Living Lavishly Volume 14

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VOLUME 14

Spring / Summer 2022

Outdoor Spaces

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Coffee Guide

Fresh Eats 1 / Living Lavishly


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Furniture

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Bedding

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Editor’s Letter If you look up the word “lavish” in the dictionary, it’s listed in two forms: adjective sumptuously rich, elaborate, or luxurious. verb to bestow something in generous or extravagant quantities. When it comes to Living Lavishly on the Central Coast (both the magazine and the actual living), it’s essential that we have both. As humans we crave rich relationships and experiences; and we build those relationships and experiences by sharing our gifts with others.

Amy Blasco Amy has 15 years’ combined experience in writing, editing, marketing, and education. A journalism graduate of Cal Poly, San

This issue of Living Lavishly is a testament to the rich and luxurious

Luis Obispo, she started her career as a

experiences available to us on the Central Coast and the generosity and

reporter for the Santa Maria Sun and

strength of the people who live here. Despite all the challenges of the

worked her way up to Managing Editor.

last two years, our communities have come together to keep each other

She also served as Program Director at

going—through food and art, financial and emotional support, laughter

the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum

and stories.

and is currently the Content Creator at

Our goal is to remind you, our readers, that the Central Coast is a place of hope and possibility. There are so many ways to live lavishly here: Reminisce with good friends over a decadent meal. Savor the best Central Coast roasters, brewers, and winemakers have to offer. Dance up a storm to live music. Make your dream home a reality with the help of local architects, builders, designers, and decorators. Take some time just to breathe and reflect on what’s important to you. Need some inspiration? Then sit back, relax, and read all about what your neighbors are up to and how you can get in on the action. Enjoy Living Lavishly Magazine, Volume 14!

Amy Blasco Executive Editor

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Simply Clear Marketing and Media. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with loved ones, birdwatching, baking, and working on her series of children’s books about her cat, Tortilla.


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Contributors Victoria Sexton

Wendy Thies Sell

Victoria is a financial coach on the Central Coast of

Wendy is a four-time Emmy Award-winning journalist;

California. She helps clients develop financial clarity, a

travel, wine and lifestyle writer; diabetes research event

strategic plan, and additional revenue streams. When she’s

planner; and mother of two. Formerly a TV news anchor,

not working with clients or writing her latest book, she’s

reporter and producer at KSBY and KCOY, she segued to

exploring the Central Coast with her husband and two boys.

newspaper and magazine writing; event emceeing; and volunteering for Sansum Diabetes Research Institute.

Judy Salamacha Since relocating from Bakersfield to the Central Coast, Judy has repurposed her public relations company, Salamacha PR Strategies, to write for multiple publications, including the Bay News, Sun Bulletin, SLO Tribune, Estero Bay News, and Living Lavishly Magazine. Molly O’Brien Molly O’Brien is a proud Cal Poly journalism alumna who’s currently working as a Los Angeles-based freelance travel writer for a number of outlets including The Washington Post, Travel + Leisure, Business Insider, Fodor’s Travel, Lonely Planet, and Bloomberg as well as her own travel website, metropolitanmolly.com. Trisha Butcher Trisha is a freelance photojournalist and professional photographer out of Paso Robles and specializes in landscape, portrait, lifestyle, and custom contemporary photography.

Laura Jeffrey Laura is the owner of 101 Wine Tours, Inc. and a Certified Sommelier who makes visitors’ wine excursions on the Central Coast truly unique. She often incorporates local olive oil makers, boutique wineries, and craft distilleries on her tours.

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Mary Lagier Mary is a food, travel and interior photographer who loves to create images that tell a story about delectable food, awe-inspiring destinations and gorgeous interiors. When she’s not behind the camera you can find her in the kitchen and exploring the beautiful Central Coast. Camay Arad Camay is the founder of the Chameleon Style® Design Method and the designer of Changeable Chameleon Fine Furniture. She is surrounded by the people and fabrics she loves daily in her design store located in Grover Beach. Sarah Kathleen Leader Sarah is a dreamer, mother, rain-dancer, wine-drinker, singer, ocean-air-breather, a photographer, and a storyteller. She lives in Atascadero with her husband, 6-year-old daughter, and two dogs (a German shepherd and a bloodhound). Charlotte Ross Charlotte Ross is a Central Coast local and a Cal Poly alumnus. She recently earned her bachelor of science degree in journalism with dual minors in Spanish and wildlife conservation biology. She enjoys writing, spending time outdoors, and doing arts and crafts.


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Contents 01

03

Around the Home

Living Lavishly Coffee Guide

The Secret to Creating a Beautiful

Where Your Coffee Comes From

84

Outdoor Space

12

Staff’s Picks: Our Favorite Coffee Shops

88

Architectural Features

18

Must-Try Coffee Shops of SLO County

92

The Ultimate Design Influencers

22

Home Design Guide

26

Forging a Legacy

38

Bring the Coffeehouse to Your Home

44

2022 Color Trends

48

How to Create a Life Your Future Self Will Thank You For

52

04

In the Kitchen Say (Vegan) Cheese!

102

The Hidden Kitchen: From Earth to Belly

106

The Perfect Spring or Summer Starters

112

What’s in Season? Spring & Summer Edition

116

02

Inspired by Life

05

Hidden Gems

One Big Hapy Family

60

Eating Without Borders (and Forks)

68

The New Normal at Kelsey See Canyon Winery

74

Hotel Cerro: An Edible Garden of Delights

122

Conjuring the Goddess Within

78

Top 5 Entertainment Wineries & Breweries

128

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26

31

55

125

69

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615 Clarion Ct. #2 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 Phone (805) 543-6397 LivingLavishlyMag.com

Spring / Summer 2022 PUBLISHERS EXECUTIVE EDITOR & CONTENT STRATEGIST Amy Blasco ASSISTANT EDITOR Molly O’Brien CREATIVE DIRECTOR Emilia Bollini DIRECTOR OF MARKETING OPERATIONS

Kelley Braga

Bret Colhouer | Lani Colhouer | David Diaz MARKETING Aidan Weber Bryan Kirkpatrick Jayda Ransome Tina Mitchell CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Andrea Chavez Camay Arad Cindy Bevans Charlotte Ross

Jill Bleher Judy Salamacha Laura Jeffrey Mary Lagier Sarah Kathleen Leader Shelly Van Rozeboom Trisha Butcher Victoria Sexton Wendy Thies Sell

Bret Colhouer

Recycling Note This magazine is 100% recyclable. It can be put in blue recycling bins, dropped off at the SLO

Lani Colhouer

County Library (if this issue is less than a year old), or even mailed to MagazineLiteracy.org, which distributes old magazines to children, teens and adults who are at risk of illiteracy.

Advertise With Us! Complete details regarding advertising rates, space, sizes, circulation, coverage and similar information are available to prospective advertisers. Please call or email for more information. This is a publication of Simply Clear Marketing, Inc., Copyright 2007-2022 all rights

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reserved. One free copy per person. Additional copies can be obtained at our offices at 615 Clarion Court, #2, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93401. Simply Clear Marketing and Media makes every reasonable effort to ensure the accuracy of its contents. Please notify us if information is incorrect.

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The Secret to Creating a Beautiful Outdoor Space By Jill Bleher

A

s humans we seek habitats in which to dwell. This can be seen inside our homes

as well as in our gardens. There are probably special things in your house that you cherish and enjoy. Maybe it is the family heirloom china displayed in a cabinet or the flat-screen TV that you use daily. These features help create an inviting space with their beauty, placement, and functionality. The approach is similar for designing an outdoor dwelling space. Have you ever visited a beautiful garden and wondered why it is so inviting? The answer is good design involving landscape features.

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Landscape features are generally items that draw the eye, such as colorful pottery, a striking sculpture, or a beautiful tree. Features can also engage other senses, such as the sound of a fountain or the warmth of a firepit. Whether you have a small or a large yard, there are plenty of options for features to enhance your landscape experience. Here is an exploration of how to integrate features into your landscape retreat for the greatest effect.

Art as a Focal Point One way to personalize and add dimension to a garden is to incorporate artistic features. Artful focal points can be as simple as a beautiful ceramic pot or as complex as a large-scale wind sculpture. Good placement for an art feature is at the divergence of pathways, in a nook to the side of a patio, or in a space viewed from above. Uplight your art feature so you can appreciate it after dark. When selecting art features, consider the theme of the setting. Pick a modern art piece for a contemporary landscape, place vibrant Talavera pottery in a cactus garden, or choose a stone lantern for your traditional Japanese garden. Additionally, art focal points may have sentimental value, such as a souvenir plaque from a trip or a garden statue that belonged to a family member. Ultimately, the purpose of garden art is to add meaning and beauty to the landscape.

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Water and Fire Elements

Ambiance is a fundamental part of the garden setting. A well-designed landscape invites the visitor to linger and appreciate the space. Two elements that are especially good at adding ambiance to any garden are water and fire features. Consider the welcoming glow of a fire or the peaceful sound of water. It’s no wonder that both are common aspects of an inviting landscape sanctuary. Deciding where to place a fire or water feature in the landscape is significant. Locate a fireplace or fire pit in a space where people can gather. If designing a new space, consider building a fireplace wall to partially enclose and warm a seating area. Moveable fire tables can be added to existing patios for an inviting element. Whether for roasting marshmallows or just adding light and warmth, fire features are ideal for inviting people to gather. Since water features are sought out mainly for their sound, they can be tucked against walls or into nooks. Alternatively, they can be placed out in the center of a large space as a focal point. With so many options to choose from, it is best to match the style of your landscape. Select a steel water wall for a modern look, choose a coredrilled boulder fountain for a natural setting, or pick a tiered fountain for an Italian garden. Whatever the style, a well-placed water or fire feature will add dimension to the garden space.

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Plant Selections that Pop

Perhaps the most obvious garden feature is plants. However, by their very nature, plants are dynamic and not as easy to highlight as a static fountain or statue—they grow and change throughout the seasons. For this reason, picking the right plants to showcase can take some thought. Trees and large shrubs make excellent features due to their size and often interesting forms. Some of the best trees to draw attention to are olives and oaks as they have beautiful branch structures and grow more majestic with age. A favorite large shrub to feature is the Western Redbud, which bursts into bright pink blooms in early spring. Large manzanitas or arbutus trees are also excellent selections to choose with their red bark and gnarled forms. Accent trees at night with either uplights or hanging moonlights. If you don’t have space for large trees, consider plants with striking architectural form, such as agaves or grasses to feature against a wall or along a pathway. Perennial blooming plants will delight seasonally. Try interplanting bulbs between other plants to add extra pops of color in Spring!

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Borrowed Views

One powerful option for creating a beautiful landscape is to incorporate views. A “borrowed view” is when a distant landscape is included in the garden design. For instance, build an arbor to frame a view of neighboring vineyards or leave space between trees to view the mountains beyond. It might be years before your newly planted oak trees can be considered features, but you can highlight the view of a magnificent oak tree in the field beyond your property. Ultimately, borrowed views are a great way to make your immediate yard feel larger and grander. It’s like adding a mirror on the wall in an interior room. Even a small yard will feel less enclosed if there is a view of the world beyond. Don’t lose sight of the greater landscape! This exploration of landscape features and their applications applies to every person and every garden setting. Include one or many elements in your yard, but do it purposefully and make it personal! Seek out art features that catch your eye, add a fire or water feature to create ambiance, select plants to delight the senses, and borrow views when possible. In the end, don’t hurry the journey—enjoy the process. In so doing, turn your landscape into a dwelling space that is an expression of yourself. After all, genuinely superb gardens are dwellings that evolve with the time and ponderous consideration of a magnificent tree.

Jill Bleher is a landscape designer and Cal Poly Landscape Architecture alumnus. She is passionate about designing unique landscape sanctuaries for others. When not designing yards for other people, she can most often be found in her own garden or inside creating crafts. For more information, visit madronelandscapes.com or call (805) 466-6263.

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Architectural Features

American Riviera Bank

Hiding underneath faux stucco columns, the original chevron shaped brick pilasters were found surprisingly damaged once exposed. Since they were beyond repair,

Architect: Bryan Ridley of Bracket Architecture Builder: Stalwork, Inc. Photography: 11th Street Studio

the decision was made to encase them in board-formed concrete textured with torched and wire-brushed reusable cedar formwork. This approach preserved the original masonry character of the building while adding a complementary color and texture to the scene.

