José González with Special Guest Bedouine

Jose Gonzalez, courtesy UCSB Arts & Lectures.

Jose Gonzalez, courtesy UCSB Arts & Lectures.

UCSB Arts & Lectures presents José González with special guest Bedouine on Wed., Jan. 31, at 8 p.m. at UCSB Campbell Hall.

 A soulful songwriter with a deep, quiet power, González quickly gained a loyal following worldwide, wooing his audience with probing lyrics, intricate guitar melodies and a “beautiful yet haunting voice” ( Born in Sweden to Argentinian parents, González seamlessly integrates the sounds of his Latin American roots with sublime introspective folk punctuated by rock panache. “A spellbinding talent” (The Telegraph, U.K.), González returns by popular demand with special guest Bedouine, whose ‘60s folk meets ‘70s country-funk with a glimmer of bossa nova cool.

Watch the trailer for José González’s most recent album, Vestiges and Claws

Watch the video for Bedouine’s “Solitary Daughter

For tickets and more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805/893-3535 or visit 

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 29, 2018.

SBIFF Fetes Allison Janney and Margot Robbie

SBIFF Outstanding Performer of the Year Award, courtesy photos.

SBIFF Outstanding Performer of the Year Award, courtesy photos.

I, Tonya stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney will receive the Outstanding Performers of the Year Award from Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) on Thursday, February 8, at 8 p.m. at the Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St.

“Allison and Margot bring biting humor and an emotional resonance to their real-life characters in I, Tonya,” states SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. “We are proud to celebrate them and their incredible contributions to cinema.”

Janney and Robbie have received Critics’ Choice Awards for the film and both actresses have also received nominations at the BAFTAs and SAG Awards for their respective roles, and Janney was awarded with the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. The tribute will be moderated by Scott Feinberg, Awards Columnist for The Hollywood Reporter.

Janney and Robbie will join a renowned group of Outstanding Performer Award recipients, including Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, Brie Larson and Saoirse Ronan, Steve Carell, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Viola Davis, Colin Firth, Penelope Cruz, Angelina Jolie, Helen Mirren, Heath Ledger, Kate Winslet, and Charlize Theron.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 26, 2018.

SBIFF Santa Barbara Award Honors Saoirse Ronan

SBIFF Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan, courtesy photos.

SBIFF Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan, courtesy photos.

Golden Globe Award winner Saoirse Ronan will receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s (SBIFF) Santa Barbara Award, presented by UGG, for her critically acclaimed role in Lady Bird. Given to a person in the entertainment industry who has made a great contribution to film, she will receive the award at a ceremony on Sunday, February 4, at 8 p.m., at the Arlington Theatre (1317 State St.).

Saoirse Ronan, whose first name rhymes with “inertia,” has numerous film credits, including The Grand Budapest Hotel, Hanna, The Lovely Bones and The Way Back. She has received Academy Award nominations for her performances in Atonement and Brooklyn, and recently was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for her performance in Lady Bird.

“In Lady Bird, Saoirse Ronan has once again proven that she is a force of nature and one of her generation’s most exciting young talents,” states SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. “She embodies her characters with a poignant accuracy and ease every time she appears on screen.”

Tickets for the event can be purchased here.

Past recipients of the award include Isabelle Huppert, Sylvester Stallone, Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey, Daniel Day-Lewis, Geoffrey Rush, Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet, Javier Bardem, Bill Condon and Naomi Watts. For more information, visit

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 28, 2018.

SBIFF Unveils World Premiere Film Lineup

The 2018 Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) offers 200+ films representing 58 countries, 45 World premieres, and 53 U.S. premieres, along with tributes with the year’s top talent, panel discussions, and free community education and outreach programs.

Below is the list of world premiere features at the 2018 SBIFF.


A Sniper’s War, USA, Ukraine, Russia

Directed by Olya Schechter

A Sniper's War, courtesy photo.

A Sniper’s War, courtesy photo.

