Thursday, March 26, 2015

Freeman’s Flying Chicken Delivers Fabulous Fowl

It was a simple desire that led Paul Freeman to start Freeman’s Flying Chicken. “Let’s do what we said we’ve wanted for all these years,” he told his wife, Tracy. “Let’s make something for a busy family that wants to order in but doesn’t want pizza again.”

The Freemans were certainly busy, with two sons (now 17 and 13), a mom who worked in advertising, and Paul, a UCSB grad who went to culinary school and worked in Los Angeles kitchens for stars like Joachim Splichal (of Patina downtown) and Joe Miller (of Joe’s Restaurant in Venice), but he soon realized, “While I had a passion for food, I was more interested in the business side.”

Want to read the rest then do so at the Indy's site.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Happy Canyon's Grassini Family Vineyard and Winery

It's just like Santa Barbara to name a location Happy Canyon without an iota of irony. The thing is the location -- the westernmost, and therefore warmest, part of the Santa Ynez Valley -- is ungodly gorgeous. There aren't many folks to clutter up the scenery of rolling hills and horse ranches.

It's in this location (and American Viticultural Area, or AVA, since 2009) that the Grassini Family purchased 104 acres of undeveloped land in the late 1980s. "At the time, there was a lot more cattle than vines dotting the landscape," says Katie Grassini, daughter of founders Larry and Sharon, and current CEO of Grassini Family Vineyards and Winery. "Our land was used for grazing cattle until 2001, when my parents decided to plant 35 of our 104 acres with five Bordeaux varietals. As a child, my father spent years gardening with his grandfather, Articondo, who had emigrated from Pisa. It was his fond memories of tending the land with his grandfather that first inspired him to plant the vines. As an homage to Articondo's influence on Dad's green thumb, we named our red blend wine 'Articondo' -- I think he'd be very proud!"

Want to read the rest then do so at KCET's Food Blog.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Acing the All-Star Academy?

You may not like being described as “on the edge of brilliant and crazy” on national TV, but it turned out fine for Vanessa Craig. Those were the words of celebrity chef Michael Symon, who picked Craig for his team during episode one of Food Network’s new All-Star Academy. At the end of this competition’s eight-week run, one home cook will walk away with $50,000.

Want to read the rest then do so at the Indy's site.

Garagiste Festival 2015: Preview

Two-Buck Chuck produces and sells over 13,000 cases a day. The 156,000 bottles in those cases are enough so that every man, woman, and child in a city like the size of Lancaster, could drink one bottle everyday for a year. One might not want to imagine what this would do for the future of the city if this should ever happen.

Want to read the rest then do so at KCET's Food Blog.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sip This: J. Wilkes Santa Maria Pinot Noir

J. Wilkes Pinot Noir: This winery has a sad, happy story: original creator and namesake Jeff Wilkes started his business in 2001 after years of working for Bien Nacido Vineyards, but Jeff unfortunately passed away in 2010. Central Coast Wine Services decided to keep the brand alive in his honor, with his assistant Vidal Perez taking over as winemaker.

Want to read the rest then do so at the Indy's site.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sip This: Pisco Porton

Pisco Portón: From Peru comes this national heritage white spirit distilled from grapes. So think grappa, but mellower, especially this one by Portón, clearly targeted for the international market.

Want to read the rest then do so at the Indy's site.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Navigating the World of Pinot Noir

While I never feel like Warren Buffet when it comes to dollars, I do feel like him when it comes to the richness of Burgundian varietals every time I attend the World of Pinot Noir, which just held its 15th anniversary at the Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara. Talk about your wealth of riches -- there are over 200 wines to taste between two days, there's a media room (see that picture above) with the perimeter of the walls lined with bottles, and there are food-focused events (I previewed one about mushrooms and uni a few weeks ago). There's also a seminar featuring the renowned wine writer Jancis Robinson, who has authored so many books, including The Oxford Companion to Wine, that her bio she says she doesn't know the exact number (this fact might be the only thing she doesn't know).

Want to read the rest then do so at KCET's Food Blog.