Originally built as a brick-and-glass bowling alley, 1085 Higuera St. changed tenants over the years. Transforming this once simple box into a forwardlooking urban anchor required scraping away the inessential and implementing authentic material solutions. As most of the existing red brick masonry was of good quality and condition, the vast majority was left in place, cleaned, and repointed with matching mortar if needed.

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In contrast to the unit masonry, rich, deep profile Kebony wood melsomslat was installed vertically at light-frame portions of the building. Aged aluminum storefronts were replaced with steel sash windows reminiscent of mature downtown San Luis Obispo buildings. A plate aluminum monument was built to anchor and redefine the corner entry of the site and street-front suite, sitting between steel channel awnings that offer deep shade to the broad fenestration.


Baron Canyon Estate

The first move to modernize the home layout was to open new sightlines through the living spaces and allow distant views and daylight deep into the

Architect: Bryan Ridley of Bracket Architecture Interiors: Michelle Borrero of Melange Properties Builder: Stalwork, Inc. Photography: 11th Street Studio

home. After blending the now expansive kitchen and living room, custom details were added at every turn. All the cabinetry is custom, including a walkin pantry and wine cellar. Stained oak box beams help define the volumes of the home without dividing it, and oak floors set in a

A confused and divided ’90s era custom home

striking chevron pattern play off the home’s original

was transformed and richly appointed by using a

angles. The living room fireplace was replaced

combination of clever restructuring and a balanced

with a broad view area firebox and wrapped with

palette of contrasting materials and colors. Originally

a custom cast stone surround and hearth and

the entrance to the home greeted its residents and

backed by creamy dry stacked ledgestone. Outside,

visitors alike with narrow hallways, small doors,

the color palette was restrained to let the large

and self-contained rooms in series, all made to feel

surrounding oaks be the star, along with the views

compressed by two 45-degree bends in the floor plan.

overlooking the canyon.

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The Piccolo Hotel

The Piccolo Hotel is a four-story, 17,000-square-foot building with 23 luxury hotel suites owned by and adjacent to the Paso Robles Inn. The ground floor street frontage hosts the hotel’s lobby, lounge, and library,

Architect: TenOver Studio Photography: David Lalush

along with a wine tasting room to fully connect to 12th Street. The building is configured in an L-shape to maximize the size of the new courtyard that acts as a gateway from the existing inn to the new hotel. Depending on their orientation, the guest rooms have Juliet balconies facing the courtyard or the street, which provide a variety of experiences and exposures. The fourth floor is situated at the rear half of the building to maintain a three-story facade at the street elevation. Directly adjacent on this level is an expansive rooftop deck with fixed and flexible seating, a covered trellis with lush landscaping, and a private luxury hot tub.

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Las Ventanas Hillside Residence

Designed for a family relocating back to California, this contemporary residence sits atop a severely steep site in the community of Las Ventanas. Working with the topography led to some creative design solutions, structurally and aesthetically, to accommodate all of the family’s programmatic needs. The 4,127-square-foot home fits into the

Architect: Isaman design, Inc. Photography: 11th Street Studio

relatively small building footprint while an infinity edge pool cantilevers 22 feet above grade. With spectacular views of the Arroyo Grande foothills and farms, this main pool deck becomes a major feature of the home. All living spaces, including the great room and kitchen, open up to this deck, ideal for relaxation and entertainment. The design includes multiple water features sprinkled throughout the site, which further facilitate the feeling of a calming hillside retreat. The use of warm Ipe hardwood siding and stone cladding blend the structure into the surrounding landscape while still offering a clean and contemporary aesthetic.

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The Ultimate Design Influencers: See’s Candies and Barbie® By Camay Arad

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It would be nearly impossible for anyone who has ever

clean, cottage black-and-white decor I would subliminally

been in a See’s Candies store—with the aromas, the

be associating it with “the Happy Habit” forever.

wonderful experience of selecting one’s favorite chocolates, or the personalized customer service—to not associate this as anything but a “Happy Habit.”

Later when Mattel’s first Barbie® doll hit the market in 1959, dressed in her black-and-white swimsuit, I made an additional association that black and white are happy

The sparkling, black-and-white square tile floor, the

things. Later, painting a peacock wicker chair black with

checked border on all the bags and boxes, and the crisp

a checked cushion in the 1960s, and a zebra bedspread in

white uniforms with black bows worn by all the sales staff

the 1970s, are just a few of the ways I incorporated that

are inspired by Mary See’s original kitchen in Pasadena,

happy feeling into my surroundings.

Calif. (and my hometown). As a little girl in the ’50s it was a special treat for me to go to See’s and pick out my favorite chocolate (Bordeaux). Surrounded by the crisp,

Now in my 70s, I see that those iconic brands have continually influenced my own décor and perhaps those of others.

Photo courtesy of See’s Candies

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Mary Engelbreit would create her signature whimsical designs, happy pictures, and products often featuring black-and-white checks. I can’t help but wonder if she too had a “See’s Candies” experience or a Barbie® doll memory in her subconscious. Later Mackenzie-Childs, master artists of elegant whimsy, would create lines of furniture and decorative home items with an upscale adaptation of the black-and-white checks becoming “Courtly Check.” I am sure there are many other proliferators and lovers of black-and-white décor. Who can ignore the stateliness of a black-and-white tiled entrance hallway? Though not possible for most of us to recreate black-and-white décor on a grand scale, it is often possible to just add that little touch in a rug, placemat, or a table runner. Black-and-white décor in the form of large Buffalo Checks or the tiniest mini ginghams work well with the ever-popular farmhouse style. Chameleon Style® celebrated 25 years in business just last month. One common thread is apparent in many of the designs and fabrics: that hint of whimsy expressed through even sometimes the tiniest use of black-andwhite checks. On a personal note, when See’s Candies finally opened a store in Pismo Beach, I was committed to being present at the grand opening, which CEO Pat Egan attended. It was the ultimate culmination of two of my great loves because I brought my See’s Candies Barbie® to be signed by the See’s Candies CEO. It was exciting as I entered the store with my doll to hear the staff commenting, “Oh, she has the See’s Barbie!” “Is it the blonde?” “Oh, it’s so cute!”.

Camay Arad is the founder of the Chameleon Style® Design Method and the designer of Changeable Chameleon Fine Furniture. She is surrounded by the

Whatever the reason one may be drawn to black-and-

people and fabrics she loves daily in her design store

white décor, it is easy to find a way to bring that happiness

located in Grover Beach. Visit them at

to any space.

www.chamelonstyle.com

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Photo courtesy of See’s Candies

Photo courtesy of See’s Candies

Photo courtesy of Mattel®

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HOME DESIGN GUIDE

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2022 Trends The product experts at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery present Trends & Influences VIII, featuring innovations in plumbing, lighting, and appliances. The spread was developed with thoughtful insight from industry influencers, style icons and leading market research.

Photo courtesy of Kitchen Aid at Ferguson Bath 27 Kitchen and Lighting Gallery / Living Lavishly


Healthy Heaven

Having a healthy home is on everyone’s mind these days, and for good reason. Thankfully, there are many ways to create a cleaner, more hygienic home. Implementing innovative technologies like these can help you clean faster, cook smarter, and rest easier.

Photo courtesy of SAMSUNG at Ferguson Bath Kitchen and Lighting Gallery

Photo courtesy of Mr. Steam at Ferguson Bath Kitchen and Lighting Gallery

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Photo courtesy of Grohe at Ferguson Bath Kitchen and Lighting Gallery


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Photo courtesy of Grohe at Ferguson Bath Kitchen and Lighting Gallery

Ultrafunctional This is living, elevated. If versatility is the name of the game, implementing multifunctional products like these will give you the square footage you need to win. Meaning your kitchen becomes more than a room to cook, your mudroom isn’t just a catch-all for dirty clothes, and your den becomes a work/study space.

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Photo courtesy of SIGNATURE at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Spa Bathrooms

Elements of comfort and sophistication make any space inviting for those who enjoy simple yet superior decor. Specialized products like these create a self-care oasis you can return to time and time again.

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Photo courtesy of HANSGROHE at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery


Photo courtesy of Thompson Trader at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Down to Earth

Incorporating texture is a perfect way to design an authentic, earthy environment. For the Organic Modern trend, consider using natural materials, neutral colors, flowing curves, and raw aesthetics to create a more serene, content home.

(1)

(2)

(3)

Photo (1) courtesy of Amerock, (2) & (3) courtesy of Capital Lighting, at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Photo courtesy of Thompson Trader at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

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Photo courtesy of ZEPHYR at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Patio Perfect

Outdoor living isn’t limited to backyard summer barbecues. In fact, investing in a functional, inviting outdoor area can provide year-round returns. With the plethora of lighting, cooking, heating, seating, and even food and beverage cooling options, there is absolutely every reason to consider your outdoor premises as additional living space.

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Photo courtesy of Craftmade at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Photo courtesy of James Martin at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Grand Nostalgia

The Grandmillenial trend is a recapturing of multiple styles. An appreciation for a lost, perhaps misunderstood aesthetic. Above all, it’s a nostalgia for tradition and a simpler time, and an effort to keep that alive.

Photo courtesy of DELTA at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

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Photo courtesy of Tech Lighting at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery Photo courtesy of Brizo at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Photo courtesy of Brizo at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Haiku Harmony

Like the haiku, this trend finds beauty in its perfect balance. The minimalist nature of Japandi is an elegant fusion of the modern elements of Scandinavian style and the ancient elegance of Japanese decor. Minimalism is at the core of both of these, emphasizing the importance of function in a space. It has a chic simplicity in its clean lines and craftsmanship. Photo courtesy of Landmark and Signature Hardware at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

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Everlasting Elegance

Like the little black dress with pearls and white linen in the summer, there are some styles that never go out of fashion. These products and the materials they’re made of embody that timeless, sophisticated appeal.

Photo courtesy of Kohler at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Photo courtesy of Signature Hardware at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery Photo courtesy of Jacuzzi at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery Photo courtesy of Bertazzoni at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Photo courtesy of Signature Hardware at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

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Haute Kitchens

Photo courtesy of Signature Hardware at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Luxurious living is within reach thanks to this curated selection of the industry’s latest and greatest contributions to the kitchen. Bring the best home and unleash your

Photo courtesy of Monogram at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

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Photo courtesy of Kitchen Delsey at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Photo courtesy of Signature Hardware at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

inner at-home chef.


Photo courtesy of Native Trails at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Photo courtesy of Big Ass Fans at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Inclusive Interiors

If you’re building your forever home, it’s important to consider life’s basic routines, how they change over time, and how people with differing accessibility needs may interact with these spaces. Universal design appeals to and addresses everyone in an elegant, inclusive manner. Photo courtesy of Brizo at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

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FORGING A LEGACY 38 / Living Lavishly


Paso Robles blacksmith Max Randolph is on a mission to build his dream shop

By Amy Blasco Photos courtesy of Max Randolph Studios

It’s a clear, crisp morning on a rural property in eastern Paso Robles. The dew is glistening on the newly green hills, and the scent of fresh rain is in the air. It’s silent except for the rhythmic rapping of a hammer … and whimsical instrumental music that sounds like something straight out of The Lord of the Rings. With a mane of dark, flowing curls and a full beard, blacksmith Max Randolph looks like he could be from Middle Earth as well. But he’s 100 percent human, and he’s 100 percent in his element today, working with metal. As he flattens the edges of a shiny copper disk, Randolph tells the story of how he grew from a hyperactive little boy into an accomplished craftsman. “I was an insatiable kid, bouncing off the walls and always in trouble. I had a really hard time in school unless it was a subject that interested me,” he says. “I always had to be drawing or taking something apart because I had so much energy.”

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Young Max wanted to turn his ideas and drawings into

“Blacksmithing is my true calling. It’s a form of creative

three-dimensional creations. He started with wood-

expression that captures my intensity,” Randolph says

working and, by age 14, he had moved to welding, for

with a chuckle. “If I used a paintbrush, it would just go

which he won several awards in youth competitions.

through the canvas. Steel is something I can harness.”

Looking for even more of a challenge, he dove into the ancient art of blacksmithing.

Once he discovered his calling, Randolph knew he wanted to turn it into a full-time career. The question was: how?

“Blacksmithing was the perfect blend of my passion for

For 10 years, he worked construction during the day and

creating paired with a fundamental, utilitarian skill,”

forged at night.

he explains. “When I first started doing it, things just made sense. It was very intuitive; it felt like I had done it before. Then I found out that blacksmithing has actually been in my family for generations.” It turned out Randolph’s grandfather, “Wild” Bill Harrison, worked as a ranch-style blacksmith in Santa Maria, and his great-grandfather was a silversmith for a mining operation.

