Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
-Leo Buscaglia

Cocktail Corner: Wine & Art Come Together to Support SlingShot Gallery

by lesliedinaberg on October 20, 2017

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic!  By Leslie Dinaberg

Wine and art are both close to my heart, so when the two of them come together to support a local nonprofit, it’s sure to be a magical evening!

In this case, Wine & Art, a fundraiser for SlingShot Art Forum, an Alpha Resource of Santa Barbara project, takes place on November 11, from 6-8:30 p.m. at the SlingShot Gallery, 220 W. Cannon Perdido St.

Hosted by acclaimed wine writer and TV personality Gabe Saglie, the event features delicious catering by Scott Wallace of SB Wine Dine Build and wine tasting from Grassini Family VineyardsThe Ojai Vineyard and Windrun Wines, as well as exclusive tastings from Willson Family Vineyard.

Willson Wine bottles of pinot noir, with labels by Slingshot Artists, available at the Wine & Art Fundraiser, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Willson Wine bottles of pinot noir, with labels by Slingshot Artists, available at the Wine & Art Fundraiser, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Based in Carpinteria, the pinots produced by the Willson Family are bottled with special labels from SlingShot artists—and all of the proceeds benefit the SlingShot art program. 

The Willson’s daughter Mylie was born with Down syndrome and received services from Alpha Resource of Santa Barbara, thus inspiring the family to produce their wines so generously, says Sue Dumm, Artist Representative/Community Liaison for SlingShot. In addition to being available for tasting and purchase at the Wine & Art fundraiser,  SlingShot is now part of First Thursday festivities in downtown Santa Barbara, where each month the public can come see and buy art on the walls, as well as taste and purchase Willson pinot, says Dumm.

Dumm gave me my first tour of the gallery for this story, but it definitely won’t be my last visit!

Another Willson Wine bottle of pinot noir, with label by a Slingshot Artist, available at the Wine & Art Fundraiser, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Another Willson Wine bottle of pinot noir, with label by a Slingshot Artist, available at the Wine & Art Fundraiser, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Just a few steps a way from our office at Santa Barbara SeasonsSlingShot is a working art studio and gallery which supports 34 different Santa Barbara artists. Since 1980, Alpha Resource Center has promoted artists with developmental disabilities through participation in gallery and juried art shows, and this gallery is an expansion of the art studio program.  Many of the artists are recognized for their talent and have developed dedicated collectors. SlingShot gives the artists greater visibility and access to the rich local art world. It also gives our community better access to their work. As a working studio, visitors are able to meet the artists and view the art as it is created.

According to the Mission Statement, “Alpha Resource Center is a multi-faceted service center providing support and information for families of children with developmental disabilities of all ages, teen and adult recreation, and life skills training for adults. Today Alpha serves over 2,200 families. Alpha also owns and operates three thrift stores which support our services.”

Tickets for the event are $50, can be purchased online at: http://alphasb.org/events/.

I hope to see you there! Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

 Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on October 20, 2017.

Local Dish: Pacale Beale Launches Les Légumes

by lesliedinaberg on October 16, 2017

From Les Légumes by Pascale Beale, photo by Media 27.

From Les Légumes by Pascale Beale, photo by Media 27.

Popular local chef and cookbook author Pascale Beale has a new book out, the third in the Market Table series (after Salade and Les Fruits) and this one is all about vegetables, titled Les Légumes: Vegetable Recipes from The Market Table.

Filled, as we’ve come to except from Chef Beale, with gorgeous photography and easy to follow recipes, the book can be purchased at  www.pascalekitchen.com, as well as in major retailers and book stores.

From Les Légumes by Pascale Beale, photo by Media 27.

From Les Légumes by Pascale Beale, photo by Media 27.

Some local events and signings are also scheduled, including the Les Légumes Book Launch Party on Thursday, November 2 at 6 p.m. at C’est Cheese (825 Santa Barbara St.),  where Beale will be signing copies and sampling a dish (or two) from the book. FREE.