Acid Horizon, USA

Directed by Ivan Hurzeler


Broke: The Santa Barbara Oil Pipeline Spill of 2015, USA

Directed by Gail Osherenko

Chasing the Thunder, USA

Directed by Mark Benjamin and Marc Levin


The Doctor From India, USA

Directed by Jeremy Frindel


The End of Meat (Eine welt ohne fleisch), Germany

Directed by Marc Pierschel


The Independents, USA

Directed by Greg Naughton


Living in the Futures Past, USA

Directed by Susan Kucera


Making Babies, USA

Directed by Josh Huber

Making Babies, courtesy photo.

Metamorphosis, Canada

Directed by Nova Ami and Velcrow Ripper


My Indiana Muse, USA

Directed by Ric and Jen Serena


My Indiana Muse (official trailer) from Serena Creative on Vimeo.

¡Oh Mamy Blue!, Spain

Directed by Antonio Hens


Off the Menu, USA

Directed by Jay Silverman


One Last Night, USA

Directed by Anthony Sabet


the public, USA

Directed by Emilio Estevez


The Push, USA

Directed by Grant Korgan


Scotch: A Golden Dream, USA

Directed by Andrew Peat


Silicon Beach, USA

Directed by Max Gold


Threesome (Le trip à trois), Canada

Directed by Nicolas Monette


Waiting for the Drop: Rise of the Superstar DJs, USA

Directed by Alexei Barrionuevo


The War in Between, USA

Directed by Riccardo Ferraris


We Are Galapagos, USA

Directed by Kum-Kum Bhavnani


The White Orchid, USA

Directed by Steve Anderson


U.S. PREMIERE FEATURE FILMS (listed alphabetically)


3 Things (3 ting), Denmark

Directed by Jens Dahl


A Land Without Borders, Israel

Directed by Michael Alalu and Nir Baram


Adventures in Public School, Canada

Directed by Kyle Rideout


Before I Forget (Antes que eu me esqueça), Brazil

Directed by Tiago Arakilian


Beyond – An African Surf Documentary, Austria

Directed by Mario Hainzl


Beyond Dreams (Dröm vidare), Sweden

Directed by Rojda Serkersöz


Big Wata, Netherlands

Directed by Jan Paul Van der Velden


Bingo: The King of the Mornings (Bingo: O rei das manhãs), Brazil

Directed by Daniel Rezende


Black Kite, Canada, Afghanistan

Directed by Tarique Qayumi


The Butterfly Tree, Australia

Directed by Priscilla Cameron


Cardinals, Canada

Directed by Grayson Moore & Aidan Shipley


Catch the Wind (Prendre le large), France

Directed by Gaël Morel


Darling, Denmark

Directed by Birgitte Stærmose


Daybreak (Dita zë fill), Albania

Directed by Gentian Koçi


The Double Lover (L’amant double), France

Directed by François Ozon


Edie, UK

Directed by Simon Hunter


The Eternal Road (Ikitie), Finland

Directed by Antti-Jussi Annila


Euthanizer (Armomurhaaja), Finland

Directed by Teemu Nikki


The Faithful Son (La part sauvage), Belgium

Directed by Guérin van de Vorst


Fence Your Best, Israel

Directed by Liat Mer


Fifty Springtimes (Aurore), France

Directed by Blandine Lenoir


Filthy (Spina), Czech Republic, Slovakia

Directed by Tereza Nvotová


Get the Weed (Misión no oficial), Uruguay

Directed by Denny Brechner, Alfonso Guerrero and Marcos Hecht


Giant (Handia), Spain

Directed by Jon Garaño and Aitor Arregi


Grace and Splendor (Donaire y esplendor), Panama

Directed by Arturo Montenegro


Grand Cru, Canada

Directed by David Eng


Guerrero, Mexico

Directed by Ludovic Bonleux


Imposed Piece (Opgelegd Werk), Belgium

Directed by Brecht Vanhoenacker

Imposed Piece, courtesy photo.

Imposed Piece, courtesy photo.

