Dream Foundation Summer Dream Fashion Show

Aqualillies entertain at Dream Foundation's Summer Dream Event, photo by Lorraine A. DarConte.

Aqualillies entertain at Dream Foundation’s Summer Dream Event, photo by Lorraine A. DarConte.

Dream Foundation—the Santa Barbara-based nonprofit is the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults—recently hosted its third annual Summer Dream fundraiser to benefit Dreamers ages 18 to 40. The stylish event included a fashion show, with designs from A Tropical Affair, Calypso St. Barth, K. Frank, Lolë, Miller’s Oath, UGG and local designers Catherine Gee and Danielle Rocha of Rocha Swim.

A model at Dream Foundation's Summer Dream Event, photo by Lorraine A. DarConte.

A model at Dream Foundation’s Summer Dream Event, photo by Lorraine A. DarConte.

“Summer Dream is the perfect opportunity to introduce and educate our local community about Dream Foundation’s mission, what the future holds, and about the diverse Dreamers and Dreams that the organization serves,” says Dream Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer Kisa Heyer. “Many are surprised to learn how many Dreamers are under the age of 40 and how seemingly simple yet incredibly prolific their Dreams can be.”

A model at Dream Foundation's Summer Dream Event, photo by Lorraine A. DarConte.

A model at Dream Foundation’s Summer Dream Event, photo by Lorraine A. DarConte.

In addition to the fashion show, the fundraiser included performances by local singer/songwriter, Gabe Reali, DJ Qu1z0, and synchronized swimmers, Aqualillies.

Gabe Reali performs at Dream Foundation's Summer Dream Event, photo by Lorraine A. DarConte.

Gabe Reali performs at Dream Foundation’s Summer Dream Event, photo by Lorraine A. DarConte.

Also on the menu was decadent food and drink from Heat Culinary, Patròn Tequila, Sun Potion, Summerland Winery, Topa Topa, Rori’s Artisanal Creamery and Green Star Coffee.

Held at the home of Ursula & Pat Nesbitt, additional guests included Daryl & John Stegall, Eva Guerrand-Hermès, Mireille Noone, Jelinda DeVorzon, Michelle Ebbin, Belle & Daniel Cohen, Jim Nigro, Belle Cohen, Summer Dream emcee and KEYT Channel 3’s Meteorologist, Alan Rose, second and third annual Summer Dream Committee Chair Arlene Montesano, and Dream Foundation board members Justine Roddick, Luke Ebbin and Board Chair Kenny Slaught, among others.

Arlene Montesano (Summer Dream Event Chair), Tom Parker, Karla Blackwell and Soogie and Don Kang (Golden Sponsors) at Dream Foundation's Summer Dream Event, photo by Lorraine A. DarConte.

Arlene Montesano (Summer Dream Event Chair), Tom Parker, Karla Blackwell and Soogie and Don Kang (Golden Sponsors) at Dream Foundation’s Summer Dream Event, photo by Lorraine A. DarConte.

“Dream Foundation believes that everyone deserves to have their final days filled with inspiration, comfort and closure. Receiving no state or federal funding, the organization and its Dreamers rely solely on private donations. One hundred percent of the proceeds of Summer Dream will be allocated to fulfill the Dreams of terminally-ill young adults, 18-40 years old,” say the organizers.

Luke Ebbin (Dream Foundation Board Vice Chair), Michelle Ebbin, & Justine Roddick (Dream Foundation Board Member), photo by Kelly Sweda Photography.

Luke Ebbin (Dream Foundation Board Vice Chair), Michelle Ebbin, & Justine Roddick (Dream Foundation Board Member), photo by Kelly Sweda Photography.

Over the past two decades, Dream Foundation has served more than 25,000 Dreams to terminally-ill adults, and they have never turned down a qualified Dream applicant.For more information about Dream Foundation, visit DreamFoundation.org.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on June 26, 2107.

Cocktail Corner: 2016 Live Downtown Art & Wine Tour

Downtown Art & Wine Tour, courtesy Downtown Santa Barbara.

Downtown Art & Wine Tour, courtesy Downtown Santa Barbara.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg

Downtown Art and Wine Tour

Art and wine are always an excellent pair, and this year’s 2016 Downtown LIVE Art & Wine Tour is adding a fun new twist to the mix: Live Art!

