Category Archives: Lifestyle

LOCAL LOVE, LOCAL FLAIR: Downtown San Luis Obispo Farmers’ Market Gets An Upgrade

 

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Three decades after its inception, the world-famous Downtown San Luis Obispo Thursday Night Farmers’ Market is stepping up its game.

Over the next six months, the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association will unveil several improvements that build on the market’s success, including better access and infrastructure; technology that puts shoppers in real-time contact with farmers and their produce; and augmented hands-on educational opportunities for people of all ages.

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To celebrate the refresh, on Thursday, April 9th from 6- 9 p.m., the Farmers’ Market is kicking-off with a free, all-city street party that starts with the unveiling of the new Downtown Association farmstand and market information booth. At 6 p.m., Councilwoman Carlyn Christianson will be on hand to christen the farmstand with seasonal produce from the market at Chorro and Higuera Streets, offering drawings and giveaways of new Downtown SLO Farmers’ Market merchandise like trucker hats and tees.

Then at 6:30 p.m. the market’s mascot, Downtown Brown, will lead the way to the first of the Downtown San Luis Obispo Farmers’ Market “Fresh Picked” Concert Series presented by the San Luis Obispo Collection featuring local favorite, The Damon Castillo Band, at the Harvest Stage located in the Union Bank parking lot.

“After an internal review, we realized that there were a few things that we could do to really take our market to the next level,” says Downtown Association Executive Director, Dominic Tartaglia, whose organization oversees the Farmers’ Market. “After thirty-two years holding this event we had to dig deep to see what those improvements were but, ultimately, we developed a strategy to make the user experience more pleasant and the vendors’ experience more profitable. We want this to be a market that locals continue to attend each week and be proud of when they bring guests with them.”

While improvements roll out, the Thursday Night Farmers’ Market will forever remain:

  • all about LOCAL
  • DIVERSE in its offerings and appeal
  • dedicated to HEALTH and WELLNESS
  • honoring of its rich HISTORY
  • an unforgettable EXPERIENCE, and
  • the HEART of San Luis Obispo and the week.

Established to provide the community with a positive gathering space that also supports local businesses, “Thursday Night Promotions” (as it is officially named) began in 1983 when the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association closed six blocks of Higuera Street from 6-9 p.m. to offer entertainment, special activities, food and shopping every Thursday night. Not long after, farmers were invited to sell their harvest and the event soon became known as the Thursday Night Farmers’ Market.

Since then, Thursday Night Promotions has developed into a weekly, year-round street fair that is consistently named among the nation’s best, complete with top-shelf entertainment; abundant local produce, proteins and grains; family activities; delectable prepared foods; value-added products; and a bicycle valet.

Pierre Rademaker

Pierre Rademaker

“Higuera Street is truly this community’s ‘living room,’” says Pierre Rademaker, longtime resident and owner of Rademaker Design, “and Thursday Night has become our way of sharing it with family, friends and visitors.”

Amber Bixler

Amber Bixler

“Every week, I look forward to Farmers’,” says Amber Bixler, owner of Elevenses Mind & Body Therapy. “My senses are stimulated by the aroma of delicious food from the street vendors, the sound of local musicians and the bright colors and textures of locally-grown foods. This is one reason I love SLO: We are a community that fosters family-run farms and businesses. There’s no better way to showcase that support than through our Thursday Night Farmers’ Market.”

Ken Hampian

Ken Hampian

“The Farmers’ Market is an economic and tourism juggernaut, to be sure,” says former City Manager for San Luis Obispo, Ken Hampian. “But more than that, it’s a civic gathering place, an opportunity for local residents to interact.”

Mike White

Mike White

“From day one, the Farmers’ Market has meant so much to us,” says Mike White, owner of Boo Boo Records, one of Rolling Stone magazine’s top record stores in the nation. “Aside from the statewide (and beyond) spotlight it brought to SLO that has resulted in year-round attention, the actual Thursday night spike in business has been huge.  Really, the Farmers’ Market took SLO to the next level in terms of our ranking among small towns in America and Boo Boo’s is forever grateful.”

