Food & Home Magazine - Winter 2020-21

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An active year for the 93108 A big thanks to my clients, colleagues and professional vendors who make it all possible.


















CRYSTA METZGER 805.453.8700 | CalRE#01340521 The property information herein is derived from various sources that may include, but not be limited to, county records and the Multiple Listing Service, and it may include approximations. Although the information is believed to be accurate, it is not warranted and you should not rely upon it without personal verification. Real estate agents affiliated with Coldwell Banker Realty are independent contractor sales associates, not employees. ©2020 Coldwell Banker. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker logos are trademarks of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The Coldwell Banker® System is comprised of company owned offices which are owned by a subsidiary of Realogy Brokerage Group LLC and franchised offices which are independently owned and operated. The Coldwell Banker System fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.

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CRYSTA METZGER 805.453.8700 | CalRE#01340521 The property information herein is derived from various sources that may include, but not be limited to, county records and the Multiple Listing Service, and it may include approximations. Although the information is believed to be accurate, it is not warranted and you should not rely upon it without personal verification. Real estate agents affiliated with Coldwell Banker Realty are independent contractor sales associates, not employees. ©2020 Coldwell Banker. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker logos are trademarks of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The Coldwell Banker® System is comprised of company owned offices which are owned by a subsidiary of Realogy Brokerage Group LLC and franchised offices which are independently owned and operated. The Coldwell Banker System fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.


WALL HOUSE An Ojai idyll designed by noted architect Scott Johnson . . . . 38


Greg Brewer: Winemaker of the Year . . . . . . . . . . 14 More Wine! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Pot chocolate or hot chocolate? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Five wines on our radar this winter . . . . . . . . . . . . 19


Pan-tastic: Forging for the Future at SB Forge . . 20 Home Chef: Always in Season . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Home Style: Home Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Builder Notes: Sunshine charged . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Spaces: A Better Bathroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Spaces: Kitchens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 In the Garden: A Winter’s Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Garden Notes: T is for Tillandsia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 The Last Page: SB’s in a Pickle! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

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OLIO BOTTEGA Italy continues to blossom in downtown S.B. . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

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Philip Kirkwood Dining & Copy Editor

Jeff Miller Wine Editor

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Jim Bartsch Michael Brown Joshua Curry Eliot Crowley Mehosh Dziadzio Braulio Godinez Ashley Hardin Chuck Place Kim Reierson Corina Schweller Alexander Siegel Shelly Vinson

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P.O. Box 20025, Santa Barbara, CA 93120 (805) 455-4756– Food and Home (ISSN# 1533-693X) is published quarterly by Metro Inc. and single copies are provided to selected homeowners free of charge. Unless otherwise noted, all photographs, artwork, and designs printed in Food & Home are the sole property of Metro Inc. and may not be duplicated or reprinted without Metro Inc.’s express written permission. Food & Home and Metro Inc. are not liable for typographical or production errors or the accuracy of information provided by advertisers. Readers should verify advertised information with the advertisers. Food & Home and Metro Inc. reserve the right to refuse any advertising. Food & Home® is a registered trademark of Metro, Inc. Copyright © 2019. All inquiries may be sent to: Metro Media Services, P.O. Box 20025, Santa Barbara, CA 93120, or call (805) 455-4756, or e-mail: Unless otherwise noted, all photographs, artwork, and designs printed in Food & Home are the sole property of Metro Inc. and may not be duplicated or reprinted without Metro Inc.’s express written permission. Food & Home and Metro Inc. are not liable for typographical or production errors or the accuracy of information provided by advertisers. Readers should verify advertised information with the advertisers. 10


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The property information herein is derived from various sources that may include, but not be limited to, county records and the Multiple Listing Service, and it may include approximations. Although the information is believed to be accurate, it is not warranted and you should not rely upon it without personal verification. Real estate agents affiliated with Coldwell Banker Realty are independent contractor sales associates, not employees. Š2020 Coldwell Banker Realty. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Realty fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Owned by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