Each of the participating venues north of Carrillo Street—including 10 West Gallery, Bella Rosa Galleries, Churchill Jewelers, Distinctive Art Gallery, Engel & Vӧlkers, Imagine X Functional Neurology, Indigo Interiors, The Painted Cabernet, Santa Barbara Arts, Santa Barbara Public Market and Sullivan Goss – An American Gallery—hosts a LIVE cultural event paired with a Santa Barbara restaurant and regional winery.

“Our ingenious venues are exhibiting everything from painting, spinning, live photo development—even aerialists, all performed LIVE,” says Maggie Campbell, Downtown Santa Barbara Executive Director.

Downtown Art & Wine Tour, courtesy Downtown Santa Barbara.

Downtown Art & Wine Tour, courtesy Downtown Santa Barbara.

You can sip from your choice of ten wineries and one brewery along your cultural journey. Participants include: The Brander Vineyard, Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard, Cebada Wine, Fess Parker Winery, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co, Grassini Family Vineyards, Margerum Wine Company, Presidio Vineyard & Winery, Sanford Winery & Vineyards, Standing Sun Wines, Summerland Winery, Wine + Beer and Windrun Wines.

Downtown Art & Wine Tour, courtesy Downtown Santa Barbara.

Downtown Art & Wine Tour, courtesy Downtown Santa Barbara.

Food offerings included in the ticket price are from: Blush, bouchon Santa Barbara, Brasil Arts Café, C’est Cheese, Ca’Dario, Chase Restaurant & Lounge, Enterprise Fish Co, Finch & Fork, Los Arroyos Mexican Restaurant, Nectar Eatery & Lounge, Nothing Bundt Cakes, opal restaurant and bar, Paradise Café, Pascucci, Patxi’s Pizza, Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria and Viva Santa Barbara.

Tickets, which are $65 for the tour and include the Final Party, may be purchased at www.DSBLiveArtWine.Nightout.com, or at the Downtown Santa Barbara office (27-B E. de la Guerra St., M-F, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., check or credit card only). A limited number of tickets are available, so advance purchase is a must if you don’t want to miss out on the fun.

For more information, please call 805/962-2098, ext. 804 or visit www.DowntownSB.org. The festivities take place in Downtown Santa Barbara on Thursday, May 26, from 5:30-10 p.m. Hope to see you there!

Cheers to art and wine together! 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 Magazine on May 13, 2016.

Cocktail Corner: Fork & Cork Classic to Benefit Foodbank

Foodbank of Santa Barbara County's 3rd Annual Fork & Cork Classic takes place on April 10 at Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club. Photos by Eric Roland.

Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s 3rd Annual Fork & Cork Classic takes place on April 10 at Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club. Photos by Eric Roland.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg

I love it when good causes and good food and wine come together. Such is the case with the 3rd annual Fork & Cork Classic to benefit Santa Barbara County Foodbank by pairing gourmet tastings with local wine to fund nutritious meals for Santa Barbara County residents.

Taking place on Sunday, April 10, from 3-6 p.m. at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club (3375 Foothill Rd., Carpinteria), 100% of the event’s proceeds will benefit the Foodbank’s 300 local nonprofit partners who supply nutritious meals to Santa Barbara County residents.

Fork & Cork 2014, photo by Eric Roland Photography

Fork & Cork 2014, photo by Eric Roland Photography

Just last year, the Foodbank served 146,198 people, of whom 51,533 were children.

“Santa Barbara Fork & Cork Classic is an important event for the Foodbank,” says Erik Talkin, CEO, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.  “By taking part in this event, attendees are helping to provide healthy produce and staples for in-need Santa Barbara County residents.”

This year the Fork & Cork Classic 2016 will honor Dario Furlati, chef-owner at Ca’ Dario Ristorante and Ca’ Dario Pizzeria; Steve Beckman, winemaker at Beckman Vineyards, and Jack Motter and Jeff Kramer, farmers-owners at Ellwood Canyon Farms, for the contributions they have made towards advancing their respective crafts as well as their efforts to support the local community, including the Foodbank.

