Edible Santa Barbara Winter 2020

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ISSUE 44 • WINTER 2020

Santa Barbara & Wine Country

Cooks I S SUE

Julia Child in Santa Barbara A Trio of Chef Memories Demystifying the Sommelier L O Y A L



Experience the distinctive Margerum Tasting Room. Tastings, wines by the glass and light fare, on the mezzanine, at the bar or on the patio. Located at the Hotel Californian, 19 East Mason. Available for private parties and special events.

Visit and taste our couture collection of Barden wines. Barden produces limited release wines from the cold climate of Sta. Rita Hills. The Barden Tasting Room and patio is located downtown at 32 El Paseo.




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page 32

Departments 6 Food for Thought by Krista Harris

8 Small Bites What's 20 for 2020: New and Places Notable to Go in and Things to Eat and Drink Santa Barbara County

4 Verical In Season 10 Tasting Sun & Swell

16 Seasonal Recipes 13 In Electric Pressure Cooker Season Risotto with Peas and 14 Seasonal Recipes Meyer Lemon Salad Apple Avocado Energy Bites Golden Beet Borscht 20

Sweet Potato Cookies Seasonal Recipes

Classic Tiramisu Turning Citrus Upside Down



by C.B. Chu 22 Edible Garden 26 Edible More Peas, Please Garden by Joan S. Bolton Root Crops by Joan S. Bolton 26 Drinkable Landscape Not Your Normal Nog by George Yatchisin

30 Drinkable 28 Local Culinary Landscape Artist An Cooking Clark Staub Applewith Cocktail

by Booras thatLaura Computes by George Yatchisin 32 Edible Profile Local 32 All in the Culinary Family Artist Confectioner at Fess ParkerJessica WineryFoster by Laura WendyBooras Thies Sell

66 Eat 68 Event Drink Calendar Local Guide 68 7 2 The Eat Drink Last Bite Local Guide Winter’s Don’t-Miss Dish 72 The Last Bite by Liz Dodder Fall’s Don’t-Miss Dish by Liz Dodder






by Karna Hughes

page 46

42 Bon Appetit! Memories of Julia by Pascale Beale

Recipes in This Issue

48 A Trio of Memories

Main Dishes & Side Dishes

by Leslie Andrea Westbrook

52 Edible Nation Better Food for People and Planet by Amanda M. Faison

60 Demystifying the Sommelier by Hana-Lee Sedgwick 64 Stew from Scraps by Jill Lightner ABOUT THE COVER

Photo of a bowl of ‘Julia Child’ roses by Jona Christina (@jonachristinaphoto). Julia picked out this specimen during one of her many visits to Rose Story Farm in Carpinteria and they formally named it for her following her death.


66 Cassoulet 46 Cheese Soufflé 65 Cholent 17 Electric Pressure Cooker Risotto with Peas and Meyer Lemon 67 Gumbo

Desserts and Snacks 21 Blood Orange Almond Cake 18 Energy Bites 22 Kumquat Coconut Flan 24 Meyer Lemon Cornmeal Cake

Beverages 31 Eve Was Right Cocktail


36 Julia Child’s Return to Her California Roots Santa Barbara Sojourn

w ine country cuisine in the heart of the Historic Arts District Fresh, local ingredients, prepared with care. Excellent wines that reflect the quality and character of our region and work in concert with the cuisine. Warm, inviting ambience with engaging service at a relaxed, leisurely pace. This is bouchon.

dinner nightly Sun-Thurs 5-9pm | Fri-Sat 5-10pm

bouchon 9 west victoria street | 805.730.1160 | bouchonsantabarbara.com

EdibleSantaBarbara.com WINTER 2020 | 5

FOOD FOR THOUGHT Welcome to our first issue in the ’20s. We have a new look on our cover—adding “Wine Country” to our masthead to reinforce our connection with the thriving wine-growing region of Santa Barbara County. I’m also excited to kick off the year with a cooking themed issue that nicely ties in with Santa Barbara’s (and the world’s) beloved grand dame of cuisine, the late Julia Child. My first memories of Julia were of watching her television show “The French Chef” around 1970. It aired on PBS, which was the only TV channel I was allowed Krista Harris to watch when I was 5 and 6 years old. So there were many times when I came home from school and watched “Sesame Street,” “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” and then (probably because I didn’t even know that I could change the channel), eventually Julia came on the television. I was fascinated. I loved the way she talked, the way she poked at and handled the food and the reassuring way there was always delicious-looking food at the end of the show. I can remember that my mother (who never had any interest in cooking) saw what I was watching and was completely baffled. It wouldn’t be until years later that I even attempted cooking on my own, but I like to think that my interest in cooking began with “The French Chef.” Some 30 years later in Santa Barbara I had the pleasure of meeting Julia briefly when my husband and I were at D’Angelo’s—one of the spots she loved to have people take her in her later years. It was a busy weekend morning and we happened to be seated at a cozy table when one of the owners (the previous owners —Erik Hinshaw and Lou D’Angelo—were friends of ours) told us that Julia was arriving and they didn’t have a table inside for her. Of course we were happy to move outside for Julia, and it is one of my favorite memories of the many mornings I’ve spent at D’Angelo’s. Julia’s time spent in Santa Barbara is covered in an article by Karna Hughes in this issue. And writers Pascale Beale and Leslie Westbrook also share memories of Julia in their articles. You’ll be able to indulge your own memories of Julia or learn more about her and about all things cooking-related this March. Inspired by Julia Child’s longtime admiration and appreciation for Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Culinary Experience will take place March 13 –15 in partnership with the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts Foundation. There will be cooking classes, Julia-themed events, screenings, exhibits and tours. As Julia would say, Bon appétit!

Krista Harris, Editor and Co-Publisher

We want to see and hear from you. Email us at info@ediblesantabarbara.com. Follow and tag us on Instagram @ediblesb and #ediblesb.



SANTA BAR BAR A Member of Edible Communities

Edible Communities James Beard Foundation Publication of the Year (2011)


Steven Brown & Krista Harris EDITOR



Doug Adrianson DESIGNER


ads@ediblesantabarbara.com SOCIAL MEDIA


Jordan benShea, Rosminah Brown, Katie Hershfelt

Contributors Pascale Beale Joan S. Bolton Laura Booras C.B. Chu Liz Dodder Amanda M. Faison Wil Fernandez Karna Hughes Jill Lightner Debbra Mikaelsen Coco Morante Hana-Lee Sedgwick Leslie Andrea Westbrook George Yatchisin Edible Santa Barbara® is published quarterly and distributed throughout Santa Barbara County. Subscription rate is $28 annually. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used without written permission from the publisher. Publisher expressly disclaims all liability for any occurrence that may arise as a consequence of the use of any information or recipes. Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings and omissions. If, however, an error comes to your attention, please accept our sincere apologies and notify us. Thank you.




V I N E YA R D & W I N E R Y

Wines of Elegance & Balance Since 1985 Solar powered. Sustainable wine growers. Open Daily 11– 4 | 7200 & 7600 Foxen Canyon Road | 805.937.4251 | FoxenVineyard.com EdibleSantaBarbara.com WINTER 2020 | 7



20 for 2020 Places to Go and Things to Eat and Drink


by Krista Harris



Let the party continue as we head over to 418 State St. to a trio of businesses under one roof, a concept that seems to be the thing now. Start off with Shaker Mill (ShakerMillSB.com), another brainchild of Brandon Ristaino and Misty Orman-Ristaino (owners of The Good Lion and Test Pilot). The concept at Shaker Mill is craft cocktails inspired by the golden age of Cuba. And also in the building is Cubaneo (CubaneoSB.com), sister restaurant to Barbareño. Cubaneo complements Shaker Mill’s cocktails by serving casual Cuban food with a California flair. At the back of building, you’ll find taproom and eatery Modern Times, also known as the Academy of Recreational Sciences (ModernTimesBeer.com). Shaker Mill

Modern Times

Want to raise a glass to toast to the new decade? Pearl Social, located in the Funk Zone at 131 Anacapa St. in Santa Barbara (PearlSocialSB.com), is the latest hot addition to the cocktail scene. Try one of their signature cocktails like Oceans of Love (Copper & Kings Absinthe, Broker’s Gin, lemon, Mont honey, prosecco) accompanied by a small plate of smoked trout dip and malt vinegar potato chips. We especially like the fact that they have creative nonalcoholic drinks and a regular lineup of live music.



It’s a new decade and there is so much more to Santa Barbara County’s culinary scene than there was just 10 years ago. Though we could never cover it all, we’ve rounded up 20 delectable things for you to seek out and try this year.


Corazón Cucina at the Project

Another such project is aptly named The Project (TheProjectSB.com) located at 214 State St. Chef Ramon Velazquez, well-known for Corazón Cucina at the Public Market, has expanded the concept with his exquisite Mexican specialties now served up with handcrafted cocktails. On site you’ll also find another location for Captain Fatty’s (CaptainFattys.com), and not surprisingly their many beer offerings pair perfectly with The Project’s food.


Originating in San Diego, their latest foray into Santa Barbara is a lush visual experience with a huge selection of their beers on tap and a fantastic menu of plant-based food offerings. Try the Schnitzel Times Sando or the Korean Chicken Sandwich (both are entirely vegan, as is their whole menu). We love the fact that they brew coffee as well as beer and that the company is employee owned.

Captain Fatty’s at the Project

EdibleSantaBarbara.com WINTER 2020 | 9


combinations like Mexican cocoa or try their ‘Coastal Fog’ with a black tea glaze (HookAndPressDonuts.com).

Mosaic Locale: Hook and Press, Buena Onda, Draughtsmen Ale

In Montecito, we are excited to see acclaimed pastry chef Elizabeth Colling’s new concept Merci in Montecito (MerciMontecito.com), located in the Montecito Country Mart at 1028 Coast Village Rd. You can pop in for breakfast, snack time, lunch or take home a delicious dinner to go… perhaps along with one of her decadent desserts. In Summerland, we are equally excited to see the new home store and café Field + Fort (FieldAndFort.com) now open at 2580 Lillie Ave. Formerly Cantwell’s Market, this appears to be just what Summerland needed.


We have to give a shout out to a couple more multibusiness concepts. Farther up State St. at 1131 is Mosaic Locale with taproom Draughtsmen Ale (DraughtsmenAleworks.com); Buena Onda, artisan baked Argentinian empanadas (BuenaOndaSB.com); and Hook and Press Donuts, handcrafted donuts in flavor

Back in the Funk Zone you can head over to 116 Santa Barbara St., where you’ll find Lama Dog (LamaDog. com) with its plethora of beers and even wine on tap. Sometimes you’ll even see the owner’s dog, an adorable Tibetan Mastiff named Lama, hanging out. Grab a bite to eat at The Nook (NookSantaBarbara.com). You’ll find brewery Topa Topa (TopaTopa.beer) and winemakers Blair and Sarah Fox’s Fox Wine Co. (FoxWineCo.com) in the location as well.

Lama Dog Tap Room and the Nook



Merci in Montecito

Merci in Montecito


At almost the opposite end of Santa Barbara County, Presqu’ile Winery (Presqu’ileWine.com) has a new executive chef, Julie Simon, who will be creating wine and food pairings as well as planning a new organic garden to source her own ingredients. The stunning tasting room with its expansive views is located in Santa Maria at 5391 Presqu’ile Dr. We love the fact that they often have live music and events. Another winery known for wine and food parings is the lovely estate Roblar Winery and Vineyards (RoblarWinery.com). Executive Chef Brooke Stockwell creates a new menu each season and finds inspiration from their organic vegetable farm.

Presqu’ile Vineyard: Chef Julie Simon

EdibleSantaBarbara.com WINTER 2020 | 11

In Solvang locals and visitors are happy to find the new Cailloux Cheese Shop (CaillouxCheeseShop.com) located at 1661 Mission Dr. This upscale European-style specialty store offers fresh-cut artisanal cheese along with charcuterie, fresh bread and catering. COURTESY OF TASTE OF SANTA RITA HILLS

The tiny town of Los Alamos has a new eatery: Dim SAMA at Babi’s Beer Emporium (BabisBeerEmporium.com) located at 388 Bell St. Adjacent and adjoining Casa Dumetz winery, which is known for their lively tasting room and Friday night speaker series, Dim SAMA (their sister restaurant is SAMA SAMA) offers small plates of delicacies like turnip cakes in XO sauce, Sichuan lamb wontons, pork and shrimp shumai, and of course several types of bao.

Taste of Santa Rita Hills


Now in Los Olivos, Taste of Santa Rita Hills (TasteOfStaRitaHills.com) has moved their tasting room from Lompoc and is located at 2923 Grand Ave. Antonio and Jeni Moretti opened their tasting room to showcase select wines of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation that you might not find anywhere else. Taste wines from many different producers as well as their own Moretti label. We are extremely fond of their Italian varietals and their Prosecco.

Cailloux Cheese Shop




Babi’s Beer Emporium

Dim SAMA at Babi’s Beer Emporium

ChocolateMaya.com 15 West Gutierrez Street • Santa Barbara, California 93101 Phone: (805) 965-5956 Fax: (805) 563-1263

Monday–Friday 10am–6pm, Saturday 10am–5pm, Sunday 10am– 4pm

Comfort Food with a Twist!

BREAKFAST Charcuterie Dessert


Dog Friendly Patio

DINNER Local Wine Craft Beer

1555-1557 Mission Dr ▪ Solvang CA ▪ 805.691.9444 www.succulentcafe.com EdibleSantaBarbara.com WINTER 2020 | 13

in Season this winter Winter Produce

Year-Round Produce

Winter Seafood

Artichokes Avocados Basil Blood oranges Broccoli rabe (rapini) Brussels sprouts Cabbage Celery Celery root Chanterelle mushrooms Cherimoya Cilantro Citron Collards Dill Escarole Fava beans Fennel Grapefruit Green garlic Kiwi Kohlrabi Kumquats Limes Mustard greens Onions, green bunching Papayas Parsnips Pea greens Peas, snap Persimmon Pineapple guava Pomelos Radicchio Romanesco Rutabagas Sapote Strawberries Sunchokes Sweet potatoes Tangerines/Mandarins Tomatoes, hothouse Turnips

Almonds, almond butter

Halibut Mussels Ridgeback shrimp Rock fish Sardines Spiny lobster Spot prawns White seabass


(harvested Aug/Sept)

Apples Arugula Beans, dried Beets Bok choy Broccoli Carrots Cauliflower Chard Dandelion Dates

(harvested Sept/Oct)

Edible flowers Garlic

(harvested May/June)


(Bay leaf, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme)

Kale Leeks Lemons Lettuce Mushrooms Onions, bulb

(harvested May/June)

Oranges Pistachios, pistachio oil (harvested Sept/Oct)

Potatoes Radishes Raisins

(harvested Sept/Oct)

Shallots Spinach Sprouts Squash, winter

(harvested July/Oct)

Walnuts, walnut oil (harvested Sept/Oct)


(harvested Aug/Sept)

Year-Round Seafood Abalone (farmed) Black cod Clams Oysters Rock crab Sanddabs Urchin

Other Year-Round Coffee (limited availability) Dairy

(Regional raw milk, artisanal goat- and cow-milk cheeses, butters, curds, yogurts and spreads)

Eggs Fresh flowers Honey Olives, olive oil Meat

(Beef, chicken, duck, goat, rabbit, pork)

Potted plants/herbs Preserves Wheat

(Wheat berries, wheat flour, bread, pasta and baked goods produced from wheat grown locally)


Winter Issue Release Party


San t & W a Bar ine Cou bar a n


44 • WIN




Cook s ISSU

Julia Ch

ild in Sa


nta Ba


A Trio of


Chef M T O


s Dem ys



the Som


Thursday, January 30 5 –7pm

At Margerum Wine Company 19 E Mason St, Santa Barbara

Join the Edible Santa Barbara team as we celebrate the Winter issue with Doug Margerum. Pick up a copy of the magazine, sip wine and nibble as you network with like-minded foodies! $15 for a flight of specialty chosen Margerum wines and light nibbles. Advance tickets required, for more info visit:



Conversion Table for


Volume Measurements

Weight and Metric Conversions

1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons

16 ounces = 1 pound

1/16 cup = 1 tablespoon

1 ounce = 28 grams

1/8 cup = 2 tablespoons

8 ounces = 227 grams

1/6 cup = 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons

16 ounces = 454 grams

1/4 cup = 4 tablespoons

35 ounces = 1 kilogram

1/3 cup = 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon 3/8 cup = 6 tablespoons

