Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast Adventure Tours:
An afternoon at the Sycamore Mineral Springs
by Kylee Jepsen
During Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast, our office staff had the wonderful opportunity to work at and experience various events throughout the weekend. I was given the task to host one of the SAVOR Adventure Tours: Create Botanical Spa Products with the Sycamore Mineral Springs.
This tour captivated me the second I stepped onto the property. Held in their beautifully manicured garden, the Sycamore Mineral Springs Adventure Tour began as guests were greeted with a mimosa and invited to stroll through the picturesque setting. Manager Charles Crellin welcomed guests and introduced Annette Pollock to speak about their garden. Annette took guests on a leisurely tour, explaining the herbs and vegetables. It was like having your own professional gardener giving you tips on how to grow your fruits and vegetables right here in San Luis Obispo County. She knew every plant inside and out, and exactly under what conditions they would thrive in. It was absolutely priceless!
We were then introduced to Boutique Hotel Collection’s Chef de Cuisine, Gregg Wangard who gave the audience an informative overview of the types of vegetables he uses in his restaurants. He spoke about his background as a Chef and what kind of qualities we want to look for in the foods we buy. Next, guests were whisked away to meet the Sycamore Spa team, where we were explained the differences between various spa products and essential oils. Then came one of our highlights: the opportunity to create our own salt scrubs. The most popular choice of scents? Lemon Verbana and Lavender! Who knew the mixture was so perfect!
After creating our own botanical products, complete with fresh lavender from the garden, we sat down to enjoy what would be one of the highlights of my week. A four course, perfectly paired meal cooked by Chef Gregg Wangard with wines by Niven Family.
The meal began with a tasty Garden Gazpacho, made from puréed tomato, cucumber, watermelon, olive oil accented with edible flowers and herbs. This soup was excellently paired with the 2013 Tangent Albariño. Next we were next served with a Black Kale Quinoa Salad, dressed with mandarins, goat feta and crisp pita. This course was paired with the 2013 True Myth Chardonnay, which left your palate happily satisfied…but still waiting for more! Now for the main dish: Seared Skate Wing….yes, Skate Wing! This was the first time I had ever tried Skate Wing and I have to admit, I was slightly skeptical at first. Chef Gregg did not disappoint, and knew exactly what he was doing. The Skate Wing was perfectly cooked, and just the right consistency throughout. The tender meat melted in your mouth, literally, as we sipped on a 2013 Baileyana Firepeak Pinot Noir. Finally as our stomachs were singing a happy song, we were greeted with a dish of beautiful desserts. Lemon Verbana Crème Brulee, Fennel Polen Orange Shortbread, Fig Jam and Watermelon Granite all paired with a 2012 Zocker Late Harvest Grüner Veltliner.
The Adventure Tour had ended and what an adventure it was. Our table was fully satisfied and ready to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. As for myself, a perfect ending would have been to head to the Spa for a massage, but Hearst Castle was waiting and I was off to enjoy an evening on the Enchanted Hill.
Kylee Jepsen is the Digital Media Coordinator at Visit San Luis Obispo County. She has been a part of the tourism industry on the Central Coast for six years and can think of no other area she would love to represent. Kylee loves traveling and has a great passion for gaining new food and wine experiences. Feel free to contact her at kyleej@visitsanluisobispocounty or at 805.541.8000.