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Since Maude changed its format to focusing on wine regions every quarter, they have taken us on journeys to Rioja and Burgundy. For their third featured region, Maude takes us to our own backyard, the Central Coast. From Santa Barbara to Monterey, the Central Coast is a region filled with so much bounty and the Maude team spent a week visiting farmers, purveyors and winemakers to create the menu. The menu generally focuses around the fresh local seafood that we are so fortunate to have access to. Spot prawns, abalone, oysters and uni are just some of the delectable treats we enjoyed. And each dish was paired with wine selections from producers in the Central Coast, from under-the-radar producers to well-known names. As we arrived to Maude for our reservations, we were escorted upstairs to the wine cellar lounge. This room is now incorporated into the regional tasting menus. For Rioja, we started in the lounge with a glass of Cava and a plate of jamón serrano and cheese. For Burgundy, we ended the evening in the lounge where we enjoyed a cheese and dessert display. And for Central Coast, we again started our meal upstairs where we were greeted with a glass of Broc Cellars, Chenin Blanc, Petillant, Shell Creek Vineyard, Paso Robles 2017. The effervescent wine has a floral honeyed nose with notes of citrus, peach, pineapple and key lime pie, as well as yeasty aromas and was the perfect way to start the evening. 
While watching tv late one night, I was distracted by a show talking about doughnuts. These were not your average doughnuts.  With names like Maple Bacon Long John, Bar Snack and Banana Cream Cheese, these were unique re-inventions of a classic. The doughnuts came from Glazed and Infused in Chicago.  As I was going to be in Chicago for one day the following month, I quickly wrote it in my calendar and then just as quickly forgot. But, the morning I was in Chicago, an alarm went off in my calendar reminding me about the field trip. So, just before the event started, we ran out to the nearest Glazed and Infused shop and got there just in time to get some of the last doughnuts.....because once the days' doughnuts are sold out, the shop closes. Thankfully we got there because these doughnuts gave me the sugar kick I needed that day! DSC00834