Liquid Measurements

1/2 cup = 8 tablespoons

8 ounces = 1 cup

2/3 cup = 10 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons

1 pint = 2 cups

3/4 cup = 12 tablespoons

1 quart = 2 pints

1 cup = 16 tablespoons

1 gallon = 4 quarts e d i b l e s a n t a b a r b a r a . c o m

EdibleSantaBarbara.com WINTER 2020 | 15




Electric Pressure Cooker Risotto with Peas and Meyer Lemon Recipe and photo by Coco Morante Risotto is one of the favorite foods to make in an electric pressure cooker. It’s a quick, easy side dish that can pull together an easy weeknight meal or serve for a special occasion. This risotto recipe starts just like a traditional version, with diced shallots sautéed in butter and olive oil. The recipe speeds up when the broth is poured in all at once, rather than ladled in stages. The rice cooks in 7 minutes instead of the usual 20, and it comes out just as creamy and delicious as if you’d stirred it all the while. Peas and the zest of Meyer lemon make this dish a flavorful, fresh complement to any menu. The biggest advantage of electric pressure cooking is speed. Most foods will cook in half the time or less when compared to traditional methods. Once the appliance comes up to pressure (this takes 5 minutes or more, depending on the temperature and volume of ingredients you’re using), a timer will count down and let you know when your food is ready. At this point, you can either wait for the pressure to release naturally or release the pressure valve manually. Place a damp towel over the valve when using the “quick release” method, to help capture and diffuse the steam. Makes 4 servings 2 tablespoons olive oil

2 0 2 A N A C A PA S T R E E T, S A N TA B A R B A R A , C A 8 0 5 . 9 6 3 . 3 6 3 3 | S U N - T H U 1 0 - 6 P M | F R I - S AT 1 0 - 7 P M W W W. S B W I N E R Y. C O M | @ S A N TA B A R B A R A W I N E R Y

Santa Barbara Winery

L a f o nyards d Winery & Vine

6 8 5 5 S A N TA R O S A R O A D , B U E L LT O N , C A 8 0 5 . 6 8 8 . 7 9 2 1 | O P E N D A I LY 1 0 - 5 P M 1 1 1 YA N O N A L I S T R E E T, S A N TA B A R B A R A , C A 8 0 5 . 8 4 5 . 2 0 2 0 | S U N - T H U 1 0 - 6 P M | F R I - S AT 1 0 - 7 P M W W W. L A F O N D W I N E R Y. C O M | @ L A F O N D W I N E R Y

2 tablespoons butter 1 large shallot, minced


⁄ 3 cup dry white wine

Juice of 1 ⁄ 2 Meyer lemon 3 cups chicken broth (if using low-sodium, add 3 ⁄ 4 teaspoon salt) 1 cup freshly shelled or frozen, defrosted peas Zest of ½ Meyer lemon

Press the “Sauté” button on the programmable electric pressure cooker. Add the olive oil and butter to the pot. When the butter has melted, add the shallot. Sauté until softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add the rice to the pot and sauté for another few minutes, until the grains have gone from translucent to opaque white. Add the wine and lemon juice and stir everything to combine. Continue to cook on the “Sauté” setting just until the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and stir to combine, making sure all of the rice is submerged in the broth. Place the lid on the pressure cooker. If your pressure cooker has a manual steam release knob, make sure it is set to its “Seal” setting. If your pressure cooker has a “Risotto” setting, select that preset. Otherwise, program its “Manual” setting to cook at high pressure for 7 minutes. When the timer goes off, perform a quick pressure release. If your pressure cooker has a manual steam release knob, place a damp towel over the knob and quickly turn it to release the pressure. When the pressure has fully released, open the pot and stir in the peas. Serve immediately, garnished with Meyer lemon zest. Coco Morante is a Bay Area food writer and author of the LeftySpoon.com website and The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook (Ten Speed Press, 2017).


1½ cups short-grain rice


voted by Santa Barbara


LamaDog.com 116 SANTA BARBARA ST.

FOOD FROM THE NOOK EdibleSantaBarbara.com WINTER 2020 | 17


Recipes Energy Bites These have a somewhat decadent, satisfying flavor that will make you think you’re getting a treat, but they’re full of things that are good for you. The recipe is highly accommodating; try it with different kinds of dried fruit (dates work well) and nut butters. The key is to get a mixture that will hold together sufficiently to be rolled into a ball. Makes 20 to 24 1

⁄ 4 cup blanched hazelnuts

3 tablespoons peanut butter or hazelnut butter About 12 pitted prunes 1

⁄ 4 cup coconut butter or manna

2 tablespoons cocoa (or raw cacao) powder 2 tablespoons dried banana powder 2 tablespoons chocolate chips Cocoa powder or fine dried coconut for rolling

In a food processor, grind the nuts until they form a paste. Add peanut butter, prunes, coconut butter, cacao and banana powders, and chocolate chips. Blend for 3 or 4 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and starting to come together. Stop the machine and take a bit in your fingers; the heat from your hands should make it easy to roll. If too wet, add more cacao or banana powder. If too dry, add a bit more nut butter.

Debbra Mikaelsen’s work can be found at DebbraMikaelsen.com. This recipe was originally published in Edible Vancouver & Wine Country magazine.



Form small balls, about 1 inch in diameter, and roll in cocoa powder or dried coconut. They freeze well.



FOOD you f e e l

that makes

Farm to Table Central Coast Baja Cuisine Happy Hour M–F 4:30–6:30pm • Dinner 5pm–close

GOOD Goleta

5668 Calle Real Goleta, CA 93117 805.770.2730

Next to Panino, Across from Trader Joe’s


331 Motor Way Santa Barbara, CA 93101 805.845.5379 Corner of State and Gutierrez

La Cumbre

3849 State St. Suite i157 Santa Barbara, CA 93105 805.569.0011 In La Cumbre Plaza, next to Vons

7 E Anapamu St, Santa Barbara 805-277-7730 www.lacocinasb.com EdibleSantaBarbara.com WINTER 2020 | 19



Blood Orange Almond Cake

Turning Citrus Upside-Down by C.B. Chu PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROSMINAH BROWN


ike many people of a certain age, I used to rave about the pineapple upside-down cake, swooning over its juicy sunburst rings and red-dyed maraschino cherries. Now that I have evolved into a foodie snob, I scoff at its canned artificial looks and taste.

First, value your good fortune of living close to the growers of these citrus fruits. Use the fruit fresh and just-picked, before the zest stiffens and loses its flavorful oil. The fruits are juicy; keep them to a judicious amount so that the cake layer will not be weighed down when it is inverted.

My loss, really. Baking the upside-down way is an ingenious technique, which deserves to be used beyond showcasing the Hawaiian exotica. Just think: In one fell swoop you can cook the fruit and batter, seamlessly blending their flavors, concoct a sauce and be done with decorating. What could be more efficient?

Second, the juiciness can trick you. Traditionally an upside-down cake is made in a cast-iron skillet so that the porous metal breaths and heats evenly, resulting in a thick, smooth caramel sauce. The problem is that the citrus acidity might damage the skillet’s seasoned surface that you carefully maintain. These three recipes try to work around that dilemma by using a cake pan with a removable bottom and by pre-cooking the topping ingredients separately.

Winter months in Southern California are the season for kumquats, mandarins, blood oranges and our very own Meyer lemons. Many varieties bear small fruit with tender skin. Thinly sliced, rind and all, they lend themselves to be steam-baked under a blanket of butter, sugar and eggs. There is a moment of suspense when you invert the cake onto a platter and peel away the parchment paper. You gasp. The cake holds; the crown of fruit reveals its beauty in glistening hues of gold. Two of the following recipes play up the distinctive attribute of the tender rind of Meyer lemons and kumquats. A third, using blood oranges, suggests ways to handle fruits with thicker skin. As you tweak these recipes further, do keep some pointers in mind. 20 | EDIBLE SANTA BARBARA WINTER 2020

Third, line the pan with a piece of parchment paper large enough to cover the pan bottom and up the side by about 1½ inches. Nip and pleat it to fit snugly. This step makes for an easy release and dripless baking. Fourth, the cake burns easily. Put the cake on a rack positioned at mid-level of the oven, about seven inches above the bottom element. If your oven offers the convection-bake feature, use it; convection-cook with heat from the back is even better. And last, serve the cakes warm and mellow. There is no need for frosting or ice cream; a bowl of Greek yogurt offers cool contrast.

Recipes Blood Orange Almond Cake Makes 1 (9-inch) cake 1

⁄ 2 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided 1 teaspoon orange juice Pinch of salt 2 blood oranges 1 navel orange 3 tablespoons grated zest 11 ⁄ 4 cups all-purpose flour 3

do not overmix. Add almond and vanilla extract and fold in the grated zest. Scrape the cake mixture into the pan, making sure it covers the fruit layer and touches the parchment paper. Tap the pan gently on the counter once to eliminate any air holes. Bake until the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center, or a cake tester comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes on a rack. Place a cake platter on top and invert carefully. Release the cake and peel off the parchment paper. Warm and thin 3 tablespoons raspberry jam with a little water or brandy. Glaze the blood orange slices to heighten their color and leave the navel orange slices unglazed. Serve warm or at room temperature. The cake can be made ahead of time; warm it gently in the microwave oven for a minute.

⁄ 4 cup blanched almond flour, toasted

2 teaspoons baking powder 1

⁄ 4 teaspoon salt


⁄ 2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar 2 large eggs, room temperature 1

⁄ 2 cup whole milk


⁄ 4 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 tablespoons raspberry jam 1 tablespoon water or brandy

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare a 9-inch spring-form cake pan with removable bottom. Cut a circle of parchment paper large enough to cover the bottom of the cake pan and up the side for about 1½ inches. Line the pan, snugly pleating and nipping the paper to fit. Set aside. In a small, thick-bottomed saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter and grease the parchment paper lining the cake pan. In the same pan heat ½ cup sugar, a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon orange juice until the syrup turns a light brown. Swirl it occasionally; do not stir or the sugar will crystallize. Away from heat add 2 tablespoons of butter. Pour the syrup into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Grate the zest of the oranges to make 3 tablespoons. Set aside. Cut off the top and bottom of an orange. Place it on a flat surface and cut away the rind and pith, following the curve of the fruit. Slice crosswise into 4–5 sections. Repeat with the rest of the oranges; you should have 14–15 slices. Cut 6 slices into halves. Position a slice of blood orange in the center of the prepared pan and arrange the other slices and sections around it attractively. Toast the almond flour in the oven or in a dry pan on the stove. Whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, cream ½ cup butter and 1 cup granulated sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and milk alternately;

Blood Orange Almond Cake

EdibleSantaBarbara.com WINTER 2020 | 21

Kumquat Coconut Flan Makes 1 (9-inch) flan 2 cups small kumquats 3

⁄ 4 cup light brown sugar


⁄ 4 cup unsalted butter

1 teaspoon kumquat juice 1 cup all-purpose flour 1

⁄ 2 cup coconut flour


⁄ 4 teaspoon salt


⁄ 2 cup unsalted butter, cold


⁄ 4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg, room temperature 3 tablespoons thick coconut cream 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 drops coconut flavoring (optional) Garnish: 1 ⁄ 4 cup coconut curls or large flakes, unsweetened

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare a square or round flan pan about 9-inch diameter by 1½ inch height. Cut a piece of parchment paper to extend 1½ inches up the side of the flan pan. Grease it well. Line the pan snugly, pleating and nipping the paper to fit. Grease the paper with oil. Set aside. In a small saucepan, bring ¼ cup butter and the brown sugar to a gentle boil, until the sugar is completely melted. Swirl it occasionally; do not stir or the sugar will crystallize. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Cut off the ends of the kumquats and cut each into halves crosswise; discard the seeds. Pile the lot onto the syrup in the pan, cut side or round side down, no matter. Toast the coconut flour in the oven or in a dry pan on the stove. Toast the large coconut flakes as needed. In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, coconut flour and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until the crumbs are pea-sized. In a separate small bowl, blend the egg and coconut cream and add the vanilla extract and optional coconut extract. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir as you would for making a piecrust. The mixture should remain crumbly; do not over mix. Scrape the crumbs onto the fruit layer and press down gently all over. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let the flan cool in the pan for 30 minutes on a rack. Place a cake platter on top and invert carefully. Release the flan and peel off the parchment paper. Garnish with the roasted coconut curls. Serve warm or at room temperature. If the flan is made ahead of time, warm it gently it in an oven for a minute or 2; do not reheat in a microwave oven.


Opposite, top and bottom: Kumquat Coconut Flan

EdibleSantaBarbara.com WINTER 2020 | 23

Meyer Lemon Cornmeal Cake Makes 1 (9-inch) cake 3 small Meyer lemons 3

⁄ 4 cup light brown sugar


⁄ 4 cup unsalted butter

1 cup all-purpose flour 3

⁄ 4 cup fine cornmeal (not stone-ground variety)

2 teaspoons baking powder 1

⁄ 4 teaspoon salt


⁄ 2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar 2 large eggs, room temperature 1

⁄ 2 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 tablespoons finely grated zest, from 2 additional lemons 3 tablespoons honey (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare a 9-inch spring-form cake pan with removable bottom. Cut a circle of parchment paper large enough to cover the bottom of the cake pan and up the side for about 1½ inches. Line the pan, snugly pleating and nipping the paper to fit. Grease the paper with oil. Set aside. In a small saucepan, bring ¼ cup butter and the brown sugar to a gentle boil, until the sugar is completely melted. Swirl it occasionally; do not stir or the sugar will crystallize. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Grate the zest of 2 lemons to make 3 tablespoons. Set aside. Thinly slice the remaining 3 lemons crosswise and discard the seeds and ends. Set a small slice in the center of the pan and arrange more slices around it in spirals or concentric circles, overlapping them as you go. Whisk together the all-purpose flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, cream ½ cup butter and 1 cup granulated sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and milk alternately; do not over mix. Add vanilla extract and fold in the grated zest. Scrape the cake mixture into the pan, making sure it covers the fruit layer and touches the parchment paper. Tap the pan gently on the counter once to eliminate any air holes. Bake until the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center, or a cake tester comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes on a rack. Place a cake platter on top and invert carefully. Release the cake and peel off the parchment paper. Drizzle the optional honey over the cake top to glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature. The cake can be made ahead of time; warm it gently in the microwave oven for a minute. Born and raised in Hong Kong, C. B. Chu has put down root in Santa Barbara. She strives to straddle time, space and cultures. Opposite: Meyer Lemon Cornmeal Cake


Bakery, Coffee, Tea, Breakfast, Brunch “Bree’Osh samples some of the County’s best loved pastries.” –Michelin Guide California 2019

Made fresh daily on our premises. 1150 COAST VILLAGE ROAD, SUITE E, MONTECITO MON–SUN: 7AM–2PM

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wines of vision, balance and character 813 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara 805-963-7999 ~ www.aubonclimat.com EdibleSantaBarbara.com WINTER 2020 | 25



Earthy beets and carrots are among the easiest winter vegetables to grow

Root Crops: Frilly Shoots and Sturdy Roots by Joan S. Bolton


et’s get to the root of the matter. It’s tough to get motivated to garden over winter, when the days are chilly, overcast, wet or just plain dreary. But if you cave to the inclination to cozy up indoors, you’ll miss out on tasty root crops that are key ingredients in winter comfort food. Earthy beets, carrots, radishes and turnips are


among the easiest winter vegetables to grow. Most mature fast, with some ready to eat only six to eight weeks after sprouting. They also take little space, with their frilly shoots and sturdy roots content to grow in containers. So if slogging out to a muddy garden is too daunting, you can tend pots closer to your door. (continued on page 28)

French breakfast radishes

EdibleSantaBarbara.com WINTER 2020 | 27

Getting Started Find a spot that gets at least four to six hours of direct sun. Then look down. To facilitate your roots’ successful downward growth, the soil must be light, loose and have excellent drainage. Do not even think about planting in heavy soil, which can cause stubby, malformed roots and rot, and makes harvesting next to impossible, especially after the soil is saturated by rain. Break up the soil with a shovel or garden fork down about 18 inches, then work in lots of fine-textured compost or other well-decomposed organic material in the top foot. If you’re starting with sandier soil, that should do it, as a sandy loam is ideal. But if you’re facing heavy clay, avoid it altogether by switching to a raised bed, where you can better control the conditions. Or fill a tall container with lightweight potting soil or a blend of potting soil and cactus and succulent mix. When you’re done, the soil should smell fresh, feel a little silty or gritty and crumble between your fingers.