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“When you’re working all day on a framing and concrete crew, you’re tired,” he says. “I had to really push myself to build up my skill and my clientele and fight my selfdoubt.” His goal was to forge something new every day. Eventually, he started selling his creations—barbecue pits, smokers, knives, and other tools—at craft fairs and festivals. It


“It was like a rolling hobbit door; the kind of door a wealthy Bilbo Baggins would commission if he had a wine cave,” he recalls. Randolph now focuses exclusively on sculptural commissions because he wants to “create unique, handcrafted pieces of art that no one else can make.” To bring large-scale projects like these to life, Randolph has had to get creative not only during his brainstorming phase but with his own physical space and tools. This includes building his own lift system, forges, and other equipment. “Almost every tool in here, I made myself,” he says of his shop, which is packed floor to ceiling with gear. “Space has always been extremely tight.” That’s hopefully going to change soon, thanks to a fundraising campaign Randolph launched on GoFundMe.com called, “Let’s Build the Dream Shop Together!” He has six months to raise at least $80,000 to purchase the 1-acre plot of land next to his home in Paso Robles. Another $70,000 would give him the capital he needs to upgrade his shop and offer apprenticeships and community workshops. An added bonus: All proceeds from the sale of the empty lot will go to animal charities. At the time this issue of Living Lavishly was going to press, he had raised a total of $56,103. Many wasn’t until Randolph started collaborating with some local

campaign donors know Randolph from his popular

interior designers that he got bigger commissions, like custom

social media platforms, which feature memes

-built doors, signs, and light fixtures. Those successes enabled

and videos he’s developed with partner Casey

him to take his fledgling trade to the next level, and Max

Page and videographer Adam Smith. Followers

Randolph Studios was officially in business.

can watch the blacksmith forge and install his

Over the years, he’s crafted custom pieces for local businesses —a gorgeous sign for The Alchemist’s Garden and a giant,

artwork, tour his shop, and ask questions about his craft.

exposed-gear clock for Tin City—and private residences. One

Randolph’s dynamic personality and endless

of his most memorable private commissions: a stained-glass

creativity have generated quite the buzz on Tik

door for a wine cellar in a home near Pozo.

Tok and YouTube, where some of his videos have

41 / Living Lavishly


received millions of views and likes. Two of the most popular

slice of humble pie. I’ve never asked for anything because I

projects are the “Valhalla Door” and “Marble Metamorphosis.”

wasn’t raised that way.”

For the first project, Randolph crafted incredibly intricate

If he reaches his final goal, Randolph will get to expand

handles, gear locks, and a giant key for 18-foot doors made

his business and give back to his community, both virtually

of solid oak. For the second, he restored and revitalized a

and in person. This will include hosting more field trips for

severely damaged marble statue of a beautiful Greco-

local schools, like Almond Acres Charter School.

Roman woman.

“I had such a hard time in school. If someone had given me

“I was incredibly honored to try and breathe new life into

a hammer when I was 8, so I could see that I could make a

her,” he says in the video.

living from it, that would’ve been life changing,” he says.

And Randolph’s followers can’t get enough of his work. The

He also wants to train apprentices who are interested in

outpouring of likes, comments, and shares has translated

becoming career blacksmiths and host public workshops

to thousands of dollars in donations, ranging from $5 to

for hobbyists.

$1,000-plus each.

“Blacksmithing is for everyone, historically and today.” he

“I’ve been completely blown away by the community support

says. “This is what I’ve always wanted—to make a black-

we’ve received so far,” Randolph says. “It’s seriously a huge

smithing community that’s all positive and inclusive.

42 / Living Lavishly


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BRING THE COFFEEHOUSE TO YOUR HOME


Styling and photos courtesy of Shelly Van Rozeboom Cove by Van Rozeboom Interiors Think of your favorite coffee shop. What do you love about it? The coffee, obviously. And perhaps the food and friendly baristas. But you probably also love the shop’s overall ambiance. Here are some fabulous decor finds to give your breakfast room a cool coffee house vibe with some beachy embellishments!

45 / Living Lavishly


Naples Dining Chair in Black Oak $549 at COVE

Wright Dining Table $1595 at COVE

Terracotta Planter with Leather Hanger 2 Colors $46 at COVE For hanging plants

Sultan Woven Rope Chandelier $695 at COVE

Idyllic Surf Framed Print $540 at COVE

46 / Living Lavishly


Wren Rattan Bar Cart in Black $450 at COVE Perfect for your coffee station

Glass Cloche with Rattan Base $62

Glass Canister with Lid

For keeping pastries fresh

$34.50 at COVE Ideal for storing coffee

Ditsy Floral Napkins Set of 4 $34 at COVE For an extra pop of color (and wiping up spills)

Mountain Mug by Two Ridges Pottery $50 at COVE

47 / Living Lavishly


2022 COLOR TRENDS A Fresh Perspective For a Brighter Future

By Molly O’Brien

So far, 2022 has been about setting sights upward, toward a lighter and brighter future—even for art and design companies. Paint businesses and color experts have officially come forward with their top shades for this year, drawing upon the strong feelings of hope that come from emerging out of a darker time into a more optimistic future.

48 / Living Lavishly


Very Peri Pantone 2022 Color of the Year This newly revealed Pantone Color aims to encourage feelings of a broadened sense of creativity and ideation. The presence of darker blue undertones reminds viewers of the deeper feelings color can evoke. The more vibrant, violet-red hues complement this darkness and draw upon a sense of light, inspiring feelings for a better perspective on a fresh future.

49 / Living Lavishly


Calming Coral Shutterstock 2022 Color Trend Photo by Max Ostrozhinskiy This warm color emerged as Behr’s Color of the Year for all the right reasons: its comfort and grounding reassurance is sure to bring class and style to any living space. It brings in a satisfying sense of connectivity and solidity and is an ideal shade for anyone seeking soft moments throughout the interior or exterior of the home.

Velvet Violet Shutterstock 2022 Color Trend Photo by Freepik Velvet Violet isn’t a color that shouts out, in an aggressive manner; rather, it softly purrs and beckons one forward as if they’re being pulled in by its magnetic pulse. It’s bold yet refined, and draws in attention without being tacky. Instead, it’s a classic royal, timeless tone that feels bright enough to be an eye-catcher, while proud enough to not give away its whole allure without needing a closer look. It can serve as a solid base for a room, or add a pop of powerful emotion to any lighter piece of furniture or an accent item, such as a pillow on a couch or a bedspread.

50 / Living Lavishly


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Emerald Green Shutterstock 2022 Color Trend Photo by Freepik A touch of bright green brings a feeling of life into any design, and pairs well both with softer, more neutral tones and bolder, more vivid hues (like Velvet Violet). The color green itself symbolizes growth and renewal—perfect for creating a sense of revitalization inside the home for 2022. Green also evokes a sense of wealth and energy, which are well worth manifesting in any design and helpful for sprucing up any space in the new year.

51 / Living Lavishly


How to Create a Life Your Future Self Will Thank You For By Victoria Sexton Photos by Bryan Kirkpatrick

52 / Living Lavishly


One of the wonderful things about California’s Central Coast is that many entrepreneurs reside in one area. There’s an amazing accumulation of unique businesses, colorful artists, fantastic chefs, and many other creative people in one location. It truly is a place for entrepreneurs to reside, and to also do business.

53 / Living Lavishly


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Many people choose entrepreneurship for freedom and the prospect of living life on their own terms. The minutia of running a business can cause business owners

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1. Why did you start a business? Keep that vision in mind.

to stay steadily focused on the day-to-day tasks. While those responsibilities are necessary, it’s also important to

Why did you start your business in the first place? Was

take a step back and make sure you are the priority

it for personal freedom? Maybe you wanted to be more

in your business. By doing so, you actively create that

creative? Or maybe you wanted to make an impact on

luxe life and thriving business you’ve always wanted.

your community?

For many entrepreneurs, the question is: How can I set

The vision of your business should also include how

myself up for success so that living life on my own terms

you want to live your life. It’s possible to have a creative

becomes a reality? These tips will give you a head start:

business and have free time. It’s possible to make an impact and make amazing money. Whatever your ideal vision for your business and the future is, write it down, meditate about it, repeat affirmations about it, make it a priority. This vision should work with the business, not against it.

54 / Living Lavishly


2. Invest in yourself before you invest in your business

3. Focus on multiple revenue streams

While business owners put much of themselves into

A revenue stream is simply an additional way to bring in

their businesses, their lives aren’t just their businesses.

income. This ensures the ability to make money while

While it may seem important to invest in your enterprise,

you sleep. Revenue streams also help diversify income.

it’s more important to invest in yourself. All that dry

In the event of a financial or economic hiccup, revenue is

financial advice we’ve heard throughout the years (such

still easily generated. Chances are there’s more than one

as saving for an emergency and opening an IRA) should

way for you to bring in revenue right now. Get creative

take precedence over investing in the latest training or

and see what revenue streams speak to you.

buying a new business vehicle. It’s not easy but setting boundaries with your business means investing in your financial needs first.

55 / Living Lavishly


4. Don’t be afraid to charge premium prices for premium services

These are just a few ways you can invest in yourself and your future, not just your business. You deserve having the business, and life, of your dreams. The reality is that time freedom, creative freedom, and financial freedom are possible. One of the best investments you can make is

The reality of running a business, especially a high

investing in yourself, and you are worth every penny.

-end business, is that many people won’t work with you because of your premium prices. Preconceived notions of coming off too pushy or expensive can cause entrepreneurs to keep their prices low. This kind of thinking is, quite frankly, old fashioned. The more money you have, the bigger impact you can make in your community and the world. More income means more impact. You can serve your community on a much larger scale if you generate more revenue. Don’t be afraid to charge premium prices when offering a premium service. In doing so, you will have the opportunity to make a bigger impact on your community.

56 / Living Lavishly

Victoria Sexton is a financial coach on the Central Coast of California. She helps clients develop financia clarity, a strategic plan, and additional revenue streams. When she’s not working with clients or writing her latest book, she’s exploring the Central Coast with her husband and two boys. For more information go to victoriasexton.com or email vsexton@victoriasexton.com.


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A D V E RT I S E M E N T

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT INDOOR AIR QUALITY

Since the onset of COVID-19, we’ve all been hearing a lot about the importance of indoor air quality. One of the top ways to

It’s in the AIR You Breathe!

improve your indoor air quality is through Ultraviolet (UV) lighting, filtration, and clean ductwork (your environment’s indoor air distribution system). At Wighton’s Heating & Air Conditioning, we’ve been helping homes & businesses improve their indoor air quality for over 60 years. Since we’re all spending more time indoors, and working to prevent the spread of airborne viruses, we’ve put together this report to help you learn more about improving your indoor air quality.

The truth about indoor air quality….

1. Critters: Dirt, mold, bugs, mites, and other “stuff” are all living in your duct system. The peskiest are Dust Mites. For creatures you can’t even see, dust mites can stir up a lot of trouble. About 20 million Americans are allergic to these little bugs. You may feel as if you have an endless cold or even asthma.

Your Home CAN Make You Sick:

2. Mold (Bacteria):

There are many cities throughout the world that have become grossly polluted – but most people don’t think about the pollution

Homes now retain more humidity

that can be occurring right inside their home, no matter WHERE

and airborne pollutants, which

you live! Your health can be severely affected by particulates

cause longer life-spans and more

and biological matter that you may be breathing…without even

productive cycles of microbial activity

knowing it. Here are 2 things you need to be aware of when

within the home, such as mold,

checking your home’s air system:

germs, bacteria and viruses.

58 / Living Lavishly


A D V E RT I S E M E N T

5 Ways to Clean the Indoor Air

many airborne viruses & bacteria are also eliminated with U.V. technology. An Ultraviolet Light Air Scrubber mounted in your supply ductwork kills nearly 100% of airborne viruses & bacteria!

1) Clean or replace your ducts:

designed to protect the equipment and not the people served by in both strength and insulation value. Nothing is cleaner than brand new ductwork. Daily, Wighton’s Champion Technicians

you breathe in your home by removing airborne particulates. If you suffer from allergies, asthma, hay fever or other breathing

layouts that were designed & installed improperly. As a result, the

you. Wighton’s can even provide you with the same type of air

the attic or basement areas of your home, and will not deliver the comfort you expect from your heating and air conditioning

4) Indoor Moisture Management: Excess moisture can be a breeding ground for mold and bacteria.

