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Spend the day with Epicurean San Diego visiting local farms, coffee roasters, butcher shops, distilleries, urban wineries and more! By Lauren Mahan

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nce you’ve signed up for an Epicurean San Diego “Food, Farm and Libation Tour,” be prepared to get your hands dirty—literally. “With your average culinary tour, you don’t get to experience whether what you’re eating is grown, sourced and crafted locally,” says Epicurean founder Stephanie Parker. “What we offer is more of a handson experience, in that participants get to dig up veggies on the farm, feel the warmth of freshly roasted coffee beans and tour inside the facility where salami is made.” A graduate of San Diego State University’s Robert L. Payne School of Hospitality, Parker is no stranger to the late nights and long hours of the restaurant business. After a three-year stint in San Francisco “eating and drinking their way” through the City by the Bay, she and husband, Dan Parker, also an SDSU graduate, decided in 2014 to return to their San Diego roots. Fueled by her passion for supporting local farmers

and artisans, self-proclaimed locavore Parker created Epicurean San Diego as a means of showcasing San Diego’s stunning array of fresh, organic and delicious foods. “And what could be more fun than hopping in a van with friends and experiencing the artisanal offerings of one of the most beautiful destinations in the world,” she adds. Public tours are held on Saturdays, beginning at 11am and ending around 5:30pm, and are limited to a maximum of 12 adults. The current itinerary includes stops at five different locations—Suzie’s Farm, Café Virtuoso, San Pasqual Winery, the Meat Men and Society Brewing Company—with a farm-to-table lunch on the farm provided

“Every time I go down to San Diego I spend time with Stephanie because I know I will always meet someone new, try something new and drink something new. If you love craft food and drink, get in this van.” Adam Dulye, Executive Chef, Brewers Association

en route by K-Pasta. But Epicurean’s tour destinations will soon be expanding. “San Diego has the largest number of farms per capita of any county in the nation, currently around 6,000,” says Parker. “So there’s no lack of potential there.” She’s also working on introducing a North County route in 2016, as well as what she terms a “Beer Geeks Tour.” “It would be a variation of a brewery tour,” Parker says. “Guests would learn about every aspect of the beer making process, for example, how different yeast strains affect beer differently. We’re also working on including a hop farm visit to show how hops are grown and harvested.” For more information or to schedule a private or custom tour, contact Stephanie Parker at 949-212-8520 or at EpicureanSanDiego.com.

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Lauren Mahan is a freelance writer with over 30 years’ experience based in Valley Center, North Park and points south (Baja). She is the Tidbits editor for Edible San Diego and a frequent feature article contributor. November-December 2015

edible San Diego

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Photo: Dan Parker

Exploring San Diego’s artisanal underbelly

ESD 32 Nov/Dec 2015  

Holiday Traditions

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