Eric Cioffi is a nice guy. And passionate about what he does. You can tell that as soon as you meet him.
But, I am getting ahead of myself.
One of the food purveyors providing samples at the Paso Garagiste Festival was Mortar & Pestle. Mortar & Pestle is Eric Cioffi. Per his website (http://farmcookeat.com), this is what he provided:
Braised duck with apple-sage chutney on a roasted beet.
Smoke and braised rabbit with orange-fennel jam on a roasted beet.
Spinach-ricotta drops with tomato confit.
Yes, this picture is also from his website.
I can’t show you what it tasted like, but it was great!
The next day, after visiting J Dusi, we were in downtown Templeton on Main Street, looking for lunch and saw the Mortar & Pestle sign. We went inside and talked to Eric who said he typically isn’t open on Sundays but would be happy to prepare something for us. He recommended the Paninos, so I ordered the Salami and Karen ordered the Ham. I know you might find it difficult to believe how delicious these were, but they were, bursting with flavors. Amazing.
Now, you can find out pretty much everything you want to know about Eric on his website. Maybe some stuff you don’t want to know. He puts it all out there. I urge you to check it out.
But, I do want to mention a couple of things.
Mortar & Pestle shares space with, and obtains product from, Nature’s Touch (www.naturestouchnurseryandharvest.com), which specializes in natural locally grown and raised fruits, vegetables, beef, lamb, pork, chicken, cheese, etc. So, you know you are getting the good stuff.
Eris is passionate about what he does, and he is good at it. He is doing what we all should aspire to do, what he loves. I love it that he refers to himself as a Food Garagiste. Indeed.
I know I’ve just scratched the surface. Now, more than ever, I am looking forward to our next trip to the Paso Robles area to plan to visit Mortar & Pestle, rather than just stopping by chance.
Michael Perlis provides outsourced controller services to businesses that do not need a full-time controller. He balances this with his interest in wine: reading and writing about it and, of course, drinking it. He is still trying to figure out how to combine these two pursuits. Feel free to contact him about either at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.