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Chef-Owner Alberto Morello

Italy blossoms at Olio Bottega by Jeff


Photos by Kim Reierson


ne glimpse of the newest change at Olio e Limone and Olio Pizzeria and you might marvel, “I problemi creano opportunità!” Because, yes, problems do create opportunities in the eyes of Olio’s husband/ wife owner/operators Alberto and Elaine Morello. “We’re currently operating Olio e Limone and Olio Pizzeria primarily outdoors but have also added the recently approved 25 percent capacity indoor seating,” Elaine announced back in October. “We’ve transformed Olio Crudo Bar into Olio Bottega so we can utilize the space vs. keep it shut down.” “Bottega,” for those who don’t speak Ital-

iano, literally means an artist’s workshop or studio. And Olio Bottega does look, smell, and taste artisanal, from the house-made focaccia panini to house-made cocktails in little 100-ml bottles. But in everyday use a bottega is a corner store or a sort of deli. “It hit me one night,” chef Alberto recalled. “Change the concept to a sandwich place.” And so they did. It took three months, opening in mid-October. That required coming up with a complete menu, which chef Alberto did with relish. All of the sandwiches are built inside house-made schiacciate (aka focaccia panini) baked fresh every morning at 7 by staffer Claudia Garcia,

who’s been on the Olio team for 19 years. The sandwich list is long, spangled with sauces like artichoke cream, pistachio cream, truffle cream, and an array of “salumi,” assorted charcuterie, including bresaola (cured Italian beef). The chef ’s favorite selection: a vegan concoction with zucchini, eggplant, tomato, arugula, bell peppers, and sun-dried tomato cream. It’s called the Campostella, which means “field of the star.” Said Alberto, “I don’t know why I named it that. Probably drinking too much wine that night. But I like it.” There are also hot dishes, featuring sausages, deep-fried Italian rice balls, bucatini pasta drums, and “Naughty Sicilian Fries.” (continued)

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Open Tuesday thru Sunday 9:30am to 3pm. 11 West Victoria St. 805-899-2699. 16


Greg Brewer: Winemaker of the Year


or 30 years, Winemaker Greg Brewer has dedicated his career to producing chardonnay, pinot noir, and syrah from the Sta. Rita Hills AVA for his labels Brewer-Clifton, Diatom, and Ex Post Facto. His commitment to the Sta. Rita Hills — an appellation he helped define and establish well before it achieved AVA status in 2001 — is further emphasized by his unwavering passion for educating others about this unique appellation, as well as his earnest advocacy for the entire growing region of Santa Barbara. Recently, Brewer made history as the first Santa Barbara County winemaker to be named “Winemaker of the Year” in Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s 21st Annual Wine Star Awards. “The honor that I feel to receive this prestigious award is only rivaled by that which I have felt to represent the Sta. Rita Hills of Santa Barbara County for the entirety of my thirty year career,” says Brewer. “While this tremendous acknowledgment is associated with my name, I really see the award being owned and earned by all of us in this region. [This award] is a testament to how special Santa Barbara is.” Santa Barbara County, also recognized in Wine Enthusiast’s Wine Star Awards, was nominated for “Wine Region of the Year.” Congratulations to Brewer and the entire Santa Barbara wine community! —By Hana-Lee Sedgwick for more info.