How Deep Is Really Enough? Prepping 18 inches provides plenty of room for most root crops. However, for growing smaller roots, another general rule is to combine the depth of the root with the length of its “tail,” then add a few inches. For instance, most beets range in size from a golf ball to an orange and have a tail that’s another one and a half times as long. Burpee’s Golden Beet and beautiful Chioggia, with its stunning, alternating circles of white and deep red, both grow about two inches tall, with tails trailing another three inches. So your depth should be at least seven to eight inches. Burpee’s Red Ball Beet grows about three inches tall and has a six-inch tail; its bed should be a foot deep. The depth for carrots ranges widely. Thumbelina carrots form stubby globes just an inch or two across with no tail in sight, while long, skinny Sugarsnax carrots grow 12 inches with another few inches of tail and require that full 18 inches of loose soil to grow properly. Radishes vary as well. Petite Easter Egg radishes form little ovals only 1½ inches across with tails nearly twice that. Peppery Sparkler radishes are about the size of a golf ball and bear threeto four-inch-long tails. White Oriental–type radishes, such as Summer Cross, grow more than a foot, with tails extending another few inches, taking you down 18 to 20 inches or more. Turnips are more consistent, with most harvested at two inches. However, their tails vary. Heirloom Purple Top bears tails that are a sturdy three to four inches long, while smooth, white Japanese Hakurei bears thready tails four to five inches long.

Sowing Seeds Direct sow your root crops. Do not start them in cells or flats, where they can quickly outgrow the depth, become stunted, stop growing, then balk at transplanting.


Use your fingers, a trowel or a broad stick to shape shallow furrows in your divinely loose soil. Follow the depth and spacing instructions on the individual seed packets. Pour the tiny seeds from the packet into your hand, then pinch and dribble them into the furrows. Gently brush the soil from the sides of the furrows over the seeds to create a thin covering about a quarter-inch to a halfinch thick. Lightly sprinkle the soil with a water bucket or hose. Too much force can dislodge the seeds before they’ve had a chance to root into the ground. Protect your soon-to-emerge seedlings from pesky birds by netting the bed. Keep the soil moist. Within a week to 10 days, the first sprouts should emerge. Once your seedlings have produced several sets of true leaves, begin thinning them to their recommended spacing. Toss the fresh thinnings into soups or salads. Once the frilly tops of the remaining seedlings are two to three inches tall, you can remove the netting.

Ongoing Care, Harvest and Planting Strategies Root crops need consistent, even irrigation for uniform growth and to prevent cracking. If winter rains don’t oblige, water at least once a week. Apply an inch-thick layer of fine-textured mulch to maintain moisture on the surface. As your roots approach their maturity dates, brush back the soil to check the width and color of their “shoulders.” Pull one if you’re not sure whether they’re ripe. When you do harvest, take the entire plant. Patience may be required. If we have a string of cool, rainy days, the roots may stall out, taking longer to mature. Your eight- to nine-week classic Scarlet Nantes heirloom carrots may not be ready for 12 weeks. But when they hit their peak, they’ll taste just as crunchy and sweet. Also, because the lifespan of many root crops is so quick, you can plant several rounds (this is called succession planting) before warm weather begins next spring. Be sure to refresh the soil each time. Or interplant your faster root veggies with slower-growing cool-season crops, such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. You’ll have ample time to harvest the roots before the larger edibles fill in. Joan S. Bolton is a freelance writer, garden coach and garden designer who confesses to a lifelong love affair with plants. She and her husband, Tom, have filled their four-acre property in western Goleta with natives and other colorful, water-conserving plants. They also maintain avocado, citrus and fruit trees and grow vegetables and herbs year-round. SantaBarbaraGardens.com

Keep Saving Santa Barbara!

To reduce water use & your bill: • Check and adjust your automatic sprinkler system every month. • Apply a layer of mulch to increase your soil’s water retention. • Irrigate efficiently by switching to drip or watering by hand.

fresh ceviches, mouthwatering tacos and homemade agua frescas and now offering traditional Mexican desserts at Corazon Next Door

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Eat In, Take Out, Catering & Events 38 W Victoria [inside the Public Market] Mon–Fri 11am–9pm Sat–Sun 10am–9pm


EdibleSantaBarbara.com WINTER 2020 | 29



An Apple Cocktail that Computes by George Yatchisin PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEVEN BROWN


will apologize in advance to actual Santa Barbara natives (I’ve only been here 25 years), but this region’s seasons are sort of messed up. Contrary to the views of many a true SB-newbie, I do believe there are seasons here, it’s just they are subtle and generally a season behind. When is it warmest? October! When does it finally cool off? February! So here’s a cocktail that in the rest of the world might be best sipped in fall, but for Santa Barbara it’s the perfect beginning-of-the-year warmth and cheer. The Eve Was Right Cocktail not only is bold enough to raise a boozy fist at the Bible, what with its apple core, but it’s a variation on the Honeymoon Cocktail, which has been kicking around since before Prohibition. It was a signature cocktail at the Brown Derby chain in Los Angeles back in the day, and was included in the esteemed PDT Cocktail Book (Sterling Epicure, 2011). Simply put, it’s a sour, one of the classic forms of cocktails. It looks a bit like the old standard the Sidecar, even, what with the brandy and citrus liqueur and lemon juice, but apple brandy makes it a completely different animal— or should I say conveyance attached to another vehicle? 30 | EDIBLE SANTA BARBARA WINTER 2020

For Laird Bonded Apple Brandy is a delightful story of distilling all its own. The Laird family has been in the business of making booze from apples for so long that George Washington was one of their original customers. That “bonded” distinction is key. Here it means it’s strong —100 proof—and 100% apple. Beyond “straight” apple brandy (or applejack, as it’s also called) there is a “blended” designation, which features apple brandy distilled along with neutral grain spirits. The straight brandy is therefore a bit more punchy and much more pure of flavor, and therefore an even more assertive mixer in a cocktail. Digressive side note: If you research the Honeymoon Cocktail, you’ll find some folks prefer Calvados —French apple brandy—to American. Calvados must be produced in Normandy, must be aged a minimum of two years in oak, so for my money (and that’s often an issue, too, btw), it’s a better sipper. It’s more brandy than apple, if that makes sense. So that’s why I say go American for the Eve Was Right. But if you care to experiment, try it both with Laird and with a Calvados.



Eve Was Right Cocktail


Makes 2 cocktails

Sensational Cuisine.

4 ounces Laird Bonded Apple Brandy 1 ounce Cointreau 1 ounce yellow Chartreuse 1 ounce fresh lemon juice 2 (2-inch) sprigs fresh rosemary

Combine everything except for the rosemary in a cocktail shaker with lots of ice. Shake vigorously to chill. Strain into 2 coupes. Place a sprig of rosemary in each drink.

The backbone of Root 246’s menu is a commitment to American cuisine that is farmfresh, delightfully simple, and above all…delicious.

In our yard, depending on the tree, there are some apples hanging all year long —which might just mean we don’t pick enough of them. It also suggests growing seasons are hard to pin down in these parts. But we definitely have lemons in winter, too, and a Meyer always works well in a cocktail given its edge of sweetness with a central acid bite. Poor George Washington didn’t have any citrus that sophisticated to mix into his applejack. Cointreau gets to give you some more sweetness plus citrus plus some oiliness. You want a sour to coat your mouth a bit, and this drink does that well. Then there’s the Chartreuse, which I have a crush on of late. The classic Honeymoon Cocktail would ask for Benedictine, but that’s almost too easy a choice given the popularity (and here I exaggerate what “popular” means outside of cocktail nerd culture) of B&B (Benedictine & Brandy). Why not go with the product of other monks, other herbal infusions? The goal, after all, is to add extension to the flavors and bass notes and a hint of exotica. (That’s an “x” not an “r”— don’t worry, monks!) Rosemary also pairs well with the flavors, lets you pick something fresh from your yard and gives each drinker a lovely piney note up their nose as they go to sip. It’s quite pretty coming out of the coupe, too.

This mission is made easier by geography. Root 246 is located in the heart of Santa Barbara County, with its thousands of acres of farmland and vineyards, and proximity to the Pacific Ocean.

Dinner, Late Night, Hand-Crafted Cocktails, Private Chef’s Table Service. Committed to local ingredient sourcing and sustainable practices.

If you care to be fancy, feel free to sugar half the rim of each glass (a bit of lemon juice on the glass’s edge, some red-colored sugar would be nice), but the drink doesn’t need prettifying. And only do half the rim, so that the person drinking can opt to have as sugar-packed or tart a taste as they care with each sip. George Yatchisin happily eats, drinks and writes in Santa Barbara. He blogs at GeorgeEats.com.

420 Alisal Road, Solvang, CA 93463 · 805.686.8681 www.root-246.com | @root246 EdibleSantaBarbara.com WINTER 2020 | 31



Confectioner Jessica Foster by Laura Booras PHOTOGRAPHY BY WIL FERNANDEZ

Jessica Foster chopping herbs


was born with a sweet tooth. When I was a young girl, my mom used to tell me that my eyes would only stay brown if I ate chocolate regularly, so I’ve used this as an excuse to indulge most days of my life. So it’s only natural that I would befriend the bubbly and energetic Chef Jessica Foster, who has built a name for herself in chocolate truffles and local confections. When I first met Jessica, 14 years ago, she was sharing samples of her truffles at a chocolate and wine event in Santa Barbara. Her ready smile and enthusiasm led to a quick bond


between us. I have been a fan of her products ever since. As we got to know each other, she handed me sample after sample, and each one was more intriguing than the last. Interestingly, her truffles themselves are not overly sweet. They often include a savory component such as warm spices, making them lovely to pair with wine. Over time, her portfolio has expanded to include items such as caramelized almonds and brittle as well, which also make a lovely match. Upon hearing about my desire to learn from local culinary professionals, Jessica invited me to join her in the kitchen and

Jessica Foster in the process of making brittle

EdibleSantaBarbara.com WINTER 2020 | 33

experience the inner workings of her small business. Her space in downtown Santa Barbara is full of bright, warm light, and it’s clearly the workshop of an artist. She shares the space with a few other local chefs—it’s clean but not perfectly organized, and it feels like a place that has seen a lot of use over the years. It is the type of kitchen that feels comfortable to me—inviting, homey and well-loved. That day, I was going to get a lesson in making almond brittle. As Jessica prepped her ingredients, she filled me in on her history, which is full of hands-on education. In her 20s, Jessica stopped by the Santa Barbara Fish House to apply for a hostess position. By chance, Chef Patrick Metz was the only one on-site. He offered to teach her how to work in a kitchen, and she agreed. Her days quickly became filled with fine-tuning knife skills and working the line. “I learned so much,” Jessica gushed. Next came the now-closed Meritage, where Jessica learned even more under mentor Lydia Gaitan. Then, Jessica heard from Metz again. He had been hired as a sous chef under Charlie Fredericks for the iconic Bouchon Santa Barbara restaurant and wanted Jessica to oversee pastry. It was at Bouchon that she was really able to get creative in the kitchen with not only sweet but savory dishes. Over time, Jessica has developed her offerings under her own business, Jessica Foster Confections. She uses ingredients she grows in her garden, such as lemons, rosemary, thyme and other herbs. “I get inspired by things all around me, or other people doing cool flavor combinations,” Jessica said. “I was at Mozza in Los Angeles, and they served this butterscotch pudding dessert with an herb biscuit. And the taste of caramel, biscuit and herbs was remarkable. I thought it would work really well as brittle.” She was right. Back in the kitchen, Jessica poured her initial ingredients into a huge, well-worn stainless steel pot, and put them on to simmer. The sweet, heavy smell of sugar permeated the air almost immediately. After several minutes of careful stirring and watching, the sugar slowly began to brown slightly and caramelize. Clearly, patience was a necessary part of brittle making. At just the right time, Jessica added some butter and a mouthwatering aroma filled the air. Next came the blistered almonds, farmed locally by Fat Uncle Farms, and the chopped herbs. “I mince the herbs very, very finely,” Jessica said laughingly, eyes sparkling. “No one wants a big chunk of rosemary when they bite into a dessert.” Lifting the heavy pot, she poured the thick, caramel-like solution onto a baking sheet. Jessica seemed utterly unbothered by the physical effort needed to do this. Using a spatula, she spread it to the perfect thickness, which she has practiced over time. Top: The sugar begins to boil. Middle: After the butter is added. Bottom: Blistered almonds from Fat Uncle Farms


Breaking the cooled brittle into small pieces

“Too thick, and it becomes really hard to eat,” she noted. As the brittle cooled, Jessica tidied up, and I considered how much care and love goes into this handmade, small-batch product. After all that work, the batch will only yield about 20 small bags of brittle. She’s always experimenting on the side, too; an almond, native white sage and anise hyssop brittle is in the works, which hopefully will be available for purchase soon. Finally, the brittle was cool enough to crack, and I must admit that this was my favorite part of the process. Jessica used her hands to shatter the cooled brittle, cracking it into small pieces to make the perfect bite. Luckily, she allowed me to sample along the way, which made the job even more enjoyable. Each taste was sweet, yet not cloying, and a final sprinkle of sea salt brought out the subtle herbs mixed within. The nuttiness

of the almonds combined with the buttery caramel flavor was intoxicating and left me wanting more. I am so honored to have had a behind-the-scenes look at the process and techniques Jessica has developed over 16 years as a local confectioner and entrepreneur. Truly, her talent as a creator of unique, handcrafted treats shines through in every taste. Laura Booras, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, is the general manager at Riverbench Vineyard & Winery in the Santa Maria Valley. Wil Fernandez, a former advertising agency executive, enjoys dabbling in multimedia production and getting his hands dirty. Both transplants from the East Coast, Laura and Wil live on the vineyard, where they actively farm their own ingredients used to host food writers, celebrity chefs and wine critics for unique Wine Country experiences.

EdibleSantaBarbara.com WINTER 2020 | 35


Julia Child in her popular WGBH TV series “The French Chef,” episode #94: How to Poach a Salmon


Julia Child’s Return to Her California Roots Santa Barbara Sojourn by Karna Hughes



ear the end of her long and storied career, Julia Child could have chosen to live anywhere in the world. The convivial TV celebrity and cookbook author had spent years abroad in cities from Paris to Oslo, and for decades split her time between homes in Cambridge, Mass., and Provence. But after her beloved husband, Paul, died, the then-89-year-old Julia pulled up stakes, sold her New England home (donating her entire kitchen to the Smithsonian Institution) and abruptly moved to Montecito in 2001. That’s where, until her death, she spent a few short years, which, along with previous Santa Barbara sojourns in the 1980s, became the stuff of local legend. Ask around about Julia in longtime restaurant and farmers market circles and nearly everyone brightens up with a story to share—or else knows someone who has one. Even now, 15 years after her death, people attribute La Super-Rica taqueria’s lines out the door to Julia. But why did she choose Santa Barbara, and what was her life like here?

“I love Santa Barbara. I was born in Pasadena, but I’ve been going up to Santa Barbara all my life.”

—Julia Child, 1995 Westways story

In the early 1900s, Santa Barbara was a chic destination for holidays and health retreats for upper-middle-class families from the East Coast and throughout Southern California. Julia’s parents, John McWilliams and Caro Weston, ran in the same social circles, and they courted each other in Hope Ranch in 1905, according to biographer Noël Riley Fitch (in Appetite for Life ). Caro had thought Santa Barbara’s warm, dry climate would be good for her sister Dort’s health, and “Johnnie” took the sisters horseback riding in the hills. After they married and had children, the McWilliamses spent family vacations in the area through the mid-1920s. (Julia’s younger brother John was even born in town during a summer holiday.) Among Julia’s earliest childhood memories was a train ride to visit her aunt Bessie, who lived in Santa Barbara, and her

Julia Child at Montecito Shores in 1981

very first experience of seeing the ocean was at Miramar Beach. For several summers, they stayed at Montecito Park, a circle of gray-shingled cottages around a green lawn and surrounded by bamboo groves, where the Biltmore Hotel was later built in 1927, and they met up with other Pasadena families and schoolmates. For Sunday lunches, “we would go to the old Miramar Hotel,” Julia recalled in a 1995 Westways story. “They had a big circular dining room, and we always thought it was fascinating because there was sherbet in the middle of the meal.” She learned to swim in the city swimming pool and spent time at the beach. For several years, Julia also attended Camp Asoleado, a girl’s camp on the Mesa, with her cousin, where she had fond memories of weekly pancake-eating contests.

EdibleSantaBarbara.com WINTER 2020 | 37


Just before the Childs moved to Montecito, Richard (“Dick”) Graff, the owner of Chalone Vineyards in Monterey County, invited Richard and Thekla Sanford to meet them. The Sanfords were the proprietors of Sanford & Benedict winery at the time, making the first Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara County in the Sta. Rita Hills.