In Love and In Hate (Los que aman, odian), Argentina

Directed by Alejandro Maci


The Island, Israel

Directed by Adam Weingrod


The Last Suit (El último traje), Argentina

Directed by Pablo Solarz


Maracaibo, Argentina

Directed by Miguel Angel Rocca


Mary Goes Round, Canada

Directed by Molly McGlynn


Meditation Park, Canada

Directed by Mina Shum


Modified, Canada

Directed by Aube Giroux


The Order of Things (L’ordine delle cose), Italy

Directed by Andrea Segre


Sad Hill Unearthed, Spain

Directed by Guillermo de Oliveira


Secret Ingredient (Iscelitel), Greece

Directed by Gjorce Stavreski


Soviet Hippies, Estonia, Germany, Finland

Directed by Terje Toomistu


Sunshine That Can Move Mountains, China

Directed by Qiang Wang


Star Boys (Kaiken se kestää), Sweden

Directed by Visa Koiso-Kanttila


The Swan (Svanurinn), Iceland, Estonia, Germany

Directed by Ása Hjörleifsdóttir


The Unseen (Los últimos), Argentina

Directed by Nicolás Puenzo

Unwanted (T’padashtun), Kosovo, Netherlands

Directed by Edon Rizvanolli


Wall, Canada

Directed by Cam Christiansen


While We Live (Mens vi lever), Denmark

Directed by Mehdi Avaz




All You Can Eat Buddha, Canada, Cuba

Directed by Ian Lagarde


Angels Wear White (Jia nian hua), China, France

Directed by Vivian Qu


Arrhythmia (Aritmiya), Russia, Finland, Germany

Directed by Boris Khlebnikov


Back to Burgundy (Ce qui nous lie), France

Directed by Cédric Klapisch


Beartrek, USA, Canada, Indonesia, Peru

Directed by Chris Morgan & Joe Pontecorvo


Blue, Australia

Directed by Karina Holden


Borg vs. McEnroe, Sweden, Denmark, Finland

Directed by Janus Metz


Breath (Nafas), Iran

Directed by Narges Abyar


Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey, USA, Canada, China

Directed by Dave O’Leske

Elish’s Notebooks, Israel

Directed by Golan Rise


The Essential Link – The Story of Wilfred Israel, Israel

Directed by Yonatan Nir


Faces Places (Visages, villages), France

Directed by JR and Agnès Varda


The Future Ahead (El futuro que viene), Argentina

Directed by Constanza Novick


The Gospel According to André, USA

Directed by Kate Novack


Gutland, Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium

Directed by Govinda Van Maele


Holy Camp! (La Llamada), Spain

Directed by Javier Ambrossi & Javier Calvo


Hotel Salvation (Mukti Bhawan), India

Directed by Shubhashish Bhutiani


Icarus, USA

Directed by Bryan Fogel


In Syria (Insyriated), Belgium, France, Lebanon

Directed by Philippe Van Leeuw


The Insult (L’insulte), Lebanon

Directed by Ziad Doueiri


Just Like Our Parents, Brazil

Directed by Laís Bodanzky


Killer Bees, USA

Directed by Ben & Orson Cummings


Kim Swims, USA

Directed by Kate Webber

Leaning Into the Wind: Andy Goldsworthy, USA

Directed by Thomas Riedelsheimer


The Line (Čiara), Slovakia, Ukraine

Directed by Peter Bebjak


Love Means Zero, USA

Directed by Jason Kohn


Miracle on 42nd Street, USA

Directed by Alice Elliott


Montana, Israel

Directed by Limor Shmila


Nelson Algren Live, USA

Directed by Oscar Bucher


Oh Lucy!, USA, Japan

Directed by Atsuko Hirayanagi


The Party, USA

Directed by Sally Potter


Point of No Return, USA

Directed by Quinn Kanaly & Noel Dockstader


The Quartette (Kvarteto), Czech Republic

Directed by Miroslav Krobot


Racer and the Jailbird (Le fidèle), Belgium

Directed by Michaël R. Roskam


Scaffolding (Pigumim), Israel, Poland

Directed by Matan Yair


Scary Mother, Georgia, Estonia

Directed by Ana Urushadze


Skid Row Marathon, USA

Directed by Mark Hayes


Sky and Ground, USA, Serbia/Montenegro, Macedonia, Hungary, Greece, Germany, Austria

Directed by Joshua Bennett & Talya Tibbon


Something New (Qualcosa di nuovo), Italy

Directed by Cristina Comencini

Something New, courtesy photo.