Then on Saturday, November 4 from 12:30-3 p.m. she’ll have a Cooking Class, Book Signing & Tasting at Buttonwood Farm and Winery (1500 Alamo Pintado Rd., Solvang). Beale will be making dishes from Les Légumes and sharing the delights of cooking with participants. Each dish will be paired with one of Buttonwood’s fabulous wines. Cost: $50

On Thursday, November 16 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. is a Book Signing, Food and Tasting at Santa Barbara Gift Baskets (230 Magnolia Ave., Goleta). Join the owner of Santa Barbara Gift Baskets, Anne Paizier, for a special evening of delicious nibbles from Les Legumes, with a wine tasting and book signing too! FREE.

On Friday, November 17, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. is a Talk, Tasting & Book Signing at Casa Dumetz (388 Bell St., Los Alamos). FREE.

From Les Légumes by Pascale Beale, photo by Media 27.

From Les Légumes by Pascale Beale, photo by Media 27.

Porch (3823 Santa Claus Ln., Carpinteria) hosts a Book Signing & Tasting from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, November 18.  Join Beale and the team from Porch for their special TA DA holiday event. Beale will be sampling dishes from her new book, Les Légumes, as she signs copies for you! FREE.

On Sunday, November 19 from noon to 3 p.m. is a Book Signing & Tasting at Riverbench Winery (147 Anacapa St.). Beale returns to Riverbench Winery for an autmnal tasting at the winery. She will be signing copies of her latest book, Les Legumes, as well as offering a tastes from the book. Cost: $20.

On Saturday, November 25 from noon to 3 p.m. join Beale at Zaca Mesa Winery‘s (6905 Foxen Canyon Rd., Los Olivos) Thanksgiving Weekend Event for a book signing and tasting with the great tasting-room crew. FREE.

For more information and additional book-related events, visit pascaleskitchen.com.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on October 15, 2017.

Cocktail Corner: HEEET-ing It Up!

by lesliedinaberg on October 13, 2017

Tropical Heeet Cocktail, courtesy photo.

Tropical Heeet Cocktail, courtesy photo.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic!  By Leslie Dinaberg

Fall is officially here, and Pumpkin Spice isn’t the only flavor that’s HOT this season. There’s a new cinnamon vodka out called HEEET, which is terrific for sipping.

Heeet Vodka, courtesy photo.

Heeet Vodka, courtesy photo.

Think Fireball for grown-ups. Combining all natural ingredients with vodka and cinnamon is kind of brilliant idea, if you think about it.

Drink it straight up for a kick, combine it with tonic, or mix it with Coke for a spicy twist on an old favorite.

We also liked the Tropical Heeet.

Here’s the recipe, courtesy the HEEET folks:

  • 4oz Pineapple Juice 
  • 11/2 oz HEEET 
  • 1 oz Ginger Ale 
  • Splash of grenadine 
  • Garnish with a slice of pineapple

I liked it on the rocks, but it was also tasty straight up.

HEEET retails for $24.99, and available to purchase at https://www.merrygospirits.com.

Check it out and let us know what you think.

Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on October 13, 2017.

The Funk Zone Gets Even Artier with New Public Art Installations

by lesliedinaberg on October 12, 2017

Silver Spoon #125, The Import by Leslie Lewis Sigler, 123 Santa Barbara Street, courtesy photo.

Silver Spoon #125, The Import by Leslie Lewis Sigler, 123 Santa Barbara Street, courtesy photo.

By Leslie Dinaberg

The Arts Fund recently unveiled a handful of new projects for the Funk Zone Public Art Program, featuring new public works by Ken Bortolazzo, Chadillac Green, Ruth Ellen Hoag, Michael Irwin, Danny Meza, Leslie Lewis Sigler and Luis Velazquez. These works join existing projects by Chad Avery, Phoebe Brunner, Tofer Chin and R. Nelson Parrish. Each project is intended to be temporary and rotate every one-three years.