2) Install a UV Light Air Scrubber: Wighton’s has found the most successful way to eliminate airborne mold spores, viruses, bacteria, and the accumulation

5) Consider the Outside Air:

of mold on AC coil surfaces is with Ultraviolet (U.V.) germicidal lights; originally designed by the US Navy for maintaining the

Most often, the outdoor air on the Central Coast is in the top

air quality in submerged submarines and currently used by

tier of air quality in the nation. Bringing that outdoor air into our

NASA. For most people, the original motivation for installing

homes can work miracles on our health! Fresh air ventilators,

U.V. germicidal lights is to abate indoor air quality complaints

Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV), and for Commercial HVAC /

and / or allergies. However, they are also pleased to learn that

ducting systems are all great options.

Wighton’s goal is to keep you and your family healthy! We encourage you to have your indoor air quality checked by one of our professional technicians.

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/ Living Lavishly 5923 / Living Lavishly


ONE BIG HAPY FAMILY 60 / Living Lavishly


The story behind Hapy Bistro, the Fadel family, and their journey to live the American dream on the Central Coast

“Can I get you anything else?” she asks with a smile. You ask for a glass of the house chardonnay. The Central Coast wine will pair perfectly with the perfectly seasoned feast you’re about to enjoy. It’s lunchtime in Pismo Beach, but you feel like Cleopatra indulging on a royal river cruise. Welcome to Hapy Bistro, a Mediterranean

By Amy Blasco Photos by by Mary Lagier and Trisha Butcher You’re sitting along the bank of the Nile. Above you, the white-hot stars are shining and there’s a cool breeze carrying the rich scent of spices

restaurant with a touch of Greek flare that’s owned by three Syrian brothers. That sounds like a mouthful, but don’t worry—it’s absolutely delicious. Opened in 2016 by Nabil, Tony, and Samir Fadel, Hapy Bistro is known for its unique menu, friendly staff, and in-store shop selling a wide variety of wine, beer, and cigars.

and roasting meat. Your stomach starts to growl.

Eating at Hapy will no doubt make you very happy,

Just then, your waiter swoops in with a plate of

but the restaurant’s name is actually inspired by

mouthwatering food.

the river god of Ancient Egypt. The Nile was said

61 / Living Lavishly


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to flow from Hapy’s home in the heavens to the people of Egypt, who made offerings to

Coming to America

ensure a good rainy season. He is often shown wearing a lotus on his headdress, a sign of fertility and abundance.

Back in Syria, the Fadels owned land and apple orchards on Helou Mountain, which translates to “Sweet Mountain.” Their idyllic village

This same flower can be found in Hapy

looked very similar to the Central Coast, with ocean views and

Bistro’s logo and the logos of the Fadels’ other

cascading mountains dotted with oak trees.

businesses, including nearby Y’Not Organic and Z’Vault Smoke Shop.

But behind the natural beauty, the country was reeling from armed conflict between Muslim factions and the Hafez al-Assad

“The lotus grows in the mud. It survives in a

government. So in the late 1980s, patriarch Issa Fadel left his

very harsh environment and then it flourishes

mountain home to find a better life for his wife and five children.

and gives you such beauty,” Nabil explained in a recent interview. “To get to a point where

He traveled to several countries before settling in the United States.

there’s beauty, you have to go through hard

Issa eventually qualified for permanent residence and sent for his

times. But it’s worth it.”

family. They moved to California in 1999.

That symbolism also applies to the Fadel

“We left everything and started from scratch,” said Nabil, who was 19

family’s journey from Syria to build a new life

at the time. Tony was 25 and Samir was 13. Their two sisters, Lama and

in the United States.

Hala, followed several years later.

62 / Living Lavishly


“[Our father] always said, ‘Syria isn’t our country. We are

But with hard work came new opportunities, and soon

American. This is our country,’” Nabil recalled. “The first

the brothers took over ownership of the mini mart. Then,

advice he gave me was to plant deep roots here; to learn

when a donut shop in the building they were leasing shut

the language and go to school.”

down, they expanded to the restaurant industry with

So Nabil started attending Los Angeles Valley College and

Señor Taco.

later Cal State Northridge to study cinematography and

“Three Syrian guys decided to open up a Mexican

filmmaking. After a couple of years, he took a break from

restaurant and compete with all the other restaurants in

school to help at the family’s mini mart on Blosser Road in

town,” Nabil said with a laugh. “But it’s been there ever

Santa Maria—and he never went back.

since. It’s not fancy, but it’s the place to go for quality,

“We worked 15-hour days, seven days a week for eight

authentic food.”

years,” he said, adding, “Dad did let Tony take Sundays off

With guidance from their father, the brothers learned over

after he got married.”

time how to run a successful business—creating a menu,

63 / Living Lavishly


hiring and managing staff, overseeing payroll, building a loyal customer base, and more. Every penny they made,

A Hapy Coincidence

they invested in Señor Taco and other business ventures in Lompoc, Santa Ynez, Orcutt, and eventually Pismo Beach. “All our businesses are successful because we put our heart and energy into them,” Nabil said. “We go where the opportunities are and jump on them. We make it work, we don’t give up.”

In 2016, the brothers were having lunch at Wow Yanagi Sushi on Oak Park Boulevard when they noticed a “For Lease” sign across the parking lot. It was there that the idea for Hapy was born. Together, with chef Gustavo Nunez, they created a menu that highlighted the Fadels’ Syrian-American heritage and Nunez’s expertise in Mediterranean cuisine. Diners at Hapy can savor matriarch Faiza Fadel’s recipes for dolmas and kabobs, as well as Greek staples like gyro, falafel, avgolemono soup, and fresh hummus. There are also American favorites like buffalo wings, burgers, and pork chops. Everything is made with the freshest ingredients and locally grown produce. “Every person who works here, we ask them what kind of food they like,” Nabil said. “We bring in all the ingredients and try it together before adding it to the menu.” There are also some customer creations, like the Dr. Marquis Salad and Kevin’s Style Oven-Roasted Lamb. An invention of Dr. David Marquis, a local chiropractor and nutritionist, the Dr. Marquis salad is a mix of crispy bacon and grass-fed ground beef on a bed of spinach, tomatoes, and avocado. Dr. Marquis often ordered that salad on his lunch break, and soon other people started ordering it too. The same thing happened when a frequent customer started asking for the Oven-Roasted Lamb Pasta, without the pasta. The result is Kevin’s Style OvenRoasted Lamb, slow-braised lamb shoulder with broccoli and fire-roasted red bell peppers, tossed in a homemade tomato sauce, topped with basil and feta cheese, and served on a bed of gluten-free mashed potatoes.

64 / Living Lavishly


Just Keep Building

The decor at Y’Not Organic also has a natural, organic feel to it. Like the river rock and stars on the ceiling at Hapy, it has a backstory: The leaf pattern on the walls was inspired by the giant fig tree at Faiza’s home. The brothers hand-stamped the leaves on the walls with wax.

Around the same time, there was a growing demand for vegan food served in an eco-friendly environment. The Fadels listened to their customers and soon opened Y’Not Organic. The business’s name, Y’Not, is Tony

“We like to put our own personal touch on everything,” Nabil said.

spelled backwards and an homage to the oldest brother

Another equally personal project they’re working on is

of the family.

building a new distillery for Kasak, the family’s brand of a Syrian liquor called Arak. Kasak, which means “Cheers!”

According to ynotorganics.com, the restaurant’s

in Arabic, is made out of wine grapes and anise with the

mission is “to provide not only the healthiest, but the most tasteful plant-based cuisine out there. Our

Fadel family recipe.

daily journey starts with our organic suppliers and

There is a long family history of distilling Arak that starts

local growers providing us with the freshest produce

with the brothers’ great grandfather, Murry. During

possible. Our team then uses the produce to create

another civil war in the late 1800s, Murry and many other

flavor combinations in cold pressed juice, smoothies,

Syrians escaped to the mountains. Alcohol was banned

sandwiches, and bowls that are sure to excite.”

at that time, so they started making their own. Murry

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and his family built large concrete chambers under the

you top it off with a large ice cube, raise your glass, call

floorboards in their bedrooms. At night, they’d bring in

out “Kasak!”, and enjoy.

the grapes to crush them, and then seal the chambers and push their beds back in place. Then they’d take the fermented juice high into the mountains to distill. This process was passed down to Murry’s son, Entanous, who poured the liquor into small barrels and drove around town selling it off the back of his motorcycle.

Diners at Hapy will soon get to taste Kasak from the source—Samir (called Sam by friends and family) is currently building a distillery up in Sonora, and Nabil is going to put a small distillery in the bistro. Kasak is the first arak label to be distilled in the United States. It combines the Fadels’ dual citizenship in a tangible way,

“My grandfather was one of the best distillers in the

combining California-grown grapes with anise imported

area, if not the best. He was known for it,” Nabil said. “I

from Syria.

remember helping him smash the grapes barefoot as a little kid. Later he would let us dip our fingers in the arak and lick it off.” He wants to recreate that kind of joy for people who drink Kasak. Imbibing in this licorice-flavored drink is quite the experience: You fill a champagne flute with 50 percent

Like all of their businesses, Kasak is a total passion project. While the brothers do well for themselves financially, Nabil said, “It’s never been about money; it’s about success and challenging ourselves. Every business we’ve had, it’s been to challenge ourselves. We respect money, but we love life.”

arak and 50 percent water. The water interacts with the

He said all of their endeavors are rooted in family and

anise to turn it a pearly white right before your eyes. Then

building a community.

66 / Living Lavishly


“The strength of a society starts with the family and the connections between family members,” he continued. “What made us so strong during the hard times, and stronger today, is our connections with each other.” Since coming to the Central Coast, the Fadels have helped other Syrian families build a future for themselves in the United States. Tony, who runs the Fadels’ mini marts, has established a growing Syrian community in Santa Maria of 70 families. When someone else from back home wants to move to America, Tony is the guy to call. “They call me ‘The Man” in the community,” Tony said. “I help them come over. I find them a place to stay and give them a job. They start with us and then they move on. I help a lot of them start their own businesses, too.” Every week, Tony invites his friends to his office for coffee or his home for barbecue to talk about their goals and how to accomplish them. “I’m doing it old fashioned like back in the day in Syria,” he said, “like how it used to be before they went to war.” While Tony is “The Man,” he and his siblings all know who “The Boss” is: their mother, Faiza. “My mother is the key element of keeping us all together,” Nabil said. Faiza and Issa instilled in their children a strong work ethic back on the family farm, paying them two Syrian pounds each to help with harvesting and turning the wells on each morning. That work ethic continued when they moved to the U.S. to start a new life and to this day at their many businesses.

HEY, Siri.

Just like the lotus flower grows in the mud, the Fadels

CLOSE MY GARAGE

have blossomed through difficult times. “It’s made us who we are. If we had to do it all over again, we would,” Nabil said. “The United States is the land of opportunity. I believe anyone can make it if they have the

Hands full? Just ask Siri to close your garage door!

work ethic, drive, and focus.”

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Eating Without Borders (and Forks) With new restaurant Ebony, sisters Martha Taezaz and Helen Abraha are the first to bring Ethiopian cuisine to SLO County By Amy Blasco Photos by Bryan Kirkpatrick

W

hen you order takeout from Ebony Ethiopian

make ends meet, but needed a vacation. So she packed

Cuisine—San Luis Obispo County’s newest and

her bags and headed west.

only Ethiopian restaurant—you’ll notice two things: 1. The food smells and tastes absolutely divine. 2. There aren’t any forks. But don’t let that stop you from indulging in this flavorful, vegan and gluten-free cuisine, lovingly prepared by sisters Martha Taezaz and Helen Abraha. “Ethiopian food is meant to be eaten by hand, but if you’re not comfortable doing that it’s OK to use a fork the first time,” Martha said, adding, “Ethiopian food is also meant to be shared. It’s a family thing, always.”

When she got to San Luis Obispo, Martha said, “I fell in love.” She wanted to make a new life for herself on the Central Coast. The goal: to open the area’s first Ethiopian restaurant. Feben knew people on the Central Coast were hungry for new kinds of cuisine, especially vegan and gluten-free options. She’d had a successful run selling Ethiopian food through pop-ups at local businesses and events. Martha had studied food safety and preparation at the Catering &

Like its food, Ebony is a family thing as well. The takeout

Tourism Institute of Ethiopia. They just needed a trained

-only restaurant, which had its soft opening in December

chef to expand on that success. Luckily, they knew the

2021, is the brainchild of Martha, Helen, and their niece,

perfect person: Helen.