For more information about improvements to the Thursday Night Farmers’ Market or the April 9th kick-off party, please visit DowntownSLO.com/Farmers-Market or call the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association at 805-541-0286.

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Laetitia x THO x NYC = OMG

Stop the presses: Our friends at Laetitia Vineyard & Winery recently announced their invitation to join Thomas Hill Organics Bistro’s Chef Christopher Manning to present a dinner at the iconic James Beard House in New York City on Saturday, April 25. (Want to join us? We’ll be there.)

Eric Hickey

Eric Hickey

“A chance to share a taste of the Central Coast at the James Beard House is a true honor,” said Eric Hickey, Laetitia’s President and Head Winemaker, “especially in collaboration with a talent like Chef Manning. His cuisine and Laetitia wines say so much about the beauty and bounty of this place we call home.”

Chef Christopher Manning

Chef Christopher Manning

“Cooking at the James Beard House is a one-of-a-kind experience,” said Chef Manning, who presented a dinner there as Executive Chef of Domaine Chandon’s étoile Restaurant in Napa. “I feel lucky to be invited back, this time representing the Central Coast and partnering with Laetitia and their phenomenal wines.”

The menu for the evening will include:

 Hors d’Oeuvre

Big-Eye Tuna Crudo with Zucchini, Roma Tomatoes, Osetra Caviar, and Lemon Cream on Toasted Brioche
Jamón Ibérico with Manchego Cheese, Olea Farm Olive Oil, and 100-Year-Aged Balsamic on Crostini
Saint Angel Cheese with Pea Tendrils and Bianchetto Truffles in Phyllo Cups
Cognac-Glazed Jumbo Prawns with Piment d’Espelette
Kusshi Oysters with Laetitia Brut Cuvée, Pink Peppercorns, and Lemon Mignonette
LAETITIA BRUT CUVÉE NV

 Dinner

Pan-Seared Dayboat Scallops with Sunchoke Purée, Blonde Frisée, Spring Garlic Vinaigrette, and Oyster Mushrooms
LAETITIA ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2013

Skuna Bay Salmon with Ramps, Marble Potatoes, Applewood-Smoked Bacon, Heirloom Carrots, and Saffron Aïoli
LAETITIA ESTATE PINOT NOIR 2013

Liberty Farms Duck Breast and Leg Confit with Beluga Lentils, Montana Huckleberries, Navel Oranges, Petite Salad
LAETITIA RESERVE DU DOMAINE PINOT NOIR 2013

Wildflower Honey Olives, Broccoli Rabe, Roasted Red Bell Peppers, and Rosemary Glace de Viande​
LAETITIA LA COLLINE PINOT NOIR 2012
LAETITIA LES GALETS PINOT NOIR 2012

D’Anjou Pear Mille-Feuille with Pear Mousse, Pear Brandy Butterscotch, and Almond Toffee
LAETITIA BRUT ROSÉ 2012

The James Beard Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. Converted from the home of the influential American gastronome whose name it bears, the James Beard House continues to be a center for celebrating taste, skill, and artistry in American foodways, including a kitchen and dining room to feature up-and-coming talents and as an important meeting place for America’s food community.

Tickets for the dinner are $130 for James Beard Foundation members, $170 for non-members. For more information about Laetitia Vineyard & Winery and Thomas Hill Organics Bistro’s Chef Christopher Manning at the James Beard House on Saturday, April 25, please visit http://www.JamesBeard.org/Events.

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Wedding season field trip: Rings and wines and gowns, oh my!

Olivia, Elissa, Nathan (our bodyguard), and Kyndal

Olivia, Elissa, Nathan (our bodyguard), and Kyndal

In celebration of the upcoming wedding and awards seasons, the Parker Sanpei team recently took a field trip to San Luis Obispo’s Marshalls Jewelers to try on jewels and Starlette O’Hara to try on gowns. And then, just to round-out the festivities, we tasted several Central Coast wines to match. (Tough work, but someone has to do it.)