Something New, courtesy photo.

Soufra, Singapore, USA, Lebanon

Directed by Thomas A. Morgan


The Starry Sky Above Me, (Le ciel étoilé au-dessus de ma tête), France

Directed by Ilan Klipper


Streetlight Harmonies, USA

Directed by Brent Wilson


The Third Murder, (Sandome no Satsujin), Japan

Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda


Tulipani: Love, Honour and a Bicycle (Tulipani: Liefde, Eer en een Fiets), Netherlands

Directed by Mike van Diem


Triumph: The Untold Story of Perry Wallace, USA

Directed by Rich Gentile


Under the Tree (Undir Trénu), Iceland, Denmark, Poland & Germany

Directed by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson


Wife and Husband (Moglie e marito), Italy

Directed by Simone Godano


You Disappear (Du forsvinder), Denmark, Sweden

Directed by Peter Schønau Fog



72%, Spain – US Premiere

Directed by Lluis Quilez


Abroad, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Zayn Alexandar


Aeris, USA

Directed by Paul Castro Jr.


Afterwork, Spain, Peru, Ecuador – World Premiere

Directed by Luis Uson


The Artist & The Great Bear, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Jeff Mcloughlin


As Long As It Takes (Le temps qu’il faut), Canada

Directed by Abeille Tard


Audition, USA

Directed by Richard Van


Bargain, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Clifford Miu


Basha Man, China

Directed by Daniel Chein


Bigfoot’s Love Slave, USA

Directed by Heather Tom


The Cannonball Woman, (La femme canon), France, Switzerland, Canada – US Premiere

Directed by David Toutevoix and Albertine Zullo


Cascarón, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Casey McGarry


Catacomb, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Alex Z. Avila


Couch for Sale, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Takashi Doscher


Cowboy of Mount Laurier (Le cowboy du mont Laurier), Canada – US Premiere

Directed by Gabriel Vilandré


Crossing the Channel, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Ryan Slattery


Cuba: Music Revolution, USA

Directed by Juan Ponce de León


Dancing with Dragons, USA, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Mexico, Belize

Directed by Mark Romanov


Don’t Mind Alice, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Maude Apatow & Olivia Rosenbloom


The Driver Is Red, USA

Directed by Randall Christopher


Field Song (Canción de Campo), USA

Directed by Brad Bischoff


Fern, UK – US Premiere

Directed by Johnny Kelly


Ferryman at the Wall, USA

Directed by David Freid


Fingerprints, USA

Directed by Don Hardy


From Golf Course to Wetland, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Michael Love


Hide and Seek (Bújócska), Hungary

Directed by Gábor Benő Baranyi


Home Shopper, USA

Directed by Dev Patel

Dev Patel directs Home Shopper, courtesy photo.

Dev Patel directs Home Shopper, courtesy photo.

Hybrids, France

Directed by Florian Brauch, Kim Tailhades, Matthieu Pujol, Romain Thirion and Yohan Thireau


Keep Calm and Tampon, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Claudia Lonow


Killing Games: Wildlife in the Crosshairs, USA

Directed by Camilla H. Fox


The Last Man You Meet, USA

Directed by Chris Bone


Long Term Delivery, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Jake Honig


Los Comandos, USA

Directed by Joshua Bennett


Lunch Ladies, USA

Directed by J.M. Logan


Mariela, UK

Directed by Victoria Romero


Martien, Switzerland

Directed by Maxime Pillonel


Me, My Phone and I, USA

Directed by Luke Mullen


Mott Haven, USA

Directed by Kyle Morrison


Negative Space, France

Directed by Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata


Online Shopping, Iran

Directed by Ghasideh Golmakani


Out of the Ashes, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Hallie Brown