Winemaker Greg Brewer

Jackson Family Wines

For dolci there’s another array, with all pastries baked fresh every morning by Garcia. The cannoli, said Alberto, are “the closest you can get to Sicily. We use sheep’s milk, not cow. It’s more delicate.” Drinks include a full bar, highlighted by those house-made bottled cocktails and artisanal Italian beers. Coffee creations, said Elaine, are concocted by “our server and barista extraordinaire,” Eva Tsiapali. And, as befits a bottega, there are 22-foot-long shelves stocked with Italian delicacies. “Very sophisticated,” said the chef. “We’re not trying to sell what the supermarket sells.” In addition to oils, vinegars, olives, and specialty pastas, the shelves hold all the sauces used on the menu. Chef Alberto began his career working the front of the house in hotels in Sicily, then moved to Florence, then a year in England, before coming to Beverly Hills and transitioning to chef in 1985. He and Elaine, a UCSB graduate, met at a restaurant there. One night they stopped for an espresso at a little corner spot in Santa Barbara and “fell in love with the location,” Alberto said. It was August 1999. Three months later Olio e Limone was born at 11 West Victoria, to be followed by Olio Pizzeria next door 10 years later, and five years ago the Crudo Bar, now the site of Olio Bottega. There are surprises all over inside the Bottega, including one that might be credo of the shop. Flip up the bar pass-through and there, in bold letters, the underside says, “Il gusto non mente — Taste doesn’t lie.”

More Wine! MARGERUM M5 WHITE Slight straw and golden hues with a viscosity that clings to the glass as it is swirled. Aromas of apricots, white floral, sweet honey, hints of brioche toast, sweet pea flowers, and pineapple. Full, round, and pleasing with ample acidity to balance the richness that will continue to evolve with time in bottle. Flavors of apple, wet stone, and a touch of peach nectar engage with a lovely, long, persistent finish that lingers. It pairs well with the alfresco meals typical of this area: grilled seafood, papaya salsa, meadow picnics, the beach, seafood skewers, and general fun. These wines are great while young and develop to an entirely other experience with bottle age. For cheese, the folks at Margerum suggest light blues and triple creams.

2018 CARR PINOT NOIR, HILLIARD BRUCE VINEYARD, STA. RITA HILLS This Pinot Noir from Hilliard Bruce Vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills has a beautiful ruby color. Luscious aromas of blackberry, butterscotch, and vanilla spice are followed by mixed berries, a touch of earthiness, and a silky, smooth finish. Pairs great with lamb stew or grilled beef. $49.00 Retail Bottle $39.20 Wine Club

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Carr wine photo by Matt Dayka


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ho doesn’t love a cup of steaming hot chocolate on a cold winter morning or eve? While a morning mug might not be the time to get a buzz on, a night time elixir of “Pot Chocolate” could be just the perfect remedy for insomnia. Chocolate drinks have their roots in Latin America and Europe and styles of the drink vary widely across the globe. In Spain, it’s like a warm chocolate pudding eaten with a spoon and a side of churros (donuts). It’s also thick in Italy. Cinnamon is often used in modern day Mexican hot cocoa; the Mayans and earlier peoples in Latin America drank a very different version of today’s beloved drink – one made not only with chili peppers and corn meal but also drunk cold and poured back and forth between two vessels to make it foamy. (The vessels often went to the afterlife with their wealthy owners who were buried with them). The English were the first to add milk to this drinking beverage – thanks to a Jamaican recipe; we can thank the Dutch, who brought hot chocolate to the United States. But now, in the 21rst century, we add to the history of hot chocolate with a new twist: Pot chocolate. I usually have several powdered cocoas in

my pantry in the winter, but I do like Cacoco, an organic chocolate mix, since you can whip up in a blender or with a wire whisk, which makes it foamy and honors earlier traditions. You can make your hot or pot chocolate with whole milk and heavy cream, sweeten it with light brown sugar or CBD infused honey; and add some spices like cinnamon, star anise, vanilla bean and even powdered chipotle morita, to add a kick. Or try these pot chocolate suggestions: “We carry two brands of infused honey - Potli and Kikoko. There are two different formulation currently for each brand (high THC and high CBD), but Potli has one loaded with CBN and formulated to help people sleep,” notes Leia Cail, manager of The Farmacy, “We also have a great tincture from Humboldt Apothecary with cacao nibs and vanilla, and chocolate bars from Kiva that can be shaved (dark chocolate and milk chocolate churro are both good) into the recipe.” — LAW For more info on infused honey and other cannabis products, visit The Farmacy, 128 West Mission. They deliver, too. Use the promo code foodhome15 for a 15% discount! W W W. F O O D – H O M E . C O M