Marshalls Jewelers

This beautiful jewel of a shop is actually the oldest continuous shopfront in San Luis Obispo, established in 1889. Owners Jeff McKeegan and Steven deLuque continue Marshalls’ heritage of fine quality service and artistry with beautiful baubles to tempt any bride- or groom-to-be. Marshalls Jewelers, 751 Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 805.543.3431

Starlette O’Hara

We passed this formal dress boutique on our way to the Parker Sanpei offices for years and had to stop ourselves from pressing our noses against the glass, so appealing are the gowns on display in the window. Owner Shelly Schafer offers a wide selection of mostly imported gowns to brides looking for something very unique, as well as those seeking fun, one-of-a-kind glamour for special occasions. Heads up: Shelly also offers mobile teeth whitening for a fraction of the normal cost using organic products all made in the USA. She caters to those of us who love red wine (hello, Parker Sanpei!) and are looking to lift stains for a cleaner, more confident smile. For more information, call Shelly at  805.453.6894.
Starlette O’Hara Formal Dress Boutique, 641 Higuera Street #101, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 805.305.1577

…And now, for the dress/ring/wine pairings! Click on each collage for the full picture.

MODERN FUN

 

 

CLASSIC

 

 

OLD WORLD

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Your 2015 Travel Punch List

Last year, we at Parker Sanpei had a lot of fun developing an international punch list for 2014, and this year, we thought we’d try it again. Here are the places and experiences we are most excited about this year, broken up by season.

WINTER: Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah

sundancefilm-parkcityThis January 22 through February 1, Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival will once again draw thousands of film-lovers to experience the release of hundreds of new indie movies. Film festivals are often thought of as private affairs for insiders, but tickets are available to Sundance films at just $20 each – a steal when you consider that the directors and actors in the films take the stage after each show to discuss their work. Add to that the charm of Park City, its accessibility to the Salt Lake City Int’l Airport (just 30 minutes away), and its home to some of the world’s finest ski resorts – and powder! – and you have the makings of a dynamite getaway.

SPRING: James Beard House Dinner with Laetitia Vineyard & Winery, Thomas Hill Organics Bistro, New York City

2011-06-09-minidiningroom3When James Beard, the godfather of American cuisine, passed away in 1985, his colleagues and friends sought to purchase his Greenwich Village townhouse and convert it into something of a performance space for chefs. They enlisted the help of a talented young chef from California, Wolfgang Puck, to craft a multi-course dinner, the proceeds from which would benefit the renovation project; Thus was the James Beard House dinner series born. Today, the James Beard House hosts 250 events each year, one of which will be a dinner celebrating the bounty of California’s Central Coast (Parker Sanpei’s beautiful home) including wines from Laetitia Vineyard & Winery and cuisine from Chef Christopher Manning at Thomas Hill Organics Bistro. The date for the dinner is Sunday, April 27, at 7pm. Tickets are $130 for members and $170 for the public. Reservations will be available mid-January by calling 212.627.2308.

SUMMER: A Taste of Stockholm, Sweden

20100608-lola01Between The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Wallander, and The Killing, the world clearly has an obsession with the dark side of Scandinavian culture of late, and we’re no exception. But what about the bright side? That’s where A Taste of Stockholm comes in. From June 3 through 7, this culinary fête takes place in downtown Stockholm’s Kungsträdgården park with bites from two-dozen of the city’s best restaurants, classes, demonstrations, and performances by top musicians. Afterwards, go back to the dark side with a (Volvo) drive to Ystad and walk in Detective Kurt Wallander’s footsteps…

FALL: 84th Annual International White Truffle Fair, Alba, Italy

alba-international-white-truffle-fair-italy_57135_600x450Worshipers of the elusive tartufo bianco flock from far and wide to the small city of Alba in Italy’s Piedmont region for the International White Truffle Fair each fall. In 2015, the festival will be held October 11 through 16 with a line-up of international chefs, sensory analysis sessions, wine pairing demonstrations and cultural happenings (e.g. a choral competition and a palio for donkeys in the style of Siena’s more famous one for horses) to tickle the heart of the most devoted gourmands and oenophiles. Just remember to bring your wallet. And you might want to take out a loan first.

