Kind words are jewels that live in the heart and soul and remain as blessed memories years after they have been spoken.
-Marvea Johnson

Cocktail Corner: Brunch at Finch & Fork

by lesliedinaberg on February 21, 2017

Finch & Fork Bloody Mary, courtesy photo.

Finch & Fork Bloody Mary, courtesy photo.

A Spirited Toast to All Things Alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg  

While nothing says “bloody good brunch” like a Bloody Mary, Finch & Fork bartender Joe Dohany has bumped it up a notch with some cocktails designed especially for day drinking.

New to the menu is Dohany’s Breakfast of Champions, a bold drink with bacon–washed bourbon, pecan syrup and peach bitters. He’s also added a Guava Margarita with jalapeño–infused tequila, guava and lime as well as the Stinger with cognac and crème de menthe.  

There’s always the brunch time favorite Bloody Mary, which has also been upgraded, while a variety of mimosas, like orange, grapefruit, cranberry and peach are still available refills for just $1.

Chef James Siao’s midmorning eats are also top notch. Pair the cocktails with Siao’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken, served with kale slaw, pickles and smoked honey mustard, the Roasted Pork Belly & Egg with poached eggs, smashed avocado, toasted bread, chipotle hollandaise and home fries, or the Caramelized Banana French Toast.

Brunch is served every Saturday and Sunday at Finch & Fork (31 W. Carrillo St.) from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Finchandforkrestaurant.com.

Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor ofSanta 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 February 17, 2017.

Dreaming Big: Congregation B’nai B’rith’s 90 Year Celebration

by lesliedinaberg on February 21, 2017

Images from Congregation B'nai B'rith Dreamers Ball. Photos by Leslie Dinaberg.

Images from Congregation B’nai B’rith Dreamers Ball. Photos by Leslie Dinaberg.

Honoring yesterday, today and tomorrow, supporters of Congregation B’nai B’rith (CBB) recently gathered at Bacara Resort & Spa in tribute to the founding families who had the vision to create the home for Santa Barbara’s Jewish community in 1927.

This festive, elegant celebration was packed to the gills with 450 guests to mark the 90th anniversary of Congregation B’nai B’rith, Santa Barbara’s largest Jewish synagogue, which now serves as the spiritual home to more than 800 families.

Dubbed the Dreamers Ball, the Marc Chagall-inspired gala was beautifully reflected in decorations and touches throughout the ballroom and live music by We the Folk (whose talented accordion player is David Childs, son of Shari and Cantor Mark Childs).

Also honored at the event was Cantor Childs, who has served the congregation for the past 25 years, touching thousands of lives in the process.

The Dreamers Ball was organized by co-chairwomen Hallie Avolio, board president Judi Koper, Liat Wasserman, Marcy Wimbish, Bethy Fineberg and executive director Elizabeth Gaynes. Ruth Hartzman and Adele Rosen were the honorary co-chairwomen.

An impressive tribute book detailed the congregation’s history and leadership and was filled with glowing personal tributes to Childs and congratulations on the 90th anniversary of Congregation B’nai B’rith. Included in the tribute are excerpts from local historian Erin Graffy’s upcoming book about the history of Jewish Santa Barbara.

“Right now, we are setting the stage for the next 100 years of our CBB communal life,” writes Rabbi Steve Cohen. “We are establishing patterns of congregational life which draw deeply upon the best of Jewish tradition and values, and which are vibrantly alive … full of humor, creativity, moral integrity, intellectual rigor and honesty … and connect us deeply to this place, Santa Barbara, a place of awesome natural beauty and resources, nestled between the ocean and the mountains.”

For more information about Congregation B’nai B’rith, visit http://cbbsb.org/.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 16, 2017.

SBIFF Variety Artisans Awards

by lesliedinaberg on February 6, 2017

 

Suicide Squad Hair and Makeup Artist Alessandro Bertolazzi is honored at the SBIFF Variety Artisans Awards on Feb. 6. Courtesy photo.