Five wines on our radar this winter By Hana-Lee Sedgwick

Bien Nacido 2018 Estate Chardonnay Produced from fruit grown on the historic own-rooted vines of Bien Nacido Vineyard, planted in 1973, this mineral-driven Santa Maria Valley chardonnay is a stellar cellar selection that will gracefully develop over the next 10 years. Aromas of lemon peel, honeysuckle, and toasted nuts leap from the glass, while the palate showcases notes of citrus, wet rocks, and a bright, yet elegant texture. Drink now through 2030. ($45) Holus Bolus 2018 Franc de Pied Syrah Savory notes of black olive, peppercorn, and smoke dominate the nose of this cool-climate syrah from the Sta. Rita Hills, which is rounded out by dark blue and black fruits, spice, and herbal characters in the mouth. Complex, earthy, and tense (in a good way), this is a wine you’ll want to cozy up with this winter. Drink now or within the next five years. ($40) Riverbench 2017 Sparkling Pinot Meunier Riverbench is the only Santa Barbara County winery to grow and bottle pinot meunier, one of the three main grapes used in Champagne. This unique bottling, made using the traditional Champagne method, features an alluring bouquet of blackberries and cream right off the bat. On the palate, grapefruit and tangerine flavors are accented by a touch of yeast on the finish. It’s a fine choice for popping this February with your Valentine. ($68) Dragonette 2018 Grimm’s Bluff Sauvignon Blanc While sauvignon blanc may be associated with spring, don’t discount the beauty of this wine any time of year, especially when you need a break from winter’s go-to reds. Sourced from the biodynamically farmed Grimm’s Bluff Vineyard in the Happy Canyon AVA, this limited-production bottling stands out for its fresh, character-filled palate and layered texture. Appealing aromas of tropical fruit, citrus, and crushed rocks are followed by a racy palate that delivers minerality and fruit with precision and length. Drink now or within the next 10 to 15 years. ($50) Mail Road 2016 Mt. Carmel Pinot Noir Hailing from Mt. Carmel Vineyard, located on a steep, south-facing cliff in the Sta. Rita Hills at an elevation of 800 to 1,000 feet, this compelling wine offers notes of dark fruit, earth, and graphite that carry from the nose to the deeply nuanced palate. Elegant and seamless, this is a wine to enjoy for years to come. Drink now or within the next 10-plus years. ($100) W W W. F O O D – H O M E . C O M

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Pan-tastic Forging for the Future

By Jeff Miller


icture three brothers running a blacksmith shop in downtown Santa Barbara. What do you see? Fire? Sparks? Bearded guys pounding red-hot molten steel while heavy metal music booms from the speakers? If so, you got it. That’s Santa Barbara Forge. That’s where you’ll find the Patterson brothers and their crew hard at work on everything from railings to doors to chandeliers to tables and cookware. The brothers are Dan, 43; Joel, 40; and Andy, 38. Their shop is on Gutierrez in Santa Barbara’s downtown industrial zone, but you can see their work all over town, from the signs at the Museum of Natural History to the exterior lamps at MOXI and beyond. Far beyond. Much of their business comes from their web-



site, which is a serious creation in itself. There you can learn the difference between cast iron and forged steel. (Cast iron involves pouring molten metal into molds. Forged steel involves bending and hammering red-hot metal into shape.) And the process is beautiful to witness. On their YouTube channel you can watch Andy making that sign hardware for the museum. By the end you might want to become a blacksmith too. How do three 21st century brothers get into such an 18th century business? Like smithing itself, it was quite a process. It started with Dan, who was interested in taking some drawing classes at college (Hope College, Holland, MI) but they were full so he