2016 Fork & Cork Classic Honorees

Participating wineries and other beverage donors from previous  years include Alma Rosa Winery & VineyardsAmpelos CellarsAscendant SpiritsBeckmen VineyardsBlair Fox VineyardsCaribbean Coffee CompanyCasa Dumetz WinesCutler´s Artisan SpiritsConsilience, Marianello & Tre AnelliCORE Family WineryDeep Sea by Conway Family WinesDV8 CellarsFalcone Family VineyardsFess Parker Winery & VineyardFoley Wine EstatesIsland Brewing CompanyJaffurs Wine CellarsKaena Wine Company and Kenneth Volk Vineyards.

Also pouring in the past were Lucas & Lewellen VineyardsNagy Wines Pegasus Estate Winery Scott CellarsSilver Wines LLCSummerland WineryPressed Juicery Turiya WinesThe Real McCoy RumTito’s Handmade VodkaWater StoreWilliam James CellarsWhitcraft Winery and Zaca Mesa Winery & Vineyards.

For an updated list of food and beverage participants visit forkandcorkclassic.org. General Admission tickets are $95 and VIP tickets—which include early entrance to the event at 2:30 p.m. and a VIP lounge—are $125. To purchase tickets click here.

2016 Fork & Cork Classic

I hope to see some of you at this fun—and very worthy—event. 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.”

This story originally appeared in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on March 18, 2016.

Cocktail Corner: Passport Weekend at the Urban Wine Trail

Urban Wine trail 2015 passport-poster-v3A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg

Have you been wanting to check out what’s new on Santa Barbara’s Urban Wine Trail? If so, then the upcoming passport weekend (June 5-7) is your perfect opportunity.

The annual festivities feature a Passport to the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail for the weekend, and a Red & White AVA Seminar. TheSanta Barbara Urban Wine Trail Passport will be happening all

Lafond Winery tasting room, photo by Mercedes Lowe

Lafond Winery tasting room is one of 26 wineries featured on the Urban Wine Trail’s special passport event June 5-7, photo by Mercedes Lowe

weekend long—Friday to Sunday—at all of the 26 tasting rooms. The Passport includes special wine tasting opportunities and complimentary tastings, including the chance to meet winemakers, reserve vintage exhibitions, light bites and live musical entertainment. Passport holders will also get a 10% discount on wine purchases at all member tasting rooms that weekend.

Guests  begin their wine tasting adventures by picking up their Passport and signature logo glass at any one of the three check-in points, including Carr Winery, Santa Barbara Winery and Margerum Wine Company.

The tasting  kicks into high gear on Saturday, June 6, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Wine Cask restaurant with the Red & White AVA Seminar featuring eight of Santa Barbara’s top winemakers. I went last year and this is a MUST ATTEND event for wine lovers who want to learn more about our region.

Guests can sip through and learn about all of the AVA’s in Santa Barbara County.  Each of the eight winemakers will share one of their finest wines that represent the AVA where it was grown. Mitchell Sjerven, owner of the renowned Bouchon restaurant, will moderate the seminar and guide guests through each of these unique and notable wines.

Last year's Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail red and white AVA seminar, photo SB Urban Wine Trail Facebook.

Last year’s Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail red and white AVA seminar, photo SB Urban Wine Trail Facebook.

Presenting winemakers are some of the most respected names in the business: Margerum Wine Company – Doug Margerum; Santa Barbara Winery – Bruce McGuire; Pali Wine Co. – Aaron Walker; Sanford – Steve Fennell; Carr Vineyards & Winery – Ryan Carr; Jaffurs – Craig Jaffurs; Kunin Wines – Seth Kunin; and Riverbench – Rawley Hermreck.

Passport tickets are $75 and AVA seminar tickets are also $75, or you can purchase a VIP All Access ticket for $125, which includes both events.

Photo courtesy Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail.

Photo courtesy Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail.

Urban Wine Trail member wineries include:  Area 5.1 WineryAu Bon Climat,  Carr Vineyards & Winery, Cebada Vineyard and Winery (inside Isabella Gourmet Foods), Cottonwood CanyonDeep Sea Tasting RoomFox Wine Co., Grassini Family VineyardsHappy Canyon VineyardJaffurs Wine Cellars and Kalyra Winery.