Suicide Squad Hair and Makeup Artist Alessandro Bertolazzi is honored at the SBIFF Variety Artisans Awards on Feb. 6. Courtesy photo.

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival‘s Variety Artisans Awards celebrates those essential to the filmmaking process and who have exhibited the most exciting and innovative work of the year in their respective fields. The Tribute evening takes place on Monday, February 6, at the Lobero Theatre and will be moderated by Variety’s Senior Vice President Awards Editor, Tim Gray.

The Variety Artisans Award will be presented to the following 2017 Oscar nominees:

Alessandro Bertolazzi for Makeup and Hair for the Warner Brothers film Suicide Squad, directed by David Ayer.  This marks Bertolazzi’s first Academy Award nomination.  His previous credits include Skyfall, Biutiful, and Babel.

Jess Gonchor, for Production Design in the Universal Pictures film Hail, Caesar! directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. Gonchor was previously nominated for an Academy Award for his work on True Grit, which was nominated for a total of 10 Academy Awards. Gonchor has worked with the Coen Brothers on each of their films since No Country For Old Men.

Oh Hail, Caesar from CityofIrving on Vimeo.

Justin Hurwitz, for original score in the Lionsgate musical La La Land, directed by Damien Chazelle. Hurwitz received both the Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice Award for Best Original Score for the film. He is a first time Oscar nominee this year.

Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul for Original Song “City of Stars” in the Lionsgate musical La La Land.  The song received both the Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice Award for Best Original Song this year.

Mary Zophres for Costume Designer in La La Land. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her work in the Coen Brother’s film True Grit. In 2016, she received the Key West Film Festival’s Career Achievement Award for costume design.

James Laxton for Cinematographer in A24’s Moonlight directed by Barry Jenkins. Laxton won the Los Angeles Film Critics,  New York Film Critics, and San Francisco Film Critics award for Best Cinematography for his work on the film.

Robert Legato for Visual Effects in the Disney live-action film The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau. Legato has won two Academy Awards (and has been nominated a total of four times) for his work on Titanic and Hugo.

Alan Murray for Sound Editing in the Warner Brothers film Sully, directed by Clint Eastwood.  He has been nominated for eight Academy Awards and won for his work on Eastwood’s films, American Sniper and Letters from Iwo Jima.

Kevin O’Connell for Sound Mixing in the Lionsgate Film Hacksaw Ridge, directed by Mel Gibson. This is his 21st Academy Award nomination for films that include Top Gun and Transformers.

Joe Walker for Editor in the Paramount Film Arrival, directed by Denis Villeneuve, for which he is nominated for an Oscar. Walker was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on 12 Years A Slave.  Arrival is his second collaboration with Villeneuve following last year’s critically-acclaimed Sicario, and they are currently working together on the upcoming Bladerunner.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit http://sbiff.org/product/variety-artisans-award/.

—Leslie Dinaberg

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

Cocktail Corner: In the Mood for Love

by lesliedinaberg on February 3, 2017

A special Valentines Day Cocktail from Finch & Fork, courtesy photo.

A special Valentines Day Cocktail from Finch & Fork, courtesy photo.

 

A Spirited Toast to All Things Alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg 

Love is in the air this month, with Valentine’s Day cocktail specials from some of our favorite mixologists. Want to get in the mood for Valentine’s Day?  Try Inconceivable! from Joe Dohany of Finch & Fork (31 W. Carrillo St. in the Canary Hotel).

“A beautiful and balanced cocktail with tequila, strawberry shrub, zucca, mezcal and soda water. It will be served in a coupe with a dehydrated strawberry on top just for Valentine’s Day.”

Kiss Me Stupid Champagne Cocktail courtesy S.Y. Kitchen.

Kiss Me Stupid Champagne Cocktail courtesy S.Y. Kitchen.

Also on tap this holiday season is a special “San Valentino Dinner” for romance at SY Kitchen (1110 Faraday St. in Santa Ynez),  as well as mixologist Alberto Battaglini’s “Kiss Me Stupid” Champagne Cocktail, “a seductive champagne cocktail of vacuum-infused strawberry juice with mint, aperol and gin, topped with champagne.”

