Taste, Sip and Enjoy | Food, Wine and Travel

Los Olivos Jazz and Olive Festival 2012

Los Olivos Jazz and Olive Festival 2012


What a lovely afternoon!  The Los Olivos Jazz and Olive Festival combined jazz, wine, olives and friendly people into a memorable experience.  The capacity crowd of 650 wandered the tiny town of Los Olivos waiting for the one o’clock opening.



Once inside attendees were greeted by 27 wineries and 37 chefs.  Most of the wineries were matched with a chef.  This gave us the opportunity to try our hand at pairing.  The 2009 Syrah from Andrew Murray Vineyards was a treat with its rich and jamy flavors.



The Olive Chefs had donated their time to prepare and serve olive-related foods.   These chefs were local people who had fashioned olives into various creations.  These ranged from the Olive Cake Pops, pictures above, to Potstickers with Lamb and Olives and Sunstone Blood Orange Olive Oil Poundcake.  Many of the recipes will appear in our recipe section.

Three olive oil companies, Il Fustino, Olive House and Rancho Olivos, encouraged folks to dip bread into infused oils and vinegars.  The Blood Orange Infused Oil and Chocolate Basalmic were  distinctive and opened the imagination to all sorts of possibilities.  I suggest trying Chocolate Basalmic over sliced strawberries for a taste adventure.


If a break was needed from wine, two breweries,  Figueroa Mountain and Firestone Walker, were pouring locally brewed beers.

Cooking demonstrations were held in the Grange Hall by Giorio Curti of  Trattoria Grappolo and Jeff Nichols of the Brothers Restaurants.  Chef Curti prepared Taramisu making the preparation look easy.  It did not take long to empty the pan as everyone received a large portion.  As I wandered back outside I was quickly barraged with fellow foodies wanting to know where I found the wonderful looking dessert.

Chef Nichols prepared the Hammered Pig Sandwich served at Sides Hardware and Shoes, the new restaurant in Los Oliovos.  Jeff suggested cooks, “Build ingredients and taste as you go.”  Certainly he has followed this rule as the hammered pork tenderloin married the cabbage slaw in the delightful sandwich.   A visit to this restaurant is next on my agenda to taste and enjoy other items prepared by Jeff and his brother Matt.

Throughout the afternoon people carried their wine and snacks to the shade and lawn to relax and listen to Grammy Nominated Denise Donatelli.   Don Heckman of  The Los Angeles times says “she is a singer jazz musicians love to love.”  Her latest recording is “What Lies Within.”   She was joined by internationally acclaimed musicians Stefan Karlsson, Bob Sheppard, Jeff D’Angelo, Dan Schnelle and Bear Erickson.


After being immersed in food and wine for three hours it was time to totter off home for a nap.  Preparing dinner was not on the agenda.  High marks to the Los Olivos Rotary and all their volunteers for a well organized and tasty afternoon!



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  1. Thanks for the compliments. We work hard each year to make the event better and this year it all came together. We have many members of the community volunteering their time, effort and culinary skills. Rich Nagler, President, Rotary Club of Los Olivos

  2. Great article, thanks for attending the event. All proceeds from the Jazz and Olive Festival go to charitable causes locally and overseas.

    We look forward to you and your readers attending next years festival.

  3. Pity I missed the event this year as it looks like a lot of fun.

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