Monthly Archives: June 2013

La Cosecha Bar + Restaurant Opens in Paso Robles Wine Country

Fresh Latin flavors, signature cocktails, inviting ambiance


At Parker Sanpei, we have the great good fortune of being involved in projects from their inception, including the new restaurant from acclaimed chef, Santos MacDonal, La Cosecha Bar + Restaurant.  This new hot spot just off Paso Robles’ charming City Park will open July 5, and we are tickled rosa to help spread the news!

Chef Santos MacDonal

Chef Santos MacDonal

You may know Chef Santos’ first “baby,” the incredible Italian Il Cortile Ristorante. La Cosecha, whose name means “the harvest,” is a celebration of Latin cuisine, boasting flavors from Spain, Central and South America.

“By trade, I’m an Italian chef,” said Chef Santos, “but I’m Honduran by birth.  Developing La Cosecha has immersed me back into the tastes, textures and aromas I know best.”

Along these lines, Chef Santos has crafted a rotating menu inspired by seasonal local produce, proteins and grains; and accented by imported fruits, roots, herbs and spices from Latin America and Spain.  From small plates, entrees to desserts, guests can expect the quality of ingredients and creative cuisine for which Chef Santos is recognized, and many will be treated to their first experience with authentic flavors and recipes, including:

  • Peruvian assorted fresh ceviches and Bistecca a la Pobre, a hangar steak over rice with fresh sautéed plantains in Peruvian spices and topped with poached egg and lime
  • Rare imported hams, sausages and chorizo prepared in a variety of ways from Spain
  • Honduran pollo asado, pasture-raised chicken marinated in regional Honduran spices, roasted and served with plantains
  • Monfongo, a traditional Puerto Rican dish of mashed sweet plantains and Caribbean spices, crispy pork and fresh local fish

In the kitchen, the culinary team consists of Chef Santos, his brother and longtime collaborator, Jorge MacDonal, and Chef de Cuisine, Fernando Bedolla, Jr., who arrives fresh from Santa Monica where he was Executive Chef at farm-to-table restaurant West 4th & Jane.

La Cosecha's mixologist, Eric Carfagnini, puts the finishing touches on a signature cocktail.

La Cosecha’s mixologist, Eric Carfagnini, puts the finishing touches on a signature cocktail.

Chef Santos has also partnered with mixologist Eric Carfagnini, to develop a cocktail menu that includes specialty drinks made from garden-fresh ingredients, imported herbs and spices and artisanal spirits. A sampling of La Cosecha’s signature cocktails includes:

  • Botanicos Espumosos made from fresh thyme, lemon, rhubarb and gin, topped with cava
  • Seasonal Caipirinha with fresh berries, lime, simple syrup, St. Germain elderflower liqueur and cachaça. 

With its ideal location, La Cosecha’s ambiance is casual, sophisticated and engaging.  Per MacDonal’s commitment to sustainably-sourced décor, the wood used to shape the beautiful bar was reclaimed from Paso Robles’ Windfall Farms and built by carpenter Peter Smith. “I love taking classic architectural elements and applying them to reclaimed, rustic materials,” said Smith. “In this case, we took 30-year-old pasture fencing from Windfall Farms and combined it with good solid design and traditional craftsmanship, making for a beautiful, inviting finished product.”

The rest of the design elements followed suit, with hand-crafted light fixtures by Jon Wommack of Wommack Electric and PB&J Custom Lighting in Paso Robles, using reclaimed and leftover materials, including slate floor tiles, copper conduit from discarded refrigerators, among others. The glass used in the scones was hand-blown by Eric Dandurand of Harmony Glassworks. “The overall effect is very rustic-meets-modern,” says Wommack. “I’ve gotten much more into the artistic side of things in the past few years with a concentration on going green, using solar and LED whenever possible. I was allowed to have artistic freedom, collaborating with Eric, and the result is fantastic.”

In designing the restaurant’s interior, Chef Santos’ wife and partner, Carole MacDonal, said, “Our goal was to honor tradition while mixing it up with a fun and inviting ambiance. The reclaimed wood reflects our belief in sustainable and reusable goods, while the hand-blown glass sconces provide a modern, clean edge and demonstrate our commitment to local artisans.”

