It's national nutrition month (I know, I know, shouldn't it always be?), so here's a few tips to get your body fit as a fiddle. A super easy one: pile on the mushrooms! Packed with vitamin D and potassium and with the ability to boost your immunity, they're more than magic ... Next, try some ancient grains packed with nutrients and flavor from Kandarian Farms in Los Osos (go to kandarianorganics.com for recipes like Greek barley salad and replace your usual boring side dishes; pick up bags of grains and seeds at the SLO Natural Foods Cooperative) ... Start a meatless Monday tradition and grab a green smoothie at Bliss Cafe in downtown SLO instead of that fried egg and bacon burger or try the newest acai place on Marsh Street, Ubatuba, which should be opening its doors shortly (their fresh menu at ubatubaacai.com) ... Do some good for those in need—attend an elegant French dinner held by master chef Top Neuhaus of Mama Ganache Artisan Chocolates this April 2 in Paso Robles. You'll learn about Project Hope and Fairness, enjoy local music, nosh on great eats, and slurp wines donated by Vina Robles. Just remember: When it comes to chocolate and good food, moderation is key (go to projecthopeandfairness.org for tickets).
Cider 'n' hops
The apple does not fall far from the tree when it comes to good local hard cider. The cider revolution is in full effect in SLO County, and here's your proof: Atascadero has just announced that it will host its first ever Central Coast Cider Festival this May 7 and pre-sale tickets are available now. Held at the scenic Atascadero Lake Pavillon, the new fest is the brainchild of Neil Collins, co-owner of Bristols Cider. You can bet your apples you'll also be seeing the likes of local hard cider producers including Reef Points, See Canyon, newcomers Tin City Cider, and more than a dozen others, too (go to visitatascadero.org for tickets and details) ... Beer me, bro! Tickets are also on sale now for the 30th annual California Festival of Beers slated for this May 27 to 28 at Madonna Inn, and in celebration of that three-decade mark, only 3,000 tickets will be sold (madonnainn.org). That means it's time to get clicking.
Behind the vines: WiVi Central Coast has finalized a lineup of educational sessions, speakers, and tastings for its March 15 to 16 conference at the Paso Robles Event Center. The two-day event will offer a little something for everyone, including the winemakers, tasting room attendants, wine production folks, growers, and marketers of the California wine industry (see all the nerdy-cool classes at wivicentralcoast.com) ... Word on the street: The upcoming Chardonnay Symposium slated for this May 12 to 14 in Pismo Beach will pay homage to France with several French producers and speakers announced. Yes, they will speak to famous French Chardonnay regions like Chablis, Champagne, Montrachet, Pouilly-Fruisse, Languedoc-Roussillon, and Meursault! Oui, oui! ... Hospice du Rhone is coming up quick this April 14 to 16 in Paso Robles with a palate provoking weekend that embraces the history and flavors of 22 Rhone varieties (go to hospicedurhone.org for tickets and info).
Hayley Thomas is practicing the use of moderation when it comes to acai. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.