Another favorite sipping spot, Santa Barbara Wine Collective (131 Anacapa St.) has some special tastings available for the holiday, available Feb. 10-14:

For bubble enthusiasts, Fess Parker’s ‘Fesstivity’ Sparkling Wine Flight features a Blanc de Blancs, a Brut Cuvee and a Blanc de Noirs.

Santa Barbara Wine Collective, courtesy photo

Santa Barbara Wine Collective, courtesy photo

For those that love Pinot Noir, a Pinot Noir Flight includes Ca’ Del Grevino Estate Pinot Noir, Fess Parker ‘Pommard’ Pinot Noir, Babcock ‘Slice of Heaven’ Pinot Noir and The Hilt ‘Vanguard’ Pinot Noir.

The ‘Red is for love’ Flight is perfect for red wine fans, with Fess Parker ‘Rodney’s’ Syrah, Babcock Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, Ca’ Del Grevino Dolcetto, Notary Public Cabernet Sauvignon and The Paring ‘Red” Bordeaux Blend.

On Sunday, February 12 only, the “Little Sweet One” Tasting Flight, including Ca’ Del Grevino Estate wines (Riesling, Pinot

Raspberry Beret, courtesy Les Marchands.

Raspberry Beret, courtesy Les Marchands.

Noir, Grenache, Dolcetto & Syrah) is paired with chocolates from Heart & Sugar Confections.

The sommelier team at Les Marchands (131 Anacapa St.) is also in the mood for St. Valentine to strike, with an original cocktail known for its aphrodisiac-like qualities—The Raspberry Beret—with Plymouth Gin, Crème De Framboise, Lemon Juice & Rose Water. 

“This cocktail’s scented flavors of rose petal, spice and tart raspberry make this a classy and flirty drink for the cocktail enthusiast.”

Sounds good to me. 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 February 3, 2017.

 

 

Cocktail Corner: Meet the Winemakers of Los Alamos

by lesliedinaberg on January 27, 2017

Mike Roth & Craig Winchester’s Lo-Fi 2014 Chenin Blanc are among the Los Alamos wines being poured at Bob's Well Bread Bakery on Feb. 4.

Mike Roth & Craig Winchester’s Lo-Fi 2014 Chenin Blanc are among the Los Alamos wines being poured at Bob’s Well Bread Bakery on Feb. 4. Courtesy photo.

A Spirited Toast to All Things Alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg 

Take a road trip to Los Alamos next weekend when Bob’s Well Bread Bakery presents Meet the Winemakers of Los Alamos on Saturday, February 4.

This popular monthly tasting series invites guests to come meet the people behind some of Los Alamos’ best known wineries, including Angela Osborne of A Tribute to Grace, Mike Roth and Craig Winchester of Lo-Fi Wines and Ryan Roark of the Roark Wine Company.

The following complimentary wines will be paired with Bob’s Well Bread Bakery foods (which are really delicious, by the way!):

  • Angela Osborne’s A Tribute to Grace 2015 Grenache & a Rosé of Grenache
  • Mike Roth & Craig Winchester’s Lo-Fi 2014 Chenin Blanc
  • Ryan Roark’s Roark Wine Company 2014 Malbec

Here’s a little background about the winemakers.

Photo courtesy of A Tribute to Grace / Angela and Grace.

Photo courtesy of A Tribute to Grace / Angela and Grace.

Angela Osborne of A Tribute to Grace is a New Zealand born winemaker who moved to California in 2006 with the dream of making Grenache. New Zealand’s climate is too cool to ripen the beautiful, sun-loving Grenache grape, so she searched the world and ended up in California where both sunshine and entrepreneurial spirit are abundant. In 2007 she sourced her first Grenache fruit 33 miles inland, nestled high above the Pacific Ocean, from the Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard. This high-desert vineyard provides the perfect balance of heat and light. Osborne named her label after her Grandmother Grace, and her most beloved attribute. A Tribute to Grace’s winemaking intention is to capture this spirit, and stay as close to nature as humanly possible. The trio is completed by the grape itself, which encapsulates grace.