La Cosecha Restaurant is located at 835 12th Street, Suite A, in Paso Robles. Business hours are lunch Monday through Friday, 11:00-2:30pm, brunch Saturday and Sunday, 10-2:30pm, dinner Sunday through Thursday, 5-10pm, and dinner Friday and Saturday, 5-11pm with a late night menu 11pm-12am.  Please visit or call 805.237.0019 for more information.


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Favorite 4th of July dishes…with a twist!

Ah, Independence Day.  A day for fireworks, stars and stripes, and backyard barbecues.  At Parker Sanpei, we love a good 4th of July barbecue, especially if it’s done a bit unpredictably.  Here are some of the recipes that have us yearning to don aprons and stand over the grill (or the stove) this year.

Basil Gimlet

Sunset Magazine, April, 2009

Yield: Makes 2


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large bunch basil, coarsely chopped
  • Ice
  • 6 tablespoons gin
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • Basil sprigs, for garnish (optional)


1. Make basil syrup: In a large microwave-safe measuring cup, combine sugar, 3/4 cup water, and basil.

2. Microwave on high until sugar dissolves, 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Let basil steep in syrup 20 to 30 minutes, then strain (you’ll have enough syrup for 4 drinks).

4. Fill 2 highball glasses with ice. Into each glass, pour 3 tbsp. gin, 4 tbsp. basil syrup, and 2 tbsp. lime juice. Stir and serve, garnished with basil sprigs.

Tip: Add lemon juice and chilled water to the leftover syrup and serve over ice for basil lemonade.

Cuban Grilled Corn on the Cob with Queso Blanco & Lime

From the August 2003 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine

Servings: Serves 4



  • 4 ears corn in husks, silks removed
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup finely grated queso blanco
  • 1 lime , cut into quarters


In a large saucepan filled with salted boiling water, cook corn in husks for 8 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine chili powder, paprika and salt. On a medium grill or in a broiler, grill corn just until char marks are visible on husks. Remove and let cool. Pull back husks and rub corn with butter and sprinkle with cheese and paprika mixture. Serve with lime wedges.

Recommended ingredient: Queso blanco cheese is available at Latin markets or online at

Bacon-Wrapped Burger with Fried Pickles & Slaw

From Better Homes & Gardens (

Makes: 6 servings



  • 12 slices bacon
  • 6 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground coffee
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 pounds 80 percent lean ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce (Sriracha sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot (1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 6 sesame seed-topped hamburger buns, split and toasted
  • 1 recipe Fried Pickles (see below)


1. Line a microwave-safe plate with paper towels. Arrange six of the bacon slices in a single layer; cover with paper towels. Microwave on 100 percent power (high) for 1 to 2 minutes or until partially cooked. Drain on paper towels; cool. Transfer to a large resealable plastic bag. In a small bowl stir together brown sugar, coffee, and garlic powder. Add mixture to the bag. Seal bag; shake to coat bacon. Set aside. Repeat with remaining bacon and remaining brown sugar mixture.

2. Shape beef into six 3/4-inch-thick patties. Wrap two slices of coated bacon around the each patty; secure bacon ends together with wooden toothpicks. Cover and chill for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

3. For coleslaw, in a medium bowl whisk together vinegar, mayonnaise, sugar, chili sauce, and the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add cabbage, carrot, onion, and parsley, stirring to coat. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

4. Season patties with salt and pepper. For a charcoal grill, arrange medium-hot coals around a drip pan. Test for medium heat above pan. Place patties on grill rack over drip pan. Cover and grill for 16 to 18 minutes or until done (160 degrees F to 165 degrees F)* and bacon is crisp. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Adjust heat for indirect cooking. Cover and grill as above.)

5. Place burgers on bun bottoms. Top each patty with coleslaw and Fried Pickles. Add bun tops.

*Tip: The internal color of a burger is not a reliable doneness indicator. A beef, veal, lamb, or pork patty cooked to 160 degrees F is safe, regardless of color. To measure the doneness of a patty, insert an instant-read thermometer through the side of the patty to a depth of 2 to 3 inches.