Maps are available at the Arts Fund Gallery (205-C Santa Barbara St.) to take a free, self-guided tour.

Artwork currently in the Funk Zone Public Art Program includes:

(Pictured at top) Silver Spoon #125, The Import by Leslie Lewis Sigler

123 Santa Barbara St.

Leslie Lewis Sigler is a still-life painter who explores the histories and lifespans of silver family heirlooms, their ability to reflect our own personal life stories and family histories, and the way they continue to connect us to one another. By composing portraits of these objects, she studies the character evident in their inherent design and ever-changing patina. Each singular object’s form, condition, and character transform an otherwise functional object into something rich with history and artistic beauty, with the power to reflect our own life stories and family histories in the process.

Thank you to The Squire Foundation for funding this project. Special thanks to PPG  Paints for materials and Max Torres and Manuel Unzueta for lending their time and expertise.

Hexad by Ken Bortolazzo, 116 Yanonali Street, courtesy photo.

Hexad by Ken Bortolazzo,
116 Yanonali St., courtesy photo.

Hexad by Ken Bortolazzo

116 Yanonali St.

“Hexad” is titled for the six identical interlocking pieces that make up the sculpture. Bortolazzo’s early passion for complex puzzles evolved through his interest in Minimalism, Op Art, and Kinetic sculpture. Having spent the last 30 years working almost exclusively with stainless steel, he has created two main bodies of work, his Optikinetics that he currently pursues and before that his puzzle series. These puzzle works involve interlocking geometric shapes that exploit the radiance of burnished steel. From his studio in Santa Barbara, Bortolazzo has developed a national reputation in contemporary sculpture.

The Arts Fund thanks its amazingly supportive board member Joanne Holderman for funding this project. Special thanks to Sullivan Goss and Allen Strubing for lending his time and expertise.

Totally Awesome by Chadillac Green, 132 Santa Barbara Street, courtesy photo.

Totally Awesome by Chadillac Green, 132 Santa Barbara St., courtesy photo.

Totally Awesome by Chadillac Green

132 Santa Barbara St.

“Totally Awesome” is inspired by Green’s memories of growing up in the 80s and early 90s, drawing from the work of Patrick Nagel and the motifs and imagery of daily life at the time. Green began his early days spray painting in the streets of Kansas, Missouri, and continues his love of creating as a “wizard of arts” through his work as a local tattoo artist, DJ, painter, and mural artist in Santa Barbara.

The Arts Fund thanks MichaelKate Interiors, the City of Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture for funding this project. Special thanks to Milpas Rentals for the equipment, PPG Paints for materials, and Martin Diaz and Shane Tuthill for lending their time and expertise.

 

East of Yesterday by Ruth Ellen Hoag, 10 East Yanonali Street, courtesy photo.

East of Yesterday by Ruth Ellen Hoag, 10 E. Yanonali St., courtesy photo.

East of Yesterday by Ruth Ellen Hoag

10 E. Yanonali St.

“I was given the challenge to depict the history of the Funk Zone through current day. Hours were spent combing through the Gledhill Library, talking to long-time residents and businesses in the area. Never the glamorous part of town, little visual information was available. It was warehouses, boats and fishermen, airplanes, surfboards, skateboards and artists. Today, it remains an area for craftsmen and artists, plus tourists, food, wine, beer and the beach. Little by little it all became visible to me, and I’ve painted it as I see it. We live in the moment, as those portrayed along the lower portion of the murals, unaware of those who came before, those who walked the same streets.” —Ruth Ellen Hoag

The Arts Fund thanks Yanonali Partners, LLC and Santa Barbara Beautiful for funding this project. Special thanks to Milpas Rentals for the equipment, Impact Hub for hosting, and Gregory Beeman, Manuel Unzueta and John Hood for lending their time and expertise.