Julia with her husband Paul Child, circa 1989

“I am, as you know, a Californian, and still have that feeling in my bones…”

Richard Sanford reminisced: “[Dick] called me up and said, ‘Julia and Paul are coming out to California and they’re Francophiles. They’re really focused on French wine, and I need your help in showing them what California wine is all about. We have to change her perception.’” They decided to have a picnic where they would pour their wine. When he told her who was coming for lunch, “Thekla almost collapsed,” Richard recalled with a chuckle. But Julia and Paul were completely taken by their Pinot Noirs. “That began our lifelong friendship with Julia,” said Richard. “She just fell in love with the wines, and she liked to be involved with people who were doing things, young people who were inspired.”

—Julia Child in a 1981 letter to Louisette Bertholle

After heading back east to attend Smith College, Julia went abroad to do administrative work for the U.S. Office of Strategic Services during World War II, where she met her future husband, Paul Child. Later, she made her name teaching the American masses how to master the art of French cooking through the best-selling cookbook she co-authored and the decade-long WGBH TV series “The French Chef ”—periods of her life well chronicled in numerous biographies and films. Even though they spent most of their adult lives entrenched in the East Coast and their adopted home of France, Julia and Paul periodically came back to California. While they were in the diplomatic service, the couple visited Santa Barbara on home leaves. Then in the early 1980s, when Julia was in her 70s and Paul in his 80s, the couple started spending winters in Montecito, where the weather better suited Paul following a stroke and it felt less crowded.


“The climate and the atmosphere [of Santa Barbara] recall the French Riviera between Marseille and Nice,” wrote Julia. “Very often, being there on the Riviera, where we used to have a little house, I’d… say, ‘Well, I’d just as soon be in Santa Barbara.’” In 1981, they bought a condo in Montecito Shores, not far from where she’d vacationed as a child. The plan was to eventually retire there—but the prospects of that seemed far away for Julia, who was always on the go. The couple was quickly embraced by the Santa Barbara community. Not only did Julia know families from Pasadena who lived in the area, but her own sociability and interest in culinary topics exposed them to locals in the burgeoning wine scene, as well as farmers and chefs. 38 | EDIBLE SANTA BARBARA WINTER 2020

Julia with Thekla and Richard Sanford in the 1980s

“Montecito is indeed a bit of heaven.” —Julia Child in a letter to M.F.K. Fisher

While spending winters in Montecito, Julia continued to work, writing monthly stories for McCall’s and then Parade magazine, for which she researched and tested recipes, and prepped for cooking classes that she taught around the country. During the first several months of 1983, a mansion in Hope Ranch became the home base for a new TV series, “Dinner at Julia’s,” produced by WGBH, which aired on PBS. Thirteen 30-minute episodes featured Julia behind the scenes sourcing regional American foods throughout the country, cooking with a celebrated guest chef, and hosting a dinner party at the house.

“Just this morning I looked out on another sparkling day, and I said to my breakfast group, ‘Why live anywhere else?’”


Local chef Michael Hutchings with Julia Child hunting for mushrooms

One of the segments included an expedition to collect chanterelles at a secret spot on the South Coast, where a reporter from Time recalled Julia “slogging through viscous mud that bogged down her party’s four-wheel-drive Bronco,” all while wearing a pith helmet and sporting a walking stick. Local chef Michael Hutchings helped source the mushrooms for her. Famed chefs from around the U.S. came to film segments, including Wolfgang Puck and Bradley Ogden (in his pre–Root 246 days). Students from Santa Barbara City College’s hotel and restaurant school assisted with food preparation, and among other local delicacies showcased were Santa Barbara spot prawns and Santa Barbara bouillabaisse, as well as wines from Sanford & Benedict and Firestone Vineyard. At gatherings in Santa Barbara in the early ’80s, Julia started having conversations with influential colleagues, such as winemakers Robert Mondavi, Dick Graff and Richard Sanford, and chefs like Alice Waters and Jeremiah Tower, about the need for culinary education in America—and the American Institute of Wine & Food was born. One of the ideas was to bring together culinary professionals, laypeople and academics, and UC Santa Barbara’s then-chancellor Robert Huttenback floated the idea of providing a facility on university land at Devereux.

—Julia Child, 2002 National Geographic Traveler story on Santa Barbara

Julia permanently moved to Casa Dorinda in Montecito in November 2001. Her old Pasadena schoolmates were part of the draw for her. “A good portion of that group of friends ended up at Casa Dorinda,” said Alex Prud’homme, nephew of Paul Child and co-author of My Life in France, Julia’s memoir. By coming to Santa Barbara, “she ended her life with some of the people she began her life with.” (That final chapter almost didn’t happen. Julia and her assistant Stephanie Hersh originally were booked to fly out on the 9/11 American Airlines flight from Boston to Los Angeles that was hijacked and crashed into the World Trade Center, according to biographer Bob Spitz in Dearie. A last-minute schedule change saved them from a tragic fate.) Julia’s Casa Dorinda friends were a group of Alex Prud’homme with Julia feisty octogenarians with whom she had breakfast nearly every morning at a corner table in the dining room. Ever mischievous, she frequently snuck slices of bacon from breakfast back to her apartment in her purse, where she’d also stowed away a stray cat she’d adopted named Minou—a no-no at the time. She entertained a steady stream of visitors at the retirement home. Although cooking became less of a preoccupation when she downsized, she had her apartment’s kitchen specially outfitted with a small pegboard wall for hanging whisks, colanders, measuring cups and more, like the one her husband famously made for their kitchen in Cambridge, now permanently on display in the Smithsonian. But Julia also loved getting out and about. She visited the Santa Barbara farmers market most Saturday mornings with her EdibleSantaBarbara.com WINTER 2020 | 39


While the building for the institute didn’t end up happening (a later incarnation resulted in Copia in Napa), some of the early fundraisers and a conference held on the South Coast helped launch the organization. Eric Spivey, then an undergraduate student in economics and environmental studies at UCSB, who wrote a paper on the economics of small wineries, got to know Julia better through the AIWF. He would later become a close friend of Julia’s, as well as chairman of the Santa Barbara–based Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, which safeguards her legacy.

late friend Lorenzo (“Dal”) Dall’Armi, a former Santa Barbara County superintendent of schools. Julia loved fresh fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, whatever looked good at the market that day and ingredients for recipes she was writing about. Even when she had to be wheeled around in a wheelchair due to hip problems, “she would want to talk to every single vendor,” said Alex Prud’homme, who spent time with Julia in Santa Barbara when they were working on her memoir. “She’d say, ‘Oh, I’m learning to cure my own olives.’ ‘These strawberries are so delicious; they remind me of the ones we got in France.’ She was very chatty and liked to talk with everybody. It was a weekend ritual.” Rose Story Farm in Carpinteria, owned by Bill Hahn and Danielle Dall’Armi, the daughter of her farmers market pal, was another favorite place of Julia’s. Sometimes she’d drive in a golf cart around the 15-acre rose farm four or five times a week. She even picked out a specimen that they formally named the Julia Child Rose following her death—a pale yellow, hearty hybrid that these days can be found growing at the A.C. Postel Memorial Garden across from Old Mission Santa Barbara, at Ganna Walska Lotusland and at Casa Dorinda. Eating out was also high on her list of priorities: She’d typically take breakfast at the Casa and then have lunch and dinner out. “It could be ranging from the Wine Cask at New Year’s Eve to Citronelle when Michel-Richard was there, to Paradise Café to Lucky’s, to Costco hot dogs. She loved her Costco hot dogs! She loved McConnell’s ice cream,” said Eric Spivey, a regular meal companion. “At that point in her life, she really transitioned from being just French-focused in food to a much broader set of tastes.” The late Downey’s, Olio e Limone, bouchon, Belmond El Encanto, San Ysidro Ranch, the Santa Barbara Shellfish Co. on Stearns Wharf, and even In-N-Out Burger were among some of her other local haunts. Lucky’s, which she called a “jolly place,” was one of her favorites, with its ribeye steaks. Recalled Thekla Sanford, she loved “those lovely, tiny onion rings at Lucky’s and the sole meunière—it reminded her of the sole meunière she’d had in France. That was her epiphany—along with the roast chicken—that got her into cooking.” “The thing that was so fascinating to me while going out with her was that she was such a celebrity but didn’t act like it,” said Spivey. “You’d walk into a restaurant and people recognized her. But she worked her way every time into the back of the restaurant, into the kitchen, and would sit there and talk with the chef, but also the sous chefs, the prep people, the dishwashers, the waiters, everyone. She wanted to hear their stories.” And what about La Super-Rica Taqueria—a place closely associated with Julia Child? Some friends dispute that it was her favorite restaurant. “How that got so out of whack, I don’t know,” Thekla Sanford said with a chuckle. It all began in 1985, when Julia filmed four short segments set in Santa Barbara for ABC TV’s “Good Morning America.” Not many people remember the segment where she clambered onto an oil rig in the Santa Barbara Channel and interviewed the galley cook about his style of cuisine. But her episode on La Super-Rica, as an example of Santa Barbara’s Mexican cuisine—and Julia’s 40 | EDIBLE SANTA BARBARA WINTER 2020

later references to it in interviews for outlets like Bon Appétit— cemented the eatery’s place in local food lore. Julia hadn’t even been much of a Mexican food fan before but praised La SuperRica for its “authentic Mexican home cooking.” Julia never lost her insatiable curiosity and desire to explore, even into her late 80s and 90s. “We’d be working away [on the manuscript for My Life in France] and she’d say, ‘Let’s get something to eat,’” recalled Alex Prud’homme. They’d take a break for a meal, which would be followed by, “Let’s go up this road.” And soon they’d be off on an adventure. If they came across a private property sign, invariably Julia would egg him on. “Don’t worry about it. I bet there’s a lovely view of the ocean. We’ll just say we’re looking for Mr. McGillicuddy,” he recalled her saying. “She was so mischievous. It was great fun.” Thekla Sanford remembers a New Year’s Eve in the late ’90s when there was a big windstorm and they ventured out with Julia to a black-tie party in Montecito. “We had a Toyota Land Cruiser, and we start this journey, which is like being on a safari in Africa. Just trees everywhere. We were going from the Biltmore to just above Lotusland on Cold Spring Road; this Toyota is just crawling over them and [Julia] goes, ‘This is really fun!’” Just two days before her 92nd birthday, Julia Child passed away in her sleep, with her cat Minou by her side. Her friends had planned a big birthday celebration for her and more than a hundred well-wishers were already heading to Santa Barbara from far and wide. “Almost all those friends still came out,” recalled Eric Spivey, who shared the same birthday as Julia. “It ended up being a memorial at my home, a festive memorial. Reflective, fun, but sad at the same time, that gave us all a chance to talk about Julia.” Her last meal, quintessentially Julia, was French onion soup. Karna Hughes counts herself lucky to read, write, eat and drink with gusto in the South Coast (occasionally accompanied by Fierce Ladies). She’ll never tire of hearing Julia Child stories, seeing nasturtium bloom trail-side, or watching the sun slip into the Pacific.

The Santa Barbara Culinary Experience A new citywide extravaganza, the Santa Barbara Culinary Experience (SBCE), will take place March 13 to 15 in partnership with the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts Foundation. Inspired by the mixture of fun and learning about food and drink for which Julia Child advocated so passionately, the SBCE will welcome visitors and the local community to celebrate the bounty of what is grown in and around the region. Programming will include Juliathemed events created by local hotels, restaurants and other establishments; cooking classes, culinary panels and Q-andAs with local and nationally recognized chefs, winemakers, farmers, ranchers and fishermen; events for children and families about the science and innovation of food; and tours of area wineries and other attractions. To announce the festival, the City of Santa Barbara declared August 15, 2019, Julia Child Day. It would have been her 107th birthday. sbce.events


Portrait of Julia Child in 1999

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Bon Appetit! Memories of Julia by Pascale Beale

“People who love to eat are always the best people.” — Julia Child

Cookbooks, correspondence, place cards and photos—a collage of Julia Child memorabilia



ulia Child was being interviewed on television. When asked to what she owed her longevity she said, without missing a beat, in her trademark warbling, cooing voice, “Red meat and gin!”

I was captivated. Here was a woman who spoke her mind. She told the interviewer that we should eat all things, but in moderation, and that butter, cheese and crème fraîche were all good for you. This was language I understood. She was speaking about food the way my French grandmother had. I couldn’t explain the instant connection I felt with her, but I did, and immediately set about putting pen to paper to write Julia a thank you note for just being, well, Julia. Deciding to write the note was the easy part; delivering it was more complicated. I knew that she lived in Montecito— a few miles down the road from where I lived, as it turned out. I had also read that she had built a house in Provence, called La Pitchoune, a house that was filled with friends, good food, laughter and conversation, a house in which she tested recipes, made jam from fruit picked in the garden and cured olives from the ancient, gnarled trees that dotted the property. By a complete coincidence, I had recently cured some olives, and I decided to add a jar to the note propped up on my kitchen table. Two days later it was still there. My wise mum, nodding her head in the direction of the note and olives, stated the obvious: “They are not going to deliver themselves, you know, Pascale. Let’s drive them over to her place.” “Um, yes, I will” I remember replying, to which she promptly picked up the card, olives and my car keys, saying in her practical no-nonsense voice “Non, we are doing this now.” I tried to reason that one could not just waltz over to Casa Dorinda and ask to see Julia Child. We didn’t see her, of course, but left the package for her at the reception desk. I thought no more about the package until about four weeks later when a small, white, typed postcard arrived in the mail. It was from Julia. I was completely stunned, and touched that she had taken the time to send a few words detailing how she had taken the olives to a friend’s for dinner. I was so delighted that I sent her a thank you for her thank you, this time accompanied by a jar of apricot jam. One week later I received another card. She had eaten the entire jar with friends over breakfast one morning. Incredible! I pondered sending a third thank you, but decided that might be regarded as overenthusiastic on my part. I was still pondering contacting her again when fate intervened. I received an unexpected call from a friend. “Whatever you’re doing, drop it. I’m coming to pick you up. Julia Child is giving a talk at my sister’s house and you’re coming with me to meet her!” Thirty minutes later I found myself in an enormous private kitchen with 60 other people, all devoted fans. I stood at the back of the room and watched their rapt attention, hanging EdibleSantaBarbara.com WINTER 2020 | 43

on every sage word spoken by the often-witty Mrs. Child. It was at that moment that I fully understood the reverence and regard everyone held her in. Her television program and book had not made the transition to Britain, where I lived as a child, so I had not grown up hearing her voice, nor seeing her on “The French Chef.” I bought a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking after I had moved to California, and had delved into it, comparing her recipes with my grandmother’s to see how closely they followed each other. They did in so many ways. Eerily so. “You don’t have

“I’ll be back in six weeks, call me.” She said, scribbling her phone number on a tiny piece of paper. I thanked her and said I would.

Six weeks later to the day, my lovely mum phoned and asked, “Have you called?” No. I had not. Nor did I the next day, or the next. What on earth was I going to say? Finally, knowing that I would have to answer the inevitable question of why I hadn’t called, I picked up the phone and dialed her number. I expected someone else to answer. I did not expect her sonorous voice on the other end of the to cook fancy line. Ah… now what should I do? Perhaps I complicated masterpieces— should have thought this just good food from fresh through a little more carefully! ingredients.”– Julia Child

Now, here she was, or 40 feet away from me, with a sea of eager people itching to ask her questions. After the cooking demonstration she sat in an adjoining room signing books. I saw no opportunity to approach her, and was about to leave, when I was suddenly propelled toward her by the host of the event. “Now’s your chance, introduce yourself,” she said, and left me standing in front of her.

Julia was seated in a very low chair so one had to either bend down over her or basically get down on one knee, which is precisely what I did. Like a supplicant, I realized afterwards. I wasn’t quite sure what to say, so introduced myself by telling her that I was the one who had sent the olives and the apricot jam. I didn’t for an instant think she would remember, but was once again astonished that she did. We briefly discussed the source of the olives, France, my heritage, Provence and food writing. She then suggested that we should “get together” when she got back from her planned visit to the East Coast.

“Ah, hello, Julia. It’s Pascale.” We chatted for a few minutes about her trip. Then I invited her to lunch, at home. “I don’t drive, you know,” she said. “Not a problem.” I replied. “I’ll pick you up.” A week later I did just that. It was to be the first of many meals we shared together over the course of the next few years. She had a great appetite for the food she liked to eat. If she didn’t like it, she usually deftly ignored the dish. I tested recipes on her. Before you ask if I had I lost my marbles, who better to tell me if the dish worked, or not? I once served her a lentil terrine. She took one bite, put her fork down and made a face. I took a bite. I made a face too. It was much too dry. We didn’t eat it. I apologized. She held up her hand and said, “Never apologize for your food.” Right. I took a deep breath. I went back to the kitchen and served something else. Lesson learned.