Photo courtesy of Lo-Fi Wines.

Photo courtesy of Lo-Fi Wines.

Lo-Fi Wines is a partnership between two lifelong friends, Mike Roth and Craig Winchester, who believe in hand crafted honest wines that are made for every day drinking. Wines to be enjoyed not to be collected. Easy drinking, lower alcohol wines made to pair well with all types of foods, from pizza to paté. Lo-Fi believes in neutral barrels, native yeasts, little to no sulfur additions, and no adjustment of pH. They love whole cluster fermentation and carbonic maceration. Lo-Fi Wines embrace a nothing added, nothing taken away philosophy that gives birth to wines that are young, vibrant and alive. But in all reality, Lo-Fi is less about what it is and more about what it is not. It is not over manipulated. It is not over extracted. It is not over ripe and it is not over priced. Less is more.

Native Texan Ryan Roark of Roark Wine Company studied abroad in France,

  Photo courtesy of Roark Wine Company.

Photo courtesy of Roark Wine Company.

learning the ropes of grape growing and winemaking from a small family winery. The French family managed every aspect of the business from farming, to winemaking, to sales and marketing. After moving to Santa Barbara, he wound up in vineyard management and uncovered a jewel of Chenin Blanc grapes from vineyards planted in the 1960s. He purchased the grapes and made 60 cases at a friend’s winery. That small batch was Roark’s first step in becoming a winemaker. Patterning his approach after the French family, Roark is a one-man show farming his own land, picking the grapes, making the wine, hand bottling the wine and selling it by mail order. He relies on word of mouth. His adherence to simplicity extends to his facility, living in his winery; minimalism lets him cut all the extraneous costs, keeping his wine affordable. Roark Wine Company specializes in small batch winemaking showcasing variety, vintage and place letting the land and fruit speak for itself. 

Since its inception in 2014, locals, travelers and journalists alike have embraced Bob’s Well

Courtesy Bob's Well Bread Bakery.

Courtesy Bob’s Well Bread Bakery.

Bread artisan breads and bakery.Bob’s Well Bread is committed to products that are hand-made with only the finest ingredients and natural starters. No added preservatives will be found in any of their baked items, and they strive to source ingredients locally using farmers and growers who practice the purest growing initiatives. They allow their loaves to take their time, and practice old world European traditions and techniques to make the very best breads and baked goods possible. Their commitment to being “well bread” means doing good things, supporting the community and donating what they don’t sell to local food banks. These practices showcase Los Alamos and the Central Coast and have elevated the region to a respected culinary destination.

Meet the Winemakers of Los Alamos takes place on Saturday, February 4, from 1 – 3 p.m. at Bob’s WELL BREAD Bakery, 550 Bell St., Los Alamos, 805/344-3000

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 January 27, 2017.

 

Outpost Menu Highlights New Flavors for the New Year

by lesliedinaberg on January 27, 2017

Bao Buns at the Outpost, courtesy photo.

Bao Buns at the Outpost, courtesy photo.

The New Year brings a new menu to Outpost at the Goodland, where Chef Nick Bajal has added seasonal dishes to his already very tasty menu.

Start with one of the new starters, like the Plantain Empanada with pork carnitas, tomatillo broth, and queso fresco; or the Crispy Chicken Thighs with miso potato salad, Korean chili cucumber and grilled lime. Next, move on to larger plates, like the Acorn Squash with red quinoa, shaved heirloom carrot, ginger vinaigrette, crispy lotus root and pickled fresno chili; the Confit Duck Leg with coriander vinaigrette, greens, mirin roasted apples and parsnip; or Lamb with braised red cabbage, nori butter peas and crispy white sweet potato.

