Savoring the seasons along the Central Coast
Sept./Oct. 2010 California Country magazine
Story by Barbara Arciero
Photos by Kim Riddle
Chef Tim Kilcoyne shares recipes highlighting the seasonal flavors of the Central Coast.
Chef Tim Kilcoyne
Tim Kilcoyne recalls an early childhood of sneaking out of his darkened bedroom, seeking not mischief or adventure but rather a perfect peach from the many fruit trees that dotted his family's Antelope Valley property.
During certain times of year, the peaches were crunchy and sour in the young boy's mouth. "But eventually I began to notice at what time of year the birds started hanging around the tree, and I took my cue from them," he recalled. Soon he began to delay his raids on the peach tree until late summer, by which time Mother Nature had coaxed every bit of natural sugar out of the fuzzy yellow orbs.
The experience, Kilcoyne said, gave him an appreciation for the seasonal ebbs and flows of agriculture. It also helped shape the culinary philosophy that drives his success today as chef/owner of Ventura's SideCar Restaurant.
"My goal is to source the best ingredients and make sure we don't serve something until it's ready to be eaten," he said. "I want to give my customers those flavors that I remembered as a kid—the farm-fresh flavors, the flavors of produce picked when it's perfectly ripe."
Kilcoyne's location along California's agriculture-rich Central Coast provides that luxury—and also a platform for educating others. He hosts four-course farmers dinners at his restaurant, giving customers a chance to meet farmers face-to-face. He also offers cooking seminars at the Ventura farmers market. And, during the last weekend of September, he'll appear as a featured chef at the Savor the Central Coast event in San Luis Obispo County.
"Agriculturally speaking, the Central Coast has virtually everything available," he said. "It provides endless possibilities."