Cheese Soufflé

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I have a penchant for Provence and its food. I cooked many of my favorite dishes for Julia, including a golden, buttery tarte a l’oignon, but as much as Julia loved Provence, the dishes she seemed to love the most were firmly ensconced in the pantheon of classic French cooking. She mopped up the crème fraîche sauces I made with gusto, and relished the canard a l’ orange. One day, I decided to make her a cheese souffle. It had risen beautifully and I placed it carefully on the table between us. I quickly stepped into the kitchen to get the salad; by the time I returned, less than two minutes later, Julia had spooned out half of the soufflé onto her plate and was tucking in. “I adore soufflés,” she enthused. She was enjoying herself. I was too. Sitting on the terrace with her that day, eating that dish, is a memory I will always treasure.

Cheese Soufflé Makes 8 servings 3 tablespoons butter plus 2 tablespoons for the soufflé mold

Preheat oven to 400°F. Use 2 tablespoons of butter to grease the inside of a large soufflé mold. Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan placed over medium heat. When the butter has completely melted, add in the flour and stir until it has completely absorbed the butter and thickens into a paste. Add in the milk and continue stirring until you have a thick, creamy mixture. Remove from the heat. Add in the crème fraîche and cheese, stirring well to combine all the ingredients. Making sure that the mixture is not too hot, whisk in the egg yolks until you have a smooth, homogenous mixture. Set aside. Beat the egg whites until they are just firm. You don’t want to over-beat them as this will create a dry soufflé. Gently fold the egg whites into the soufflé base until they are completely incorporated—you should have no pockets of just egg white mixture. The texture should be quite firm. Spoon or pour the soufflé mixture into the prepared mold. Bake on middle rack of oven for 40 minutes. Serve immediately. This is very good served with some crème fraîche or yogurt that has been mixed with finely chopped chives and parsley.

3 tablespoons unbleached flour 11 ⁄ 3 cups milk 2 tablespoons crème fraîche 8 ounces grated Gruyere, Compté, Cheddar or Emmenthal or a mixture including some goat cheese 5 egg yolks 8 egg whites OPTIONAL TOPPING Crème fraîche Chives, finely chopped Parsley, finely chopped

We feasted and feted together. We dined at home and in restaurants. We laughed and chuckled about the news, politics and food. I loved cooking meals for her. On one particular occasion, a special birthday celebration for my mother, we stopped to pick Julia up on the way back home. Jay, an old family friend, was visiting from the East Coast. He was a grand gourmand and something of a gourmet cook. He and my mother used to cook up a storm together when he visited us in London. “Who are we picking up?” he asked.

“Julia,” my mother answered.

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“Do I know her?” he asked as we pulled up outside her home. I should add at this point that Jay was a formidable businessman, and not a person to be easily surprised. It was therefore a charming and priceless moment when Julia was helped into the car and seated next to him. He was momentarily speechless, but recovered to be a gallant dinner companion, and wonderful raconteur for the rest of the evening.

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Thumbing through my copies of Julia’s books, reflecting on the meals I shared with her, I found the menu from that evening, their place cards and a photo showing Jay— pleased as punch, with Julia and Mum laughing on either side of him, tucked between the pages of the recipe for Pommes Anna.

Smoked Salmon Millefeuille with Watercress and Arugula Salad Rib Roast with Sauce Bordelaise Petit Pois Genevieve and Pommes Anna Plateau de Fromages

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Time telescoped back to that dinner in true Proustian fashion, and I found myself savoring each course in my taste buds, hearing the clinking of glasses, the children’s laughter and “Happy Birthday” being sung.


Poignantly, I realized how much I miss those conversations, dinners, her bon mots and no-nonsense views on life. Julia encouraged me to write about food, and was one of the first people to pre-order my first cookbook. She insisted that my co-author and I cash the check that she had written for it, guessing, correctly, that we would rather have framed it. “I will know if you haven’t,” she said with a knowing look in her eye, adding practically, “This is business.” I deposited the check. She had high expectations of those around her. I strove to live up to them and her oft quoted adage, “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces—just good food from fresh ingredients.” Her maxim has become my raison d’être. Merci, Julia


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Pascale Beale grew up in England and France surrounded by a family that has always been passionate about food, wine and the arts. She was taught to cook by her French mother and grandmother. She is the author of The Menu for All Seasons, Salade II, Les Fruits and Les Legumes. Visit her website and blog: The Market Table at PascalesKitchen.com.

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A Trio of Memories A bowl full of Molto Mario, a cup of L’Oustau de Baumaniere, best friends and a dash of Julia—what do you get? A casserole of chef memories from globe-trotting writer Leslie Andrea Westbrook.


Fun-Loving Guy One of the first chefs I became pals with was the vivacious Guy (pronounced ghee, like the butter) Leroy (la-WAH) when he was the chef at El Encanto hotel (now Belmond El Encanto) on Santa Barbara’s Riviera in the early 1980s. Before coming to El Encanto, Guy worked with 40 people in the “brigade kitchen” at the Plaza Athenee in Paris (1971), but he began his career in Les Baux-de-Provence at the legendary L’Oustau de Baumaniere. He apprenticed there under Raymond Thuilier alongside Austrian Wolfgang Puck, with whom he forged a lifelong friendship. Of course,



find cooking—at least at home, alone—to be a meditative, contemplative, pleasurable endeavor. A quiet time at day’s end to focus and relax, over a chopping board and my warm oven, after slaving over a hot computer all day. Not only is cooking relaxing, but also my efforts are followed by edible rewards. So it seems almost ironic that chefs I have known, admired and even adored have often displayed bigger-than-life personalities. Working alone in the kitchen is much different than the frenetic pace of cooking with a team in a commercial setting, to put it mildly. Perhaps that is part of the reason for some bigger-than-life personalities in the field of professional cooks.

Wolfgang became world famous, but Guy, a Frenchman, was no less talented. Guy went to work at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée and then joined Wolfgang at Maxim’s.

me, driving a vintage red Ferrari 330 GT 2+2) carrying beautiful picnic baskets laden with French Champagne, stinky French cheeses, fresh baguettes and other edible treats.

They moved together to America, where they cooked at Le Tour in Indianapolis, but left the cold Midwest climes for the popular-with-the-stars Ma Maison in Los Angeles. Then Guy “ran away” to Florida.

One day, Guy invited me to join him on a jaunt to Los Angeles. We were going to the newly opened and very “hot” Spago in 1982 to meet his good friend “Wolfie” and Wolfgang Puck’s then-wife, Barbara Lazaroff. Our evening lasted into the wee hours of the morning with the four of us driving from the “There was nothing there [in Florida], I was Sunset Strip restaurant to downtown LA’s so bored,” Guy recalled on a crosswholesale flower market to buy huge continental call, “so I went to blooms for Spago’s fantastical The Mansion at Turtle Creek décor created by Barbara. The in Dallas.” all-encompassing restaurant Chef Guy told The all-encompassing restaurant business, I learned, was Chef Wolfgang, business, I learned, was not just not just about food and “‘I’m coming back to cooking but entailed so about food and cooking but California!’ It was so much more, including funny, I was helping entailed so much more… flower shopping, long, long Wolf make a dinner at El hours and always lots of good Encanto to sell his first book wine—or Champagne, if Guy had and Wolfgang told [El Encanto anything to say about it! owner] Eric Freiden that I was opening a restaurant in Santa Barbara!”—which was far from the truth, Guy laughs. That same day Eric said, “‘Why don’t you work here?’” “I told him, ‘Your restaurant needs a lot of work! It looks like 1950s and has never been remodeled, but the view and location are beautiful!” “The kitchen and decor was pretty scary! I said I’d like to work here, but you have to promise we can redo the kitchen and the restaurant. Eric said, ‘Absolutely!’ And we did it!” the chef recalled. That’s when I met Guy—who was El Encanto’s executive chef from 1980 to 1984. For one of the first meals that Guy prepared for me at El Encanto, he came out in his chef ’s uniform, with a wide grin on his face, carrying an entire fresh fish he was about to scale and cook for our table. He also created special menus—and named dishes for his favorite patrons. One day, there was a “Salade Leslie” on the menu; probably the first and last time I’d have a dish named for me by a chef. I’m no Anna Pavlova, but it was a sweet and delicious surprise. Who wouldn’t love a chef that did that? Consequently, Guy and I became pals. On days off, he would appear at my home (at that time, I was living in a condo at the SB Polo Fields and, as Guy reminded

Guy left Santa Barbara to cook at other hotels, restaurants, open his own restaurant in Florida and work as a private chef. Old timers and those who remember the always-smiling, indefatigable Guy Leroy can find him on Facebook, now retired and living in Florida after a long stint of gigs as a private chef for the rich and famous and stories about working in Las Vegas that must remain in Vegas!

Bad-Behavior Batali Molto Mario Batali is another story. I also met this chef in a Santa Barbara hotel dining room. In 1989, Batali was a 29-year-old sous chef at the Four Seasons Biltmore in Montecito. I had an amazing lunch in the now-shuttered dining room with a very persnickety friend. When the talented redheaded chef came out to greet us we showered him with well-deserved compliments. Soon after, I wrote a short profile about the wild, motorcycle-riding, African-mask-collecting chef and submitted it to Ruth Reichl, food editor at The Los Angeles Times, for publication consideration in the days of typewriters and paper submissions. My profile/pitch was returned, with pencil edits and notes in the margins from the now-famous author/editor that said something to the effect of “Who is this chef and why should we care?” Somewhere in my “archives” is

EdibleSantaBarbara.com WINTER 2020 | 49

buried this precious treasure that has caused me many a giggle over the years as Batali’s star rose—and then crashed and burned.

My friend Luis Scalioni remembered his meal from 20 years ago perfectly: “I had a tower-shaped watercress salad— Mario used the stems to make a spiky tower—with goat cheese and deer meat. It was the first time I’d had goat cheese or deer meat [venison] in my life!”

Was I prescient? No. I just recognize great cooking. When Batali went to Italy (1989–91) to refine his craft in On another occasion, I ran into the redheaded a 24-seat, seafood-only restaurant outside of Bologna in hurricane—who would go on to own 26 restaurants, win a Borgo Capanne, he invited me to come visit him. I spent a few James Beard Awards, grace a lot of magazine covers and couple of weeks as a guest at Mario’s apartment, not far from appear frequently on national television—at The Miami Book Bologna, in the Po Valley that would become the inspiration Fair. He was very full of himself and bragged about the power for his Restaurant Po in Manhattan. I wandered on my own of television, as he had become a star thanks to The a lot, watching the local men play checkers or Food Network (1997) and later, on “The cards at tables in the shade on warm Chew.” That was the last time I saw summer afternoons; their wives Molto Mario in the flesh. and mothers sequestered One doesn’t hear much inside their homes, more Lo and behold, the one and about Mario anymore. The than likely ironing and thing that made him famous— preparing evening meals. only Julia Child was participating! the “power of television”—also Mario whirled in the I was tickled beyond belief. contributed to his downfall. restaurant kitchen day and The disgraced chef was fired from night, popping back home for “The Chew” in December 2017, after an afternoon nap (and a mostly sexual harassment allegations surfaced and empty refrigerator, as I recall) before a few months later the television show was canceled returning to cook for the dinner crowd. after Batali was under criminal investigation for sexual assault. In Italy, Mario worked hard, napped and played bad rock ’n’ roll with some local lads (as a daughter of a jazz pianist I avoided that noise as much as possible). In the Big Apple, Molto Mario lived large. In 1992, the 31-year-old Mario arrived in NYC with $200, a duffel bag and a guitar, according to one press account. Years later, my mother called to tell me that she’d just read a “huge profile with a full-page photo of Mario” in The New Yorker, noting, “You could have married him!” “The Secret of Excess—How a Life Became Cooking” by Bill Buford (August 2002 issue) provided a small glimpse of MM’s behavior once he hit the Big Apple and became famous. “Yes, dear Mother, I probably could have,” I responded, “but I would have had to sleep with him!” I didn’t have a romance with Mario, although I believe he would have welcomed one. He never acted inappropriately with me, perhaps because, as fate would have it, I had fallen in love with a Frenchman back home in California right before I traveled to Italy. I saw Mario again in New York when he invited me to Restaurant Po. I had met a young Brazilian student in Rockefeller Plaza (who ended up becoming a lifelong friend), so I dragged him along with me to the restaurant. We rode the bus downtown singing “The Girl from Ipanema” in Portuguese (him) and English (me) and delighted in a tasty meal—as Mario’s guests.


I felt a tinge of sadness seeing Mario, once a fun and generous friend, now fallen from grace, contrite and haggard in a Boston court video during his arraignment. Mario’s public and court fate still awaits him. At this writing, he still faces prison time for sexual misconduct he’s plead not guilty to. Try to find something about Mario today on the Food Network website, and he’s been scrubbed clean like a dirty saucepan.

Beloved Julia I first met Julia Child in her beloved Boston. I was struggling to make a living as a freelance writer in Manhattan in the mid-1980s. A few fellow scribes and I were invited to a “Cook with the Chefs” event for the launch of the then-new Boston Harbor Hotel. The hotel flew me to Boston for the day where I met the other journalists in the hotel kitchen. We were promptly handed aprons, embroidered with our names, and instructed that we would be preparing lunch with the hotel chefs. Lo and behold, the one and only Julia Child was participating! I was tickled beyond belief. We were each assigned a chef. I was paired with a tall, good-looking Swedish pastry chef and we made cream puffs. One and all worked diligently on our dishes that we served and shared around a table in the hotel kitchen.

After meeting Julia, I pitched a story about her to a New York magazine and nabbed the assignment! I wrote her a letter (this was still the days of snail mail), with a doodle at the bottom. I received a most gracious reply, letting me know that she was on a book deadline and unavailable for an interview, while complimenting me on my cat drawing. That letter, embedded in my memory, is also buried somewhere in my archives. When I moved back to Santa Barbara (after two and a half long, cold winters in New York), Julia was living in Montecito. We met again, at an event at the Four Seasons Biltmore. She could not have been kinder or friendlier. What always sticks with me about this gracious, talented and amusing woman was her curiosity in others. No ego, no blah-de-dah, no bragging, but a genuine interest and curiosity in others.

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My most cherished memory of the late, great Julia Child is this: I was not only invited, but had the honor of being seated next to the grande dame of French cooking for one of her many, many 90th birthday parties held across the land. We had so much fun, chatting, laughing and eating at the lively and lovely fete in the Carpinteria garden of hostess/artist Rise Delmar Ochsner. When it was discovered that Julia needed a ride home to her apartment at Casa Dorinda, my boyfriend at the time, Erik Johnson, and I jumped at the opportunity to play chauffeur. One of the guests brought Julia 90 beautiful roses, one celebrating each year of her remarkable life. We filled the back of Erik’s Volvo station wagon with the 90 roses and tucked Julia safely in. When we arrived at Julia’s Casa Dorinda apartment and she invited us in, there we were—face to face with the kitchen Julia cooked in and her famous pegboard for hanging pots and pans. Julia plucked a handful of the bountiful roses and told us to take the rest home. I filled Erik’s Summerland cottage with roses in vases here, there and everywhere and photographed them for posterity. Yes, Julia has a rose officially named for her, but I call these Julia’s birthday roses. ••• When I am alone, back in my quiet kitchen, leaning over a warm pot and inhaling the fragrant herbs and aromas, I am not really alone. I have my memories of those who make a living from cooking to warm my heart and soul. This keeps my mind occupied and my imagination whirling and thinking, “What might they be cooking tonight?” When not traveling on assignments, meeting writing deadlines or cooking and reminiscing, Leslie Andrea Westbrook consults and helps private clients around the globe sell fine art, antiques and collectibles (including fine wine) at international auction houses. She can be reached at LeslieAWestbrook@gmail.com or 805 220-6773

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Better Food for People and Planet Chefs and Restaurateurs Explore the Demand for Transparency on the Plate by Amanda M. Faison


hen Erik Oberholtzer, David Dressler and Matt Lyman launched Tender Greens in 2006 in Culver City, California, they had a mission: to change the way people eat, not just in the Los Angeles area but across the country. At the time the dining landscape was largely split between white-tablecloth restaurants and fast-food joints without much in the middle. “If you wanted a good meal that aligned with your values, you had to pay for it,” Oberholtzer says. “We wanted you to pick what you wanted to eat instead of what you could afford.” Their answer was Tender Greens, a fast-casual restaurant with scratch cooking and top-quality ingredients. The menu was designed to mimic the type of meals you would cook at home if you had the time: salt and pepper chicken, grilled salmon,


spinach salad. These cravable dishes championed produce from nearby Scarborough Farms, grass-fed beef and heritage pork. With the farm-to-table movement in full swing, Tender Greens could have simply been looked at as quaint. Except for the fact that Scarborough Farms was an equity partner, everything on the menu was $9 and the concept was built with national expansion in mind. “One restaurant doesn’t make an impact,” Oberholtzer says. “Many do.” Across the country in Atlanta, Georgia, Jason Mann and George Frangos opened Farm Burger in 2010 with a similar mission: to bring a high-quality, affordable burger made with impeccably sourced grass-fed beef to the masses. “We didn’t want to be too didactic or preachy about it,” says co-owner and rancher Mann. “But we want people to ask ‘Why does this burger taste different? Why are there pictures of cows on the walls? Why are you putting me in the uncomfortable situation of seeing the animal I’m about to eat?’ We want to push that education.” For many in the food industry, there are two critical figures in the farm-to-table movement: Alice Waters, who opened the legendary Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley in 1979, and Carlo Petrini, who created the Slow Food Movement in Italy in 1986. To this day, Petrini’s approach is a democratic pushback against industrialization and homogenization. At the 2017 Slow Food Nations, an international gathering in Denver, Colorado, he said, “We don’t want food that doesn’t have an identity. Highquality food comes with a story.”