Outpost has also made some changes to the “Pick Three” smaller bites section, offering a variety of street tacos and bao-buns, like a Mushroom Bao-Bun with hoisin leeks, scallions and sesame seeds, and the Seafood Scrapple Bao-Bun with uni aioli and green onion.

Don’t miss dessert! New to the menu is a tasty Mexican Spiced Chocolate Pudding with salted caramel whipped cream and crispy sugar cookie.

Outpost at the Goodland is located at 5650 Calle Real, Goleta, www.outpostsb.com.

—Leslie Dinaberg

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

Poetry: William Stafford Community Reading

by lesliedinaberg on January 27, 2017

William Stafford, courtesy photo.

William Stafford, courtesy photo.

The 11th annual  William Stafford Community Reading takes place at the First Crossing Day Use Area on Paradise Road in Los Padres National Forest at 2 pm on Saturday, January 28.

“This year’s featured readers are Enid Osborn, Ron Alexander, and the inspiring student poets from the Los Prietos Boys Camp,” says organizer Paul J. Willis, former Santa Barbara Poet Laureate and Westmont College Professor of English. 

“There are always a couple of featured readers, but anyone in attendance is also welcome to read a Stafford poem aloud,” Willis says.

Since 2007, Willis has hosted the Los Prietos Stafford Readings, an annual community reading of the poems of William Stafford at the First Crossing Day Use Area on Paradise Road in Los Padres National Forest. This is the former site of the Los Prietos Civilian Public Service Camp, where Stafford served as a conscientious objector during World War II. The First Crossing Day Use Area does not have an address, but it is almost directly across the road from the Los Prietos Boys Camp, 3900 Paradise Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93105. (In case of rain, meet a mile down the road at the Los Prietos Ranger Station, 3505 Paradise Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93105.)

Also on the horizon at 7:30 pm on Thursday, February 16, the young adult novelist Sara Zarr will read and speak in Kerrwood Hall at Westmont College (955 La Paz Rd.).  Zarr is the author of six novels, the first of which, Story of a Girl, was nominated for the National Book Award.

Both of these readings are free and open to the public. 

—Leslie Dinaberg

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

Hold Hope | Obama in Santa Barbara, 2007

by lesliedinaberg on January 25, 2017

HOLD HOPE: Obama in Santa Barbara, 2007, by Patricia Houghton Clarke.

HOLD HOPE: Obama in Santa Barbara, 2007, by Patricia Houghton Clarke.

International award-winning photographer (and Santa Barbara Seasons contributor) Patricia Houghton Clarke presents never-before seen black and white images from Barack Obama’s campaign stop in Santa Barbara in 2007.

She says, “The photographs embody the President’s abiding power, grace, and most importantly, HOPE.”

There will be an opening reception from 4-7 p.m. on Jan. 28 at PATRICIA CLARKE STUDIO at the Palm Lofts (410 Palm Ave., Space A 18, Carpinteria). A closing reception will also be held in that same location on Feb. 25 from 2-4 p.m.

Barack Obama, 6, 2007, photo by Patricia Houghton Clarke.

Barack Obama, 6, 2007, photo by Patricia Houghton Clarke.

Proceeds from the sales of these images will benefit the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and may also be purchased online through February 25 at: http://patriciahoughtonclarke.com/section/334090_obama_in_santa_barbara_2007.html.

All events are free and open to the public. Studio hours are also available by appointment and groups are welcome. For more information, call 805/381-1758 or email pcphotog@gmail.com.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 24, 2017.

SBIFF is on the Way With Another Excellent Lineup

by lesliedinaberg on January 23, 2017

Here's the poster for the upcoming Santa Barbara International Film Festival feb. 1-11. It spotlights the historic Riviera Theatre which is the new home of the festival's year round activities. Lots of great things are in store for us this year. Photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Here’s the poster for the upcoming Santa Barbara International Film Festival feb. 1-11. It spotlights the historic Riviera Theatre which is the new home of the festival’s year round activities. Lots of great things are in store for us this year. Photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s almost time for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) to begin on February 1. At last week’s press conference, Executive Director Roger Durling revealed the poster (once again designed by local graphic artist Barbara Boros) as well as an impressive slate of programming, including films representing 50+ countries, 51 world premieres and 64 U.S. premieres, along with tributes with the year’s top Oscar-contending talent, panel discussions, and free community education and outreach programs.