Poles Apart, USA

Directed by Paloma Baeza


Phototaxis, USA

Directed by Melissa Ferrari


The Red Flag, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Mike Winger


RFLKTR, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Matt K. Turner


Santa Claus, USA

Directed by Jeff Man


Sequin, Taiwan – US Premiere

Directed by Yachi Yang


Siren Song: Women Singers of Pakistan, USA, Pakistan, and India

Directed by Fawzia Afzal-Khan


Shadow Boxer (Skyggebokser), Denmark – World Premiere

Directed by Andreas Bøggild Monies


Shark Bight, USA – US Premiere

Directed by Stephanie Foster


The Shift, USA

Directed by Elivia Shaw


Simularity, USA

Directed by Ryan O’Nan


Soul of the City, USA – World Premiere

Directed by John Klein


Souls of Totality, USA

Directed by Richard Raymond


Space Butthole, USA

Directed by David Chai


The Take Off, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Ryan Kalil


The Tesla World Light, (Tesla: Lumière Mondiale), Canada

Directed by Matthew Rankin


Tigerstyle, United Kingdom, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Elliott Powell, Jordyn Romero, Paloma Young, Rachel Lattin, and Riani Singgih


The Tipping Point, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Danielle Cohen


Toward the North (Hacia el norte), USA

Directed by Elivia Shaw, Jessica Chermayeff, and Joshua Bennett


Towards the Sun (Hacia el sol), United Kingdom

Directed by Monica Santis


Two Balloons, USA – US Premiere

Directed by Mark C. Smith


Under Her Wing, USA

Directed by Keenan McGuckin


Undiscovered, USA

Directed by Sara Litzenberger


Virtually Yours, USA – World Premiere

Directed by Andrea Lithner


Wildlife and the Wall, USA

Directed by Ben Masters


You Are Here, United Kingdom

Directed by Nicholas Jones


Yours Sincerely, Lois Weber, USA

Directed by Svetlana Cvetko


“Yours Sincerely, Lois Weber” Trailer from David Scott Smith on Vimeo.

For the complete list of films, synopses, and other special events please visit and download the SBIFF app for the latest updates and schedule changes.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 25, 2018.



PuppetPalooza Kick-Off Fundraiser

Come play with the puppets this weekend when PuppetPalooza Central—Museum and Theatre  celebrates their opening with a fundraiser extravaganza on Saturday, January 27, from 4-7 p.m. in Paseo Nuevo.

The festivities  honor Santa Barbara’s beloved anchorman John Palminteri and the KEYT News Channel 3 team for going above and beyond with their coverage of the Thomas Fire and aftermath in Santa Barbara County. A special  “John Palminteri Puppet” will perform live with “The Palm.”

The Muppets will headline the Puppetpalooza Festival on Mar. 2 at the Marjorie Luke Theatre. Courtesy photo.

The Muppets will headline the Puppetpalooza Festival on Mar. 2 at the Marjorie Luke Theatre. Courtesy photo.

Guests also will enjoy a showcase of the puppetry attractions coming to PuppetPalooza, as well as live performances, and and light bites and beverages.

“We hope our joyous festival filled with music, puppets, families and fun can bring renewed hope and laughter to our entire community after a winter season that has been difficult for everyone and tragic for too many,” states festival creator Mitchell Kriegman. “Honoring those in our community who have been reporting about our tireless first responders and informing all of us about these pressing events seemed like the best way to kick off our festival.”

Featured at the fundraiser, and on display throughout the season at PuppetPalooza Central, is noted puppeteer—and Vice Chair and Director of Dance of the UCSB Theater and Dance Department—Christina McCarthy and her handcrafted puppets. 

The Paseo Nuevo headquarters also features the regional debut screenings of Handmade Puppet Dreams presented by Heather Henson, the daughter of legendary puppeteer Jim Henson. Handmade Puppet Dreams is a traveling film series that promotes independent artists exploring their handmade craft specifically for the screen. 

