Local Dish: An Edible Tribute to Hanukkah

As my grandmother used to say, the best way to come to Hanukkah feast is to come hungry! That advice definitely still holds for next week’s special event, 8 Nights {an Edible Tribute to Hanukkah}.

Courtesy K'Syrah Catering & Events.

Courtesy K’Syrah Catering & Events.

This exclusive holiday food happening is hosted by Chef Brooke Stockwell, Executive Chef for K’Syrah Catering & Events (www.kscateringandevents.com). A contemporary culinary twist on traditional Jewish celebratory foods, the event takes place on Dec. 7 at K’Syrah Catering & Events (478 4th Place, Solvang) from 6:30-10 p.m. The ticketed evening includes six seated courses of Chef Brooke’s special Hanukkah menu, preceded by two passed appetizer courses.

“This holiday holds so many happy family memories for me, and most of those, food-related. These Hanukkah events give me a chance to honor those memories and traditions, and share them with the whole community—and visitors.

Courtesy K'Syrah Catering & Events.

Courtesy K’Syrah Catering & Events.

I’m using local and seasonal ingredients that showcase this region, to craft a Hanukkah menu which would be fairly recognizable as such,” says Chef Brooke.

Raised in Lompoc, Chef Brooke’s culinary style has evolved over the past dozen years as she has plied her trade in Santa Barbara and Las Vegas, in Morro Bay, and now, back in the Santa Ynez Valley. Chef Brooke’s culinary career began as a private chef at age 19, while she was still in culinary school in Santa Barbara. After working for celebrity chef Rick Moonen in Las Vegas, Chef Brooke returned to the Central Coast where she happily fed locals and tourists alike, as the Executive Chef of the Inn at Morro Bay. Now, upon her return to the Santa Ynez Valley, Chef Brooke became the Executive Chef of K’Syrah Catering & Events, where she continues to share her passion for food and the stories that coincide with the ingredients she selects.

Participating Jewish Santa Barbara County winemakers who will be featured include Sandra Newman, Cebada Wine; Michael Roth, Lo-Fi Wines; and Larry Schaffer, tercero wines. In addition, a portion of the event’s proceeds will support the Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community.

Courtesy K'Syrah Catering & Events.

Courtesy K’Syrah Catering & Events.

The “8 Nights” Menu for Friday, Dec. 7, with participating Jewish Winemakers, includes:

Tray Passed

1 — potato latke // house-cured salmon // black pepper crème fraîche // chives

2 — savory olive oil cake // cherry coulis // salted bay leaf Chantilly


3 — roasted beets // frisée // orange // honey vinaigrette // goat cheese crouton

4 — fritto misto // zucchini, winter squash, apple, fennel, lemon // sage brown butter // edible flowers

5 — savory kugel // kale, cipollini, broccolini, mushrooms // gruyere // challah bread crumbs // herbs

6 — grilled quail // parsnip latke // pomegranate // charoset

7 — smoked brisket // roasted apple sauce // grilled root vegetables // smoked Jerusalem artichoke cream // crispy taro root

8 — apple beignet // dulce de leche // sour cream ice milk // edible flowers

Tickets for the event are $85 per person, plus an onsite cash bar, and are available at 8-nights-edible-tribute-to-hanukkah.eventbrite.com.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on November 30, 2018.

Cocktail Corner: Meet the Winemakers of Los Alamos

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.