Kunin Wines, Lafond WineryMargerum Wine CompanyMunicipal WinemakersOreana WineryPali Wine Co.Riverbench WinerySanfordSanguisSanta Barbara WinerySilver WinesSummerland Winery, The Valley Project (a.k.a. AVA Santa Barbara) and Whitcraft Winery are also on the trail.

For more information visit, www.urbanwinetrailsb.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 May 29, 2015.

Cocktail Corner: Cool New Cocktails at Finch & Fork

Finch & Fork, courtesy photo

Finch & Fork, courtesy photo

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg

Finch & Fork Restaurant at the Canary Hotel is right in the neighborhood (31 W. Carrillo St.) and one of my favorite places for happy hour, wine tastings on the roof and even to meet people for interviews (the bar couches are particularly cushiony and comfortable). Now they  have a fun new cocktail menu with a bit of the new age, a bit of the golden age and a bit of my personal favorite, the barrel age.

Barrel aged cocktails are all the rage these days because, … well, some things really do get better with age, and booze is definitely one of them. Finch & Fork’s new menu includes an Aged Old Fashioned made with Templeton Rye, sugar and angostura orange; the Classic Dark and Stormy, made with barrel-aged rum, cruzan black strap and ginger beer; and the Barrel Aged Bols Genever (typically a blend of rye, wheat and corn that is triple distilled in a copper pot still, then blended with the unique melange of botanicals that may include hops, cloves, anise, ginger and juniper, among others) served with ice and a bottle of fever tree tonic.

Fringillidae Mule, courtesy the Canary

Fringillidae Mule, courtesy the Canary

The golden age section of the menu includes a nod to one of my favorite cocktails, the Moscow Mule. Finch & Fork’s new version is the Fringillidae Mule (cleverly named for a bird that’s a cross between a finch and a canary), made with absolut vodka, lime, ginger beer and mint.  In another nod to the restaurant’s avian roots, they have the Hawaiian Honeycreeper (named for another member of the finch family, a small, passerine bird endemic to Hawaiʻi), made from appleton rum, sailor jerry, fresh lime, lemon, orange and orgeat.

The new age part of the cocktail menu includes the Bluebird of Happiness, made with tanqueray 10 gin, blueberry, lime, lavender and soda; the Flying A, with aviation gin, lemon, orgeat, egg white and atomized peach bitters; and the Barbareño, with herradura silver tequila, vida mezcal, lime, pineapple jalapeño agave and california ale.

The $5 happy hour specials are served from 4-7 p.m. every Monday through Friday, including a selection of beers, wine (Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon) and cocktails, including a fun Champagne Cocktail made with brandy, a bitter-soaked sugar cube and sparkling wine; Tommy’s Margarita, a Lemon Drop, a St. Germain Cocktail and a classic Manhattan. Also great for groups is the $20 Sangria & Bites special, which includes a pitcher of red or white sangria and three bites to share—warm citrus marinated olives, blistered shishito peppers, and honey roasted spiced nuts—all of which I can personally vouch for as yummy!

Finch & Fork's Blackberry Cooler, made with bulliet rye, blackberry, lemon, rosemary and maple. Courtesy photo.

Finch & Fork’s Blackberry Cooler, made with bulliet rye, blackberry, lemon, rosemary and maple. Courtesy photo.

For a delicious 360 degree view of Santa Barbara, don’t miss the popular Monday night wine on the roof of the Canary this summer every Monday from 5:30-8 p.m. Staring on Monday June 2 with Bratcher pouring, for $25 you can enjoy the view along wine tasting with local wineries, as well as nibbles from Chef James Siao. Andrew Murray is up the next week (June 9), followed by our friends from Beckmen Winery (June 16), Buttonwood (June 23) and Grand Places Selections (June 30).

The July lineup includes Westerly Wines (July 7), Zaca Mesa (July 14), Carr Winery (July 21) and Margerum (July 28).

August’s pours include wines from Lafond Winery (August 4), Demetria Estate (August 11), Summerland Winery (August 18) and Palmina & Brewer Clifton (August 25).

September sips include Standing Sun (September 8), Cluster Wine Group (September 15), Melville (September 22) and Cold Heaven Cellars (September 29), followed by Revel Wines on October 6 and the grand finale tasting with many of the wineries returning on October 13.

Hope to see some of you there.

Cheers!

Click here for more cocktail corner columns. Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on May 30, 2014.

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.”