Kimbal Musk, founder of The Kitchen in Boulder

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Jason Mann of Farm Burger in Atlanta

Chefs of all backgrounds have come to understand the value of those stories. Knowing thy farmer, rancher and producer is not only critical for business, but also for flavor, nutrition, ingredient diversity and the overall satisfaction that comes from enjoying a thoughtful meal. After all, who doesn’t want to eat a fairy-tale eggplant grown and harvested by an overalls-wearing farmer a few miles down the road? But it’s that very image that also underscores the real need for transparency. “People buy their meat from the grocery, and there’s a picture of the sun over the horizon on a beautiful farm and they don’t even think of where it comes from,” says Kate Kavanaugh, coowner of Denver’s Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe, which opened in 2013. “Food is so many times removed from what it is.” That divorce from reality, coupled with inexpensive prices, has allowed Americans to conveniently overlook the negative impacts of commodity food. For well-intended chefs and restaurants, vetting the good from the bad is a full-time job. “Real food is what I stand for,” says Kimbal Musk, who founded The Kitchen in Boulder, Colorado, in 2004. “That’s food you can trust to nourish your body, nourish the farmer and nourish the planet. There are terrific indoor and soil-based farmers and there are indoor and soil-based farmers that aren’t terrific.” For consumers, however, even well-versed ones with ready access to farmers markets, it can be tricky to track where their food is coming from. That becomes exponentially more difficult when, according to the USDA, nearly 50% of total U.S. food dollars is spent on meals away from home—to the tune of $799 billion annually.

With chefs feeding us so regularly, they have unprecedented control over what we’re eating and its effects on both our health and the planet. Conscious diners seek out reputable restaurants because they trust the chef to make purchasing decisions that align with their own beliefs. “People want to know where their food comes from. We want to eat our values,” says Sara Brito, co-founder of the Good Food 100 Restaurants, a nonprofit dedicated to examining chefs’ sourcing practices. At restaurants like Lucques and A.O.C. in Los Angeles, James Beard Award–winning chef and co-owner Suzanne Goin says, “We used to get more questions—like, ‘Is this the swordfish we’re not supposed to eat?’—but now our diners trust us and know we’re already in that camp.” But as revealed in Laura Reiley’s Pulitzer Prize–nominated greenwashing story “Farm to Fable” for the Tampa Bay Times in 2016, not every operation is so transparent. In many cases, a chalkboard menu naming farmers and ranchers records mistakes, if not flat-out lies. For a number of consumers, a restaurant’s word is no longer binding enough to earn their dining dollars. So what’s a concerned eater to do? Enter programs like Brito’s annual Good Food 100 Restaurants list, the James Beard Foundation’s Smart Catch and the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, the latter two of which steer chefs and diners toward more sustainable seafood. These entities serve as third-party auditors designed to keep chefs honest and instill consumer confidence so they are empowered to make the best possible dining decisions. When guests see the organizations’ logos posted on the wall, door or menu of a

Opposite: Suzanne Goin, James Beard Award–winning chef and co-owner of Lucques and A.O.C. in Los Angeles

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Above (center) and opposite: Suzanne Cupps of NYC’s Untitled at the Whitney

restaurant, they know the staff is taking steps to be conscious of the ingredient itself, its producers and purveyors and the environment. With the term “farm-to-table” itself getting greenwashed (remember a few years back when McDonald’s claimed to be farm-to-fork?), the newer, more democratic Good Food movement has taken shape. “To me this is much more about all-ingredient sourcing and a bigger awareness of farming practices, waste, sustainability and health of food systems,” says Renee Erickson, the James Beard Award–winning chef of The Whale Wins, The Walrus & The Carpenter and other popular restaurants in Seattle. This is just what organizations like the Good Food 100 measure. And that’s not all. Through its annual survey of restaurants, Brito’s nonprofit takes a snapshot of the restaurant industry at large by examining the impact sustainable supply chains have on the state, regional and national economy. This year’s data reports that the 124 restaurants (from all regions of the country) included on the list spent $78.3 million dollars on good food purchases, which contributed to a $249.4 million economic impact on the national good food economy. “It would be so much easier to buy produce from just one vendor who isn’t local,” says Suzanne Cupps of NYC’s Untitled


at the Whitney, opened by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group in 2015, while addressing the challenges of sourcing from area farmers. “[The producers aren’t] always going to have the tomatoes I like or the same size eggplants. You have to be flexible.” Sometimes that means taking a dish off the menu or adjusting it last minute. This is easier for high-end restaurants that print their menus daily and have customers who understand the unpredictable world of agriculture. Depending on where you sit in the country, buying local isn’t always the best—or even an option. Musk cites his salmon fish monger in Alaska, who isn’t close to any of the five locations of The Kitchen, seven outlets of the more affordable Next Door or the single home of Hedge Row. What matters most, says Musk, is transparency, and being honest about where you’re sourcing your ingredients. “None of our supply chains are perfect. If we’re serving a salad in January in Colorado we have to figure some things out,” Musk says. “We might have a farmer in California send us arugula. But with total transparency that’s OK because the diner knows what they’re getting.” Frangos of Farm Burger, which now has 12 locations ranging from Birmingham to Berkeley, agrees. “Farm Burger was built on


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Food is complicated, especially when it comes to eating outside of the home. And with so many choices, going out to dinner has morphed from mindless entertainment to the ballot box. Here’s how to exercise your vote while still enjoying your meal. Commit. “When you ask where [something is] from and you don’t like the answer, don’t order it. Make that decision once and stick to it. That’s your food freedom, and it’s the only way we can get system change,” says butcher Kate Kavanaugh. Ask questions. “If your server doesn’t know, another person working should—especially the manager and the chef,” says chef Renee Erickson. Request access. A truly transparent restaurant will walk you through their process. “You want to see our farm? I’ll take you next week. Want to see our processing facility? I’ll set up a tour,” insists farmer and restaurant owner Jason Mann. Be reasonable. No restaurant is perfect and local isn’t always better. “Any local product is not guaranteed to be good,” restaurateur Kimbal Musk says. “It’s truly a case of knowing your farmer and knowing how they’re growing food.” Keep on, keep on. “If we can convince people to eat food that’s better for their bodies, the environment and the community, food can have a positive impact on every thread of life,” chef Erik Oberholtzer says.


Well Informed = Well Fed

Above and opposite: The restaurant Next Door



tradeoffs,” he says. “We have non-negotiables with our beef but we knew we couldn’t only have Georgia potatoes and local greens.” More than ever, chefs and restaurateurs shoulder the burden of earning—and honoring—the public’s trust that they are doing right. “Chefs and restaurants have the opportunity to sway consumer behavior and shift it in a direction that’s better for everyone,” says Oberholtzer, who now operates more than two dozen Tender Greens locations coast-to-coast. “But without buy-in three meals a day from the public, it’s just theoretical.” And that’s critical. The restaurant community can provide the platform and leverage relationships with reputable farmers and producers, but it’s the diner who provides the demand. And only when those two forces intersect does real change takes place. That point came up again and again at 2018’s Slow Food Nations, but it was James Beard Award–winning chef Rick Bayless of Topolobampo, Frontera Grill and many other acclaimed Chicago restaurants who put it best: “Small steps are the best steps. Focus on the community that’s right in front of you and let that be a beacon to others.”

Resources The Good Food 100 Restaurants is an annual list and industry impact report designed to educate eaters and celebrate restaurants changing the food system for good by being transparent with their business practices, and using their purchasing power to support local/state, regional and national good food farmers, ranchers, fishermen and purveyors. In 2019, 137 chefs and restaurants, operating 341 locations in 29 states and all eight regions of the United States, applied to the Good Food 100 Restaurants. All U.S. restaurants and food service operations—quick service, fast casual, casual dining, fine dining, meal delivery, catering, food service (colleges/universities, hospitals, schools, sports arenas, etc.)—are eligible to apply and there is no cost to apply. For details, visit GoodFood100Restaurants.org

Amanda M. Faison is a Colorado-based writer who spent 20 years as the food editor of 5280, Denver’s city magazine. She has published stories in national titles such as Sunset, Food & Wine, Cooking Light, Elle Decor, InStyle and Travel & Leisure. Her ranch-to-plate feature “Soul Food” was anthologized in Best Food Writing 2010. She has also edited three cookbooks and has twice judged the James Beard Foundation’s annual cookbook awards.

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Demystifying the Sommelier How to gain knowledge and pleasure from a wine pro without freaking out by Hana-Lee Sedgwick


s the world of wine becomes less and less obscure to the general public, the concept of a “sommelier” isn’t quite as foreign as it once was — thanks, in part, to documentaries like Somm. Yet, despite the growing status of this career, exactly what a sommelier does still leaves many people scratching their heads a little. Yes, a sommelier is the person serving wine and managing the cellar of a restaurant, but there’s a bit more to it. Here we break it all down to help you better understand this flourishing profession and how you can better use a sommelier’s expertise and knowledge to your advantage.

The Sommelier: Definition and History Technically, a sommelier (pronounced suh-mel-YAY) is a wine steward. They typically work in a fine-dining establishment and have had formal training in all aspects of serving wine, including pairings and storage. While wine service dates back to Greek or Roman times, the role of the wine steward as we know it wasn’t formalized until the 18th century in France. Back then, the job didn’t come with the glamour and polish it does today; rather, the wine service role was often given to those deemed unfit to work in the kitchen. It was sort of like they were banished to the wine cellar. Of course, that positioning slowly changed over time. In America, it wasn’t until after World War II that sommeliers could be found in a few high-end French restaurants, but by the mid-1980s sommeliers were starting to appear in other types of dining establishments, too. Over the years, this job title has consistently been elevating in status, especially in restaurants with competitive wine programs, to the point that today’s sommelier comes with a badge of honor—a literal “pin” of honor for those who have received certifications.

The Sommelier: Today As with most jobs nowadays, the modern role of the sommelier is much more complex than it once was and it’s quite common for someone labeled a sommelier to wear many hats. They may be found in the dining room interacting with guests and serving

wine, behind the scenes developing wine programs for multiple restaurants, traveling to wine regions to meet with producers, or working alongside chefs to develop complementary food and wine pairings—or, more realistically, doing a combination of all of these things. What hasn’t changed, though, is that a sommelier has a deep understanding of wine (and also beer and spirits) and a large part of their job description entails helping the customer discover and appreciate wine.

How to Utilize Your Sommelier Many people are intimidated when it comes to selecting a wine in front of a sommelier or are afraid to put into words what they want out of fear they might come across as “stupid.” Just remember, every single person in the wine industry was a novice at some point. Plus, it can take months of studying to become a certified sommelier and even years to reach a more advanced level. Simply put, it takes a lot of effort and time to learn about wine and it’s their job to know more than you, so no need to feel nervous or inferior. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here are tips on how to best utilize your sommelier.

Ask Questions and Be Specific Let the phrase, “No question is a stupid question” be your mantra when dining out. So, if you don’t know that a Cabernet Sauvignon is a red wine made from a Cabernet grape, don’t fret. A sommelier can help you out in a very approachable, nonridiculing way. That said, the best way to get the most out of your experience with a somm is to ask the right questions, so they’re able to better direct you to a wine you’ll not only like, but love. An example could be: “I recently tried a {Pinot Noir} wine from {Sonoma} and loved it. Can you recommend something similar?” Or, “I tend to reach for white wines that feel light and refreshing in my mouth, but I don’t know what varietals these are. Can you direct me?”

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Try to be as specific as possible, even mentioning a producer that you like if you can recall the name. If at all possible, though, avoid using the terms “dry” and “sweet” to describe a wine, because your idea of what dry or sweet wines are may be entirely different to a wine professional’s definition.

Let the Menu / Your Taste Preferences Be Your Guide Never assume you have to order white wine with fish and red with steak, especially if you don’t care for one or the other. A good wine professional will know their wine list and the menu thoroughly, so they’ll be able to help you settle on a wine that will suit your tastes. Let them know what foods you like, or what you plan to eat, and they can steer you in the direction of a perfect pairing. An example would be to say, “I plan to order seafood, but I don’t like white wine. Can you point out a red that might work with either of these dishes?” Or “Last time I ordered the mushroom risotto with a Burgundy, but I’d like to try a different type of red wine to go with it. Any suggestions?” A somm should be able to find a wine that balances the flavors in your meal while meeting your taste preferences.

Share Your Budget, Ask Their Opinion Your sommelier will most likely know the good value wines from the great value wines, so trust that they’re not trying to push you to purchase the most expensive wine on the list. Simply let them know your price range and ask for a recommendation. Bottlings from less mainstream grapes or from up-and-coming regions may be of excellent quality, but you’ll pay much less than for something with more name recognition. Plus, you may get to try something new that the sommelier is super excited to share.

Leave the Critics Out Many good wines receive amazing scores, but many good ones don’t, too. Some wines shine with food and others don’t, which is why many sommeliers don’t pay attention to scores, since ultimately their job is to find likeable / interesting / unique wines that complement the food and vice versa. So, do your best to avoid that topic and trust the opinions of the sommelier in charge. On that note, be respectful about the wines chosen to be on the list. Maybe you don’t see any recognizable names and, quite possibly, that’s the point. It’s a great opportunity to discover something different that may just become a new favorite. Now that we’ve “uncorked” the mystique behind this popular career, it’s time to make that reservation and interact with your sommelier… because you aren’t the only one who wants you to like what’s in your glass. Hana-Lee Sedgwick is a Santa Barbara native who writes about wine, food and travel. As a freelance writer, editor and wine consultant, she happily spends her downtime eating, drinking and wandering, documenting it on her blog, Wander & Wine. 62 | EDIBLE SANTA BARBARA WINTER 2020

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Stews from Scraps by Jill Lightner



ne aspect of modern, restaurant-driven food trends that I wish would disappear is how every year or two, a deeply traditional home-cooked dish—or even an entire cuisine that was developed by those in need, like that of Appalachia—gets reinvented, which typically means it becomes very, very expensive. It’s fine when high-end restaurants want to celebrate a style of cooking. It’s also important to preserve cultural traditions. But when it comes to the problem of food waste, it’s more important to have a general understanding of how those dishes evolved than to be too strict about following a modern recipe. The most lasting classic dishes were designed to use ingredients that were available in abundance or to reuse the odds and ends from cooking other dishes. 64 | EDIBLE SANTA BARBARA WINTER 2020

A couple years ago, a story about cassoulet, with a recipe, ran on Epicurious.com. Cassoulet is a very old farmhouse dish from France, and if you haven’t had it, it’s a wonderful pot of creamy white beans, baked for a long time at a low temperature, seasoned with cheap vegetables and cured meats, and topped with crisp bread crumbs. The recipe, from Paula Wolfert’s lovely book The Cooking of Southwest France, says it serves 10 to 12, and the website writer’s list of ingredients cost him a hair under $100, not including taking a day out of the office to shop as he visited three separate butcher shops, a standard grocery store, and finally one of the best food emporiums in the country to obtain specific types of French sausage. Presumably if you tried to use the recipe in its home territory, you could make do with

whatever local sausage was on offer at your nearest boucherie, but even that is somewhat beside the point. The project was clearly a labor of love, but it was also clearly completely separate from the spirit of the dish. At its heart, cassoulet is a pot of beans that kept middleclass and poor farmers fed in cold weather by using dried beans, preserved meat and root vegetables. The confit duck or goose legs used in the dish would have been made as a way to use up all the rich fat the duck breast offered, preserving the calories and flavor. When chefs make this dish at restaurants, they are practicing a sensible professional version of what those French home cooks did, likely buying whole ducks rather than raising them but wisely putting the excess duck fat to very good use. Cassoulet bears much in common with gumbo, chili and cholent—dishes designed to stretch a few good things into a hearty meal and to make frugal use of the leftover heat from a cooking fire. The best way to make these dishes worthwhile for home cooks isn’t to schlep around the city for an entire day buying specialty ingredients. Understand their roots by emphasizing their techniques rather than their ingredients, and use what you have on hand (or what you grew yourself, or what you can easily afford and obtain) to cook something wonderful. The recipes that follow are basic and written to be flexible but still give you an idea of the goal and the steps needed to achieve that goal. I once riffed on cassoulet using Mexican chorizo, pinto beans, some leftover braised pork shoulder and smashed tortilla chips in place of the bread crumbs. Ridiculous? Perhaps—but also delicious and sensible, given what I had in the freezer and pantry to use, and still more like cassoulet than anything else. Once you’ve mastered one or two dishes (whether you make a Mexican-ish cassoulet or not), teach your skills to someone else. If you have kids of your own, it’s easy enough—and tell them that this falls into the life skills category, not cooking, if that helps. But you could also teach a friend who doesn’t have your level of cooking skills or even create a weekday-lunch cooking class if your office has a kitchen.

