Food History

Just as wine pairs with food so Wine History pairs with Food History.

The Food History Project is a study group sponsored by the Wine History Project that researches and discusses the food and agricultural history of the Central Coast. The Food History Project meets the second Monday of the month from 5:30 to 7:00 at SLO Provisions and holds lectures and special events including Food History Weeks throughout the year.

Please check the calendar for an updated schedule.

Our thanks to Dwyne Willis and Steve Bland
for making SLO Provisions available.


Upcoming Events

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Past Events › Food

April 2018

The Food History Project Welcomes Farmer Jerry Rutiz

April 9 |5:30 pm to 7:00 pm PDT
SLO Provisions, 1255 Monterey Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 United States

Our speaker is Jerry Rutiz of Rutiz Family Farms nestled on 30 acres in Arroyo Grande. He will share the history of agriculture in his area and the story of his farming experience and the impact of urbanization on his business.

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August 2018

David Maislen Discusses Honey

August 13 |5:30 pm to 7:00 pm PDT
SLO Provisions, 1255 Monterey Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 United States

The Food History Project's Study Group for August will be presented by David Maislen of David's Blue Ribbon Honey.

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September 2018

The World’s Oddest Flavors

September 7 |5:30 pm to 7:00 pm PDT
San Luis Obispo Guild Hall, 2880 Broad Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 United States

Presented by Food Historian Sarah Lohman. Please join us and discover them for yourself.

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Vanilla: An American History

September 8 |1:00 pm to 3:00 pm PDT
Cook’s Flavoring Company, 200 Sherwood Road
Paso Robles, CA 93446 United States

Where did vanilla come from, and what came before it? All in all, you’ll be filled with facts you can bust out at your next dinner party and dazzle your friends with, as well as make informed choices when using vanilla in your kitchen. Cook's Flavoring Company has been making vanilla extract for 100 years in Paso Robles. Join us for the tour following Food Historian Sarah Lohman's presentation. This event is limited to 25 people.

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Funeral Food

September 9 |11:00 am to 1:00 pm PDT
San Luis Obispo Guild Hall, 2880 Broad Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 United States

Although mourning traditions have changed over time and vary from place to place, what they have in common is food and drink. We’ll look at the culinary traditions surrounding funerals throughout American history, and we’ll taste beer from Midas’s tomb, funeral cakes, and Mormon funeral potatoes. Join us for a talk on Funeral Food with Food Historian Sarah Lohman followed by a walking tour of San Luis Cemetery.

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October 2018

Food History Project: Olives and Olive Oil

October 8 |5:30 pm to 7:00 pm PDT
SLO Provisions, 1255 Monterey Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 United States

Learn about olive trees and the art of making olive oil from Tiber Canyon Ranch who will share their story and the history of olive oil.

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The California Food Revolution Comes to SLO County with Gary Eberle & Ian McPhee

October 14 |11:00 am to 1:30 pm PDT
McPhee’s Grill, 416 S Main Street
Templeton, CA 93465 United States

Panel discussion with Ian McPhee, Gary Eberle, and Sarah Lohman. Brunch catered by Ian McPhee with wines by Gary Eberle. Location: McPhee’s Grill, 416 S Main Street, Templeton Time: 11 am to 1:30 pm Cost: $50

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November 2018

Harvest On The Coast 2018

November 2 to November 4
Avila Beach Resort, 6464 Ana Bay Drive
Avilla Beach, CA 93424 United States

With its wineries located just five miles from the ocean on average, it’s fitting that SLO Coast Wine Country holds its signature Harvest on the Coast event right next to the Pacific. Indeed, on November 3 local wineries and chefs alike will converge at Avila Beach Resort for the Grand Tasting & Wine Auction as part of the larger Harvest on the Coast weekend celebration. Along with food and wine from more than 60 establishments comes live music by the Damon Castillo Band and an exciting winemaker-led wine and lifestyle auction that features rare wines, themed destination getaways, culinary treats and more. Meanwhile, those interested in kicking off the weekend the night before are invited to the “Crafted on the Coast” collaborative winemaker dinner on Friday, November 2, hosted at the Casitas Estate in Arroyo Grande featuring catering duo Flora & Fauna. Delights continue on Sunday, November 4 with “Surf’s Up Sunday,” where wineries throughout the region host a day of open house offerings such as hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment and wine discounts. This event is complimentary to all who attend Saturday’s Grand Tasting event.

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Sarah Lohman, Food Historian

Sarah Lohman is a culinary historian the author of Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine. Sarah is a Food History Project advisor. She visits the Central Coast multiple times a year to conduct Food History Week lectures and events.

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Dining Out in SLO County 1994

Jill Anderson's Dining Out in San Luis Obispo County Fifty Favorite Restaurants in SLO County - 1994 as described by Jill Anderson, former restaurant reviewer for the San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune. Archie McLaren, noted wine consultant and connoisseur,...

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Eating our Emotions: A Brief History of Funeral Food

The history of food and mourning begins with the actual consumption of the deceased – cannibalism. Over time, it changes to the concept of providing food for the departed. Then, by the Middle Ages, funeral food focuses on feeding the living mourners.

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Past Events

Harvesting Seaweed

February 2018: Phil Tillman gave two talks – one on the Chinese families who settled along the Estero Bluffs on up into Cambria where they harvested and dried a specific light green seaweed and another on the environmental destruction caused by Navy Bean in Arroyo Grande.

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