Fundraiser tickets are $25 and are available for purchase online here or at PuppetPalooza Central in Paseo Nuevo (301 Paseo Nuevo). For more information, visit

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 25, 2018.

SBIFF American Riviera Award Honors Sam Rockwell

SBIFF American Riviera Award honoring Sam Rockwell, courtesy photos.

SBIFF American Riviera Award honoring Sam Rockwell, courtesy photos.

Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award winner Sam Rockwell is being honored with the 2018 American Riviera Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF).

Rockwell’s tribute celebrates his acclaimed performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

“In Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, audiences are treated to the kind of mesmerizing and extraordinary performance we have come to expect from Sam Rockwell,” states Roger Durling, Executive Director of SBIFF. “We are long overdue to celebrate this tremendous talent who has lit up the screen for decades.”

The American Riviera Award was established to recognize actors who have made a significant contribution to American Cinema. Rockwell will join a prestigious group of past recipients, including Jeff Bridges, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Robert Redford, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Annette Bening, Sandra Bullock, Mickey Rourke, Tommy Lee Jones, Forrest Whitaker, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kevin Bacon and Diane Lane.

The 33rd edition of the Festival runs from January 31 to February 10 and the American Riviera Award takes place on Wednesday, February 7, at 8 p.m. at the Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St..

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 24, 2018.

An Evening with Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice, courtesy UCSB Arts & Lectures.

Condoleezza Rice, courtesy UCSB Arts & Lectures.

UCSB Arts & Lectures presents An Evening with Condoleezza Rice on Thursday, January 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St.

As secretary of state and national security advisor, Rice pioneered a policy of transformational diplomacy and heralded the formation of new global governments based on democratic principles. Her most recent book, Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom (2017), offers a sweeping look at the global struggle for democracy. Dr. Rice will share her unparalleled expertise on global affairs, national security and education.

“Rice as Secretary of State in the second Bush term emerged as the single most influential voice shaping foreign policy,” according to the The New York Times. The Washington Post called Rice, “One of the most powerful individuals on the world stage.”

From January 2005-2009, Rice served as the 66th Secretary of State of the United States, the second woman and first African American woman to hold the post. Rice also served as President George W. Bush’s assistant to the President for national security affairs (National Security Advisor) from January 2001-2005, the first woman to hold the position

Rice is currently the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business; the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson senior fellow on public policy at the Hoover Institution; and a professor of Political Science at Stanford University.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 23, 2018.

Local Dish: Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Week

Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Week returns Jan. 21-27 to showcase wine country restaurants at once-a-year prices.  Back for the eighth consecutive year, Restaurant Week features three-course meals prepared by the Valley’s most creative chefs for just $20.18 Foodies can savor a rare value to celebrate the food and wine pairings that have made this region a gem in California Wine Country.

Representing each of the Santa Ynez Valley’s six distinct communities, 26 restaurants—ranging from the region’s emerging establishments to long-time favorites—will participate in Restaurant Week this year. The list includes a Puerto Rican-inspired menu at Industrial Eats in Buellton, which is donating 100% of the proceeds to hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

This year’s list of participating restaurants includes:


The Ballard Inn & Gathering Table, 2436 Baseline Ave., 800/638-2466



Bottlest Winery Bar & Bistro, Bottle Branding photo.

Bottlest Winery Bar & Bistro, Bottle Branding photo.

Bottlest Winery Bar & Bistro, 35 Industrial Way, 805/686-4742

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.,45 Industrial Way, 805/694-2252

Firestone Walker Brewing Co., 620 McMurray Rd., 805/697-4777

Hitching Post II, 406 E. Hwy 246, 805/688-0676

Industrial Eats, 181 Industrial Way, 805/688-8807

Los Alamos

Bob’s Well Bread Bakery, 550 Bell St., 805/344-3000

Plenty on Bell, 508 Bell St., 805/344-3020

Valle Fresh, 380 Bell St., 805/865-2282

The Bear and Star, photo by Grey Crawford.

The Bear and Star, photo by Grey Crawford.