Recipes Cholent This slow-cooked Jewish stew makes cassoulet look like a brash newcomer; food historian Gil Marks has traced its roots back over a millennium. It, too, used heat left over from hot woodfired ovens to stew overnight, thus respecting the rule that prevents work on the Sabbath while still providing a filling meal. This version is mainly a Northern European Ashkenazi-style stew with a nod to Hungary and the New World, but there are as many variations on cholent as there are Jewish families. If you’re a meat-and-potatoes family, this dish is a nonintimidating way to sneak in some extra fiber and plant proteins.

Because of the potatoes, leftovers do not freeze very well, so it’s best to eat it up within four days—or make sure to eat up all the potatoes when it’s freshly made, then freeze the potato-less leftovers. If you prefer, just layer all the ingredients into your slow cooker without the stove-top step, but the flavor will be deeper if you take the time for it. Makes 4 servings 2 tablespoons olive oil

⁄ 4 pound beef brisket, chuck, round bone roast or stew meat, cut into 2-inch chunks 3

1 medium white or yellow onion, diced 4 cloves garlic, minced 4 to 5 cups beef or chicken stock, divided (use up to 1 cup red wine if you like) 4 to 6 small Yukon Gold or russet potatoes, peeled and diced 1

⁄ 2 cup hulled barley or emmer

⁄ 2 cup dried white or pinto beans or chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained 1

1 tablespoon paprika 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 1 teaspoon ground cumin Water (optional) 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

In a 6-quart Dutch oven set over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the brisket and cook until it is browned all over, about 2 minutes per side. Stir in the onion and garlic and cook until they are soft and golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Add ½ cup of the stock and deglaze the pot, scraping it for any browned bits, and remove from the heat. To finish the stew in a slow cooker: Add the brisket mixture to the bottom of a slow cooker. Top with the potatoes, barley and beans. Add 4 cups of stock, then sprinkle on the paprika, pepper, turmeric and cumin. Add the remaining stock to just cover the ingredients, if needed. Cook on low heat for 8 to 12 hours, depending on the slow cooker—the beans should be tender, the barley slightly chewy and the brisket easily shredded. Check the level of liquid at the halfway point and add more water if necessary. Stir in the salt, then taste and add more if needed. To finish the stew in the oven: Preheat oven to 300°. Add the potatoes, barley and beans to the Dutch oven and stir gently. Add 4 cups of stock, then sprinkle on the paprika, pepper, turmeric and cumin. Add the remaining stock to just cover the ingredients, if needed. Cover the pot and bake for 4 to 6 hours—the beans should be tender, the barley slightly chewy and the brisket easily shredded. Stir in the salt, then taste and add more as needed. With potatoes, cholent will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. Without potatoes, it will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Opposite: Cholent

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Cassoulet I happen to love the flavor of smoked turkey legs, and I can get them at two different shops within easy walking distance of my home. A chunk of ham can provide similar flavor, or use leftover rotisserie chicken legs, braised pork shoulder, or pieces of leg of lamb. You can use three (15-ounce) cans of beans plus one cup of broth for flavor, but the cooking time should be reduced by half or they will turn to mush. Makes 4 servings 1 smoked turkey leg, 2 rotisserie chicken legs, ham, or chopped braised meat (about 8 ounces) 4 slices bacon, diced 1 small yellow or white onion, diced 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced 1 medium celery rib and leaves, diced 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 mild or hot Italian sausage links, casings removed 1

⁄ 4 cup dry white wine or splash of white wine vinegar

11 ⁄ 2 cups dry white beans, soaked overnight and drained 3 to 4 cups turkey, chicken or duck stock, divided 2 bay leaves 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme Freshly ground black pepper 1 to 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste 1 cup bread crumbs 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 325°. Pull the meat off the turkey or chicken legs and set aside. Add the bacon to a 6-quart Dutch oven set over medium-low heat. Fry, stirring regularly to turn the pieces, until the bacon is crisp and the fat has rendered, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook in the fat until the onion is translucent and the carrot is beginning to soften, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the sausages and break them apart into chunks with a wooden spoon, then cook until they are brown, about 7 minutes. Stir in the wine. Add the other meat and the beans, stirring to blend the beans with the other ingredients, then pour in 3 cups of the stock. Add the bay leaves, thyme and plenty of pepper to taste. Cover the pot and put in the oven. After 1 hour, check the pot to see how much stock has been absorbed by the beans. Add up to 1 full cup broth, depending on how dry the beans are and how soupy you want your cassoulet. Cover the pot, return to the oven and cook for 1 more hour. Check the beans for tenderness; they should be soft through but not falling apart. Add 1 teaspoon salt, taste, and add more as needed. Once the beans are cooked, scatter the bread crumbs on top and drizzle with oil. Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, until the crumbs are golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. 66 | EDIBLE SANTA BARBARA WINTER 2020

Gumbo Associated with both Cajun and Creole cooking, gumbo is far more African than it is French, even if not all recipes use okra for thickening these days. This version is closest to a gumbo z’herbes thanks to the abundant leafy greens; use any mix of collards, Lacinato kale, Swiss chard, or beet, turnip or mustard greens. If you have a bay tree in your yard, now’s the time to use fresh bay leaves. I tend to serve this gumbo poured over white rice like a rich gravy (it will serve more than four if you do this), but you can also serve it on its own, as soup. Makes 4 servings 1

⁄ 3 cup vegetable oil


⁄ 3 cup all-purpose flour

1 small white or yellow onion, diced 1 celery rib, diced 1 small bell pepper (any color), seeded and diced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1

⁄ 2 small jalapeño, seeded and diced

1 andouille or Italian sausage link (mild or hot), casing removed 6 cups chopped braising greens 3

⁄ 4 cup chopped fresh celery leaves, flat-leaf parsley or chervil

3 bay leaves 4 cups chicken or turkey stock, or vegetable broth 3 cups cooked and shredded chicken, turkey or pork shoulder 1 teaspoon salt Water (optional)

In a 6-quart Dutch oven set over medium-low heat, warm the oil. Using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, slowly stir in a little of the flour at a time to form a thick paste, or roux. (It will clump somewhat at first but thin out as you add more flour.) Cook, stirring, for about 25 minutes, until deep brown. Stir in the onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeño until the roux coats the vegetables. Cook, stirring regularly, for 5 minutes, until the onion is pale and the peppers are softening. Crumble in the sausage and cook an additional 7 minutes, stirring to brown the sausage on all sides. Add the greens, celery leaves and bay leaves, then slowly add the stock, stirring to wilt all the greens and mix them with the other ingredients. Cover the pot and cook for 1 hour, until the greens are soft but still brightly colored, then stir in the chicken and salt. If the gumbo seems thicker than you want it, add enough water to thin it to your liking. Cook, uncovered, for 1 more hour, until the greens are completely tender and deep green. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Excerpted with permission from Scraps, Peels, and Stems: Recipes and Tips for Rethinking Food Waste at Home (Skipstone, October 2018) by Jill Lightner.

Writer and editor Jill Lightner has long explored the economics, environmental concerns and flavors of the food system. Most recently she was the co-editor of Taste magazine. She has also been a restaurant critic and edited Edible Seattle, as well as two Edible Communities cookbooks. She is the co-author of the popular book Mason Bee Revolution (Skipstone).

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E AT DRINK LOC AL GUIDE Santa Barbara County has its own unique food tradition and lifestyle. We’d like to help you find some of the area restaurants, bakeries, food producers and specialty retail shops that contribute to the distinctively Santa Barbara experience. From Ballard to Carpinteria, and from catering to wine tasting, our Guide will help you find what you are looking for and more.

Farms & Ranches Babé Farms 805 925-4144 BabeFarms.com Babé Farms boasts a year-round harvest of colorful baby and specialty vegetables, grown in the Santa Maria Valley. Family owned and operated, Babé Farms is the “couture” label top chefs and fine retailers look to for their gourmet vegetable needs.

Jimenez Family Farm 805 688-0597 JimenezFamilyFarm.com Small family-run local farm specializes in sustainably grown food and their famous handmade pies, quiches and small-batch preserves. Visit them at the farmers market to purchase produce, pies, jams and naturally fed and farm-raised rabbit, lamb, pork, goat and poultry.

Winfield Farm 805 686-9312 WinfieldFarm.us Taste the magic of Winfield Mangalitsa! Mangalitsa ground pork (the real hamburger) and hickorysmoked bacon are now featured in the Larder Meat Company’s Larder Club meat box, delivered monthly throughout California (sign up at http:// www.lardermeatco.com).You can also order through our Mangalitsa Market on the Winfield Farm website—please call first! Follow us on Facebook (WinfieldFarmBuellton), Twitter (@WinfieldFarm.us) and Instagram (Winfield_Farm).

Food & Restaurants Backyard Bowls 5668 Calle Real, Goleta, 805 770-2730 3849 State St. Santa Barbara, 805 569-0011 331 Motor Way, Santa Barbara, 805 845-5379 BackyardBowls.com Santa Barbara’s most innovative breakfast and lunch spot featuring Acai Bowls and smoothies. They also offer oatmeal, yogurt and more. 68 | EDIBLE SANTA BARBARA WINTER 2020

Ballard Inn & Gathering Table 2436 Baseline Ave., Ballard, 805 688-7770 BallardInn.com Elegant accommodations, attentive staff and awardwinning cuisine make the Ballard Inn & Gathering Table one of the most sought-after small luxury inns in the Santa Barbara Wine Country.

Barbareño 205 W. Canon Perdido St., Santa Barbara 805 963-9591 Barbareno.com Offering an approachable take on the fine-dining experience, Barbareño highlights the traditions and specialties of the Central Coast through creative story-driven dishes and ingredients from local farmers. Sit in the main dining room and enjoy the enticing atmosphere of an open kitchen, or outside on the lush patio alongside the Santa Maria grill. Dinner nightly 5–9:30pm; closed Tue.

Bob’s Well Bread 550 Bell St., Los Alamos, 805 344-3000 BobsWellBread.com Making bread the old-fashioned way: handcrafted in small batches with the finest ingredients and baked to perfection in a custom-built stone-deck oven. Drop in to taste what visitors and journalists are raving about as “worth the drive”—signature Pain au Levain, awardwinning artisanal breads, croissants and specialty pastries. All-day menu of made-to-order breakfast, lunch and weekly special dishes. Indoor-outdoor picturesque café. Thu–Mon 7am–6pm. Café closes at 3pm. Closed Tue and Wed.

Bossie’s Kitchen 901 N. Milpas St., Santa Barbara, 805 770-1700 BossiesKitchen.com Located in the historic D’Alfonso building with the cow on top, Bossie’s Kitchen offers seasonal farmers market dishes in a casual counter service setting. Chef-wife team Christina Olufson and Lauren Herman’s menu features garlic and herb-roasted chicken, sandwiches on house-made bread, soups, salads, sides and nightly specials. Open for lunch Tue–Sat 11:30am–-3pm, dinner Tue–-Sun 5pm–close, brunch Sun 10am–3pm and happy hour Tue–Sun 3–6pm. Closed Mon.


9 W. Victoria St., Santa Barbara, 805 730-1160 BouchonSantaBarbara.com Bouchon sources all of its ingredients using an “asfresh-and-as-local-as-possible” approach. Experience fine dining, excellent regional wines and relaxed service in a warm, inviting ambience. Private dining in the Cork Room is available for groups of 10–20. Dinner nightly 5–10pm.

Bree’Osh 1150 Coast Village Rd., Montecito, 805 969-2500 Breeosh.com Bree’Osh is a French artisan bakery café specializing in sweet and savory brioche bread made with traditional sourdough. Featuring local, organic, highquality ingredients. Serving breakfast and lunch daily 7am–2pm.

Chocolate Maya 15 W. Gutierrez St., Santa Barbara, 805 965-5956 ChocolateMaya.com Chocolate Maya handmade chocolate confections: a variety of velvety truffles and chocolate-dipped temptations that are made from the highest-quality chocolate (Valrhona, Felchlin, Mesocacao including small bean-to-bar artisans couverture) fresh local ingredients and exotic findings from their travels overseas.

La Cocina 7 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara, 805 277-7730 LaCocinaSB.com Farm-to-table Central Coast Baja Cuisine in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara’s theater district. Enjoy seasonal south of the border–inspired cocktails and snacks at the bar or slip away to Baja for an authentic meal in the dining room or al fresco on the breathtaking patio. Happy Hour Mon–Fri 4:30–6:30pm, dinner 5pm–close.

Corazón Cocina 38 W. Victoria St., Santa Barbara, 805 845-0282 CorazonCocinaSB.com Located inside the Santa Barbara Public Market, offering homemade, local, unique and fresh cocina Mexicana. Join Chef Ramón Velazquez for fresh ceviches, mouthwatering tacos and homemade agua frescas. Open Mon–Fri 11am–9pm; Sat–Sun 10am–9pm.


Olive Hill Farm

Root 246

418 State St., Santa Barbara 805 250-3824 CubaneoSB.com

2901 Grand Ave., Los Olivos, 805 693-0700 OliveHillFarm.com

420 Alisal Rd., Solvang, 805 686-8681 Root-246.com

Specializing in local olive oils, flavored oils and balsamic vinegars as well as many locally produced food products. Olive oil and vinegar tastings with fresh local bread available. Open daily 11am–5pm.

Solvang restaurant Root 246, in the heart of Santa Barbara Wine Country, boasts inspired and inventive menus by Chef Crystal “Pink” DeLongpré, who crafts seasonal dishes rooted in her food philosophy of utilizing local, organic vegetables and organic, grassfed, pasture-raised animals. Expansive wine and spirits lists, hand-crafted cocktails. Open at 4pm, Tue–Sun. Late night in the lounge: Fri and Sat until midnight.

A fast-casual restaurant that shares space with Shaker Mill (Cuban-inspired cocktails) and The Academy of Recreational Sciences (Modern Times taproom). Serving traditional Cuban dishes, they take inspiration from the original Cuban dishes while updating the flavors to suit the ethos of California cuisine. Mon–Sun 11am–1am.

The Food Liaison 1033 Casitas Pass Rd., Carpinteria, 805 200-3030 TheFoodLiaison.com Catering. Counter. Classes. Utilizing many locally grown organic ingredients, enjoy daily rotating entrées and soups, seasonal menu and gourmet salad bar. Corporate and event catering since 2013. Sign up for cooking classes online. Lunch counter Mon–Fri 11am–3pm.

The Hitching Post II 406 E. Hwy. 246, Buellton, 805 688-0676 HitchingPost2.com A favorite of locals and visitors since 1986. Serving wood-grilled fare, prepared in the regional barbecue tradition, along with their highly regarded Hitching Post Wines. Casual and relaxed setting.

