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Monday, March 17, 2008 

Another cookbook added to my collection

Beautiful Breads and Fabulous Fillings brought to us by a "local" foodie/former restauranteur from San Luis Obispo (and a little Oprah inspiration...)
Two and a half years ago, Margaux Sky opened the Art Café and Bakery in San Luis Obispo, California. Her specialty: delicious sandwiches on homemade bread. While business had been steady, she was barely making ends meet. This summer, she decided to sell her café.

Her last to-go order happened to be for Oprah, who was in the area to meet with Tim Bennett, the president of Harpo Productions and Margaux's brother-in-law. Oprah took one bite of Margaux's Curried Chicken Sandwich and was floored.

Margaux was to sign the papers to sell the café at 9 a.m. the next morning—at 8 a.m. she got a call saying that Oprah was going to help out to keep the business open. "I thought, anybody this good can't be closed down," Oprah says. "So I sent Margaux a check, and now she's back in business and cooking like crazy!" - Oprah.com
Margaux eventually did sell the Cafe....The cafe has new owners, Donna and Jayme Nozzi, and the place is growing in leaps and "buns", but one thing still remains on the menu...the "O" sandwich.

The Art Café has had a constant buzz around it ever since Oprah Winfrey called the shop’s curried chicken sandwich the best sandwich she had ever tasted in 2004.

Owners Donna and Jayme Nozzi say they continue to get daily visitors from around the world who are curious about the quirky San Luis Obispo eatery and its signature menu items. The Arroyo Grande couple purchased the cafe from original owner Margaux Sky, who has since released her own cookbook and continues to pursue other culinary ventures.

...Today’s menu pays tribute to its Oprah fame by now calling the curried chicken sandwich the "O." Tribune staffer Sally Buffalo opted for the "O" ($8.95) to see if it is worth the hype.

Served on grilled white pepper Jack bread, it’s filled with curried chicken, sliced almonds, shredded carrots, diced tomatoes and spring greens. The delectable sandwich was overstuffed, forcing Sally to use a fork and knife — something she didn’t anticipate when I told her we were visiting a sandwich shop. - SanLuisObispo.com

They get new customers daily who come to try Oprah’s favorite sandwich, she said. Last weekend, a couple from Italy came in to enjoy the famous chicken curry sandwich. The cafe has also been written about in the Lonely Planet travel book, which brings in curious travelers.

The cafe has expanded its offerings to include “allergy-free” baked good and breads. The products are free of dairy, nuts and gluten, and have brought in many local patrons with food allergies.

“I have people who have not been able to eat a sandwich in a restaurant in 10 years, and now they can come here,” she said. “It’s really rewarding.”

Nozzi is travelling to Chicago in mid-March as part of Country Living magazine’s search to find the top women entrepreneurs of 2008. - SanLuisObispo.com


Some of the unusual breads found in this book....Lavender Mint Love Bread, Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Bread, Spicy White Pepper Jack Bread (upon which the O sandwich is built upon), Concord Grape Bread and Maple Merlot Bread. There are of course, the sandwiches, but also some soups to accompany these masterpieces.

Speaking of breads, cakespy battles some Irish Soda Bread just in time for St. Patrick's Day!

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Hi Jill,

I'm so glad you enjoyed the sandwich and my cookbook!

The "O Special" or "The Oprah Sandwich" was not given its name by the cafe's current owner Donna Nozzi. It wasn't even named by me! When the public heard about Oprah's love of my food, they literally came into the cafe asking if they could get the "O Special" or "The Oprah Sandwich". To give credit where it is due, the public actually named the sandwich after Oprah.

I'm working on my second cookbook now which is quite a bit different from the first but will be every bit as delicious and colorful.

Thanks, Jill! I hope you enjoy the book!

Warm regards,

Margaux Sky

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