Los Olivos

The Bear and Star, 2860 Grand Ave., 805/6861359

Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café, 2879 Grand Ave., 805/688-7265

The romantic S.Y. Kitchen Firepit at Night , Photo by Rocco Ceselin.

The romantic S.Y. Kitchen Firepit at Night , Photo by Rocco Ceselin.

Santa Ynez

The Lucky Hen Larder, 1095 Meadowvale Rd., 805/691-9448

S.Y. Kitchen, 1110 Faraday St., 805/691-9794

The Vineyard House, 3631 Sagunto St., 805/688-2886

Trattoria Grappolo, 3687 Sagunto St., 805/688-6899


Cecco Ristorante, 475 1st St., 805/688-8880

First & Oak, 409 1st St., 805/688-1703

Fresco Valley Café, 442 Atterdag Rd., 805/688-8857

Leonardo’s Ristorante, 632 Alamo Pintado Rd., 805/686-0846

Mad & Vin at The Landsby, 1576 Mission Dr., 805/688-3121

Petros Kafe, 487 Atterdag Rd., 805/686-5455

Root 246, 420 Alisal Rd., 805/686-8681

Santa Ynez Café, 606 Alamo Pintado Rd. #1, Solvang, 805/688-3543

Solvang Brewing Co., 1547 Mission Dr., 805/688-2337

Succulent Café Wine Charcuterie, 1555 Mission Dr., 805/691-9444

The Ridge, 1618 Copenhagen Dr., 805/325-9820

For the latest updates on Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Week, including menus and dining hours, visit

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 20, 2018.

Cocktail Corner: Southern Exposure Garagiste Wine Festival

Southern Exposure Garagiste Wine Festival returns to Solvang Feb. 9-11, featuring just about every varietal of small production wines. Courtesy photo.

Southern Exposure Garagiste Wine Festival returns to Solvang Feb. 9-11, featuring just about every varietal of small production wines. Courtesy photo.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic!  By Leslie Dinaberg

The Garagiste Festival is back in Solvang next month and I am so excited to taste what they have in store for us this year.

A fun and very unique wine festival celebrating small production wines and their makers (who are usually there to pour and talk about all things vino), Garagistes (garage-east) is a term originally used in the Bordeaux region of France to put down renegade small-lot wine makers, sometimes working in their “garages” (anything not a chateau), who refused to follow the rules, and has now become a full-fledged movement responsible for making some of the best wine in the world.

The 2018 Southern Exposure Garagiste Wine Festival, which features more than 30 of California’s best micro-production wineries, takes place on Feb. 9-11 at the Veterans’ Memorial Hall in Solvang (1745 Mission Dr.). 

New this year, the festival’s sixth in Santa Barbara County, is a seminar series that pays tribute to the “Original Garagistes,” featuring a Q&A and wine tasting with Central Coast winemaking pioneer, Bob Lindquist of Qupé.  An original Rhône Ranger (America’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting American Rhone varietal wines) and recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award, Lindquist was one of the first in the wine industry to advocate American-made Syrah and other Rhône varietals. His winery Qupé has been named one of the Wineries of the Year for Wine & Spirits Magazine every year since 1999.

“A true original garagiste, Bob is an inspiration to micro-production winemakers everywhere and epitomizes everything that the American Garagiste movement is about—handcrafting stunning wines from under-appreciated grapes, ignoring established rules, innovating and taking risks and generously sharing knowledge with peers,” says Garagiste Festival Co-founder Doug Minnick.  “There would be no Garagiste movement, no Rhone Rangers—and the Central Coast would still be a blip on the way to Napa—without visionary winemakers like Bob.”

Southern Exposure Garagiste Wine Festival returns to Solvang Feb. 9-11, for its sixth annual festival. Courtesy photo.

Southern Exposure Garagiste Wine Festival returns to Solvang Feb. 9-11, for its sixth annual festival. Courtesy photo.