Tengoku by Michael Irwin, 205 Santa Barbara Street, courtesy photo.

Tengoku by Michael Irwin, 205 Santa Barbara St., courtesy photo.

Tengoku by Michael Irwin

205 Santa Barbara St.

“‘Tengoku’ (Sky Country) is a combination of three of the many motifs that I’ve worked in. The atmospheric sky and clouds, the field, is from my meditational seascape series, the painted pole from my squeegee works and lastly, the tubular rectangular element is from my abstract illusionistic series.  The three components come together to create an intersection of whimsy and possibilities ~ hopefully optimistic and a portal accessible to all.” —Michael Irwin

This project was funded by The Arts Fund. The Arts Fund thanks to Art Essentials and PPG Paints for Materials, Milpas Rentals for the equipment and Max Torres and Shane Tuthill for lending their time and expertise.

Birds of a Feather by Luis Velazquez, 205 Santa Barbara Street, courtesy photo.

Birds of a Feather by Luis Velazquez, 205 Santa Barbara St., courtesy photo.

Birds of a Feather by Luis Velazquez

205 Santa Barbara St.

“I was born and raised in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. My mother is a seamstress and my father a farm worker. One of my earliest recollections, from when I was six years old, is that of gathering flower petals to extract their pigment and color the walls of my home. I often got into trouble with my mother for picking flowers from her plants and cutting down branches from our lemon trees to make slingshot frames to terrorize local birds. For this particular piece, I was inspired by the many caged birds my mother kept when I was growing up and one of my favorite places to visit: the colorful city of Guanajuato, Mexico. The artwork I create is a combination of recollections of my past mixed with my present experiences. Bright colors and raw materials are hallmarks of my childhood memories and culture. My daily life is filled with unexpected, spontaneous, and sometimes random events. My work reflects this in my choice of materials and subject matter, mainly inspired by nature and social issues.”  —Luis Velazquez

Dark Waves Covering My Eyes by Danny Meza, 219 Gray Avenue, courtesy photo.

Dark Waves Covering My Eyes by Danny Meza, 219 Gray Ave., courtesy photo.

Dark Waves Covering My Eyes by Danny Meza

219 Gray Ave.

“The best way I can describe this piece without talking about death is to say that this person is lost. Although it may be hard to see it, there is a person being caught in mysteriously dark waves, it wasn’t water, so it might not have been in the ocean. Sometimes as an artist, I don’t know what my paintings are about or always understand them but I always have a sense of what’s going on, like it’s telling me a story, fictional or non-fictional. In this case, what I see here is a person has no idea how they got there, so I imagine that they are frightened. As they look around to find out what’s going on, their insides start to glow bright like lights. The light from the left eye shines so bright it cuts a hole through a wave covering their eyes, finally being able to see that they are not going home after this.” —Danny Meza

This project was funded by The Arts Fund.

Previously Completed Projects

Long Days, Short Year by R. Nelson Parrish, 121 Santa Barbara Street, courtesy photo.

Long Days, Short Year by R. Nelson Parrish, 121 Santa Barbara St., courtesy photo.

Long Days, Short Year by R. Nelson Parrish

121 Santa Barbara St.

Long Days, Short Year is a translation of color, motion and the passion for the hustle. Inspired by Minimalist artists, Santa Barbara light and geography, and the history of national parks, the pieces pull threads from disparate dialogues to weave an abstract narrative designed to engage and inspire. The first of the artist’s career, the mural was created solely using Montana Cans spray paint, purposefully to connect and challenge the discourse surrounding “street art.”

The Arts Fund thanks Mesa Lane partners for funding this project and being early supporters of the program. Special thanks to Milpas Rentals for the equipment.

Hurry Home by Phoebe Brunner, 127 Gray Avenue, courtesy photo.

Hurry Home by Phoebe Brunner, 127 Gray Ave., courtesy photo.