Il Fustino La Arcada 1100 State St. San Roque Plaza, 3401 State St., Santa Barbara, 805 845-3521 ilFustino.com Il Fustino is Santa Barbara’s first and finest olive oil and vinegar tasting room. Il Fustino purveys only the finest and freshest olive oils, all grown and milled in California. They also provide an unparalleled selection of artisan vinegars. La Arcada: Open Mon–Fri 11am– 6pm, Sat 11am–5pm, Sun noon–5pm. San Roque Plaza: Open Mon–Fri 11am–6pm, Sat 11am–5pm, Sun 10am–3pm.

Lazy Acres 302 Meigs Rd., Santa Barbara, 805 564-4410 LazyAcres.com Santa Barbara’s best source for wholesome, natural and organic foods and products with real people dedicated to providing unmatched personal service. Mon–Sat 7am–11pm, Sun 7am–10pm.

McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams 120 State St., Suite B, Santa Barbara, 805 3244061 728 State St., Santa Barbara, 805 324-4402 McConnells.com McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, founded in Santa Barbara in 1949, is now in its third generation of family ownership. They make their ice creams as they always have: from scratch, using Central Coast, grassgrazed milk, cream and the finest local, sustainable and organic ingredients from partner farms, artisans and purveyors they’ve worked with for decades. No preservatives. No stabilizers. No additives. Ever. A 70year sweet legacy of keeping it real.

Montecito Country Mart 1016 Coast Village Rd., Montecito, 805 969-9664 MontecitoCountryMart.com The Montecito Country Mart has been renovated and preserved, with its original barbershop, post office, market and old-fashioned toy store, as well as Rori’s Artisanal Creamery, Bettina, Merci, Caffe Luxxe, CO Collections, Kendall Conrad, Little Alex’s, Malia Mills, Hudson Grace, James Perse and Space NK Apothecary. Open Mon–Fri 10am–6pm; Sat–Sun 10am–5pm.

Pico 458 Bell St., Los Alamos, 805 344-1122 PicoLosAlamos.com Located in the historic 1880 General Store, offering a casual dining experience with innovative cuisine made from locally-sourced ingredients. Co-owner/ Chef Drew Terp worked under Michelin-star chefs, including José Andres, Alain Ducasse and Masa. The extensive wine list has earned a Wine Enthusiast “Top 100 Wine Restaurant” award two years running. Open Tue–Thu 3–9pm; Fri–Sat noon–10pm; Sun Burger Night noon–9pm.

Plow & Angel at San Ysidro Ranch 900 San Ysidro Ln., Santa Barbara, 805 565-1700 SanYsidroRanch.com Enjoy a comfortable, convivial atmosphere in this locals’ favorite. Famous for its mac ’n’ cheese and award-winning ribs, the Plow & Angel is the place to see and be seen. The cozy ambiance is enhanced with original artwork, including gorgeous stainedglass windows and an homage to its namesake, Saint Isadore, hanging above the fireplace. Open for dinner 5–10pm; bar open 5–11pm weekdays and until midnight Fri–Sat.

Plow to Porch 805 895-7171 PlowToPorch.com

Santa Barbara Smokehouse 805 966-9796 SBSmokehouse.com The Santa Barbara Smokehouse produces highestquality smoked salmon utilizing traditional, artisanal methods. From their rope-hung Cambridge House Private Reserve smoked salmon, to Cambridge House wild and hot smoked salmon, years of artisanal tradition go into every batch.

Solvang Olive Company 1578 Mission Dr., Solvang, 805 213-1399 SolvangOliveCo.com Solvang Olive features locally grown olive oils, fruit and balsamic vinegar and handcrafted gourmet olives. The Solvang store also carries olive oil beauty products, tableware and cooking ingredients created by Californian artisans. Tasting room open Mon–Thu 10am–5pm, Fri–Sun 10am–6pm.

Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch 900 San Ysidro Ln., Santa Barbara, 805 565-1700 SanYsidroRanch.com

Plow to Porch Organics is a local organic/pesticidefree produce and grocery delivery service to members who subscribe. They simplify the purchase of local fresh organic produce and other organic, local foods in order to inspire good nutrition, support local farmers, protect the environment and make eating healthy food fun!

Located in a 19th-century citrus-packing house, the Stonehouse features a relaxing lounge with full bar service and a separate dining room with crackling fireplace and creekside views. Guests can dine on the ocean-view deck––a wood-burning fireplace and heated stone flooring provide year-round comfort. The regional cuisine is prepared with a palette of herbs and vegetables harvested from the on-site chef’s garden. Lunch 11:30am–2pm Mon–Sat; dinner 6–10pm daily; Sun Champagne brunch 10:30am–2pm.

The Project

Succulent Café Wine Charcuterie

214 State St., Santa Barbara, 805 869-2820 TheProjectSB.com Featuring modern Mexican cuisine, intriguing cocktails and a 20-beer taproom in the heart of the Funk Zone. Open Sun–Thu 8am–10pm; Fri–Sat 8am–11pm. Serving brunch on Sat and Sun mornings.

Ramen Kotori 1618 Copenhagen Dr., Solvang, 805 691-9672 RamenKotori.com Mom-and-pop ramen shop offering farmers market– inspired Japanese dishes including traditional Shoyu ramen, Karaage Japanese fried chicken, gyoza pot stickers, kimchi fried rice and seasonal pickles. Open Wed–Sun noon–2:30pm for lunch and 5:30–9pm for dinner.

Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro 3315 State St., Santa Barbara, 805 569-2400 1324 State St., Santa Barbara, 805 892-280 1187 Coast Village Rd., Montecito, 805 324-4200 RenaudsBakery.com Renaud’s is a bakery specializing in French pastries and French-style cakes, as well as a bistro offering an extensive menu for breakfast and lunch. Open Mon– Sat 7am–5pm; Sun 7am–3pm.

1555 Mission Dr., Solvang, 805 691-9444 SucculentCafe.com Comfort food with a twist, prepared with seasonal and local farm-fresh ingredients. The best charcuterie plates around feature farm-fresh cheese, house-made jam, pickled vegetables, nuts and fruit. Great local wine, craft beer and signature cocktails. Open Mon, Wed–Fri 10am–9pm, Sat–Sun 8:30am–9pm; Happy Hour 3–5pm; Closed Tuesday.

Wine & Beer Au Bon Climat 813 Anacapa St., Santa Barbara, 805 963-7999 AuBonClimat.com The tasting room and the Jim Clendenen Wine Library are known for world-class Chardonnays and Pinots. Jim Clendenen has been making wines of vision and character for over 30 years, along with other varietals. Amazing lineup of current releases and library wines available. Tasting room open Mon–Fri noon–6pm, Sat and Sun 11am–6pm.

Babi’s Beer Emporium 380 Bell St., Los Alamos, 805 344-1911 BabisBeerEmporium.com Great beer. Impeccable selection. Great fun. Adventurous beer drinkers can discover unique, hardto-find craft beers, ciders and special projects—on tap

EdibleSantaBarbara.com WINTER 2020 | 69

or in bottle. Stay to have a bite from Valle Fresh’s tacos and tapas menu. Thu 4–8pm, Fri–Sat noon–8pm, Sun noon–6pm.

Barden Wines 32 El Paseo in the center courtyard, Santa Barbara, 805 845-8777 BardenWines.com Located in the historic El Paseo complex, the new Barden Tasting Room focuses exclusively on wines sourced from Sta. Rita Hills, handcrafted by Margerum Wine Company. Select from a flight of current releases or exclusive Library Wines. Enjoy Barden wines by the glass on their dog-friendly patio.

Buttonwood Farm Winery 1500 Alamo Pintado Rd., Solvang, 805 688-3032 ButtonwoodWinery.com In 1968 Betty Williams came to Buttonwood, creating a life that found expression through a connection with the land. The vineyard now has 33,000 vines with a mix of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Marsanne, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Syrah. Tasting room open daily 11am–5pm.

Casa Dumetz 388 Bell St., Los Alamos, 805 344-1900 CasaDumetzWines.com A boutique winery specializing in Rhône varietals crafted with premier Santa Barbara County fruit. Their wines are sold almost exclusively at their tasting room in historic Los Alamos and through their wine club. Open Thu noon–8pm, Fri–Sat 11am–8pm, Sun 11am–6pm and Mon–Wed noon–4pm.

Foxen Vineyard & Winery 7200 and 7600 Foxen Canyon Rd., Santa Maria 805 937-4251 FoxenVineyard.com The Foxen Boys’ winery and tasting room features Burgundian and Rhône-style wines. Visit the historic shack “Foxen 7200” for Italian and Bordeaux-style wines. Picnic tables and scenic views at both locations. Open 11am–4pm daily.

Kitá Winery 300 N. 12th St., Unit 1A, Lompoc, 805 819-1372 KitaWines.com Established in 2010 as a small, premium wine producer, Kitá’s focus is on respecting the balance of soil, climate, location and taste. The word “Kitá” means “our valley oak” in the Santa Ynez Chumash language of Samala. Open Thu–Fri 2–6pm, Sat noon–6pm and Sun noon–5pm.

Lafond Winery Vineyard: 6855 Santa Rosa Rd., Buellton, 805 688-7921 Funk Zone: 111 Yanonali St., Santa Barbara, 805 845-2020 LafondWinery.com Lafond Winery & Vineyards is the sister label to neighbor Santa Barbara Winery. With the first grapes belonging to Lafond Vineyards being planting in 1962, owner Pierre Lafond established the first commercial winery in Santa Barbara County. The Lafond label specializes in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. Visit the Funk Zone tasting room Sun–Thu 10am–6pm, Fri–Sat 10am–7pm or the vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills 10am–5pm daily.


Lama Dog 116 Santa Barbara St., Santa Barbara 805 880-3364 LamaDog.com Craft beer taproom and bottle shop located in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone. Open Sun–Wed 11:30am–10pm, Thu 11:30am–11pm, Fri–Sat 11:30am–midnight. @lamadog

Margerum Wine Company Tasting Room at the Hotel Californian, corner of Mason & Helena, Santa Barbara 805 845-8435 Winery Tasting Room, 59 Industrial Way, Buellton; 805-686-8500 MargerumWines.com Enjoy wine tasting at the new Tasting Room venue at the Hotel Californian in the Santa Barbara Funk Zone. Indoor and outdoor patio seating, with an indoor mezzanine that can host private events. Handcrafted Rhône varietal wines from Margerum Estate vineyard grapes and from grapes grown at top Santa Barbara County vineyards. The winery in Buellton is open on Sat–Sun for wine tasting and winery tours.

Riverbench Vineyard & Winery 137 Anacapa St., Ste. C., Santa Barbara 805 324-4100 6020 Foxen Canyon Rd., Santa Maria 805 937-8340 Riverbench.com Established in 1973, when the first Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes were planted on the property. For years since then, some of the most renowned wineries have purchased Riverbench fruit for their wines. In 2004, Riverbench began producing their own still and sparkling wines in limited quantities, with many available exclusively through their tasting rooms in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara. Open in Santa Barbara 11am–6pm daily. Open in Santa Maria 10am–4pm daily.

Santa Barbara Winery 202 Anacapa St., Santa Barbara 805 963-3633 SBWinery.com Santa Barbara Winery is the oldest winery in Santa Barbara County. Established in 1962, Pierre Lafond pioneered the commercial vineyard business under the Santa Barbara Winery label in the Sta. Rita Hills. The winery and tasting room is located in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone and is one of the only fully operating wineries of its kind in the urban district. Tasting room open Sun–Thu 10am–6pm, Fri–Sat 10am–7pm.

The Wine Shepherd 30 E. Ortega St., Santa Barbara, 805 963-1012 WineShepherdSB.com The Wine Shepherd is a wine bar and wine retail shop featuring local and international wines. Taste Lumen wines made by Lane Tanner or explore the tasting menu which focuses on rare, esoteric and old vintage bottles. Located next to The Black Sheep Restaurant in Santa Barbara’s Presidio neighborhood. Open Tue–Sun.

Zaca Mesa Winery 6905 Foxen Canyon Rd., Los Olivos 805 688-9339 ZacaMesa.com Since 1973, Zaca Mesa Winery has crafted distinctive wines from their unique mesa-top vineyard. As an early pioneer of the region, they now have 150 acres planted, specializing in the production of estategrown Rhône-style wines. Tasting room and picnic area open daily 10am–4pm. Call for more information on winery tours and private event space.

Lodging Ranch at Canyon Ridge RanchAtCanyonRidge.com A private and gated ranch retreat in the heart of Santa Ynez Wine Country with sweeping views of rolling hills and vineyards. Farmhouse vacation rental, 20 acres, infinity pool and jacuzzi, farm animals, spa services.

Specialty Retail Buckaroo Grills 805 689-6081 BuckarooGrills.com Offering a variety of wood-burning barbecue grills with a variable speed fan system that allows you to cook as quickly as you would on a gas grill but with that coveted wood-fired flavor.

Ella & Louie 240 E. Hwy. 246, Suite 105, Buellton, 805 691-9106 EllaAndLouie.com Floral designer Tracey Morris has two great loves: flowers and people. Relying on more than 25 years of design experience, Morris helps clients celebrate their big occasions with exquisite and expressive floral arrangements. Ella & Louie produces a range of looks from classic elegant designs or brightly colored flower crowns to unusual yet stylish.

Tecolote Bookstore 1470 E. Valley Rd., Montecito 805 969-4977 Tecolote Bookstore is an independent bookstore located in the upper village of Montecito. Open Mon–Fri 10am–5:30pm; Sat 10am–5pm; closed Sun.

Professional Services American Riviera Bank 525 San Ysidro Rd., Montecito, 805-335-8110 AmericanRivieraBank.com 1033 Anacapa St., Santa Barbara 805 965-5942 AmericanRivieraBank.com Offering a local and sustainable approach to banking. The founders of American Riviera Bank are a carefully selected group of successful, prominent, experienced and influential community and business leaders who understand the unique needs of the Santa Barbara community. Montecito branch open Mon–Thu 9am–5pm; Fri 9am–5:30pm. Santa Barbara branch open Mon–Thu 8am–5pm, Fri 8am–6pm.

SBCC Foundation 805 730-4401 SBCCFoundation.org The SBCC Foundation was established in 1976 to provide Santa Barbara City College with private philanthropic support. The foundation acts in partnership with the college and bridges the gap between available public funding and institutional need, as determined by the college leadership. The SBCC Foundation provides more than $4 million annually for student success programs, scholarships, book grants and other critical needs of the college in order to support SBCC students as they prepare for careers, transfer to four-year universities and pursue lifelong learning goals.



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Don’t-Miss Dish Words and photos by Liz Dodder

Moules Frites at Bell’s A cozy spot that feels like home is exactly what Bell’s owners, Daisy and Greg Ryan, wanted in their first restaurant. And for Chef Daisy, who is from the Santa Ynez Valley, it was also about family, community and coming home. It was great timing, as the building that used to house Bell Street Farm in Los Alamos was up for sale, with a kitchen, dining room and back patio that were perfect for a French bistro. Why French cuisine in this new home? Looking around the valley, Chef Daisy realized there were plenty of Italian restaurants—her favorite food to eat—but not many French ones. Also, French cooking is the basis of all culinary training, as well as that of Per Se, the Michelin-starred Thomas Keller restaurant where she worked—and met her husband, Greg—in New York. “This area is a lot like wine regions in France, where the farmers and winemakers drive from their fields and wineries into small local towns to have a simple, delicious lunch,” said Chef Daisy. “It’s the food of the people: local, familiar and interesting.” This means fresh soups, salads and sandwiches (the egg salad is her favorite) plus classic French dishes like escargot, steak tartare and moules frites (mussels with fries). Sourcing locally is a must for the Ryans. Chef Daisy estimates that 95% of everything they cook comes from Santa Barbara County. The mussels come from Hope Ranch in Santa Barbara, which means they have a 50-minute ride from the sea to the restaurant. The first step is sourcing good mussels. Look for ones that are closed tight and smell fresh, like the ocean. You’ll need 1 pound of mussels per person. Clean them by pulling the beard away and scrub with a hard brush. For two servings, set a large saucepan on medium heat and bring to a simmer: 1 cup dry white wine, ¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 clove of garlic, 4 tablespoons butter, small pinch of saffron, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Add 2 pounds of cold, live mussels, increase heat and cover tightly with lid. Steam for 5 minutes, just until all mussels are open. Remove from heat and discard any mussels that didn’t open. Divide mussels and broth into 2 bowls, top with freshly chopped parsley and serve immediately with double-fried potatoes, crusty bread or your favorite potato chips. Liz Dodder is a drinker, eater and traveler who has eaten five kinds of foie gras in one day. She’s also a blogger, writer, photographer, recipe developer, web designer, social media maven and Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW). CaliCoastWineCountry.com


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