Feben Teferra.

The head chef of a nonprofit organization in New Jersey,

It all started in December 2020 when Martha visited

Helen prepared daily meals for more than 00 people,

Feben. Martha’s career of working at foreign embassies

including nursing home residents and children in daycare.

in Washington, D.C., had been put on hold due to the

Sadly, when the pandemic hit, the nonprofit was forced to

COVID-1 pandemic. She was juggling part-time jobs to

temporarily close its doors and Helen found herself adrift, a cook without a kitchen.

68 / Living Lavishly


69 / Living Lavishly


But when one kitchen door closes, another opens. Helen

of roasted chickpeas (shiro) or split peas (ater kik alicha

soon joined her sister and niece in their entrepreneurial

wot , and a seasonal vegetable tagine. Meals, which come

endeavors. They named it Ebony Ethiopian Cuisine.

in full- and half-orders, are always served with plenty of

Fast forward one year and countless hours of planning

Ethiopian bread, called injera.

later, the women have turned their dream into a reali-

Made out of a fermented dough, Injera looks and tastes

ty. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Helen, and

like a sourdough crepe. It’s poured onto a large metal skillet

Martha can be found cooking and serving food at Ebony’s

and cooked until one side starts to bubble.

industrial kitchen on Allene Way in SLO. Feben is mostly focused on marketing now, posting weekly updates and behind-the-scenes videos on social media. The menu changes from week to week, but usually includes a mix of spiced lentil stew (misir wot , hearty sauces made

70 / Living Lavishly

“We call them eyes,’” Helen said of the bread’s unusual porous texture. The rest of the food—and how it’s prepared—is equally unique.


“Ethiopian food has lots of mixed spices and tons of

The sisters’ knowledge of cooking isn’t the only thing

caramelized onions,” Helen continued. “It’s not just a half

imported from Ethiopia. Martha and Helen also have spices

pound of onions, it’s not one pound of onions. We cook 10

regularly shipped from home because it can be difficult to

pounds of onions at a time .”

find them on the Central Coast.

The onions are diced and cooked slowly over medium heat

Some examples include rue and Ethiopian basil, both of

until all the moisture evaporates. Then they are sprinkled

which are dried in the sun for several days and used in

generously with oil and spices, such as black and white

many sauces. As a result, Ebony’s dishes are packed with

pepper, garlic, ginger, and black cardamom. The whole

flavors that can’t be found anywhere else. The fact that it’s

process can take three to four hours—and that’s fast when

all vegan and gluten-free is just an added bonus.

it comes to Ethiopian food.

“We want people to be healthy and eat tasty food,” Helen

“It’s very labor and time intensive,” Martha said of her

said. “We want to help single parents so they don’t have

native cuisine, “but we’re so excited to be the first to bring

to worry about cooking as soon as they get home. They

this kind of food here.”

71 / Living Lavishly


can have something easy and healthy to serve. We want to

And both of them enjoy their food with plenty of injera,

help and give back to our new community.”

that delicious fermented bread that doubles as a spoon

This mission is especially important to Martha, who raised

at mealtime.

her two kids on her own. They are now in college and very

“The trick with injera is to take just a little bit of sauce at a

proud of their mother.

time. Don’t take too much it’ll be too heavy for the injera,”

“They were so happy for me,” Martha said. “When this opportunity came up, they really wanted me to do it. So I said, Why not? We have to give it a try. There’s no way we

Martha said. “Fold it twice in your fingers and scoop up the sauce.” Happy eating, friends

can’t be successful.’” Helen, also a mother of two, has always had a passion for cooking tasty, nutritious food for her family. So what’s her favorite thing to cook and eat?

Located at 4750 Allene Way in SLO, Ebony serves to-go

“Misir. I love the smokiness of the sauce,” she said. “It has a

Ethiopian food Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

completely different flavor than any other food. It’s special.”

from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Check them out on Instagram

Shiro is Martha’s go-to comfort food: “Shiro is something you can make as a quick meal or you can do the full process,” she said.

72 / Living Lavishly

@ebonyslo for more information, including weekly menus and updates.


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A New Normal at Kelsey See Canyon Winery By Judy Salamacha

Photos courtesy of Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards

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A visit to Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards is all about the adventure. And, of course, the apples! “The apples put us on the map,” said Joey Roedl, recently

Obispo looked for variety in their hard cider offerings,

appointed general manager, while sibling owners, Keith

Kelsey Hard Apple Ciders were in demand.

and Richard Kelsey, continue hands-on support for the winery and vineyards. “In 1

it all started as a retirement project in Dick and

“Not only were we able to build up our outside sales program, but Kelsey can now produce during the off season,” said Roedl, who continues to work with winemaker

Delores Kelsey’s garage right here on the ranch,” Rodel

Jac Jacobs producing Kelsey wines and ciders. “Hard cider

said. “Our Golden Delicious Apple Chardonnay is still a

only takes two months to produce. Our white wines take

favorite and an award winner. It was a unique wine for its

four months, reds take six months, and reserve wines

time, combining 45 percent wine and 55 percent apples.”

much longer.”

The winery has since expanded to include a bounty of

Owner Keith Kelsey was anxious to tell his apple cider

beverages and experiences.

discovery story:

“First of all, we want our guests and club members to come out to our ranch and enjoy friends in our garden,” said Keith Kelsey, pointing to the hillside across from the entrance to their tasting room. “Our garden is in an apple orchard where peacocks roam the ranch. And now we have table service for tasting in the garden—by the flight, glass or by the bottle.” Still, as a winery located in a place well known for its apples, it’d be foolish to not feature the delicious fruit. Roedl continued to explain how See Canyon apples played a critical role in expanding Kelsey’s hard cider franchise: “We had a short wine harvest in 201 and saw an opportunity to build up our hard apple cider business. The hard cider business was catching on fast around the county.” Kelsey had produced hard apple cider as a specialty item for their tasting room for several years. “We got local apples from SLO Creek Farms near us and used less wine and more cider. It was a hit,” he said. As cider pubs popped up, like The oison Apple in Atascadero, and breweries like Bang the Drum in San Luis

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“Who knew we could make something out of the spoils? See

Several operations have changed at Kelsey besides the

that cider press garage over there?” he said, gesturing to a

management team and the expansion of cider outside

building in the distance. “We made cider as kids with that

sales. Ninety-five percent of their profits came from wine

apple press. When it went bad, we’d throw the cider out.

sales in the tasting room and their wine club sales.

“I grew up on England’s Blackthorn and Strongbow ciders,

“We used to have large events on the weekends. Now we

but Strongbow had become sickeningly sweet for me.

offer table service for wine tasting in the garden,” Keith

Then I took a cruise in Great Britain and noticed they

explained. “The experience greatly improved and so did

were pouring the original recipe of Strongbow, so I tried

our wine sales.”

it,” he recalled. “Instantly I knew it had the makings of a hard cider we could produce at Kelsey. I realized we could take the spoiled, bad’ cider and make some really good hard apple cider.” He’s pushing Roedl and Jacobs to come up with a jalapeno hard apple cider.

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Kelsey Wine Club participation has also grown by 2,000 members because the management team decided to give loyal customers the same discounts offered to big box stores. Launched in October 2020, club members join with a registration fee of 25 and receive tastings for four each


time they visit, a 5 percent discount on their wine club

The tugboat Alma, which was the first on scene during

shipment the first year, and a 45 percent discount after

the World War II sinking of the Montebello near Cambria,

the first year. Members can also choose the wines they

was the winery’s first donation. Next the winery has

prefer in their shipment.

partnered on a special label wine series. And in January

Keith shared another exciting discovery: a way to convert “the dregs” into more fine Kelsey wine. He and Roedl

2022 the newly opened Kids Cove features a cannon from Kelsey’s vintage collectibles.

demonstrated the kegging filter. “We recycle the dregs,”

Life is good and wine is even better at Kelsey, even

Keith said. “During the last harvest we saved enough to

during a worldwide pandemic. They struck gold for both

bottle 44 more cases instead of losing

their wines and the hard cider at the 2022 San Francisco

cases. At

5a

bottle, that makes a difference in our sales.”

Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest in North America.

What hasn’t changed at Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards is

“We had 12 entries and all medaled,” Keith said. “We took

their active participation and investment in local nonprofits.

double gold for the 201 Tempranillo, gold for Viognier,

Richard and Laurie Kelsey continue to support Family

gold for Hard Apple Cider ineapple, six silvers, and a

Care Network, Keith and Nicole Kelsey are advocates for

bronze.” And each bottle offers collectible maritime fine

Woods Humane Society, and the entire family continues

art designed by artist/musician Colleen Gnos.

to help the Morro Bay Maritime Museum expand its historic displays.

Roedl added, “Join us January 2022 our harvest will be our biggest bottling year ever at 5,000 cases.”

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Conjuring the Goddess Within


Luxurious wellness retreats by Persephone Unleashed inspire local women to make time for themselves

By Amy Blasco Photos by Sarah Kathleen Photography

Nothing lights up a person’s features like love. hotographer Sarah Kathleen Leader has seen this time and time again while documenting weddings for more than a decade on the Central Coast. The first time she saw someone lit up with self-love, it completely changed her perspective on photography and life. She was doing a boudoir shoot, a lingerie-clad affair usually booked by brides, wives, and girlfriends who want to gift their significant others with sensual photos. “I asked the client who the photos were for and she said, I’m doing it for myself. Is that weird?’” Leader recalled. “It completely blew my mind. I hadn’t thought of a woman just doing it for herself. She wore what she felt good in no heels, no lingerie. Afterward, she told me, I didn’t know I was that radiant.’” Deeply inspired by that shoot, Leader started offering “Bare” sessions for women of all ages and backgrounds. And, eventually, she started planning full-blown events around the concept. ersephone Unleashed is a wellness retreat that empowers “women to step away from the demands of their life and enter into a space of restoration, invigoration, and self-discovery.”

79 / Living Lavishly


The seasonal retreats create space for women to support

in Arroyo Grande. Each retreat has a different theme for

each other and unleash the goddess within. Each luxurious,

what Leader calls “soul work”—restorative healing practices

spiritually fulfilling respite is a four-day, three-night

for the heart, mind, and body facilitated by shamanic

getaway that includes guided yoga and meditation, spa

healer Jade Chen.

treatments, a private photo session with Sarah Kathleen hotography, and “delicious and decadent meals that you don’t have to cook and clean up” by Flora & Fauna Fine Food. “Something magical happens when women circle up and take time to focus on themselves and support each other,” Leader said. “[Women] are the caregivers. Whether it’s with family, friends, or our jobs, we carry so much for other people all the time. When you say yes to this retreat, you say yes to yourself in a big way.” The first retreat of 2022 was held in mid-March at The Holly Farm in Carmel. The summer retreat will be June 10 to 1 at Willow & Oak Estate in Creston, and the fall retreat will be September 11 to 14 at The Casitas Estate

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“The word spiritual has so many different meanings to so many people,” Leader said. “It’s about what your spirit connects to and what nourishes you.” The retreats are very intimate—only eight women can attend —to create an environment where everyone feels safe, both emotionally and physically. Leader said she wanted the retreats to be small back when she was planning the first one in early 2020. The pandemic made the decision even more practical. “Our need for connection is greater than ever before, but our fear of connection is greater than ever before,” she said, adding that she hopes ersephone Unleashed will help fill the void many women have been experiencing.


“It’s about building community for women, which is

“Suddenly, this handsome, devilish god appears and she

something I think we’re missing right now,” she said.

runs away with him to the underworld, where she finds

“It’s completely life-changing when you find a circle of

herself. She becomes the queen of the underworld,” Leader

women, or just one or two women, who will hold space

said. “ ersephone is light and shadow. She’s the queen of

for you.”

the underworld and the goddess of spring. That’s so much

So why the name ersephone Unleashed? Most people probably wouldn’t associate a self-love retreat with the

of what women are and what life is. You have to embrace the light and the dark.”

queen of the underworld. Leader explains it this way: Most people know the Greek myth in which Hades kidnaps ersephone and takes her to the underworld to be his bride. In a lesser-known version, ersephone is simply called “the maiden,” a bored

For more information, visit www.persephoneunleashed.com

young woman picking flowers in a field.

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“I normally don’t show up for myself, but this retreat taught me that I need to do that more. I loved every single connection I made with the beautiful ladies on the retreat and also the new sense of love I feel towards myself. Do yourself a favor and show up, kick ass, and be fierce. ou deserve it. — Brittany

82 / Living Lavishly


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Where Your Coffee Comes From A Q&A session with Tom Richardson of Central Coast Refreshments By Molly O’Brien This interview has been edited for length, content, and clarity.

