18th Annual Signature Fundraising Event
Taste for a Cure
Friday, April 26, 2013
Beverly Wilshire Hotel
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Hitching Post II
Frank Ostini grew up in and around the Casmalia Hitching Post, his family's steakhouse in central California since 1952. Specializing in traditional wood fire barbecue, Frank has expanded his menu to cook most anything over the embers at his Hitching Post II restaurant in Buellton, California. With high acclaim from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Gourmet and Sunset magazines and enthusiastic support from Chefs Wolfgang Puck and Bobby Flay, Frank has become the regional spokesman for what is popularly known as "Santa Maria Style BBQ", a feast that features meats grilled over a red oak fire.
Since 1984 Frank Ostini, with partner Gray Hartley, has also made Hitching Post Wines, specializing in Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir. Frank has recently received widespread international attention since his Hitching Post II and Hitching Post Pinot Noirs were featured in the Academy Award® winning film Sideways. The winery has 800 barrels and produces about 15,000 cases a year. “When we started to make wine I had one purpose” says Frank. “To get good wine on my family restaurant’s table- wine that I produced. Doing the food and wine is all I ever wanted to do, and it’s still all I ever really want to do”.
Ostini’s Hitching Post II along with the original Hitching Post I Restaurant was honored with the Beef Backer Award from the California Beef Council in 2008 and the National Foodservice Beef Backer Award in 2010. The Hitching Post II was recently featured as a favorite by Food Network star, Cat Cora, in the network’s Best Thing I Ever Ate, showcasing the restaurant’s famous burger. Ostini appears annually as guest chef at the Alisal Ranch for BBQ Bootcamp where he teaches and speaks about the Hitching Post II history and its techniques of traditional Santa Maria BBQ.
Ostini lives near the restaurant in Buellton with wife, Jami and his two children. In 2012 he was named president of the Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation, the charitable umbrella under which the Santa Barbara County Vintners' Association conducts its philanthropic work. When not in the restaurant or working in the winery, Frank is out promoting “Santa Maria Style BBQ” and Santa Barbara County Wines at charity events across the country.