Hurry Home by Phoebe Brunner

127 Gray Ave.

“My mural, Hurry Home, is a personal fairy tale. The little red house, perched atop a giant tree stump, springs out of a tequila plantation. Many years ago, I lived in Guadalajara. While driving to and from Santa Barbara, I’d pass through the little town of Tequila, in Jalisco, Mexico. The infinite rows upon rows of magical blue tequila plants have stayed in my imagination. The little house seems like the perfect place to enjoy the view.  So climb the ladder and Hurry Home. By creating an alternative view to traditional landscape painting, my re-conceived landscapes of the American West and the coast of California, simultaneously real and surreal, invite the viewer to experience our surroundings with a new perspective and to lose oneself in an environment of nature enhanced and unexpected. Through the interplay of light and space, unorthodox colors, patterns and movement, a symbolic narrative with a mystical presence arises. Primal emotions and instinctive, intuitive forces from within the human psyche are accessed through awareness of our natural world. Derived from, but not documentations of specific places, these views are “re-imaginings”. The viewer is led to wonder where these landscapes exist—with a longing to visit, and at the same time search in their own subconscious to find a personal location.” —Phoebe Brunner

The Arts Fund thanks Santa Barbara Beautiful for funding this project. Special thanks to Joseph Garred for being an early supporter of the program.

Shift No. 1 by Tofer Chin, 118 Gray Avenue, courtesy photo.

Shift No. 1 by Tofer Chin, 118 Gray Ave., courtesy photo.

Shift No. 1 by Tofer Chin

118 Gray Ave.

Los Angeles based artist Tofer Chin creates geometric paintings, sculptures, and photographs that interpret his observations of urban and natural landscapes. He investigates images and patterns in locations around the world and represents them as minimalist forms and patterns. In addition to his gallery-scale works, he also paints large outdoor murals around the world, as well as site specific sculptural installations.

Shift No. 1 is a continuous investigation of view through a keyhole perspective while shifting one’s view away from the familiar by opening up a new architectural dimension of color and emotion.” —Tofer Chin

The Arts Fund thanks Mesa Lane partners for funding this project and being early supporters of the program. Special thanks to Milpas Rentals for the equipment.

Variable Door Style by Chad Avery, 121 Helena Avenue, courtesy photo.

Variable Door Style by Chad Avery, 121 Helena Ave., courtesy photo.

Variable Door Style by Chad Avery

121 Helena Ave.

“Over millennia, the door has become an inescapable icon of the human condition, simultaneously welcoming and reticent, able to bring you in or take you out. The mere outline of a door can trigger a variety of impressions limited only by the number of viewers. We are free to go as far as our minds can take us, or to go nowhere. Accordingly, a abstraction does not end at physical and mental boundaries, but extends beyond these dimensions into the realm of infinite possibility. Abstraction is a gate, and what lies on the other side is for everyone to discover for themselves.”—Chad Avery

This project was funded by The Arts Fund.

Funk Zone Public Art Project Map

Funk Zone Public Art Project Map

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on October 11, 2017.

Local Lowdown: The Gathering Table at Ballard Inn

by lesliedinaberg on October 11, 2017

The Gathering Table at Ballard Inn, photo by Tenley Fohl Photography.

The Gathering Table at Ballard Inn, photo by Tenley Fohl Photography.

By Leslie Dinaberg

An artistic melding of Asian, French and California wine country cuisine, The Gathering Table at Ballard Inn features a delicious selection of seasonal locally sourced produce, seafood and meats.

Ballard Inn has always been highly regarded for its romantic ambiance and award-winning cuisine, but the new restaurant concept from Chef Budi Kazali, who has owned the property with his wife Chris since 2004, offers a much more fun, casual and inviting experience. Rather than a special-occasion place, it’s a welcoming spot to gather over incredible food that’s meant to be shared.

The Gathering Table's Local Black Cod with Miso Beurre Blanc, photo by Tenley Fohl Photography.

