Now Spinning: Meet Savannah Starr of San Luis Obispo's Haute Sugar Co.
San Luis Obispo’s Haute Sugar Co. has created a luxe spin on a carnival favorite, with owner Savannah Starr whipping up flavor-forward cotton candy concoctions from a chic wood-paneled cart. Adventurous palates can tackle spun-sugar puffs of wild strawberry and bourbon vanilla garnished with edible gold-dipped duck-fat frites coated in chocolate malted sea salt; tangy blood orange topped with crispy fried shallots and toasted pistachios and drizzled with chili oil, among others. With no formal training besides an informal apprenticeship under chef Brian Collins at Ember Restaurant in Arroyo Grande, Starr relied on instinct and his advice. “He taught me that every dish has two things: complementary flavors—umami, sweet, sour, salty and bitter—and an array of textures to complement the balance of flavors,” explains Starr. “So, when you have your first bite of Wakey Wakeyy Eggs and Bakeyyy, you taste the crisp cantaloupe-infused sugar that melts in your mouth, leaving the salt-cured duck eggs on the top of your tongue while you crunch on the crispy pan-fried prosciutto. And finally, the arugula micro-greens leave a refreshing taste.” Starr also stirs up fancy cotton candy cocktails and will travel to most Southern California destinations. If Starr and her cart aren’t in the game plan, Haute Sugar ships 16-ounce tubs of cotton candy, such as haute pink lemonade, haute honey luxe and haute bae brûlée, which make for killer parting favors.