Foodbank’s Table of Life Fundraiser

Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, Sherry Villanueva and Foodbank CEO Erik Talkin, courtesy photo

Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, Sherry Villanueva and Foodbank CEO Erik Talkin, courtesy photo

Support Foodbank of Santa Barbara County‘s Feed the Future programs—which include Food Literacy in Preschool, Kid’s Farmers Market, Picnic in the Park, Teens Love Cooking and Healthy School Pantry—at the Fourth Annual Table of Life Fundraiser on Oct. 17, from 4-7 p.m.

The event, which brings together the local food industry, chefs, restaurateurs, winemakers and foodies to celebrate Santa Barbara County’s finest, and provide nutritional meals to children will be held at Jim & Stephanie Sokolove’s Montecito estate. This year’s honorees are Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree and Sherry Villanueva, who receive special recognition for their leadership and steadfast commitment to improving food security.

Chef Jason Paluska of The Lark, courtesy photo

Chef Jason Paluska of The Lark, courtesy photo

The garden party features live music from the Doublewide Kings, wine and spirits and food stations from local favorites: Michael Hutchings, Christine Dahl, Stephanie Sokolove, The Lark, Driscoll’s Berries, World Cuisine Express Organic Kitchen, Edie Robertson, Liz Santa Barbara Caterer, Catering Connection, Pete Clemens, McConnell’s Ice Cream, Tri-County Produce, Shalhoob Meat Company, Nimita’s Cuisine and Bacara Resort and Spa.

School of Knowledge Table Sponsors have generously released limited tickets for purchase. A $250 ticket donation sponsors five children enrolled in our Feed the Future programs. Each child receives delicious, fresh produce and food literacy training. Click here to buy a ticket.








Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is transforming health by eliminating hunger and food insecurity through good nutrition and food literacy. The Foodbank provides nourishment and education through its award-winning programs and a network of over 300 member nonprofit partners. In Santa Barbara County, one in four people receive food support from the Foodbank; over 146,000 unduplicated people of whom nearly 35% are children. Last year, the Foodbank distributed 9.7 million pounds of food — half of which was fresh produce. For more information, visit

—Leslie Dinaberg

Published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on October 3, 2015.

Cocktail Corner: Pinot Noir Comes to Paradise

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg  |

Shell Beach’s loss is Santa Barbara gain.

After 13 years of hosting the annual World of Pinot Noir, the two-day event moves to Santa Barbara this weekend (February 28-March 1), specifically to the luxurious, oceanfront Bacara Resort and Spa.

The mission is “to bring Pinot Noir producers from the most exceptional and unique regions in the world together with Pinot Noir enthusiasts for a weekend of celebration and education at the edge of California’s beautiful Central Coast.” For a complete look at the impressive list of participants click here.

Friday’s highlights include a seminar titled “Burgundy & Oregon: Parallels in Latitudes” where wine writer Katherine Cole shines a spotlight on the fact that though 4,000 miles apart, Burgundy and Oregon share a latitude and are both stellar Pinot Noir producing regions. As part of the seminar, guests will be treated to a three-course gourmet lunch in Restaurant Miró prepared by executive chef David Reardon and chef de cuisine Johan Denizot, created specifically to pair with the wines of the 45th parallel.

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

Now that’s my kind of professional development day!

Later that afternoon is the Friday Grand Tasting, featuring Pinot Noir from more than 100 producers, as well as a silent auction, screenings of wine-themed movies Somm and Sideways (with wine of course) and special winemaker dinners that evening.

Saturday’s seminar spotlights The Insider Wines of the Cote d’Or, where Don Kinnan CSS, CWE tells all about the secret wines, small producers, and boutique producers of the Cote d’Or. The session also includes a detailed discussion of the mountain of Corton, location of the Cote d’Or’s greatest expanse of Grand Cru vineyard acreage.

In addition to Corton and Corton-Charlemagne, wines will be tasted from Marsannay, Fixin, Pernand-Vergelesses, Savigny-Les-Beaune, Monthelie, Auxey-Duresses, Chassagne-Montrachet and Santenay. A short history of viticulture and principal vineyards in each village will be presented. During the presentation, 12 wines, selected to represent their villages best “terroirs” will be tasted.

Following the seminar, guests will enjoy a Burgundy-inspired three-course luncheon created by Bacara’s culinary team in the Miró Restaurant.

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

That afternoon is a second Grand Tasting, featuring a different roster of wineries from California and even more wines from our international and regional participants—more than 120 producers of this alluring wine.

If you’ve still got a taste for the grape, the Saturday Grand Tasting is followed by an evening gala, with a seasonal and fresh plated amuse bouche as the featured winemakers and the team of sommeliers introduce themselves. Eat, Drink, Enjoy!

For more information and tickets click  here.


Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on February 28, 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.”