Cocktail Corner: Santa Barbara Food and Wine Weekend

Santa Barbara Food and Wine Weekend, photo by Coast Photography.

Santa Barbara Food and Wine Weekend, photo by Coast Photography.

A Spirited Toast to All Things Alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg  

If your ideal weekend involves food, wine and philanthropy in a beautiful setting, then the 4th Annual Santa Barbara Food and Wine Weekend April 7-9 at the Bacara Resort & Spa is the spring event for you.

Sponsored by The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, this three-day weekend features a dazzling array of culinary celebrities and wine wunderkinds and pays tribute to the late Julia Child. Among the featured rock stars are wine pioneer Richard SanfordChef Nancy Silverton, and Child’s Great-Nephew, author Alex Prud’homme.

Some of the weekend highlights include:

Richard Sanford hosts a "Celebration of Santa Rita Hills" dinner as part of the Santa Barbara Food and Wine Weekend, courtesy photo.

Richard Sanford hosts a “Celebration of Santa Rita Hills” dinner as part of the Santa Barbara Food and Wine Weekend, courtesy photo.

“Celebration of the Santa Rita Hills” Dinner on Saturday, April 8 at 7 p.m.
This year’s Grand Dinner features wine pioneer Richard Sanford as the guide for a “Celebration of the Santa Rita Hills.” The evening traces the evolution of this unique Santa Barbara appellation, founded by Sanford, as eight wines from four Santa Rita Hills wineries will be paired with a special four-course menu created by Bacara’s Executive Chef Vincent Lesage.

Featured Wineries & Guests include hosts Thekla and Richard Sanford, along with Jeanette and Nick de Luca, from Alma Rosa Winery; Diana and Rick Longoria, from Longoria Winery; Sonja Magdevski and Greg Brewer, from Brewer Clifton and Diatom Wineries; and Justin Willett and Mandy Willett, from Tyler Winery.

Santa Barbara Vintners’ Wine Reception with Chef Nancy Silverton on Friday, April 7 at 7 p.m.
Join celebrated Los Angeles chef and multiple James Beard Award-winner, Nancy Silverton, and the Santa Barbara Vintners Association for a magical evening of tastes and sips. The Bacara’s ocean view Angel Oak restaurant makes a glorious setting for this extensive wine tasting reception featuring local wines and a specially curated menu by the talented Chef Silverton.

Scratch Kitchen's Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee will do a cooking demonstration as part of the Santa Barbara Food and Wine Weekend, courtesy photo.

Scratch Kitchen’s Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee will do a cooking demonstration as part of the Santa Barbara Food and Wine Weekend, courtesy photo.

Cooking Demonstration with Scratch Bar & Kitchen on Saturday, April 8 at 10:15 a.m.
Join the husband and wife duo behind the new Scratch Bar Montecito coming to Montecito Inn later this year, Executive Chefs and Owners Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee. Experience how their collaboration in the kitchen has inspired the menu for their award winning restaurant and sample a preview of their latest Santa Barbara installment. Philip was named “Best Young Chef in America” by San Pellegrino and holds the record with The Food Network for Most Consecutive Wins, beating out the competition on Chopped, Guy’s Grocery Games and Cutthroat Kitchen. A few of Margarita’s accolades include Zagat’s “30 Under 30” and being nominated for the Young Gun award.

Craft Brewer’s Garden on Saturday, April 8 at 2 p.m.

The Bacara’s lush Ocean Lawn hosts tastings of craft cider, mead, beer, kombucha, spirits and cocktails—all produced locally. With your tasting you’ll have the opportunity to meet the talented brewers and mixologists to discover what makes their delicious libations unique. In between sips, savor bites of the specially-made culinary pairings. To complete the experience, live music by Rent Party Blues will entertain and enchant.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, click here.

The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts mission is to honor and further Julia’s legacy, which centers on the importance of understanding where food comes from, what makes for good food, and the value of cooking.  Headquartered here in Santa Barbara, the Foundation is a nonprofit which makes grants to support research in culinary history, scholarships for professional culinary training, internships in food writing as well as professional development and food literacy programs.

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 March 31, 2017.

Cocktail Corner: Santa Barbara Wine Festival

"The Magnificent Seven" (left to right) Ken Brown, Bob Lundquist, Richard Sanford, Jim Clendenen, Drake Whitcraft, Doug Margerum, and Fred Brander - a veritable 'who's who' of Central Coast winemakers, will all be at this year's Santa Barbara Wine Festival again – for the 28th year. Photo by Joni Kelly.

“The Magnificent Seven” (left to right) Ken Brown, Bob Lundquist, Richard Sanford, Jim Clendenen, Drake Whitcraft, Doug Margerum, and Fred Brander – a veritable ‘who’s who’ of Central Coast winemakers, will all be at this year’s Santa Barbara Wine Festival again – for the 28th year. Photo by Joni Kelly.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg

The beautiful grounds of Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History are a wonderful spot to appreciate being out in nature, and what better way to enjoy a summer weekend than sipping wine underneath the oaks along Mission Creek? Especially when the proceeds go to support the work of the museum.

Santa Barbara Wine Festival, photo by Bob Dickey

Santa Barbara Wine Festival, photo by Bob Dickey

“Santa Barbara Wine Festival is a wine-focused festival,” says Festival Chair, Meridith Moore. Indeed, more than 50 wineries will be pouring at the museum, including some of our favorites like Santa Barbara Winery, Arthur Earl, Grassini, Kita Wines (Chumash Tribe), Palmina, Alma Rosa, Koehler, Au Bon Climat, Babcock, Sunstone, Fess Parker, Andrew Murray, Margerum, Jamie Slone, Beckmen and Whitcraft, to name just a few.

