Last week we were treated to a day of excellent company during an enlightening tour of Corgi Castle, the slice of paradise where Girard Gourmet owner, Francois Goedhuys, grows the fruit and vegetables served at his establishment. There was more to this experience than great hospitality, though. Our afternoon culminated in a very special lunch cooked by our host’s good friend, Michel Stroot, a man who also happens to be the former Executive Chef at the ‘Golden Door’ for over 25 years, as well as a contributing chef for the Tomorrow Project.
Girard Gourmet’s slogan “From Our Garden to Your Plate” took on a whole new meaning yesterday. We were treated to a very special tour of ‘Corgi Castle’, the mountainside property where the cafe and deli’s fresh fruit and vegetables are grown.
It’s located just outside Julian, a historical district 60 miles away from La Jolla, up in the hills – I’m sure some of you have probably tried the apple cider or pies, which is worth the hour and twenty minute drive alone. Although getting there doesn’t take all day, it feels like you’re covering a vast distance purely because of how the landscape, roads and weather changes. The parched hills are marked with boulders and pine-oak trees, which is a far stretch from the palmy shores of San Diego. There are definitive seasons, too, which serve as another stark contrast to conditions on the coastline; summer is hot and bright (no June Gloom to speak of), while winter has been known to bring a few inches of snow each year.