Last year was a big one for California’s Barbecue Capital, and 2010 is set to sizzle as well.

In February, we launched this blog, the Official Santa Maria Style Barbecue Blog, brought to you by the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce. Sixty posts later, we’re turning the corner into the new year.

The year saw the introduction of the DineOut: Santa Maria Style dining promotion, which was a big success, and which will return in 2010.

Famed food blogger Chef John of Food Wishes came to town for a master class in Santa Maria Style Barbecue, as did California Country Television. The Far Western Tavern was named as one of Sunset Magazine’s Top 10 barbecue restaurants, which was a real coup for Santa Maria Style Barbecue. We also saw a Santa Maria Valley wine named to the very top of two Top 100 lists by noted wine publications.

The year also brought the first annual Wild West BBQ Bash, which was a smashing success. Look for it to return in July. The Santa Maria Valley Wine Country, meanwhile, launched its free monthly Santa Maria Valley Vineyard Walks. Look for the walks to return this spring.

Legendary Santa Maria BBQ landmark The Hitching Post launched a line of mail-order Santa Maria Style BBQ meals, and Susie Q’s Brand continued to spread the flavors of Santa Maria Style Barbecue far and wide.

On a cultural note, the Santa Maria Valley’s PCPA Theaterfest earned notable awards from Stage Scene L. A, and the Dunes Center in Guadalupe shined in the spotlight as well.

We expect equally delicious things in 2010 as well, so please stay tuned to the Official Santa Maria Style Barbecue Blog for the latest news and events from California’s Barbecue Capital. Salut!