Santa Maria Valley strawberries are a sweet complement to the sizzling and savory flavors of Santa Maria Style Barbecue, as well as a perfect treat for holiday entertaining.

On that note, we are excited to share the following delightful recipe for chocolate dipped strawberries, generously provided by Chef Alex Araizaga of the Historic Santa Maria Inn in downtown Santa Maria.

12 large Santa Maria strawberries
2 cups dark chocolate chunks or chips
1 cup dark chocolate shavings
1 cup white chocolate shavings
(chocolate shavings can be substituted with shredded coconut rainbow decorettes, nuts, etc.)

1. Boil a pot of water
2. Place a bowl inside, large enough to cover the opening of the pot
3. Place chocolate inside the bowl and melt
4. Once chocolate is melted, remove pot from heat
5. Leave the bowl covering the pot so chocolate will not cool
6. With your fingertips, grasp the star of the strawberry and dip into the chocolate
7. Roll dipped strawberry over chocolate shavings so that they attach to the chocolate dipping
8. Place on a pan layered with non-stick wax paper
9. Place inside refrigerator for 30 minutes

The Historic Santa Maria Inn was established in 1917 and still retains its classic turn-of-the-century charm. Once a legendary hub for the Hollywood elite—Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplain were among its famous guests—the Historic Santa Maria Inn remains steeped in the hospitality of a bygone era while boasting 164 guest rooms and 18 luxury suites with the latest amenities.

The Historic Santa Maria Inn recently completed a dramatic kitchen, restaurant and meeting space renovation and restoration project that took workers right down to the foundations built in 1917.  The inn’s 100-seat Garden Room restaurant dining area and three additional meeting rooms also underwent a complete renovation including new interior design and new uniforms for the wait staff. The restaurant menu was also enhanced to include lighter fare such as salads and sandwiches while retaining some beloved Santa Maria favorites, including classic Santa Maria Style BBQ.