The Gathering Table’s Local Black Cod with Miso Beurre Blanc, photo by Tenley Fohl Photography.

We sampled a wide array of tasty dishes, including Hamachi made with avocado and soy-yuzu vinaigrette; sesame Caesar; Hope Ranch mussels with chorizo and garlic toast; pork & shrimp shumai and marinated hanger steak with spicy charred Brussels sprouts. 

The Gathering Table's Hamachi with Avocado & Soy-Yuzu Vinaigrette, photo by Tenley Fohl Photography.

The Gathering Table’s Hamachi with Avocado & Soy-Yuzu Vinaigrette, photo by Tenley Fohl Photography.

The Gathering Table is “meant to be a gathering place for locals and visitors, a fun and inviting place to gather over incredible food,” says Chris. Adds Budi, “The food is flavorful, seasonal and unique, and there’s truly something for everyone.”

The Gathering Table's Octopus Sashimi with Squid Ink Vinaigrette & Spicy Yuzu Aioli, photo by Tenley Fohl Photography.

The Gathering Table’s Octopus Sashimi with Squid Ink Vinaigrette & Spicy Yuzu Aioli, photo by Tenley Fohl Photography.

Built in 1985, Ballard Inn is located at 2436 Baseline Ave. (ballardinn.com) in historic Ballard, just 35 minutes north of Santa Barbara near Solvang.  

The Gathering Table's Grilled Filet Mignon with Maitake Mushrooms, photo by Tenley Fohl Photography.

The Gathering Table’s Grilled Filet Mignon with Maitake Mushrooms, photo by Tenley Fohl Photography.

Originally published in the Fall 2017 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.

Cocktail Corner: Santa Barbara Polo & Wine Festival

by lesliedinaberg on October 9, 2017

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic!  By Leslie Dinaberg

This weekend brings the first Santa Barbara Polo & Wine Festival to the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club on Saturday October 7. The festival combines polo, local wine, and music for a unique one-day experience. This unique, full day experience features two polo matches, great music and tastings from some of Santa Barbara’s finest wineries.

While not a requirement, organizers encourage attendees to dress as you would for a typical polo game—like the movie Pretty Woman, when they are at the polo match.

The famous "Pretty Women" polo match scene, courtesy photo.

The famous “Pretty Women” polo match scene, courtesy photo.

Musicial performances by LP, Nick Waterhouse, Durand Jones & the Indications, Vieux Farka Toure and Macy Gray are on the bill. The Festival also features local food and wineries, including local contemporary California cuisine by Barbareno, Empanadas by Buena Onda and Asian-inflected American plates from The Black Sheep. Local wineries  include Happy Canyon Vineyard, Sanford Winery, Standing Sun Wines, Summerland Winery, August Ridge Vineyards and more.

“After attending our first polo match in the summer of 2016, it immediately became clear to us that a combination of polo, wine, and music would create an amazing experience,” organizer Josh Elion says.  “It’s a way of bringing three aspects of a community together and introducing people to the game of polo, new local wineries, or incredible musicians.  … This is truly a celebration of Santa Barbara and Southern California living, held at one of the most gorgeous venues along the west coast.”

Courtesy Santa Barbara Polo & Wine Festival.

Courtesy Santa Barbara Polo & Wine Festival.

A dollar of every ticket sold will be donated to Notes For Notes, a nonprofit organization that designs, equips, and staffs after-school recording studios inside Boys and Girls Clubs, offering youth the opportunity to explore, create, and record music for free.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit sbpoloandwine.com.

Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

 Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on October 6, 2017.

Cocktail Corner: Bubblyfest

by lesliedinaberg on October 4, 2017

Bubblyfest takes place Oct. 5-8 in Avila Beach, courtesy photo.

Bubblyfest takes place Oct. 5-8 in Avila Beach, courtesy photo.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic!  By Leslie Dinaberg

Courtesy Bubblyfest.

