The coastal town of Cambria lies about 6 miles south of San Simeon, midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Though the village is small, it has a host of attractions to keep vacationers occupied, including 30 art galleries in the charming downtown area, beachfront boardwalks at Moonstone Beach, and a cast of hulking seals at the elephant-seal rookery.Just a few miles away lies the famed Hearst Castle, the enormous, European-style palace built by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. The building took more than 25 years to complete and houses more than 100 elaborate rooms and an astounding collection of Spanish and Italian art and antiques. Numerous tours crisscross the 127-acre estate throughout the day, acquainting visitors with the grand rooms, cottages, kitchens, and fitness room wallpapered with Hearst's collection of Family Circle comic strips.
Chef Giancarlo Cucumo grew up amid the "lean cuisine" of Bari, Italy, where he learned to cook fresh seafood, chop veggies, and drizzle olive oil at a young age. When Giancarlo arrived in Morro Bay after a long, globe-trotting culinary career, it was like returning to the climate of his homeland, right down to the ample fishing and fresh produce. It proved the perfect locale for Giancarlo's Ristorante Italiano Mediterraneo.
That Mediterranean background can be tasted throughout Giancarlo's menu: ravioli stuffed with sea bass and smothered in a brandy-tomato cream sauce; racks of lamb encrusted with herb-honey and roasted over an oak-wood fire, pizzas crispy from a stint inside a wood-burning oven. The dessert lineup, meanwhile, is dominated by cheesecakes, pastries, and gelato. The restaurant's open-kitchen layout also adds a touch of culinary theatre to the meal.
Helmed by photo instructor Hal “Bull” Schmitt, Light Photographic Workshops simplify Adobe programs with single-day, eight-hour sessions designed to turn Photoshop neophytes into pic-enhancing masters. The course will delve into Lightroom’s powerful, easy-to-use sliders, tools, and basic editing functions for removing apparitional pic crashers. Though not required, students are welcome to bring their Lightroom 3–equipped laptop to the class to follow along with the lesson plan or a notepad and quill pen to take notes. Upon completing the course, each student takes home an instructional DVD with more than 8 hours of material for multimedia reminders of the class’s subject matter and a 40 percent discount on their first fine art, photo, or fine-art gallery canvas wrap print order through Light Workshops. Students are encouraged to bring either a bagged lunch or lunch money to save personal computers and fellow students from accidental ingestions.