Local chef finds inspiration at farmer’s market
At the Templeton Farmer’s Market with Chef Santos MacDonal
For Chef Santos MacDonal, owner of downtown Paso Robles establishments Il Cortile Ristorante and La Cosecha Bar + Restaurant, it doesn’t get any better than buying local at the various central coast farmer’s markets. Just one of his stops is the Saturday morning farmer’s market in Templeton.
“They know me, and I know them,” he said of the farmers and purveyors of bountiful produce, meats, poultry, grains and spices. “Coming here is the best way to decide what to cook. Everything’s so fresh.”
Chef Santos’ latest of-the-moment inspirations from the farmer’s market are a slow-roasted pork belly complemented with sliced fresh figs and fig honey, and crostini topped with ricotta cheese, fresh peaches and mint. “The figs, peaches and honey – all of it came from local producers,” he said.
Also on the menu recently was a fresh fig and almond tart, made with locally-sourced figs – a creation of chef Santos’ managing partner and wife, Carole MacDonal. “A lot of people don’t know what a great baker she is,” he said. Carole often bakes up goodies for the restaurants, something both staff and guests have come to enjoy.
Chef Santos enjoys the Saturday morning Templeton farmer’s market for the variety of ingredients offered, but he also favors the Monday afternoon market in Los Osos/Baywood. “It’s so beautiful there,” he said, “Such a nice place to buy.”
Il Cortile is located in downtown Paso Robles at 608 12th Street, and is one of downtown Paso Robles’ fine dining Italian restaurant. La Cosecha Restaurant serves up the flavors of Spain and Latin America. It is located at 835 12th Street, Paso Robles.