took sculpture instead. Turned out to be “one of those great little accidents that turn the course of your life,” he said. He further followed that course pursing his master of fine art degree at Transart Institute in Berlin, Germany, and then started thinking about “how to commodify” what he’d learned. After several moves (LA, New York City) and jobs (cabinet maker, rock drummer), he finally settled on Carpinteria and metalwork. “There are so many cabinet makers out there, and way fewer metal workers,” he said. “Plus it’s a huge part of the aesthetic here.” So he got some tools, including a roofing torch, and built a forge out of an empty propane tank, lined it with brick, and went to work. “It was very, very slow,” he recalled. “I knew a designer who was kind enough to give W W W. F O O D – H O M E . C O M

me a shot. And I just kept pressing forward. It took a long time, like the Colorado River cutting the Grand Canyon, but eventually things happened.” Even so, there was “no money the first eight years,” Dan said. “We lived off my wife’s [Leanne’s] teaching salary. If anybody deserves credit, it’s her. She’s put up with a tremendous amount of noise.” Then brother Andy came on board. “Andy was always really prolific with clay as a kid,” Dan recalled. “Always bending and smooshing. So he brings that natural inclination to this job.” After graduating from Westmont College, Andy went to Baltimore to apprentice with blacksmith guru Chris Gavin. “He came back with a lot of skills,” Dan said. All about “treating metal as a moveable medium.” And so the stage was set for the brothers’ first big break — fabricating mosaic installations along Cabrillo Blvd. for the city. “That project got us fiscally to where we could get our first studio,” Dan said. The site was the former Craviotto Ironworks building at Anacapa and Ortega, and it was “fantastic,” Dan said. Being downtown “opened so many doors for us. That was really the tipping point.” Then one more move, to Fig and Cota before landing at their present 4,500-squarefoot site on Gutierrez four years ago, formerly home to a VW mechanic and a surfboard maker. “By then we’d been downtown five or six years,” Dan said, “working jobs all over Montecito and beyond. Mostly this area, but also Tahoe, Mammoth, etc. Once you get your name out there and build a customer base, it tends to roll on its own.” Now the company does hundreds of jobs a year, with wait times as long as six months for major productions.



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MADE IN SB A good bit of that reach has been the work of brother Joel, who was helping out part-time along the way but joined the company full-time in 2018. While Dan is the CEO and chief designer, and Andy is “definitely one of the finest blacksmiths on the Central Coast,” Joel has built up the website and taken the lead on marketing. As a result, “We’ve worked on some of the finest homes all over town, which would mean some of the finest in the nation,” he said. And the crew has grown to include production associates Ben LaBarge, Ray Martin, Claire Vance, and Jacob Clark. Recently they’ve added cookware to their product line, to give customers a more intimate point of access to the world of forged steel. Santa Barbara is a foodie town, Joel observed, and the brothers are right in step with that. “We all love to cook and we love kitchen gadgetry, so it didn’t take long to put one and one together,” he said. Said brother Joel: “We started with a small pan. We wanted something compact that could fit in any kitchen.

“Cookware combines the simplicity of function and the beauty of craftsmanship. That, in essence, is what blacksmithing is all about to me.” —Andy Patterson Also because we love making bacon and eggs.” Then it was the larger pans, then spatulas, ladles, and the Matsu hand-forged cleaver. (What’s the difference between a cast-iron pan and a hand-forged pan? Hand-forged pans are lighter, easier to handle, quicker to season, and less porous, say the pros.) Joel has also enjoyed describing the line on the website. For example, you can “feed the entire wagon train with the Sonora Homestead collection.” And Dan said it’s been heartening to see all the repeat customers, as well as seeing their company mentioned in cooking blogs. “People are definitely noticing,” he said. (There aren’t too many things in life you can recommend without reservation, Dan observed. One is their skillet. Another is “Rambo III.”) Andy puts it this way: “Cookware combines the simplicity of function and the beauty of craftsmanship. That, in essence, is what blacksmithing is all about to me.” And Joel noted that, like all of their products, the cookware ended up being more than just functional. “These are heirlooms,” Joel said. “The kinds of things that can stay in families and be used and loved for generations.” 22


