Quirkutopia is the epicenter of the foodie epidemic. Overheard conversations in  at cafes will often be recountings of four-star meals cooked at home the night before, and sharing notes on favorite artisan cheeses makers or paring knives. Facebook posts are laden with tales of pickles made and grilled feasts.

Restaurants are held to a sky-high bar, and they deliver – often focusing on local ingredients,including meats. One chef described running low on the lamb special one weekend, and rushing to the local ranch to arrange for some more. The internationally renowned French Laundry has their own gardens, and the famous Charlie Palmer calls the region the country’s “culinary cradle”.

Aside from the Big Guys, it is hard to enter any local establishment and get a mediocre meal. The variety and level of foodcraft is mouthwatering. You will need a bib as you enter – just to get past the other tables and the menu-reading with a dry shirtfront.

Some of the best feasts in the region are outside: fresh-harvested abalone, mussels and urchin (uni) fireside at the beach, garnished with sea vegetables and wild mushrooms all harvested the same day. Just remember a couple local Meyer lemons, some wine and crusty multi-grain bread from that award winning bakery down the street …in nearly every town.

You can mince around in dainty sandals or lace on the hiking boots – either way, you’ll end up eating Very Well Indeed. Here’s your (handcrafted) bib.


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