Monday, June 13, 2011

Pinot & Paella - Part 3

As I left off in my last post: After hanging out with Chef Charlie & the Chefs representing Pier 46, we then spotted Matt & Shaun from Luna Red in San Luis Obispo. What attracted us to their booth was that there was a huge BBQ fire pit with tons of coals (gave off quite a bit of heat but perfect for the cool day that it was) and that's where they were cooking their paella dish. Wow, how fun is that? Here's Mr. Matt, braving the heat to stir the paella dish:

So Chef Shaun & I started talking about everything that's going on @ Luna Red - including the fact that they are shaking their menu up a bit - turning towards doing more of a tapas menu while also continuing their traditional dinner menu.

Now most folks know that Luna Red is the third restaurant owned by Chef Robbin - he also owns NOVO in SLO & Robbin's in Cambria. All three of these restaurants are totally committed to true sustainability - meaning getting their produce from local, organic farms and using meat that is only raised by humane methods, no matter what the price. Matt is even in charge of a new program where he is going to go out in the field (literally) looking for farmers that would be willing to farm sustainably for the three restaurants as getting enough true, local food is always a difficult task.

You could tell Matt & Shaun were so passionate on this subject. In fact, Shaun said he had just switched his info on Twitter to say, "I have a responsibility to feed people ethically."

Now their passion got my attention "big time." As I've mentioned before on this blog, I founded a rooster rescue, "Save the Cocks!" which helps place pet roosters that get stuck in humane societies because they have no where else to go. I'm mostly vegetarian/vegan as I know more than I want to know about the factory farm system. That said, after talking to Shaun and hearing about their approach to ethical farming, I wanted to know more. So soon I'll be going down to Luna Red (as well as NOVO & Robbin's) so that we can do an in depth blog on this subject. This will all be for my, "What's Hot in Paso" blog (and surrounding areas, of course!) - coming soon. I'll be sure to highlight it when it is posted.

Here's a photo of Shaun & Matt's gorgeous paella dish while still cooking:

And here's a photo of me with my new buddy, Chef Shaun:

Do you see the HUGE lemons around the paella dish? There was a fabulous lemon flavor infused into the dish that made the paella so bright & tangy. This was by far my favorite paella dish of all as I found it extra flavorful. Great job, Shaun & Matt! I look forward to blogging about you two again soon :)

After getting stuffed from eating so much paella, we started to wander around the rest of the festival to check out the great pinots. Here's a glimpse of the scene:

OK folks - here is where I apologize: At this point I started to lose focus on really going from wine booth to wine booth to blog about who was there - but only because I was running into so many friends! I was out chatting it up with so many folks that I lost track of time and well, you know, failed horribly as a blogger. That said, I did spend A LOT of time - probably too much time - at the Adelaida Cellars booth drinking their Vin Gris de Pinot as well as their '07 & '08 Pinots. Here's a shot of Pati, the fabulous Adelaida Tasting Room Manager looking totally gorgeous:

From there I wandered over to the Calcareous booth to visit with Christie, the Tasting Room Manager. They were pouring their "Twisted Sisters" Pinot so of course I had to drag my buddy SAM (Susan A. Mahler) over. We call ourselves "The Twisted Sisters" after our Twister match on Christmas Eve (yes, the old colored dots game Twister. Really, SAM?) I have to admit, she totally kicked my ass :) Can you believe I didn't get a shot of us with the Twisted Sisters bottle? SAM - we're going to have do get together and do a photo shoot soon - HA!

Then I was lucky enough to run into Dani, from Tablas Creek as well as her friend Jenny from Le Vigne Winery. These gorgeous ladies had volunteered to help with the set up, break down & clean up for the event - but in the meantime were running around, having a great time. It was so great to catch up with Dani and no nice to finally meet Jenny as I had heard great things about her.

So that's the end of my blog on the Pinot & Paella Event itself - though the next blog will be all about the fabulous after party at Marc & Maggie Windward's Vineyard Property. Here's a sneak peak of the action:

Will Stormy survive? (Yes, that's his name.) Will SAM be cuffed & hauled off to jail? Tune in for my next blog post to find out :)

1 comment:

  1. I would LOVE to read a follow up interview with Chef Shaun of Luna Red and a discussion of ethical farming. He is one of the stars of the Central Coast. The specials at Luna Red are always spot on.