84 / Living Lavishly


Can you tell us a bit about yourself, your company, and what you do? Central Coast Refreshments is a coffee wholesaler or distributor. We sell coffee and coffee-bar-related products like tea, iced tea, syrups, chai, and more to local cafés, espresso bars, restaurants, and retailers with espresso machines.

Can you tell us about some of the clients you work with? In the espresso bar world, we work with familiar names like Nautical Bean, Hotel SLO, Kin Coffee, Ember in Arroyo Grande, Berryhill Coffee in Templeton, Libertine, and more. Some we provide coffee and others we sell and service equipment like espresso machines.

en i u rs ge in have you been doing it?

is c reer

n

ng

I’ve been doing this job here for about 15 years. I was working a marketing position in the video game industry down in Los Angeles, but I had wanted to try something new and I’ve loved coffee ever since I was a little kid. I had professional experience working for an espresso guy in Oakland when I was going to U.C. Berkeley for a couple years, so I knew I loved the business. So, I called illy Espresso, and told them I wanted to distribute their product here. It took me about two years of negotiations and making moves, but I joined their distribution network … and I started this business on the Central Coast by pedaling the products.

Can you tell us a bit more about all the work that goes in behind the scenes at local coffee shops? First, consumers might not realize that coffee is a perishable product. We work with a local roaster here on the Central Coast, primarily—and we are very careful to try to make

85 / Living Lavishly


sure what we’re selling is fresh and roasted to order. We

it, we’re on call 24 7. If it goes down, we’re there to fix

are trying to maintain the coffee’s freshness while we’re

it because customers will get very upset if an espresso

distributing. We’re always carefully trying to project our

machine is broken.

inventory, because each week we have a new roast to pick up and deliver. The shop owner also has to correctly project their usage, so we can deliver accordingly.

And it’s a 24-hour job to maintain this equipment. The coffee shops that manage it well are better about using good water and being on top of maintaining their equipment

The other challenge is that there’s a lot of technical

—being proactive and treating it like it’s as critical as an

equipment we deal with. This equipment is so critical

airplane engine when you’re up in the sky. It’s a constant

for making the coffee—when guests walk into a coffee

source of stress for shop owners, and for us.

shop, they expect to get their drink made quickly, so the equipment has to be running smoothly all the time. The machines are just one weird mishap away from breaking all the time because they’re on 24 7, getting used constantly. The espresso machines are complicated pieces of equipment and there are a lot of intricate parts. Since we sell the equipment, service it, and stand behind

The water used to brew the coffee is everything. If business owners are not using good water, the coffee doesn’t taste right, and the machines can be impacted. The mineral content in the water and its quality can significantly impact the taste of the coffee. There are certain waters that actually have better chemistry for brewing coffee.

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What’s the most challenging part of your job? The most challenging part of my job varies by week. One week, we’re having equipment problems and the next it’s a different challenge. Managing the servicing can be an issue because it feels like one surprise after another. There are typically numerous unexpected emergency calls, primarily for fixing machines. Another challenge is just selling the coffee overall it can be the hardest product to sell because shop owners treat their coffee like it’s their baby. You can’t be critical of what they’re already doing because they have their own mindset on what they’re looking for. They have an emotional tie, or an identity attached to what they’re currently serving— and oftentimes they’re not willing to try something new because they’re afraid if they make any kind of change, their customers will flee, even if it’s an improvement.

What’s your favorite part of your job? My favorite part of my job is working with small, independent business owners. They’re so passionate about what they do, and it’s rewarding to develop these long-term relationships. Also, I just love coffee It’s cool to be able to bring high-quality coffee to as many people as possible. It’s satisfying to be able to drink really good coffee, as well as distribute it to get it out there and make it work for shops so that they’re successful. It’s gratifying to see people get it and love it, and receiving that positive feedback is what I love.

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Staff Picks:

OUR FAVORITE COFFEE SHOPS Drinking coffee isn’t just a way to wake up in the morning—it’s a way of life. San Luis Obispo County is home to dozens of locally owned coffee shops serving up the freshest drinks and food with genuine smiles. Our team of writers, marketers, and total java heads wanted to give their picks for the best cuppa joe around. Whether you love espresso or cold brew, oat milk or soy, beachside or downtown, there’s a shop out there just waiting to welcome you.

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“My favorite coffee shop is Andreini’s Coffee in the Village of Arroyo Grande. The environment is warm and inviting, they have comfortable chairs to sit in. Their vanilla bean latte is amazing as well as their caprese avocado toast. The staff is friendly and works hard to take care of you!” — Lani Colhouer, CFO & Co-Founder “My favorite coffee shop on the Central Coast is The Steaming Bean in Shell Beach. This coffee shop has it all— great drinks, great food, wonderful ambience, and an always attentive and accommodating staff. It’s all good, whether you’re grabbing a cup of coffee and a bagel and heading to work or wanting to hang out and meet the locals while eating one of the Bean’s famous breakfast burritos and enjoying a triple shot Vanilla Bean. The Bean is the most warm and inviting coffee shop locally.” — David Diaz, CTO & Co-Founder

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“Top Dog Coffee Bar at 857 Main Street in Morro Bay has been my preferred coffee bar since about 2005. As hands-on working owners, Patrick and Suzanne Bietz always take time to visit with their guests. A percentage of sales of their premium roasted coffee club, Rescue Me Coffee, goes to support K9 training for veterans and first responders with PTS . Top

og Coffee Bar has

the entire package of good coffee, food, and customer service.

h, and did I say they are very dog friendly

— Judy Salamacha, Contributor

“I love Luna Coffee Bar in Cayucos! It’s tucked away in a magical little garden behind Brown Butter Cookie Co. and Lunada Garden Bistro. All of the lattes and teas are delicious, there are several milk alternatives and it’s a nice walk to and from the beach. It’s a great spot to start your morning then take a hike at Harmony Headlands, go surfing, or drive along the coast towards Big Sur. — Charlotte Ross, Contributor “My go-to coffee shop since moving to the Central Coast in 2003 has been Nautical Bean. Even after moving to Arroyo Grande from SLO, I still drive to the original location on Los Osos Valley Road for bags of Nutty Bean, their specialty hazelnut

avored coffee. My favorite

order is an iced Nutty Bean coffee with the chicken and cabbage salad. I also love keeping an eye out for new additions to the shop’s memorabilia collection — Amy Blasco, Executive Editor

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“As a homebody, I usually make coffee at home. But, the local coffee shop I frequent the most is Cups & Crumbs in Old Orcutt, where I can’t resist ordering the caprese avocado toast. Fantastic bakery, to-die-for pastries (try the blueberry crumb bar!), spacious back patio, and a new location on S. Miller Street in Santa Maria — Wendy Thies Sell, Contributor


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Living Lavishly’s Must-Try Coffee Shops of SLO County By Molly O’Brien

Whether you’re more interested in ocean views and buzzy brews at Kraken Coffee, the homemade Aussie-style espresso drinks and meat pies of Skipper’s Brew, or the retro rad decor and lively atmosphere of Nautical Bean—there’s a perfect place to grab a cuppa joe in SLO County for everyone. Since we had to choose just a few, here are six special spots to sip some of the best coffee, spread across San Luis Obispo County from North to South (and everywhere in between).

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Photo courtesy of Jennifer Williams Cordova


Deltina Coffee Roasters

1945 Front St. Oceano, CA 93445

Deltina Coffee Roasters is a family-owned and -operated roastery and coffee shop perched right on the acific Coast Highway in South County’s Oceano. It’s just blocks away from the Oceano Dunes and ismo State Beach, specializing in small-batch, organic specialty coffees. In fact, all of Deltina’s coffees are roasted on-site, which makes for the freshest of flavors. Java lovers who find themselves in Oceano must make a visit to this shop to watch the roasters in action, as well as to enjoy access to the full-service espresso bar and retail store. The interior of the shop emits stylish, “farmhouse chic” vibes, and there’s plenty of seating on a cute back patio for those who aren’t taking their cuppa joe to go (over to the nearby beach .

Oceano’s Deltina Coffee Roasters specializes in small-batch, organic coffees, which are all roasted on site to produce the freshest avors.

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Skipper’s Brew Coffee House

Skipper’s Brew Coffee House Photo courtesy of Molly O’Brien

1242 Monterey St. Suite 110 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Skipper’s Brew Coffee House on Monterey Street in downtown SLO is the perfect location for meeting a friend for a chat, getting some work done, or just popping in for some friendly service and greattasting coffee. Skipper’s is a queer, female-owned coffee shop founded by a dynamic wife-and-wife duo who pride themselves on offering an LGBTQI+ safe space in SLO. The Californian and Australian pair want everyone to feel welcome. They started off with a location in Morro Bay, but have since expanded to their second home in uptown San Luis Obispo, within walking distance from Cal oly. Here visitors will find choices that please any coffee or tea connoisseur’s palette, from espresso drinks— macchiato, cortado, flat white, or cappuccino—to drinks that are on the sweeter side, like the horchata latte, chocolate sea salt caramel latte, or Almond Joy latte (another crowd favorite). The flat-white is a must-try, as well as anything involving their signature housemade horchata. Also be sure to try the authentic Australian meat pies and sausage rolls, made with love.

Queer, female-owned Skipper’s Brew House in SLO has drinks that will please any coffee or tea connoisseur’s palette, from espresso to sweeter concoctions, like the horchata latte.

Photo courtesy of Molly O’Brien

94 / Living Lavishly

Kraken Coffee Photo courtesy of Molly O’Brien


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Kraken Coffee

Kraken Coffee is owned by the founders of Kreuzberg California, another legendary caffeine outpost of San Luis Obispo, which means they definitely know their way around an espresso machine. Visitors can choose from not one, but two beach adjacent locations (Avila and one

310 Front St.

in ismo as well as a newer spot at the SLO ublic Market. And each

Avila Beach, CA 93424

café offers the same awesome coffee and concoctions, from signature espresso drinks to their locally sourced, homemade ice cream. Kraken’s original Avila location boasts chill beach vibes and ocean views, being literally steps from the beach and practically pierside in the laid back cove of Avila Beach. It’s a perfect place to start a well-caffeinated day in the sand and sun with friends or to just park a chair and get some work done with seaside sights unlike anywhere else in SLO County.

Kraken Coffee’s Avila Beach location boasts chill beach vibes and ocean views and serves up killer coffee and sweet treats.

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Photo courtesy of Molly O’Brien

Lily’s Coffeehouse

This cozy and quaint hidden gem of a coffee house is nestled in North County Coast, and feels like quintessential Cambria. It’s located in the east end of the downtown village just minutes from the iconic Moonstone Beach and boardwalk.

2028 Main St. Cambria, CA 93428

Inside, visitors will be greeted by charming decor, friendly baristas, and an expansive coffee menu. Outside, there’s a spacious deck with colorful furniture and a large overhang to protect those who want to enjoy their coffee even on a classically foggy coastal day. The patio is pet-friendly, and there’s WiFi for those who want to spend time getting work done. In addition to the coffee, the baked goodies are a must-try, with one of the most famous pastries being Lily’s carrot cake.

Lily’s Coffeehouse in Cambria is known for its friendly baristas, expansive coffee menu, and spacious outdoor deck.

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Nautical Bean

This legendary, family-owned coffee shop is known to serve some of the best brews and food in SLO County. Inside, visitors will find a no-frills atmosphere overflowing with nostalgic relics of decades past.

2010 Parker St. San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

It’s a spot unlike any other in the region, with memorabilia like retro lunchboxes to Star Wars posters reminiscent of the ones you had in your room as a kid, a collection of hanging skateboards, an Atari-esque gaming console, and various other art pieces hand curated by the shop’s passionate owners. It’s a bustling spot to come and relax or work while enjoying a well made cup of coffee and a tasty bite to eat. There’s an extensive menu of specialty drinks and food so it’s guaranteed that no one will leave unsatisfied. The Nutty Bean coffee is a must—but those who want to get especially amped can try the “Nutty Bean Turbo,” which turns the caffeine volume up to 11.

Known for its fun, retro vibe Nautical Bean’s Parker Street location in SLO is a great place to enjoy a well made cup of coffee and a tasty bite to eat.

Photo by Bryan Kirkpatrick

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Joebella Coffee

Joebella Coffee’s newly opened aso Market Walk outpost offers indoor and outdoor patio seating and a rotating seasonal menu with creations like tea, signature espresso drinks, and light bites to eat. There’s even a menu of specially made coffee “mocktails.”