To download the film program, click here.

SBIFF 2017 kicks off on February 1 at the historic Arlington Theatre with the World Premiere of the documentary film Charged (sponsored by UGG).

Directed by Phillip Baribeau, Charged chronicles the journey of chef and outdoorsman, Eduardo Garcia and his recovery after being electrocuted by 2400 volts of electricity miles from help in the Montana backcountry.  Garcia had his hand amputated, lost ribs, muscle mass and nearly his life, but more important than what he lost is what he found. Charged tells Eduardo’s remarkable journey from getting up off the forest floor to becoming the man he is today.

SBIFF features the U.S. Premiere of Heal the Living (Réparer les vivants), a French–Belgian drama directed by Katell Quillévéré and written by Quillévéré and Gilles Taurand. Starring Tahar Rahim (A Prophet, The Past, Grand Central, The Informant), Emmanuelle Seigner (Venus in Fur, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) and Anne Dorval (Mommy, Heartbeats). Three seemingly unrelated stories are masterfully woven together in this family medical drama. A French teenager takes a road trip to the sea with friends to go surfing; a woman learns her heart is failing; and the staff at a regional hospital struggles through another day of saving lives.

The Festival will close with the Lone Scherfig’s period comedy–drama Their Finest at the Arlington Theatre on February 11 in advance of the film’s March 24 stateside release. The Closing Night Film is sponsored by Winchester Mystery House.

The year is 1940, Britain. With the nation devastated by the war, the British ministry turns to propaganda films to boost morale at home. Realizing their films could use “a woman’s touch,” the ministry hires Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) as a scriptwriter in charge of writing the female dialogue. Although her artist husband looks down on her job, Catrin’s natural flair quickly gets her noticed by charming lead scriptwriter Buckley (Sam Claflin). Catrin and Buckley set out to make an epic feature film based on the Battle of Dunkirk starring pretentious fading movie star Ambrose Hilliard (Bill Nighy). As bombs are dropping all around them, Catrin, Buckley and their colorful cast and crew work furiously to make a film that will warm the hearts of the nation.

In addition to the wonderful films, SBIFF has become an important showcase for Academy–Award frontrunners, many of whom have arrived as nominees and gone on to win the Oscar. The 32nd Santa Barbara International Film Festival celebrates some of the year’s finest work in film.  The complete list of 2017 Honorees (in order of appearance) is:

  • Viola Davis will present Denzel Washington with the Maltin Modern Master Award, moderated by longtime friend and film historian Leonard Maltin on Thursday, February 2.
  • The Outstanding Performers of the Year Award sponsored by Belvedere Vodka will be awarded to Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. The tribute will be moderated by Roger Durling on Friday, February 3.
  • The Virtuosos Award presented by UGG, will be awarded to Aaron Taylor Johnson (Nocturnal Animals), Dev Patel (Lion), Janelle Monáe (Hidden Figures, Moonlight), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Ruth Negga (Loving), Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins) and Stephen McKinley Henderson (Fences) in recognition of the year’s emerging film artists. The evening will be moderated by Dave Karger on Saturday, February 4.
  • Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams will receive the Cinema Vanguard Award, moderated by Scott Feinberg, on Sunday, February 5.
  • The Variety Artisans Awards will take place on Monday, February 6 and will be moderated by Variety’s Sr. VP Awards Editor, Tim Gray. Honorees to be announced.
  • The Outstanding Director of the Year Award sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter will be Tuesday, February 7 and will be moderated by Pete Hammond. Honorees to be announced.
  • Isabelle Huppert will be presented with the Montecito Award on Wednesday, February 8, moderated by Anne Thompson.
  • Jeff Bridges will receive the American Riviera Award sponsored by Bella Vista Designs on Thursday, February 9, moderated by Scott Feinberg.

