Pardon The Punctuation…Santa Monica, California is mostly known for sunny beaches and as we heard in an episode of South Park, “Santa Monica is good to the homeless.” A great food and wine festival was not the first thing that came to mind when thinking of this town. Not anymore. “Crush” food, wine and art event has just made major strides to change that. First off lets find out about the location.
The 18th Street Arts Center: “18th Street Arts Center is an artists’ residency program that provokes public dialogue through contemporary art-making.” Basically the center supports local artists get their work out there. Pretty bad-ass stuff. I have to say the artist that stuck with me the most was Cheryl Walker. Beautiful work.
Now lets get down to the food and wine. These are my highlights and faves from it.
Chef Becky Reams: of “MasterChef” fame had a wonderful potato dish that was the perfect dish to start my day.
Spring Street Smokehouse: Greeeeeeaaaaaaat Carolina style BBQ. Rockin hot links and bourbon bread pudding….that’s right bourbon bread pudding.
Savour this Moment Catering: threw down vegan roasted vegetable tacos and Thai chile cilantro lettuce tacos. Lots of TLC and fresh ingredients. Full of flavor. Can’t wait to try them again.
Maestro Sausage Company: Purveyor of fine Italian sausages. I could use a box of these to enjoy some sausage and peppers and a coronary every morning of my life. Deeeeeeelish.
Library Ale House: served a short-rib slider with garlic aioli, arugula, gorgonzola, on a brioche bun. By far my favorite of the day…had 3 of them…..”Fat foodie in a little shirt…..fat foodie in a little shirt.”
Krave Jerky: Seven samples of gourmet jerky is what they came with. All of them great. My faves were the basil citrus, pineapple orange, and the sweet chipotle. I need cases of this shipped to me stat! Awesome stuff and gluten free!
Beachy Cream: Hip pin up creamery making yummy ice cream sandwiches. I had the strawberry surfer girl which is strawberry balsamic swirl ice cream on a sugar cookie. Lets just say I had four of them. I also got to try the Surfin’ Safari Chocolate Chip a vanilla bean ice cream on a chocolate chip cookie. I need an extra freezer in my house just to fill it up with their stuff. They rock.
Wise Coffee: great micro-roasted single origin organic coffee. Check them out they are work giving a go. The best part about it was the espresso was prepared on an amazing machine. The Nuova Simonelli “Musica” machine made an exquisit cup of coffee. Top notch premium machines. I’d be posing for pics with this machine every day if there was one in my possession.
Turiya Wines: Small boutique wine from the central. Tasted their Syrah, Cabernet, and Perpetual Bliss blend. I love me some boutique wines. All three were fruit forward and ready to drink right now. I’d have to say the perpetual bliss blend would be the one I’d buy if I have to chose one. Good stuff.
Topanga Vineyards: Their Syrah was by far my favorite wine of the event. 100% Syrah aged in old french oak. Peppery with notes of berries. The perfect summer red meat grilling wine. I see a case in my near future. Get yours now before I get them all.
This is an event that’s worth every penny. Follow them on line and put Crush on your calendar for next year. Who knows, you might see TheYumYumFoodie pounding wine next to you!