Olive tapenade, couscous drizzled with olive oil and pasta con puttanesca sauce are just three of the dishes that regional celebrity chefs will be demonstrating at the second annual San Benito Olive Festival on Saturday, Oct. 11 just south of Tres Pinos. The gourmet celebration will be held, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the historic Bolado Park, known for its fairgrounds, about eight miles south of Hollister.
The nonprofit San Benito Olive Festival’s vision and mission is to promote public awareness and appreciation of the region’s world-class culinary agriculture and premier artisanal food producers. Edible Monterey Bay acclaimed this young Central Coast festival as being “a highlight on our annual calendar.”
Returning to the cooking demonstration stage will be Dorothy McNett, a Central Coast foodie legend, and Gene Sakahara and Sam Bozzo, also known as SakaBozzo, the celebrity chef duo of the Gilroy Garlic Festival. They will be joined by Dave Boswell, chef de cuisine and Cafe Chef at Yahoo; Eric Carter, Cabrillo College Culinary Arts Program director; and Michael Fisher, owner of Fisher’s Catering, who was trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and had worked at Bernardus Lodge and Restaurant Daniel.
Along with the live cooking demonstrations, guests will be able to enjoy fine foods and restaurant fare offered by Grillin & Chillin, Pino Alto Restaurant, Soul Sweets, Paine’s Restaurant, Kuki’s Bowl, Casa Dino’s Fresh Farm Flavor and others. The festival will again have a wine tasting area where guests can sample wines from such regional wineries as Calera Wine, Pietra Santa Winery, Graveyard Vineyards and Guglielmo Winery. New addition this year is craft beer for guests to taste and purchase by the glass.
Brigantino Olio de Oliva, Sharobed Grove, Oils of Paicines, Pietra Santa and Sons-of-Sicily are some of the olive growers that will be on hand to offer samplings of their award-winning olive oils as well as share their process for making olive oil. Guests will also have the opportunity to try Blenheim apricot products from B&R Farms, sweets from Marich Premium Chocolates, olives from San Juan Valley Spice Company and other food products from a wide range of food artisans.
Different types of merchants, such as Dolce Vita Home & Garden Ideas, M & M Plant Sales, Pageo Lavender Farm, The Olive Connection and San Benito Bene, will showcase jewelry, crafts, plants, infused olive oils, balsamic vinegars and more. The San Benito Olive Festival will also feature live bands, including Mr. O’s Jazz Band, Shilo, The Flashbacks and Retrospect.
General admission for adults is $20; VIP admission, which grants access to the wine tasting area, is $35; and admission for children (5-12) is $10. Tickets are available online at Eventbrite.com. They can also be purchased in Hollister at San Benito Bene (615 San Benito St.) and Postal Graphics (1760 Airline Highway), in San Juan Bautista at Visions of Christmas (108 Third St. #B) and in Gilroy at the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce (7471 Monterey St.) and Patti’s Perfect Pantry (1280 First St.).
For more information, call (888) 503-3373, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.sanbenitoolivefestival.com.