Courtesy Bubblyfest.

If you’re looking for a fun weekend getaway, check out this weekend’s Bubblyfest in Avila Beach Oct. 5-8.

BUBBLYFEST 2017 is the fourth annual event featuring more than 60 sparkling wine and champagne producers from around the world there to top off glasses and share insights on the fine world of bubbles. Taking place at the Avila Beach Golf Resort, the weekend’s events include: 

Thursday Night: Dinner is slated to be a Fried Chicken & Champagne Dinner with Master Somm Chris Blanchard, one of the Top 200 Somms. Dinner includes four different Champagnes.

Friday Day: Early afternoon includes industry and connoisseur focused seminars with panelists such as Chris Blanchard, Clarissa Nagy of Riverbench, Tawnya Falkner of Le Grand Courtage and Sylvie Tannhauser of Domaine Carneros.

Friday Evening: The very popular “Corks and Cocktails” cocktail party at the Central Coast Aquarium. Attendees come ‘dressed to the nines’ in 1920’s attire, listen to jazz and sip cocktails made with sparkling wines.

Saturday: Grand Tasting will include tasting from 70 labels both international and domestic, as well as more educational panels that are consumer focused. Enjoy light appetizers with Sparkling Wine and Champagne tasting where over 60 wineries invite you to fall in love with their bubbly.  Learn from the experts in the Seminar Series, indulge in a Champagne Toast, and relax on one of the sun bed loungers and sofas.

Bubblyfest takes place Oct. 5-8 in Avila Beach, courtesy photo.

Bubblyfest takes place Oct. 5-8 in Avila Beach, courtesy photo.

The 2017 festival will feature wines of Alsace, J Vineyards, Gloria Ferrar, Voveti and 60 other top sparkling wine and champagne producers from around the world together in one place to mingle with “lovers of the bubbly.”

Tickets for BUBBLYFEST By The Sea include a souvenir glass for each participant, unlimited bubbly tastings, seminars and a variety of light hors d’oeuvres. VIP events will be available on a first come, first served basis. Avila Beach Golf Resort is located at 6464 Ana Bay Rd, Avila Beach.

For more information, visit: bubblyfest.com. Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on October 4, 2017.

 

 

 

Local Lowdown: Pico

by lesliedinaberg on October 3, 2017

Pico is located in the Los Alamos General Store, courtesy photo.

Pico is located in the Los Alamos General Store, courtesy photo.

By Leslie Dinaberg

Headquartered in the wee Western-style town of Los Alamos and sharing its 1880s vintage building with The Los Alamos General Store is PICO, a farm-to-table foodie destination that’s quickly building a buzz among diners up and down the coast.

Owners Will Henry and Kali Kopley, a husband and wife duo, chose the building because of its history and place in Los Alamos’s timeline. It continues to fulfill its original destiny as a mercantile through the retail portion of General Store, which includes a 2,000-bottle wine shop. The restaurant side of the business takes its name from historical figure Salomon Pico, an infamous local bandit said to have been part of the inspiration behind the legend of Zorro.

Housemade charcuterie from Pico, courtesy photo.

Housemade charcuterie from Pico, courtesy photo.

PICO’s seasonal menu is a tribute to the symbiotic farmer-restaurant relationship, using strictly in-season ingredients and primarily showcasing the bounty of Santa Ynez Valley. Dishes are created based on the food items at hand from local farmers and ranchers, all under the guidance of Chef Drew Terp.

Terp’s top-notch credentials include Michelin-starred kitchens from Napa (Auberge du Soleil) to New York City (Alain Ducasse at the Essex House, Masa and barMasa), Spain (under Chef Pedro Subijana at Akelare), Las Vegas (barMasa and Shaboo), Washington, D.C. (Jaleo) and most recently with the now-shuttered Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos. Terp makes all of his ingredients in-house—including the ketchup and mustard.

