Exploring the West Coast’s Artisan Food and Craft Drinks
Left Coast Crafted is one part West Coast travel, one part food & drink, and one part the story of those who farm, bake, brew and create.
The West Coast is my home. Dotted with various cities along a 1100 mile stretch of the Pacific where I have laid my hat. It’s equated with Hollywood and sandy beaches, with snow-covered mountains teeming with laid-back snowboarders, with the quirkiness of a city seen through a satirical lens (having lived in Portland(ia) I’ve been asked repeatedly if it’s “really like that”). The West is all of this on the surface but there is a culture here steeped in something unique. A true admiration and respect for things made with love on a small scale whether it be beer or bread, music or art. Small businesses are revered. People are loyal to the neighborhood bakery, coffee roaster, and specialty food crafter. They shop at the local farmers market, grow their own vegetables and seek out their favorite craft beer and local wine.
Growing up in Southern Oregon I was surrounded by a bounty of fresh produce and independent restaurants. Some of my earliest memories are of my grandfather’s garden, to which he devoted countless hours of labor. The results resembled something out of a fine art food coffee table book and the taste surpassed the beauty. Later, living in Portland I found no shortage of artisan food and let’s not forget the beer. The city is called Beervana for a reason. Now, at home in California, there are a multitude of independent bakers, brewers, and businesses, some new as well as century-old specialty food crafters. The state which has long been known for wine also has a long history of producing excellent craft beer.
I’ve frequented these independent haunts for years, always admiring the dedication to mastering a craft. I want to tell the story of these crafters and their creations while exploring the beautiful West Coast. Left Coast Crafted is my notebook, my research, a way to reach an audience who has the same interest in this topic as I do. A way to not only feature these crafters but to share recipes made with these goods, to highlight towns in the west and to write about everything from my first zucchini of the season to where to find a great Mexican mocha.