For a seamless and truly exceptional experience, make Bacara your culinary home base for the Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend
Saturday, June 7
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
$55 per person (price includes tax, gratuity and one glass of Firestone Walker Brewing Co. beer)
Please note: a limited amount of tickets remain for this event.
On the Central Coast, BBQ has always meant grilling over an open fire of red oak, a style of cooking that is native to Santa Barbara County and goes back to the days of the Spanish Rancheros. The best example of this can be found at Hitching Post II, which is owned and operated by Frank & Natalie Ostini.
Frank Ostini is renowned as both a nationally respected chef and winemaker. With high acclaim from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Gourmet and Sunset magazines and enthusiastic support from Chefs Wolfgang Puck and Bobby Flay, Frank has become the regional spokesman for Santa Maria Barbeque. Join him for a delicious lunch featuring his signature barbecued sirloin, salsa, pinquito beans and toasted French bread.
About Hitching Post II
The Hitching Post II became internationally recognized with the 2004 Academy Award winning film, Sideways, and has been earning praise for its food and wines for 27 years. It was established in 1986, but its roots started at the Casmalia Hitching Post in 1952. It was there that Frank & Natalie Ostini brought “Santa Maria Style BBQ” to its peak of perfection and where children Bill, Bob, Terri and Annette continue to this day. Since 1984 Frank Ostini, with partner Gray Hartley, has also made Hitching Post Wines, specializing in Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir. The winery has 800 barrels and produces about 15,000 cases a year.
About Santa Maria Style Barbeque
Santa Maria Style Barbecue is truly the authentic taste experience of Santa Maria. This sumptuous feast of barbecued sirloin, salsa, Pinquito beans, toasted French bread, and green salad has been called by Sunset Magazine, the “best barbecue in the world” and the California’s Visitor’s Guide raves this the “number one food not to miss while visiting California.” It is the featured cuisine at all festive occasions, both public and private, and so thoroughly ingrained in local culture that it truly has become a way of life.
Santa Maria Barbecue has its roots in the mid-19th century, when the rancheros gathered to help each other brand their calves each spring. The host would prepare a Spanish style barbecue as a thank you for his vaqueros (America’s first cowboys), family and friends. Under the oaks of this serene little coastal valley they would enjoy a traditional feast that included beef barbecued over a red oak fire, served with Pinquito beans, bread, salsa and homemade desserts.
The present Santa Maria Style Barbecue grew out of this tradition, and achieved its “style” some 60 years ago when local residents began to string their beef on skewers and cook it over the hot coals of a red oak fire. The meat, either top block sirloin or the triangular-shaped bottom sirloin known as “tri tip,” is rolled in a mixture of salt, pepper and garlic salt just prior to cooking. It is then barbecued over red oak coals, giving the meat a hearty, smoky flavor.
The traditional Santa Maria Barbecue menu features, of course, the barbecued sirloin, trimmed, sliced, and laid out in metal pans so that the diner may select the desired doneness. The only condiment for this tender and flavorful meat is a fresh salsa. With it is served grilled French bread dipped in sweet melted butter, perfect for soaking up every last bit of the flavorful meat juices. Also served on the side is a tossed green salad, and slow-cooked pinquito beans.
About Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Founded in 1996 by Adam Firestone (aka the Bear) & David Walker (aka the Lion), Firestone Walker Brewing Company began as a small brewery with roots in wine country on California’s Central Coast. Now a regional brewery, their singular purpose remains – to craft ever better beer.
It began innocently enough: a couple of brothers-in-law sitting around debating the subject of good and bad beer. Instead, their search for a decent ale led them to brew their own. Given Mr. Firestone’s winemaking bias and Mr. Walker’s complete lack of fermentation experience, they believed 60-gallon oak barrels were the appropriate vehicle in which to create their perfect elixir.
OK, so initial attempts were forgettable. But like so many great ideas, out of that disaster was born a handy invention – the Firestone Union. Based on classic brewing traditions from Burton-Upon Trent, this bizarre and unlikely system of linked barrels has the ability to produce rich and complex ales. In 1996 the accidental duo shelved their endless discussion on better beers and settled for building a world-class brewery that bore their names on California’s Central Coast……the debate was now over.