Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Second Annual San Benito Olive Festival

This Saturday, October 11, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., is the second annual San Benito Olive Festival, which celebrates the natural beauty and agricultural bounty of our county. I have no doubt that it will be another successful fun and joyful affair that will be attended by hundreds of people from near and far.

San Benito Olive Festival is both the gourmet event and the not-for-profit organization that plans, organizes, and brings the event together. The group's mission is to promote awareness and appreciation of the region's world-class culinary agriculture and premier artisans who make award-winning olive oils, wines, chocolates, Blenheim apricot products, and more. All net profits made from the event are donated to service, educational, and other community groups in San Benito County.

This year, the gourmet celebration is going to be at the gorgeous, historic Bolado Park, which is 8 miles south of Hollister. It's easy to find and reach on Highway 25, whether driving from the north or south.

There will be lots to eat, to drink, to purchase, and to enjoy at the festival. General admission tickets -- $20/adults and $10/children, ages 5-12 -- include the cost of entry to the festival, parking, cooking demonstrations, and entertainment. The $35 VIP ticket grants guests access to the wine tasting tent and five tastings of wine and craft beer from wineries in San Benito, Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara counties. I'm a beer drinker myself, but I would be tempted to taste samples from places with such great names as Alicats Winery, Wild Eye Winery, Lightheart Cellars, and Graveyard Vineyards.

Six celebrity chefs are scheduled to conduct live cooking demonstrations of dishes using olives or olive oil. Starting off will be Chef Eric Carter, Director of the Culinary Arts at Cabrillo College in Aptos, at which the students run the popular Pino Alto Restaurant on campus. Following him will be Chef Dorothy McNett, the popular foodie legend of the California Central Coast, after which the chef duo Gene Sakahara and Sam Bozzo, also known as SakaBozzo, the twins separated at birth, from the Gilroy Garlic Festival will take the cooking stage. Next up will be Chef Mike Fisher, a Hollister native and local caterer who was trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and ending the day will be Chef David Boswell who is the Chef de Cuisine at Yahoo!

It's going to be a toss up for me -- watching the cooking demonstrations or listening to the live bands. I've heard three out of the four that will be performing Saturday, and just the music alone makes me realize what a bargain the festival tickets are for a great afternoon of fun. Festival guests will be hearing a range of music from jazz and big band by Mr. O's Jazz Band, doo-wop by The Flashbacks, and popular rock by Shiloh and The Retrospect.

I could go on and on about the San Benito Olive Festival, but I shall stop here. To learn more, check out the festival's website and read this article that the festival posted at BenitoLink.com.

Today, I shall be hanging out at Our World Tuesday. Come join me by clicking here.


  1. olive estival - pretty cool - I like lots of olives in my martini :-)

  2. The venue itself is intimate but very well-appointed. If you are in search of venue for events NYC, do yourself a big favor and contact the wonderful people here. You'll be glad you did.


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