California Dairy Tour – The Foodie Edition & The BEST Cheesecake EVER Recipe!!

If you missed Part 1, click here to read it.

Ok now, foodies.  I know this is what you’ve been waiting for.   Pictures of all the yummy food I was served, all using California dairy products.  Everything I ate was incredible, and I think eating the food is what really convinced me that products carrying that Real California seal really does make a difference – and that is coming from a Carolina girl!  

This is a food journal, I guess you can say, with a recipe at the very bottom for the BEST cheesecake ever that was given to me by Chef Robert West. When my colleagues and I bit into that cheesecake at the time, we all went silent and closed our eyes because it was so indulgent.  It was that good.

Ok, let’s take a photographic food journey here.  You can find the descriptions under the photo if you want to try and recreate something yourself. But remember, you’ve gotta look for that California seal on the products you buy – it’s surprising what a difference it makes!!  

Oh – you might want to prepare yourself with some extra absorbent paper towels first though – you know, to catch the drool. 

Panzanella Bellwether Farms Crescenza, Arugula, Vine Ripened Tomatoes, Cucumber, Olives, Red Onion, Crusty Bread,  & Balsamic Vinaigrette


Saffron Risotto AranciniPoint Reyes Toma, Lemon Artichoke Aioli

Pan Seared Alaskan HalibutThai Curry Spaetzle, Glazed Carrots, Ruby Hill Reserve Chardonnay California Beurre Blanc



Sea Salt & Herb Crusted All-Natural Prime RibHorseradish mashed potatoes, Terra Bella Family Farms Seasonal Vegetables, Ruby Hill Elevato California Compound Butter


Portobella Stack Grilled Zucchini, Galbani Mozzarella, Asparagus, Cherry Tomatoes


White Chocolate & Ruby Hill Bella Gemma Port Mousse


Brick Oven FlatbreadWild Mushroom Medley, Sauteed Leeks, Smoked Tomato California Creme Fraiche, Fiscalini Farms Lionza


Arugula Salad with Baby Artichokes & Strawberries Herbed California Buttermilk Dressing, Fiscalini Farms San Joaquin Gold Tuile


California Yogurt Free-Range Chicken BreastPotato Cream Gratin, Fiscalini Farms Scamorza


From left to right: LumpiaChicken, Joseph Farms Pepper Jack, Shiitake Mushrooms, Sweet Chile Sauce
Chicken SkewersSaffron Marinade, Coconut Peanut Sauce
Stuffed MushroomsRouge et Noir Brie, Spinach, White Truffle Oil
Beet SaladDon Francisco Queso Fresco, Arugula, Toasted Hazelnuts, Green Beans, Champagne Vinaigrette

Almond Crusted Salmon Leek California Cream Sauce, Israeli Pearl Cous Cous, Green Beans



Capellini PomodoroAlta Cucina Tomatoes, Garlic Basil, Fiscalini Mozzarella, Sciabici Olive Oil


Grilled RibeyeBrandy Peppercorn California Cream Sauce, Creamy Polenta, Sauteed Spinach


Baked AlaskaCalifornia Strawberry & Coconut Ice Cream, Sponge Cake, Meringue, E & J Caramel Sauce


Fresh Fruit Crisp with California Vanilla Ice Cream

Yeah, I’ll never eat that good again.  -wink-   And, I probably should have brought some elastic pants with me too.  😉

Ok, now that cheesecake I was telling you about.  Chef Robert West made this for us while we had lunch at the Fiscalini’s house.  I do not even have the words to tell how incredibly delicious this was.  Oh my word.  Ya’ll are just going to have to make it because honestly – it would be a tragedy for you to go on in life without savoring this decadent concoction.  So, huge thanks going out to Chef Robert West for sharing this recipe with me, so that I could share it with ya’ll.  

California Dairy Tour – The Foodie Edition & The BEST Cheesecake EVER Recipe!!


  • For the Crust:
  • 2 ½ cups toasted almonds
  • ¼ cup superfine sugar
  • ¼ cup butter melted
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 ½ pound crème cheese softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 T vanilla can sub vanilla bean
  • 3 eggs
  • For the Topping:
  • ½ cup crème fraiche
  • 1 t sugar
  • Equipment needed: Equipment needed: 9” springform pan heavy duty foil, heavy bottomed baking pan


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Crust: In a food processor grind the almonds and sugar together, stir in melted butter, cool. Using your fingers, pack the mixture into the pan and bake for about 3-4 minutes; or until edges start to brown.
  • Filling: In a mixer whip the cream cheese and sugar until incorporated. While mixer is on low, add eggs one at a time and keep blending until all eggs are mixed in. Add vanilla. Set aside.
  • While pan is cooling wrap bottom of springform pan with foil coming up the sides all the way. You might need to use 2-3 sheets.
  • · This is to ensure that water from the water bath does not leak into the cheesecake. The reason for the waterbath is to make sure the bottom of cheesecake does not burn.
  • Pour mixture into pan and using a flat spatula, spread evenly. Place in baking pan and fill pan to about half the springform pan with water. Bake in oven until slightly browned, about 1 hour.