Photography: West Marin Food and Farm Tours/Facebook

West Marin Food & Farm Tours give you an insider’s look into one of California’s bountiful regions.

Elizabeth Ann Hill is a certified natural chef, but that’s probably not the reason she’ll feel like your new best friend when you follow her hospitable lead through the fertile West Marin, an unusually bounteous and beautiful rural region just north of California’s Golden Gate in Marin County. She knows the place like the fourth-generation local she is, and she shares that insider knowledge with visitors through her deliciously informative West Marin Food & Farm Tours.

There are 40 farms and food producers in the area, and West Marin Food & Farm Tours connects people to that rich gamut of local seasonal — and largely organic and sustainable — food. A handful of choices: cheese tasting at Cowgirl Creamery, oyster tasting at Hog Island Oyster Company, and grass-fed burger tasting at Marin Sun Farms. There are wine tastings and bakery tours, too.

“For a first-time visitor, I would recommend the Flavors of West Marin Tour,” Hill says. “It offers a good variety. We visit several different food producers: cheese-maker, winemaker, bread baker, oyster farm, vegetable farm, and grass-fed beef farm. You get to experience the whole breadth and diversity of the food in the area. It’s our most popular tour. Lots of people come back for the cheese or oyster tour to go into more depth.”

You can also tailor your own adventure with the custom-tour option.

Whatever you choose, your taste buds will thank you because Hill is an eater and a host after our own hearts. She caps the burger-tasting tour with dessert, and not just any sweet: “There’s a local company that makes gelato from candy cap mushrooms, which grow wild and are locally foraged. They taste like maple syrup.”

Photography: Courtesy West Marin Food and Farm Tours

Till you can get there yourself to experience the bounty of West Marin firsthand, Hill’s got something to tide you over: her grandmother’s famous huckleberry tarts. “My grandparents started coming to Inverness [near Point Reyes in West Marin] from their home in Berkeley in the 1800s. They really got into the huckleberries and would send all us kids into the forest to pick them and keep us occupied.”

Hill has shared her grandmother’s huckleberry tart recipe with C&I. You can find it here.

Like we said, new best foodie friend.

From the October 2017 Taste of the West issue.


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