The weekend’s fun kicks off on Friday night, Feb. 9, with a “No Repeats, Rare and Reserve” tasting and BBQ, featuring food from local favorite Neighbor Tim’s BBQ (6480 Calle Real, Goleta). The “Original Garagiste” event with Lindquist takes place on Saturday, Feb. 10, immediately preceding the Grand Tasting, at Veterans Memorial Hall. Sunday, Feb. 11 marks the return of Passport Day, which offers special deals at participating local wineries for Garagiste Festival ticket holders who want to further explore the area.

Winemakers already scheduled to pour include:

Ann Albert Wines, Santa Barbara County

Ascension Cellars, Paso Robles

Bevela Wines, Central Coast


Courtesy photo.

Courtesy photo.

Bradley Family Winery, Santa Ynez Valley

Buscador Wine, Buellton

Byron Blatty Wines, Los Angeles

Caliza Winery, Paso Robles

Camlow Cellars, Russian River Valley

Cavaletti Vineyards, Southern California

Cholame Vineyard, Buellton

Cloak & Dagger Wines, Paso Robles

Clos de Amis Winery, Ventura County

Cordon Wine, Santa Barbara County

D. Volk Wines, Santa Ynez Valley 

Courtesy Garagiste Festival.

Courtesy Garagiste Festival.

Diablo Paso, Paso Robles

Dunites Wine Co., San Luis Obispo County

Dusty Nabor Wines, Westlake Village

El Lugar Wines, San Luis Obispo

Elwood Wines, Santa Maria Valley

Golden Triangle, Paso Robles

Ground Truth Wine, Santa Barbara County

Hoi Polloi Wines, Central Coast

Kimsey Vineyards, Santa Barbara County

Luna Hart Wines, Buellton

March Wines, Napa Valley

Marin’s Vineyard, Lockwood 

Courtesy Garagiste Festival

MCV Wines, Morro Bay

Metrick Wines, throughout California

Mollie Wines, Santa Barbara County

Montagne Russe, Mill Valley

Montemar Winery, Lompoc

Ryan Cochrane Wines, Santa Barbara County

Serrano Wine, Paso Robles

Sycamore Ranch Winery, Crestline

TLO Wines,  Paso Robles

Torch Cellars, Paso Robles 

TW Fermentation Co., Paso Robles

Velvet Bee Wine, Santa Ynez Valley

Vino Vargas, San Miguel

Volatus Wines, Paso Robles

Weatherborne Wine Co., Santa Barbara County

Called “wildly exuberant and fun,” “wine tasting Nirvana” and “not-to-be missed’ by the Los Angeles Times, Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure has showcased hundreds of micro-production winemakers from Santa Barbara/Santa Ynez area, many of who poured their first vintage at the festival and have gone on to greater renown.

Garagiste Festivals Inc. is a nonprofit organization and benefits the Garagiste Scholarship at Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Department, so not only can you drink great wine and meeting interesting winemakers, your ticket also gives back to local youth. 

For more information, visit Hope to see some of 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 January 19, 2018.

Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah, photo by Paul Mobley.

Trevor Noah, photo by Paul Mobley.

Trevor Noah, who was launched into the international spotlight in 2015 when he was selected to fill Jon Stewart’s shoes as host of The Daily Show, makes his Santa Barbara debut on January 19 when UCSB Arts & Lectures presents an evening of stand-up with Trevor Noah, at 8 p.m. at the Arlington Theatre  (1317 State St.).

Raised in post-apartheid South Africa by a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison, Noah brings a unique perspective to his stories and hit comedy specials, including Afraid of the Dark, Lost in Translation, African American and his award-winning memoir, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood.

Newsweek called him, “A cultural chameleon who has learned to mine his surroundings as much for survival and human connection as for comedy.”  Noah’s incisive humor slips from jokes to earnest insights for a moving, thought-provoking and hilarious experience. 

Noah continues to tour all over the world and has performed in front of sold-out crowds at the Hammersmith Apollo in London and the Sydney Opera House in Australia as well as many U.S. cities.

 For tickets and more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805/893-3535 or visit

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 13, 2018.