All tributes take place at the historic Arlington Theatre except the Variety Artisans Award, which will be at the Lobero Theatre.

 

The panel series begins on Saturday, February 4 with the “Movers and Shakers,” (Producers Panel), bringing together the industry’s most prolific producers to talk about current projects, hopes for the future of filmmaking, and insight into the creative process. Moderated by Glenn Whipp.

That same day proceeds with “It Starts With the Script” (Screenwriters Panel), bringing together top writers to discuss their craft. The panel will be moderated by Anne Thompson.

On Saturday, February 11, Creative Forces: Women in the Business (Women’s Panel), will be moderated by Madelyn Hammond.

All panels take place at the Lobero Theatre.

The 2017 Film Program addresses timely themes including a focus on environmental activism, feminism in the Middle East, efforts to thwart ISIS around the world including, Mali and Kurdistan, the fight for democracy in Ukraine and the global refugee crisis. In addition, some of the new highlights in the program include:

  • Nordic Cinema Competition: A diverse showcase of contemporary cinema From Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
  • Crime Scenes: An international selection of crime thrillers and neo-noirs filled with gritty underworlds and moral nihilists.
  • Documentary Shorts: Refugees: A program of short documentaries featuring compelling stories from refugees living in Malawi, Syria, West Africa, Greece, Sweden and the United States.

For more information and festival updates, visit sbiff.org.

—Leslie Dinaberg

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

Cocktail Corner: Beer is Good for You!

by lesliedinaberg on January 23, 2017

A Spirited Toast to All Things Alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg 

We can all use some good news these days, so here goes. There’s yet another good reason to say cheers to beer! A study recently came across my desk that there is new research indicating that drinking beer may be good for your health.

Researchers from Pennsylvania State University presented their findings in a poster presentation at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions in New Orleans in November. They followed more than 80,000 participants for six years and found that while HDL, or the so-called good cholesterol, declined over time, those who drank beer had a slower decrease in HDL, therefore a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases.

(This particular study was conducted in China, but previous studies suggest that other populations would experience a similar effect.)

 Some other findings:

  • Moderate drinkers (defined as 1-2 servings/day for men; 0.5-1.0 servings/day for women) had the slowest decline in good cholesterol.
  • Beer consumption had a positive effect on HDL levels even among heavy drinkers, but for hard liquor only light to moderate drinking was beneficial. (defined as 1 serving/day for men; sadly 0-0.4 servings/day for women).
  • Note: there were not enough wine drinkers represented in the study to test the effects on HDL.
  • These effects were still present when the analysis was restricted to people without diabetes, hypertension, obesity, fatty liver and elevated inflammation status.

In summary, now’s the time to resolve to drink more beer.

Want to get a tasty head start on your resolution to imbibe (for your health, of course!)? Why not plant yourself at The Garden at the Santa Barbara Public Market on Jan. 28 for a special beer pairing dinner with Allagash Brewing Company. It starts at 6 p.m. and reservations are required.

Here’s the four-course pairing menu designed to highlight some of the best beers that Allagash has to offer:

FIRST COURSE

AHI CRUDO SERVED WITH WATERMELON RADISH

PAIRED WITH ALLAGASH WHITE

SECOND COURSE

CHICKEN MOLE ON A CRISPY POLENTA CAKE

PAIRED WITH ALLAGASH HIBERNAL FLUXUS

THIRD COURSE

PORK TENDERLOIN REMOULADE STUFFED WITH BLACK CHERRY

PAIRED WTH ALLAGASH SIXTEEN COUNTIES

FOURTH COURSE

APPLE TART TATIN , APRICOT GLAZE WHIPPED CREAM

PAIRED WTH ALLAGASH JAMES BEAN

Tickets to this event are $49, which includes gratuity & tax. Tickets can be purchased here or by calling The Garden at 805/ 770-7700. 

Sounds pretty good, right! 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 January 20, 2017.