Pico's Seared Duck Breast, courtesy photo.

Pico’s Seared Duck Breast, courtesy photo.

PICO recently added a 2,000-square-foot outdoor area with additional seating, a fire pit, a chicken coop, bee hives and raised gardens, bringing the locally sourced menu even closer to home.

With the outdoor area, “the restaurant’s eggs come from right outside our back door; our bees will provide honey for our dishes and drinks, as well as our house-made condiments and provisions; and the garden will offer up home-grown herbs and produce, to supplement the fabulous ingredients that we receive from our local providers,” says Terp.

Current menu highlights include charcuterie (locally sourced meats, house-made by Terp) and cheese plates with delicious bread from the neighboring Bob’s Well Bread Bakery; starters like pork cannelloni with béchamel, manchego and asparagus with house-made bacon and a 63 degree egg, and mushroom salad with bacon and arugula; and entrées such as a juicy heart of rib eye, served sliced over crispy potatoes, cedar-wrapped halibut with morels, English peas and Meyer lemon or grilled local lamb loin with ratatouille mille feuille and polenta. 

Pico's creative menu features approachable Californian cuisine sourced from locally-farmed, seasonal ingredients, courtesy photo.

Pico’s creative menu features approachable Californian cuisine sourced from locally-farmed, seasonal ingredients, courtesy photo.

As for the wine, Will Henry is co-owner of Lumen Wines (with esteemed vintner Lane Tanner), and the list includes their labels, along with other gems. Definitely leave room for dessert, which includes house-made ice creams (also available from the mercantile) with mouth-watering flavors like dulce de leche, tarragon and granddaddy’s favorite (bourbon-Wild Turkey 101), the chef’s homage to his grandfather.

PICO at The Los Alamos General Store, 458 Bell St., Los Alamos, 805/344-1122, losalamosgeneralstore.com.

Originally published in the Fall 2017 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine

Felipe Molina

by lesliedinaberg on October 2, 2017

Artist Felipe Molina will have his work on view at Standing Sun Wines in Buellton from Sept. 30-Nov. 30. Courtesy photos.

Artist Felipe Molina will have his work on view at Standing Sun Wines in Buellton from Sept. 30-Nov. 30. Courtesy photos.

Wine and art make a great pairing when Standing Sun Wines presents new work by artist Felipe Molina, who was recently inducted into the Album Art Hall of Fame for his Counting Crows album covers. The exhibition opens on September 30 at Standing Sun Wines, 92 Second St., D, Buellton,  and remains on view through November 30. 

For more information, visit www.standingsunwines.com. 

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on September 29, 2017.

Hurry to Catch “Runaway” in Downtown Santa Barbara

by lesliedinaberg on September 27, 2017

Runaway, courtesy photo.

Runaway, created by Greg Corso and Molly Hunker, courtesy photo.

You’ve still got a few more days to catch “Runaway,” commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara and on loan to the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture, this exhibit is installed in the Historic Storke Placita (700 State St.), until September 30.

“Runaway” was created by Greg Corso and Molly Hunker of the award-winning design and architecture collaborative, SPORTS,  whose work is inspired by the line between everyday experiences and the unexpected with a lively dose of curiosity and playfulness.

Runaway, courtesy photo, was on view earlier at Stearns Wharf.

Runaway, created by Greg Corso and Molly Hunker, courtesy photo, was on view earlier this summer at Stearns Wharf.

The pop-up exhibit, which has been seen around town in various locations, responds to the vivid light and colorful skyscapes of Santa Barbara comprising three bright, building block parts configured in different orientations throughout the neighborhoods from which it is sited. The modular structure seeks to connect visitors to the natural landscape—and each other. By contributing bold, contemporary design to Santa Barbara, “Runaway” serves as an aesthetic catalyst and central meeting point for interactive contemporary art projects.

Leslie Dinaberg 

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on September 26, 2017.