 

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Celebrating FOUR years: Our most popular posts.

Birthday-Wishes-for-a-Four-Year-OldWe at Parker Sanpei can’t believe it’s been four years this week since The Dish went live. Four years! In those four years, we’ve covered everything from the history of Father’s Day and mustards of the world to emergency preparedness and the best music festivals in the west. We’ve also shared personal tastes and memories on everything from our least favorite food trends to how we dropped it all to pursue a love of wine. And speaking of wine, we’ve talked lots, and lots, and lots about wine.

We’ve also met thousands upon thousands of you through a shared passion for food, wine, travel, and hospitality. Thanks for making these four years so delectable!

To celebrate the occasion, we’ll be re-running a few of our most popular posts to date. Enjoy! And happy holidays!

 

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Which wine/dress are you?

parkersanpei:

As promised, we are re-running a few of our most popular posts on The Dish in celebration of our FOURTH birthday. Here is our number one most popular post – a very simple one, mind you – on how to select the right wine and dress for your wedding day. Happy re-reading!

Originally posted on THE DISH by PSPR:

It’s the season for weddings, and we’ve been thinking a lot about pairing wedding dresses with wine.  (Why not?)  The following are some of our favorite pairings:

If you like Laetitia Vineyard & Winery La Coupelle Pinot Noir…

Kate cowl neck gown, inspired by the work of legendary fashion photographer Irving Penn, in hand-washed silk and crepe back satin, with dramatic draped low back and pooled skirt.  By Alix & Kelly.

Understated elegance is what Laetitia’s La Coupelle Pinot Noir is all about.  With dark fruit and chocolate notes, this full-bodied Pinot Noir is ideal for the woman who prefers the subtle to the spectacular.

If you like Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery‘s Espiritu Chardonnay…

Strapless ruched cream wedding dress with train and satin buttons down the back. by Paloma Bianco.

This wine is the definition of “rustic chic,” with notes of toasted nuts balanced by hints of green apple…

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Gifts that give back guide 2014.

Every holiday season, we at The Dish troll the universe for the most compelling, generous and elegant gifts that give back – everything from nail polish to iPhone cases and toys. This year, we went for simplicity and, as always, lots of heart.

71SXM2R8p-L._SY679_Three Avocados Coffee

Inspired by the gift of three avocados from a poor widow, Three Avocados is a non-profit organization that provides 100% of its net proceeds from the sale of coffee beans to educating and hydrating communities in need of clean water. Sourced from the very same places they serve, Three Avocados sells its rich and robust coffee beans, as well as tumblers, mugs and gifts to bring hope and health to those who need it most.

the-toucan-group-e0040c7e28d2cb536dd67042c37dc2e0Good Mouth

We love GoodMouth.com first for their awesome (and awesomely affordable) subscription toothbrush program, which delivers BPA-free, high-quality toothbrushes to your door on a monthly basis and then turns around to give two more brushes to someone in need.

good mouth

NADIA Quattro Wine

PRT_BNDQU4SD12_PRTMIDPIC_20140527_103801Our friends at Laetitia Vineyard & Winery released this beautiful wine (perfect for anyone’s holiday table, by the by) as a means for contributing to local charities. Thus, $1 from every bottle purchased will go to two selected non-profits each year. This year, those recipients are Woods Humane Society and Family Care Network, which builds and enriches the lives of families across the Central Coast.

From fruit grown on our Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard, NADIA Quattro offers aromas of brambleberry, blackberry and saddle leather, and on the palate, strawberry rhubarb pie and cardamom interweave with black licorice and fine-grained tannin.

http://www.LaetitiaWine.com

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