Paso Market Walk 1803 Spring St. Paso Robles, CA 93446

On the “mocktail” menu, try the “C-Old Fashioned,” which is made with Kyoto cold brew and housemade jasmine syrup, served on ice and finished with an orange peel garnish. It’s a hint of citrus with a bite of whiskey flavor, all wrapped up into a shot of coffee. The delightfully different (but delicious) drink packs a serious punch, and is exactly how one might imagine a coffee-old fashioned combo might taste.

In addition to serving killer coffee, Joebella Coffee at the Paso Market Walk has a menu of specially made coffee mocktails.

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Photo courtesy of Joabella

99 / Living Lavishly


A DV E RT I S E M E NT

Why Going Solar Should Be Your Top Priority in 2022

1. Your Solar Savings Could Change

2. Your Tax Incentives

3. Your Home Value

If you’re thinking about going solar,

Installing solar panels can significantly

you’ve most likely heard about the

increase your home’s market value.

Metering (NEM .0 could include

federal tax credit, otherwise known as

The average resale value on a home

additional monthly fees on solar owners’

the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This

with solar increases by approximately

electric bills and slash the credits they

tax credit grants homeowners and

receive for sending electricity back to

businesses a tax deduction equal to

In California, a .1 kW solar panel

the grid. However, people who install

26% of the total cost of a solar energy

energy system has the potential of

solar before NEM .0 goes into effect—

system through the end of 2023.

adding an average of 12,4 2 to a

otential changes to Net Energy

4,020 for each 1kW of panels installed.

most likely in summer 2022— will be

home’s price over comparative homes

grandfathered in under current rules.

in a middle-class neighborhood.

That means no extra fees and more savings through credits

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on fossil fuels. According to the U.S.

paying jobs. When more people invest

appearance of your system to match

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switching to solar has the same effect

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101 / Living Lavishly


SAY (VEGAN) CHEESE!

More people than ever are going vegan, but the idea of living without cheese is one of the biggest challenges that comes with that lifestyle transformation. Thanks to a product created here in San Luis Obispo County, there are more options for those who can’t imagine giving up cheese. Kacey Skinner made a name for herself in San Luis Obispo, supplying locals with vegan and gluten-free desserts. The raw dessert chef honed her skills and developed healthful yet delectable recipes at Bliss Café. At the time, she and her husband, Bryan Wells, were teaching plant-based cooking classes at Central Coast Culinary Institute. The vegan/raw food educators soon launched their raw cakery, Kacey Cakes, in 2015, selling vegan peanut butter cups and cheesecakes at local farmers’ markets. They expanded both their menu and their reach to include wedding and birthday special orders, wholesale, festivals, and trade shows. But, like so many, COVID hit their business hard. They were forced to scale back and halt custom orders. Kacey Cakes desserts are now only found at farmers’ markets and

By Wendy Thies Sell Photos courtesy of Kacey’s Foods

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some local stores.


Meanwhile, Kacey was whipping up vegan queso sauce for her young family—a lot. They lovingly referred to it as “liquid gold” because of its rich, golden color. “We would smother it on everything we ate because it was so delicious,” Kacey recalled. After learning how to make the queso in cooking class, Kacey and Bryan’s students encouraged the couple to make the popular product available to more people. So, they pivoted, from cheesecakes to cheese. And now their separate business, Kacey’s Foods, is part of the billion-dollar vegan cheese market. “The vegan cheese world is blowing up right now when it comes to vegan, artisan cheeses,” Kacey said. Kacey’s Original Queso Sauce is made with cooked potatoes, carrots, and onions. They are stewed down and blended with cashews and their special spice blend. No added oils. No gluten. No dairy. No soy. No sugar. No preservatives.

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“It resembles a cheese-like flavor with the same mouth-

queso should remain cold until served and has a one-year

feel and texture and drizzle as nacho cheese,” Kacey

shelf-life prior to opening.

explained. “When blended or heated and stirred it becomes like that nacho cheese consistency.”

Kacey and Bryan have also developed two new non-dairy sauce flavors a savory alfredo sauce, and

It can be dip for vegetables or tortilla chips; pour it over

jalapeño queso, which is their original queso sauce with

twice baked potatoes or French fries; and it makes easy

house-pickled jalapeños. Both new sauces are sold at

(and cheesy) mac-n-cheese, potatoes au gratin, and

select farmers’ markets; at Rutiz Family Farms in Arroyo

casseroles.

Grande every Friday, and Saturday mornings in San Luis

Kacey’s goal was to create a plant-based artisan product

Obispo and Templeton.

made with all organic ingredients, that kids actually like,

The company plans to release one new flavor in stores

and gives health-minded customers peace of mind.

this summer, and the other variety in the fall. Details can

“It’s our mission to help busy parents to get meals on the table that their family will enjoy, but that are also healthy,” she said.

be found at @kaceys_foods on Instagram. An e-cookbook with recipes (such as the featured recipe of Kacey’s potatoes au gratin) is in the works for the company’s website, kaceysfoods.com.

The refrigerated, original queso sauce ($12 for a 16 oz. jar) is sold in 11 local stores, from California Fresh Market to the Avila Valley Barn. The temperature- sensitive

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Kacey’s Potatoes au Gratin Yields 6 servings Prep time: 15 min. Cook time: 45 min. Ingredients: - 5 red potatoes - ½ large yellow onion - 2 tablespoons avocado oil - 1 teaspoon salt - ¼ teaspoon pepper - ½ teaspoon garlic powder - ¾ teaspoon Italian seasoning - 2 jars Kacey’s Original Queso Sauce

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 2. Slice the onion and potatoes thin, using a mandolin to get even slices. 3. Mix potatoes, onions, oil, and spices in a large mixing bowl. 4. Blend queso sauce on high for 30 seconds. 5. Pour a thin layer of queso sauce on the bottom of an 8 x 13 casserole dish. 6. Lay half of the potatoes and onions on the bottom. 7. Pour another layer of queso sauce over the potatoes. 8. Repeat step 6 and 7 once more. 9. Cover dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender and sauce is bubbling. 10. Uncover and cook for 5 more minutes. 11. Allow to set and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

105 / Living Lavishly


The Hidden Kitchen: From Earth to Belly By Charlotte Ross Photos courtesy of Amanecer Eizner When Amanecer Eizner and her now fiancé, Wes, traveled to Sayulita, Mexico, a few years ago, they returned home to California with more than what they set out with—a suitcase full of blue corn masa and an eagerness to experiment making savory waffles. Eizner, owner of The Hidden Kitchen in Cambria and Cayucos, spent a majority of her upbringing serving at restaurants, washing dishes, and cooking in the kitchen. When she was a little girl, she drew sketches in her notebook of café ideas, but owning her own restaurant as an adult wasn’t really on her radar—not until she started feeling “stuck” as a waitress and shifted paths a bit.

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“Food is a love language.” — Amanecer Eizner

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“I loved the place where I was working, but I didn’t feel like I was growing in many ways,” she says. “And so I did this forced slow down and started making clothing and jewelry and really was selling at a lot of makers markets. I ultimately had a little more time to travel and tap into this creative side of myself I was missing.” When she and her now-fiancé took their trip to Mexico, they stayed at an AirBnB down the street from the Blue Corn Llama Cafe, where they first tasted blue corn waffles and tacos. Eizner had an instant realization of, “Oh my god, this is it.” So, they packed their bags full of blue corn masa and flew back home ready to experiment. The two were always hand-pressing tortillas at home and making tacos, so they were excited to try something new and share their discovery with friends.

The Hidden Kitchen Cambria In October 2018, Eizner and a friend of hers that was

Eizner says. “We did our Costco runs and gathered things

making homemade ghee at the time found a building

from the farmers markets.”

for rent in Cambria. It was hidden down an alleyway but reasonably priced, so they went for it and opened up the first Hidden Kitchen. They had a lot of worries, like “Will people even like this whole savory waffle thing?,” but decided to just go for it. For a whole month, no one showed up at the restaurant. “All we had was our waffle iron from home, my blender from home, and a $50 used refrigerator from Craigslist,”

108 / Living Lavishly

But when Cambria’s annual scarecrow festival took place, things started gaining momentum for The Hidden Kitchen. Eizner and her fiancé dressed up his daughter, Coral, who was 4 years old at the time, as a scarecrow and gave her waffle bite samples to pass out. Eventually, locals started coming down the alleyway to taste more from the health food cafe and it became the “go-to” breakfast joint.


The Hidden Kitchen - Cayucos Eizner and her friend/business partner knew their

2020, they opened the doors—the same weekend SLO

rented space in Cambria was up for sale, so for a while

County went into “shelter in place” and the pandemic

there was a lot of uncertainty whether The Hidden

hit hard.

Kitchen would even continue. They started searching for locations to open another restaurant and eventually landed on the now-popular spot in Cayucos.

The Cambria location was still running and eventually Eizner got good news that some of their frequent Hidden Kitchen guests had purchased their building, as well as

“It was 15 times bigger than what we had. It had very

“Slabtown Mercantile” in front, and they wanted the café

antiquated vibes, old booths, and dark energy and just

to continue pressing blue corn tacos and waffles.

very ’70s,” she says.

By March 2021, Eiznner bought out her business partner

But, they once again went for it, and Eizner signed the

and became the sole owner of The Hidden Kitchen, for

lease the same day she got engaged. For three months

both locations. It was her first time running a business

they were in buildout mode, evolving the space into a

so there were a lot of new things to discover, on top of

more bohemian, earthy, and bright atmosphere. By March

navigating the uncertainty of the world.

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“Food is a Love Language” Eizner’s father and his whole side of the family are from

It was at Esalen that Eizner was first introduced to the

Argentina, a country where “food is a love language.”

kitchen; she grew up with all of her “aunties and uncles”

“Every morning you wake up to everyone eating a lavish breakfast at the dining table and talking about what they’re going to have for lunch or dinner,” she says with chuckle. “So food was always present in my life.” Eizner grew up in Big Sur, at the Esalen Institute—a retreat center and, in the ’90s, a workshop place for people from all over the world to come and stay or work. She was raised in a very big, community-oriented atmosphere, where everyone was helping raise each other’s children and cooking and working together.

bringing her there to chop veggies and work on baking projects with her brother and all the other children. That was how they contributed. Eizber had her first official job at age 8 washing dishes all summer long, when the institute was short staffed. And for years later, she worked in the restaurant industry. When Eizner moved to San Luis Obispo to attend Cal Poly, she continued making an impact in the kitchen. “I was always the mom in college,” she says with a laugh. “I was always cooking for everyone, people were always coming over rooting around the cupboards for food that

“It was like a little Narnia,” she says. “Just this magical,

I had, and it was just always this very open home, open

magical place.”

kitchen; come be and let me cook for you kind of thing.” This was a way for Eizner to always feel loved and share love.

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Community and Culture And that community-minded, caring-for-all mentality continues today at The Hidden Kitchen. “So much of who I am and so much of my business is a direct reflection of my values, which stem greatly from my upbringing,” Eizner says. Showing up for and being part of a community is something that will always hold great value to the business owner. She says quality food and open communication are things customers can always expect. Because she was encouraged to express herself from a young age, Eizner tries to inspire that with her staff as well. She invites them to bring their unique backgrounds and life experiences into the kitchen, come up with creative ideas for specials, and create an overall “positive, badass work environment.” Eizner says she is grateful that people leave The Hidden Kitchen more open-minded to alternative ways of eating and can feel part of a community. She has found her passion. “This is my livelihood,” Eizner says. “I am doing my dream job and I love what I am doing.”

The Hidden Kitchen is an all organic, all homemade, gluten-free and sustainably sourced health food cafe. Everything comes “from Earth to belly,” from its superfood smoothies to its blue corn tacos and waf es

sweet

and savory.

111 / Living Lavishly


The Perfect Spring or Summer Starters Courtesy of Andrea Chavez & Cindy Bevans of Talley Farms

Spring is in the air, which means lots of fresh, vitamin-packed produce is sprouting from the earth! Make sure eating healthy tastes great with these quick and tasty recipes from the folks at Talley Farms.

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Andrea’s Morning Smoothie This refreshing recipe makes enough for two to three people. My husband and I drink this smoothie almost every morning. I continue to feel it’s one of the most important things we do to keep us healthy, building our immune systems.