Fried Pickles

Makes: 6 servings

Serving size: 3/4cup

Yield: 4-1/2 cups


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 3 cups sliced pickled vegetables, dill pickles, jalapeno peppers, pepperoncinis, or pitted green olives
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • peanut or vegetable oil for deep-frying


1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels; set aside. In a large resealable plastic bag combine flour, cornmeal, and pepper. Set aside.

2. Drain pickled vegetables and place in a medium bowl. Pour buttermilk over pickled vegetables, stirring to coat.

3. In a Dutch oven or large saucepan heat 2 inches oil over medium heat to 375 degrees F.

4. Place a handful of buttermilk-coated pickled vegetables into the flour mixture in bag; seal bag and shake to coat. Remove pickled vegetables, shaking off excess flour mixture. Using a slotted spoon, place vegetables in hot oil. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp and golden. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pickled vegetables to prepared baking sheet; keep warm, uncovered, in oven. Repeat with remaining pickled vegetables.

Southern Fried Chicken

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen (

4 servings



  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • About 1 cup hot red pepper sauce (recommended: Texas Pete)
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • House seasoning (see below)
  • 1 (1 to 2 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into pieces
  • Oil, for frying, preferably peanut oil


In a medium size bowl, beat the eggs with the water. Add enough hot sauce so the egg mixture is bright orange. In another bowl, combine the flour and pepper. Season the chicken with the house seasoning. Dip the seasoned chicken in the egg, and then coat well in the flour mixture. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F in a deep pot. Do not fill the pot more than 1/2 full with oil. Fry the chicken in the oil until brown and crisp. Dark meat takes longer then white meat. It should take dark meat about 13 to 14 minutes, white meat around 8 to 10 minutes.

House Seasoning:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Grilled Caesar Salad

By Sam Sifton.  Adapted from Alan Ashkinaze, Millesime, New York.
Originally published in New York Times, May 20, 2012


  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 4 anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  •  1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1 lime, juiced, approximately 2 tablespoons
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, tops and bottoms trimmed neatly, the heads cut lengthwise into quarters
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Make the Caesar dressing. Put the minced garlic into a medium bowl, and add the minced anchovies. Using a whisk, mix and mash these ingredients together until they form a paste. Add the egg yolks and the mustard, and begin to whisk them with the paste. Add a small stream of olive oil while continuing to whisk. Add more olive oil, whisking all the while, until the dressing begins to emulsify. Add the Worcestershire sauce, and continue to whisk until the dressing achieves a mayonnaise-like consistency. Add the red-wine vinegar, whisk to combine, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. Make the vinaigrette. Combine the lime zest, lime juice, balsamic vinegar and oil in another small bowl, and whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. Make the salad. Drizzle the olive oil over the quartered heads of lettuce. Lightly grill these over a low fire for 15 to 20 seconds on each side, until they have a light goldenness, and remove to a platter. Using a pastry brush or a small spoon, paint the Caesar dressing over the lettuce, making sure to get dressing between the leaves. Return lettuces to edges of grill, sprinkle with Parmesan and cover for 30 seconds to allow the cheese to soften and toast. Remove lettuce to a platter, and drizzle with lime vinaigrette. Serve two pieces each, alongside a steak.

Fig-and-Raspberry Cobbler

Southern Living, July, 2002

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings



  • 2 pounds fresh figs, stemmed and cut into fourths
  • 2 pounds fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts


Combine half of figs, half of raspberries, and next 6 ingredients in a saucepan, and cook, stirring occasionally, over low heat 40 minutes or until fig mixture is thickened. Stir in remaining figs and raspberries, and remove from heat. Remove and discard cinnamon sticks. Spoon half of fig mixture into a lightly greased 2-quart baking dish, reserving other half. Roll each piecrust into a 12-inch circle. Cut 1 piecrust into 1-inch strips; set aside. Place remaining piecrust on top of fig mixture in baking dish. Bake at 475° for 12 minutes. Spoon remaining fig mixture over baked crust; arrange reserved strips in a lattice design over filling. Bake 14 minutes or until golden.

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Our new favorite local spot for live music.


