum celebrates R.H. Tesene Day.

We recently wrote about how the Discovery Museum provides a creative array of educational exhibits for children, including exhibits on Santa Maria BBQ, local farming and more.

Now the museum is honoring Tesene as one of its founding donors and as a local legend of Santa Maria Style Barbecue. Tesene is also the author of the definitive book on our local barbecue style, simply titled Santa Maria Style Barbecue. This book is nothing less than a landmark record of the origins, customs and history of Santa Maria Style Barbecue.

The family-friendly R.H. Tesene Day event runs from noon to 4 p.m. at the museum. The festivities will include cake and ranching-themed activities.  Admission is free!

Also, Big Joe’s Brats will be selling tri-tip lunches, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Discovery Museum. Come out and enjoy a festive afternoon with true Santa Maria style!

August 22, 2014 at 6:43 pm Leave a comment

“Triumphest” Tooting Santa Maria BBQ’s Horn

TriumphestEnthusiasts for little British cars are revving up their engines–and their taste buds–as they prepare for “Triumphest,” a three-day auto rally bringing more than 150 Triumph cars to Santa Maria from September 25 – 27.

In addition to an action-packed itinerary of auto rallies, driving events and autocross competition, attendees are looking forward to Santa Maria’s famed barbecue and bucolic wine country. The event sponsor, the Southern California Triumph Owners Association (STOA), is organizing group outings to enjoy the region’s attractions.

The event’s home page touts Santa Maria as a “lovely city nestled in Santa Barbara County, California, approximately 120 miles northwest of Los Angeles. It is most notable for an excellent variety of barbecued meat. Santa Maria-style BBQ is usually used in reference to the seasoning of tri-tip or other meats when rubbed with salt, pepper, and spices and cooked whole on a rotisserie or grilled over local red oak wood. Sunset magazine’s August 2013 issue features a wonderful article on Santa Maria Style BBQ, crowning Santa Maria as The West’s Best BBQ Town.”

The web page even sports a logo depicting Columbus’s ship, the Santa Maria, with Union Jack-decorated sails. Wishing the Triumphest revelers a tasting good time here in California’s BBQ Capital!

August 13, 2014 at 10:50 pm Leave a comment

Sweet Meets Savory in BBQ Country

Santa Maria Strawberries

Santa Maria Strawberries

They say that “savory and sweet go hand in hand,” and that is definitely true here in the Santa Maria Valley.

Besides local cattle ranches and the myriad of eateries offering our famed Santa Maria Style Barbecue, Santa Maria Valley is also known worldwide for its delicious homegrown strawberries.

This year, our region celebrates the beginning of the strawberry harvest (and the region’s top moneymaking crop!) with the 27th Annual Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival happening Friday, April 25 through Sunday, April 27 at the Santa Maria Fairpark.

This family friendly berry bash features strawberry varietal sampling, strawberry desserts, educational exhibits, a farmers market, cooking demonstrations, agricultural displays, wine tasting, live music, old-fashioned carnival entertainment, and, of course, barbecue.

This year’s theme is “Taste the Fun.” Come on out and experience how the Santa Maria Valley’s uniquely moderate coastal climate is a perfect match for many crops, especially strawberries!


April 10, 2014 at 8:20 pm Leave a comment

Winery Invites You to Bring Your Own Beef

CottonwoodHere in Santa Maria Valley barbecue country, we’re one big family just hanging out ‘round the ‘Q.

So it’s only natural that our own Cottonwood Canyon Vineyard and Winery would host a “Cook Your Own” event on April 12 at their beautiful property.

Cottonwood Canyon Winery invites attendees to bring along their favorite entrée to cook on the winery’s oak-wood barbecue pit. They also encourage one and all to bring a potluck-style side dish to share. The creator of the tastiest side dish will receive a magnum of Cottonwood’s famed Pinot Noir!

Meanwhile, the winery is providing live entertainment and, of course, great wine to pair with your meal.

This free “only in Santa Maria BBQ country” event is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Cottonwood requests an RSVP total so that they can plan for seating. All ages are welcome at this family affair!

March 31, 2014 at 9:57 pm Leave a comment

Sweet & Smokin’ Valentines Festivities

In Santa Maria Style Barbecue country, Valentine’s Day menu offerings are not only sweet, they’re smokin’.

Take The Far Western Tavern’s Valentine’s Day “Bull’s Eye,” a whole prime rib that’s red oak grilled and cut into a 14-ounce boneless rib eye steak served with roasted asparagus or mashed potatoes. Of course, that comes with an oyster starter; a lobster bisque; and dessert – all for $85 per couple!

Meanwhile, Central City Market will have a special “Friday Night Flight,” and we’re not talking airlines. On February 14 the Market will feature a flight of “New Wines by the Glass,” ($12 per person) including a talk by a local winemaker and hors d’oeuvres crafted especially to complement each wine.

Speaking of wine, Rancho Sisquoc, one of Santa Maria Valley’s oldest wineries, presents “Romance at the Ranch” on February 15. For $10 per person, the afternoon includes locally made chocolate truffles paired with award winning wines; a chair massage; and live music by singer-songwriter Loren Radis.

Looking to spice things up? Pasion Comida Mexicana’s special V-day menu features a complimentary glass of champagne and starter plus menu selections such as Cream of Jalapeño Soup; Duck Chimichangas; Shrimp Rellenos; and Flourless Chocolate Cake for two with Cilantro Mint Syrup.

Seeking an innovative outing for your valentine? Santa Maria Valley’s own Riverbench Vineyard & Winery, famed for its fine Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, is hosting a Valentine’s Day Archery Lesson on Saturday, February 8 from 10 a.m. to noon. A $15 fee per person includes archery instruction and then wine tasting to follow. The real question is, will Cupid hit the mark? Come and find out!

February 3, 2014 at 4:32 pm Leave a comment

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