at RANCHO SAN JULIAN, LOMPOC, California.
Some years back, while I was cooking with Espanolita Foods and working at farmer’s markets in Los Angeles, I met many California growers. Amongst them, Elizabeth Poett. Her and her story fascinated me, and the family ranch which she decided to come back to, intrigued me beyond words. We had friends in common in Spain, and I felt her story resonated with me. She had been far and away, to realize coming back home was what she had been searching for. Since then, she had been dedicated making Rancho San Julian the best version of itself. She just launched a series of culinary adventures to share with guests, The Ranch Table that groups everything from jam making to cowboy style barbeques.
Back then, I convinced Anna Casanova, a Swedish photographer living in LA, to come along and capture the beauty of this place with me. We were blown away by the hills right north of Santa Barbara, and Anna did a great job translating the essence. But also finding the perfect light in between the trees and the grasses in the early autumn sun.
Little did I know that exactly 3 years later, Elizabeth and I would both be celebrating the end of summer in the ranch with a group of guests. The season’s end will bring incredibly juicy tomatoes grown here and in the area that will be perfect for the Gazpacho and my mom’s recipe. The bounty from the garden will make its way into the Paella pan, and I will cook under the vines while we sip wine, and hear stories about the ranch’s history. This land was granted to José de la Guerra in the 19th century. He was from Santander, like my father! all the details make the story so interesting to me. I hope you can make it, we get to connect, laugh and mingle with other food lovers like Elizabeth and myself.
Read more about the ranch here.
Photography by Anna Casanova