There are plenty of tasty bites at Santa Barbara Wine Festival as well. “We have a large array of top-shelf food purveyors, many of whom are especially paired with wineries that complement one another,” says Moore. “It is exciting because many of the winemakers and chefs are present and available for the guests to meet and discuss the qualities of their varietals and menu items–just another example of why this has become one of the most beloved wine festivals on the Central Coast and the one to attend.”

Scrumptious samples from local food purveyors will complement the wines poured at the Museum's annual event. Photo by Valentin Mendoza.

Scrumptious samples from local food purveyors will complement the wines poured at the Museum’s annual event. Photo by Valentin Mendoza.

Among the yummy items on the menu are: Braised Short Rib Meatballs (Michael’s Catering); Oyster Shooters (Brophy Bros.); Homemade Tamales (Santa Barbara Tamales To Go); Sage and Butternut Squash Raviolis (Ca Dario); Cheese Tastings from around the World (C’est Cheese); Hand-rolled Truffles (Jessica Foster Confections); and Mini Cupcakes (Coveted Cakery), to name a few.

Santa Barbara Wine Festival takes place at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (2559 Puesta de Sol, 805/682-4711, sbnature.org) on Saturday, June 27 from 2-5 p.m.

For more information and to purchase admission for the Santa Barbara Wine Festival, please visit sbnature.org/winefestival.

Hope to see you there. Cheers!

Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

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 Magazine on June 19. 2015.

Arthritis Foundation’s 33rd Annual Taste of the Town

Photo courtesy Arthritis Foundation's Taste of the Town

Photo courtesy Arthritis Foundation’s Taste of the Town

We got a preview last week of what’s in store for the 33rd annual Santa Barbara Taste of the Town, and there’s a lot to be excited about for this signature culinary event benefiting the Arthritis Foundation.

Taking place on Sunday, Sept. 7 at the picturesque Riviera Park Gardens, 2030 Alameda Padre Serra,  from noon-3 p.m., the fundraiser is expected to attract more than  1,000 guests for an afternoon of wine tasting and delicious nibbles presented from many of Santa Barbara’s finest restaurants and wineries.

Mingle and support a good cause over live entertainment overlooking the beautiful city below.

Opal Restaurant & Bar co-owners Tina Takaya and Richard Yates are co-chairs for the event. Some of the participating restaurants include: Aldo’s Italian Restaurant, Blue Tavern, Ca’ Dario, Fresco Café & Bakery, Il Fustino, Los Agaves, Los Arroyos Mexican Restaurant, Louie’s California Bistro, Michael’s Catering, New West Catering/Industrial Eats, Olivos del Mar, Opal Restaurant & Bar, Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro, Santa Barbara City College, The Chase Restaurant, The Faculty Club, The Palace Grill and Via Maestra 42, among others.

Wine, beer and beverages will be provide by: Adelaida, Alexander & Wayne/Arthur Earl, Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards (winemaker Richard Sanford is a special honoree), Au Bon Climat, Babcock Vineyards, Brander Vineyard, Brewer-Clifton, Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard, Carr Vineyards & Winery, Consilience Winery/Tre Anelli, Daniel Gehrs Wines, Falcone Family Vineyards, Fess Parker Winery, Fiddlehead Cellars, Figueroa Mountain Brewery, Foxen, Giessinger Winery, Grassini, Island Brewing Company, Jaffurs Wine Cellars, Ken Brown Wines, Kenneth Volk Vineyards, Lafond Winery and Vineyards, Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards/Toccata Wines, Margerum Wine CompanyMelville Vineyards & Winery, Mosby Winery, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Qupe, Sanford WinerySanta Barbara Winery, Scott Cellars, Silver Wines, Sort This Out Cellars, Starlane & Dierberg Vineyards/Three Saints, Sunstone Vineyards, Tolosa, Whitcraft Winery, William James Cellars and Zaca Mesa, among others.

Photo courtesy Arthritis Foundation's Taste of the Town

Photo courtesy Arthritis Foundation’s Taste of the Town

Kendall Viera, a 13-year-old middle school student from Santa Ynez has been named this year’s Youth Honoree. She was diagnosed at the age of 6 with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) and is currently in remission, thanks to medical advances. To see a video of Viera talking about why she supports the Arthritis Foundation click here.

Dr. Timothy Spiegel has been named the event’s Medical Honoree. Hel is a rheumatologist (arthritis specialist) in Santa Barbara that has been diagnosing and treating patients for almost 40 years. 

All proceeds from Taste of the Town support local programs and services of the Arthritis Foundation. The foundation is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of 53 million people (including nearly 300,000 children) with arthritis through research and local programs of education, advocacy and juvenile arthritis support.

Taste of the Town tickets purchased in advance are $125 per person; tickets at the door will be $140, if available, and corporate group discounts are also available. Tickets are limited, so early reservations are encouraged. For tickets and information call 805/463-4685 or visit tasteofthetownsantabarbara.org.

Sponsors and their guests will also enjoy the exclusive Connoisseurs’ Circle, co-chaired by Jennifer Jaqua and Jacques Habra. Celebrating its fifth year, this unique VIP experience will feature a progressive tasting menu designed and prepared by a visiting chef of distinction at Belmond El Encanto on Friday, Sept. 5, along with a live auction. Taste of the Town sponsorship opportunities are still available by contacting Asher Garfinkel at 805/563-4685.

–Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on July 31, 2014.