Greetings from Gourmet Girl Gail in Big Sur!
It was a long time in the making, but I finally got to sign books at Ventana Big Sur in the Loft room, which used to be the gallery up near the restaurant. A lot has happened at the campground and the inn during the months of no guests when Big Sur was an island due to a bridge collapse to the north and a mud slide to the south. Thankfully, it’s pretty smooth sailing again on Highway 1 up to my Happy Place!
The campground is located about 65 miles north of San Simeon and 30 miles south of Carmel. It’s an amazing 40 acre redwood canyon. All of the traditional sites follow the existing contour of the canyon and Post Creek without disturbing its natural beauty. The campground has three modern bath houses and each campsite has a picnic table and fire ring with water faucets a short walk away. It’s a tent only campground, so they don’t accommodate RV’s, motor homes, travel trailers or pop-up tent trailers, but I was happy to learn that they do allow camper vans and trucks with roof tents or small campers on top (no longer than 22 ft.). Yay! My Roadtrek is 19 feet, which means I will be a happy Big Sur camper.
Okay, back to the book signing. One of the Gourmet Girls at Large, Maury Treman, joined me with her darling dog Mattie in what used to be site 31 (they’ve changed the site numbers just to confuse me!) where most of the recipes for our cookbook were tested. We made a delicious dinner the first night, and Mattie helped, of course! It was an authentic black bean chicken, and even though I forgot the tamari, it was still a tasty treat.
The next day, we set up for the book signing and brought a few show-and-tell items, including my chef’s knife pack, spices, the Wonderbag, and Gourmet Girl Denise’s favorite tool: the mandolin. It’s uber useful when making our cast iron ratatouille.
We were part of a wine and cheese gathering that Ventana holds in the Loft on Saturdays with various local artists. I have to say I was really honored to be considered a local!
But look who stole the show! Antonio Balestreri brought one of his “birds” for a meet-and-greet! They have a falconry program for guests of Ventana. What a cool idea!
Can’t wait to get back up to Ventana to do more signings! They’ve asked and I am looking forward to the opportunity!
Till next time!
Gail, Denise and Lindsey