Ingredients: In a strong blender, like a Blentec or Vitamix, add ingredients in this order: · 1/2 - 1 cup water · Fruit, frozen or fresh, whatever you have on hand that needs to be used. I like to buy overripe bananas at the store at a discount, peel, and freeze. If you add kiwi or apples, don’t peel them first, just wash them. · Any veggies you want to add like carrots or broccoli stalks · 1 cup of almond milk · 1 Tbsp chia seed (check out Kandarian Organic Farms) 2 Tbsp flax seed · 1 scoop or more protein powder · Kale, stuff in 4-6 leaves or more · Ice

Directions: 1. Once all ingredients are added, blend for 1 minute. 2. Serve in your favorite glasses! . Change up this recipe to match your tastes. We find that bananas and frozen berries taste the best but add kiwi (with skin for more nutrition!), apples, citrus, grapes. We go through three to four bunches of kale a week. I drink mine down all at once while taking my vitamins. Randy takes his to the farm and drinks it mid-morning. Our bodies know when we don’t have a smoothie in the morning!

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An Easy and Elegant Appetizer This savory recipe is great for entertaining! It uses fresh broccoli and carrots, which can be found year-round on the Central Coast.

Cindy’s Chicken and Broccoli Ring Ingredients: · 1 lb broccoli crowns, cooked and cut into small, bite-size pieces · 1 bunch carrots, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces · 1 ½ cups of cooked chicken cut into ½-inch pieces · 2 Tbsp mayonnaise · 1/8 tsp salt · 1/8 tsp pepper 1 cup of finely grated Monterey Jack Cheese · Whites of 1 egg

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Directions: 1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. 2. In a medium bowl, mix broccoli, chicken, carrots, mayonnaise, salt and pepper and cheese. 3. Unroll both cans of dough; separate into eight rectangles. 4. On a large, ungreased cookie sheet, arrange rectangles

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in a ring so short sides of rectangles form a 5-inch circle in the center. Dough will overlap. 5. Spoon chicken-broccoli mixture on the half of each rectangle closest to the center of the ring. . Bring each dough rectangle up over the filling, tucking under the bottom layer of dough to secure it. Repeat around the ring until all the filling is enclosed (some of the filling might show . 7. Gently separate dough perforations on top until filling peeks through. Brush dough tops with egg whites. 8. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until top is golden brown and thoroughly baked. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into serving slices.

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What’s in Season

Spring & Summer Edition Sweet, burst-in-your-mouth berries. Super-crisp cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. A smorgashboard of stone fruit. As the weather starts to warm up on the Central Coast, more and more fresh produce starts to pop up in the fields. Spring and summer are a bountiful time for enjoying fresh, locally grown produce. Take advantage of everything our region has to offer by incorporating seasonal fruits and vegetables into your daily diet and cooking routine. Take a trip to your neighborhood farmers market, sign up for a subscription from a local farm, or cultivate a green thumb in your own backyard. Whichever you choose, here’s a guide to what’s in season for Spring and Summer to use while you plant, shop, cook, and savor! Fun fact: all of these crops can be found right here on the Central Coast.

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Spring

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Summer

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Hotel Cerro: An Edible Garden of Delights By Amy Blasco Photos courtesy of Hotel Cerro

Lounging on the rooftop terrace of Hotel Cerro in downtown San Luis Obispo, you feel like you’ve stumbled upon a secret garden. All around you are sweetly scented flowers and savory herbs, as well as vegetables in miniature form. Everything looks more than good enough to eat. And if you wander down to SLO Brasserie on the ground floor, that’s exactly what you’ll do.

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Hotel Cerro is dedicated to creating an authentic, farm-

Brooks, who started as head chef in Summer 2021, is also

to-table experience for all guests, so they designed

on a mission to let Hotel Cerro shine as a premiere lodging

the Edible Gardens and Green Wall to grow their own

and dining destination on the Central Coast.

produce. Those fresh herbs, microgreens, and more can be found atop entrées and desserts, tossed into salads,

Launched in January 2020, the full-service luxury hotel has seen its fair share of challenges, including

and cooked into sauces and marinades.

construction delays and the COVID-19 pandemic. But

Chef Derek Brooks uses the food grown in the garden

Brooks and his fellow team members have been working

to add dimension and color to the flavorful dishes he

around the clock to provide high-quality dining and

creates. Everything grown in the garden is smaller in size,

hospitality.

due to the limited space. Right now they have violets and elderflower, butter leaf lettuce, French breakfast radishes, and baby carrots and beets.

Just recently they started hosting five-course wine dinners with award-winning boutique wineries, like Dauo and Napa’s Rombauer. Next, Brooks will be collaborating

“They do say you eat with your eyes,” Brooks said. “The

with Rod & Hammer’s SLO Stills for a special whiskey

garnishes, herbs, and flowers do make the dishes prettier,

dinner for St. Patrick’s Day. The hotel also has weekly live

but we want to make sure that everything on the plate has

music every Sunday by the rooftop pool and is once again

a purpose. It’s about finding very quality ingredients and

offering hotel and pool buyouts for guests.

letting them really shine.”

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Classical training, modern experiments

From a young age, food has always been an important

to food doing banquets for Emperors Palace. He then

part of Chef Brooks’ life.

attended culinary school at the Cooking & Hospitality

“Growing up, we had a large garden in the backyard and my chores were to weed and pick the vegetables,” he said.

Institute of Chicago and worked under Chef Sarah Stegner at the Chicago Ritz Carlton. Other kitchens of residence include Stegner’s

Like most chefs, Brooks started his career at the bottom—as a busboy in a Mexican restaurant in his hometown of Chicago.

acclaimed Prairie Grass Café, the award-winning Farrah Oliva restaurant, the Arrabelle resort, the Resort at Pelican Hill, and the Baz Luhrmann-designed Faena Hotel. He has more than two decades of experience

“One day a cook didn’t show up and they asked, ‘Who

creating a wide range of cuisines, including French

wants to cook?’ I volunteered,” Brooks said.

Brasserie, international fusion, Italian, and more.

He took a slight detour in college when he studied

In Spring of 2021, facing the ongoing impacts of the

accounting for a year, but quickly made his way back

pandemic, Brooks decided to make a change. Through

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“They do say you eat with your eyes.”

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“We want to make a lasting impact on the community.” — Chef Derek Brooks

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contacts in the hospitality industry, he connected with Hotel Cerro, a place where he says he can be more creative and not deal with the minutiae of cooking for a large resort. “I love California and its abundance of fresh produce and seafood,” he said, adding that he wants SLO to be more of a dining destination because of its vineyards and fresh produce. “[He and his team] want to showcase how amazing Hotel Cerro is. There’s so much potential for this hotel.” Some new ideas in the works include having a booth

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at the downtown farmers market and hosting summer pool parties on the roof. There will also be more wine dinners and special events, and partnerships with other hospitality businesses. “There are a lot of moving parts. It’s important to get everything in place to make a good foundation,” Brooks said. “We want to make a lasting impact on the community.”

Hotel Cerro is the perfect intersection of SLO culture, California’s rich history, and casual elegance. It boasts 65 spacious guest rooms and suites, a fitness center and spa, rooftop pool deck with 360-degree views, beautiful outdoor areas and a restaurant, SLO Brasserie.

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(805) 541-5800 127 / Living Lavishly


Top 5 Local Wineries and Breweries for Entertainment By Laura Jeffrey

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There are endless fun things to do on the Central Coast that attract tourists from the north, south, and Central Valley. The usual suspects, such as hiking, camping, surfing, exploring sea life, and shopping, are well known to locals and visitors. However, one of the best ways to enjoy the SLO Life is our music scene. Imagine a warm spring afternoon sipping on a world-class wine or hand-crafted beer, surrounded by the beauty of the Central Coast and enjoying music that complements the day perfectly. It is not hard to find local talent or famous musicians to entertain us. Our moderately sized venues, including the Paso Robles fairgrounds, Vina Robles, and Avila Beach Golf Course, bring tourists and locals together. Boutique wineries and breweries offer local acclaimed musicians who are passionate about entertaining people. Here are some favorite places to relax or party down with live music in wine and beer country. Be sure to call ahead, check Instagram, websites, and Facebook event pages for specific details on artists and reservations.

Photo courtesy of Vina Robles

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Photo courtesy of Claiborne & Churchill

Claiborne & Churchill Winery Claiborne & Churchill, a family-owned boutique winery in the Edna Valley, has been producing Alsatian-style white wine and pinot noir on the Central Coast for over three decades. Their winery, the first strawbale winery in California, has been a longtime local favorite for live music and delicious wines. Their new “Songwriter Sundays” are a great way to spend a relaxing Sunday afternoon in Wine Country!

Photo courtesy of Liquid Gravity

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Liquid Gravity Brewing Company Two years after opening their doors at Liquid Gravity, Brendan and Celeste Gough continue to impress with their beer, musical bookings, and food purveyors. Offering something for every palate, Brendan began his career at Firestone Walker and reinvigorated Central Coast Brewery before opening Liquid Gravity. The brewery is family-owned, with a passion for daring, fresh, flavorful beer, so it’s no surprise to find multiple beer and winemakers here on their day off, enjoying the hospitality and world class beer with an eclectic music lineup. From Brass Mash to Reggae, they always hit the mark.

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Photo of SLO Brew Rock 132courtesy / Living Lavishly


SLO Brew: The Rock For chill music on weekend afternoons, beer flights, or canned wine, visit SLO Brew: The Rock. This casual brew pub with extensive landscaping around “the rock” has not only beer, but rotating lineups of local musicians, great pub food, and games. Families are welcome, and reservations are not required. Evening events at SLO Brew Live, for guests 18 and up, feature both local and world-famous musicians who love the exceptional acoustics, full concert lights, and one of the largest LED screens. It is undoubtedly one of SLO County’s finest music venues.

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Photo courtesy of SLO Brew Rock

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Vina Robles Amphitheater The Paso Robles wine and music venues are some of the county’s most popular. North Country has over 250 wineries, multiple cideries, dozens of craft breweries, restaurants, and food trucks. The possibilities are endless. One of the larger venues, Vina Robles Amphitheater seats 3,300 and features very eclectic performers from both past and present—from Alice Cooper to Cal Poly SLO grad Weird Al Yankovic! Enjoy wines from their own estate or try some of the local beers and bistro food, and you can sip and nosh on the lawn or a comfy stadium seat.

Photo courtesy of Vina Robles

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Sculpterra Winery Weekends are great for music at Sculpterra Winery, an east side winery with a sprawling garden of sculptures. They offer live music Saturdays and Sundays, with local musicians on the stage in the back garden and food trucks to satisfy hungry customers from noon to 4 p.m. Kick back with songwriters Saturday and rock music Sundays. Families and well-behaved furry friends are welcome, and there are lots of outdoor games to keep everyone happy. Reservations are recommended at opentable.com or call the winery at (805) 226-8881.

Photos by Darren Brown

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Photos courtesy of CASS Winery

CASS Winery The new barrel room and event center at CASS Winery now offers a monthly concert series! Enjoy the views of the hilltop vineyard and the rad tunes, including a Central Coast

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favorite— Carbon City Lights! Most concerts are free and will have tasty wine and food available for purchase. Consider staying the night at their modern winery retreat, Geneseo Inn. Industrial shipping crates have never looked so good!

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Parrish Family Vineyard The west side of Paso Robles wine country offers some of the most dramatic views, with elevations of up to 1,400 feet, vineyards, coastal live oak, olive, and walnut trees providing a stunning backdrop for wine tasting, primarily Bordeaux and Rhone varietals. Throw in acclaimed chefs and accomplished musicians and weekends never felt better. Parrish Family Vineyard is a great place to relax; they offer an indoor bar, lounge, and wraparound deck patio. Wine is brought and served to guests, which allows you to focus on the experience in a comfortable, fun environment. The menu changes seasonally; however, in the past they have featured pairings such as sauvignon blanc with refreshing sumac shrimp over a bed of shaved cucumber and pickled shallots, or estate cabernet sauvignon paired with wine braised short ribs and a sage pretzel. A visit on the weekend—when they often feature live music from artists local to California’s Central Coast—is always a good idea.

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Laura Jeffrey is a certified sommelier and owner of 101 Wine Tours, a provider of luxury tasting experiences on the Central Coast. In addition to wine, the company also offers beer, cider, olive oil, and spirit tastings. 101 Wine Tours has won Trip dvisor Certificates of Excellence each year from 2016 to 2021 and was awarded the Visit SLO CAL Tourism Service Champion Award in 2018. For more information, visit www.101winetours.com or call (805) 874-CORK (2675).


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