We at Parker Sanpei couldn’t be happier to see our friends at Vina Robles Winery opening a new, state-of-the-art concert venue in Paso Robles Wine Country.  Not only do they make elegant California wines with European style, they also know how to put on a good show!

vina robles elevation

The new amphitheater seats 3,300 people amid an oak grove, so it’s appropriate for large acts that attract a lot of attention like Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Hornsby, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.    These acts come to Paso Robles by way of San Francisco-based promoter, Prescient Entertainment, in partnership with AEG Live.  The venue’s concert schedule will run throughout the warmer months (think gorgeous, balmy Paso Robles evenings) May through November.  In addition to their wonderful wines, Vina Robles will also be offering a host of dining options for concertgoers.  The first show of this inaugural season?  The classic rock band YES, performing three records in their entirety on July 6 at 8pm.

Interested in getting tickets?  Check out

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A New Winemaker for Niner Wine Estates

Central Coast Native Patrick Muran Named Winemaker

Patrick Muran

Patrick Muran

We at Parker Sanpei were delighted to hear news that longtime champion of Niner Wine Estates, Patrick Muran, was recently named the brand’s Head Winemaker.

“Patrick has been a team member with Niner Wine Estates since its inception,” said owner, Richard Niner.  “His influence in winemaking style and technique has been instrumental in developing the brand from the early years at our previous custom crush facility, Orcutt Road Cellars.  With Patrick at the helm, the future for Niner Wine Estates looks brighter than ever. We couldn’t be more delighted to see him at the helm.”

Muran was raised in San Luis Obispo County and graduated with a degree in Microbiology at UC Santa Barbara before landing his first cellar job at Orcutt Road Cellars in California’s Edna Valley. There, Muran developed a deep appreciation for the art of winemaking, studying the craft under venerated French Winemaker, Christian Roguenant, among others.  Learning his way through an array of styles and grape varieties, Muran climbed the Orcutt Road Cellars hierarchy ultimately to oversee the winemaking process of nearly 20 brands including Niner Wine Estates, Baileyana, Tangent, Sanford, Carpe Diem, Rosenthal, Cinnabar, and David Bruce, among others.  Side-by-side with the winemakers for these brands, Muran absorbed their diverse methodologies and techniques to produce a wide spectrum of wines.

In 2007, Muran took the position of Head Winemaker for Santa Ynez producer Blackjack Winery, where his efforts centered on small-production Bordeaux, Syrah and Chardonnay, with opportunities to work in both vineyard and winemaking roles.

Muran joined Niner Wine Estates in 2009 as Assistant Winemaker, where he spearheaded the effort to equip the newly-constructed LEED-Certified facility and oversaw daily operations.  Over the course of four years, Muran contributed new winemaking strategies to further enhance the quality of wines produced by the estate.

Muran’s vision for the future of Niner Wine Estates is to create the highest quality estate wines in the most creative manner.  “We are uniquely positioned as a vertically integrated company to control every aspect of winemaking,” said Muran.

Niner Wine Estates owns and operates three estate vineyards: Bootjack Ranch, located on the east side of Paso Robles; Heart Hill Vineyard, located on the west; and Jespersen Vineyard located in the Edna Valley wine-growing region, just minutes southeast of San Luis Obispo. Both Bootjack Ranch and Heart Hill Vineyard are SIP Certified and the winery is working to gain accreditation for Jespersen Vineyard.

“By leveraging our unique and diverse vineyard holdings, we have the ability to produce some of the world’s most sought-after wines, all handcrafted with thought, intuition, and vision,” said Muran.

Bootjack Ranch is comprised of 148 vineyard acres, totaling ten different varieties of wine grapes, including Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Sangiovese. Heart Hill Vineyard spans 46 vineyard acres and is named for a large grove of oak trees that grow in the shape of a heart on one of its hillsides. With blocks planted in 2007 and 2010, a total of twelve Bordeaux and Rhône varieties are grown including Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Roussane, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Jespersen Vineyard encompasses 42 vineyard acres, planted primarily to Pinot Noir, but also produces other varieties that flourish in the cool climate of Edna Valley, such as Chardonnay, Albariño, Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache and Syrah.

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