Author Archive for kathymarckshardesty

- Welcome to the Central Coast Critic, aka Kathy Marcks Hardesty, on Facebook and WordPress! I'm a freelance food and wine columnist who has covered the amazing growth of the Central Coast restaurant and winery scene since early 1996. My lifelong career, however, began many years earlier when I started working in restaurants and bars in 1979. I would spend 12 years in the restaurant industry, six years front of the house followed by six years cooking professionally. I am also a graduate of the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Believe it or not, I left it all behind once I had the opportunity to start working for Wine Spectator magazine in San Francisco. I started out as the assistant to the tasting coordinator and soon became the editor for the restaurant award program, which I still describe as the greatest job of my life. During the seven years I worked there, I never missed a day of work, I loved my job. But that was working for someone else who called the shots. When I moved to the Central Coast in 1996, I finally realized my lifelong dream, of becoming a freelance writer. I have so many great stories from my 35 years in the business. Many were funny, some were sad, and there are a few poignant tales, but those were the milestones that made me who I am today. I'll be building upon my biography regularly as my blog gains momentum, and sharing all of the highlights of my life in my biography as the Central Coast Critic.

Grevino in Santa Maria Valley

David Addamo

From the Vine, my wine column about Gevino! It’s time once again to read my latest column published today in the Santa Maria Times and the Lompoc Record (it appears every other Sunday). It’s free to the public, although you…

Central Coast Wine Country

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Central Coast Wine Country Is there anything better than a day spent in Central Coast wine country? Not in our book of great adventures! My goodness, there’s little better than a trip away from paradise to make you return home…

SLO Health & Fitness Acai Competition

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The Central Coast’s Best Acai! Upon learning that I was would be among the judges at the acai bowl competition during the local health convention featuring local acai specialists, many friends said they couldn’t wait to hear who won! Even…

Fine Wine Finds!

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When it comes to discovering fine wines, our search is relentless! And if you love wine like we do, we have to ask: isn’t yours? We want you to know we have you in mind, dear followers, whenever we find…

From the Vine Spring 2017 Events

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Spring 2017 Events As you all know, I love to share a link to my column in the Santa Maria Times and the Lompoc Record (it’s the same column, but it reaches many more readers. This week I’m reminding you…

Vines & Hops Scottsdale

Travels with Dan–we literally stumbled upon Vines & Hops! Nah, I don’t mean we were in a drunken stupor (you’d have to be a damn fool to be stumbling around drunk while traveling)! We were trying to find a shortcut back…

Talley Vineyards–where quality excels!

Brian Talley

The Talley Family’s historic impact in the Arroyo Grande Valley This week I was pleased to write my From the Vine wine column about a family I have known since I first moved to the Central Coast in early February,…

Great Local Pinot Noirs Now!

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Looking for great local Pinot Noirs at affordable prices–we have them! We love going out to our local tasting rooms that focus on Pinot Noirs, where we always find great buys–so can you! The first shot is of Talley Vineyards killer…

SLO Passport Premieres

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Here’s good news for wine lovers, the inaugural SLO passport event–Sip in SLO! My wine column,”From the Vine,” in the Santa Maria Times was published today, and it’s about a passport event you’ll want to know more about for it’s great value…

Adventures in Wine Country

Zaca Syrah

From the Vine, my wine column for the Santa Maria Times and Lompoc Record, was published today, Jan. 29th. You can read my article about Adventures in Wine Country by clicking on this free link: http://santamariatimes.com/lifestyles/columnist/from_the_vine/check-out-these-adventures-in-wine-country/article_5ebc1e2a-82b3-59ce-82c5-4c0841767907.html I also provided links…