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Apple/Lavender and Ricotta Tart



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Always in season Recipe and photo by Kim Reierson


ndulgent baking isn’t just for the holidays anymore. Finding comfort in the delicious warm smell of bread, pies, and cookies filling our kitchens is more than ever like a warm blanket or Grandma’s hug. With more time to spend at home, we can satiate our sweet tooth and try new flavors. My French Lavender and Ricotta Cheese Apple Tart Pie is inspired by the simple French favorite, Galette aux Pommes, or apple tart, but with a twist: I added ricotta cheese and lavender, and I used two different kinds of apples. We may not be able to go to France just yet, but with our own beautiful American Riviera, we can at least have our taste buds travel. Here’s on of my favorites!

Apple/Lavender and Ricotta Tart Prep: 30 minutes Cook time: 1 hour

Pie Crust 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1-1/2 tsp salt 1 tablespoon sugar 2 sticks unsalted butter, COLD and cut into 1/2 inch cubed pieces 8 tablespoon ICE COLD water Directions Add the flour, sugar, and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix together with a fork or whisk. Add the butter pieces, which have been cut into 1/2-inch cubes, into the flour mix. Use your hands to mix and break apart butter within the flour mix until you have a coarse texture. Add ice-cold water and knead dough into a ball. Set aside in fridge for an hour. Filling: 4 apples (2 honey crisp 2 granny smith) 1/2 cup raw organic sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon dried lavender buds 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/8 cup heavy cream 3/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese 1 egg yolk with a splash of water (for glazing over pie crust) Galette Filling and Assembly Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Core the apples and cut into thin slices ( 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick) and place them in a large bowl. Add the sugar, salt, lemon juice, cream, lavender, and cinnamon and mix together. Take pie crust dough out of fridge and roll out into a 1/4-inch-thick, 12-inch circle, leaving it flat. With remaining dough, cut leaves and other dough shapes you W W W. F O O D – H O M E . C O M

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Beets Amore

Cauliflower Mushroom Soup

like to decorate the top of your pie. Spread the ricotta cheese evenly on bottom of the pie crust, leaving room (about inch off the edge) where dough will be folded later after apples are filled in. Take your apples slices that have been marinating in cream mix and arrange them on top of ricotta cheese (making sure you leave the one inch room off the edges) in a neat circular pattern all around until the whole ricotta area is filled. Now fold over the one inch dough edge over onto the apples and pinch fold dough as you cover. With the remaining cream mix left in bowl from where apples where soaking, gently pour over exposed apples in pie. Use your dough leaves to decorate your pie, and use egg yolk (mix egg yolk with a few drops of water to make it easy to spread ) to glaze the crust edges and dough leaf decorations. Bake for one hour. Should have a nice golden brown crust. Serve with fresh whipped cream and garnish with edible rosebuds. Beets Amore Recipe by Chef Paul Shields Savoy Café 2 large organic beets 4 ounces goat cheese 1/4 cup basil, chiffonade (ribbon-cut) Sea salt Extra virgin olive oil Fig vincotto (reduced fig balsamic) Method: Boil the beets, skin on, in lightly sea salted water for 4050 minutes, until cooked through. Cool in ice bath. Peel skin off. Slice beets into quarter-inch discs, and place on parchment paper, or a non-stick tray. Lightly season with sea salt. Divide the goat cheese into six evenly sized balls. Press each ball onto six beet “discs” and spread evenly. (Vinyl gloves work great for this.) Evenly sprinkle the chopped basil over the goat cheese on each disc. Season with EVOO. Stack three discs so that there are three layers each of goat cheese and beet. Cut into halves, displaying the colorful striation of red, white and green. Drizzle with EVOO and fig vincotto. Serves 4 Wild Alaska Pollock Fish Pie Developed by Alison Attenborough Serves 6 Ingredients: 3 leeks 1/4 cup butter 1/2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth 1 cup frozen peas 2 tablespoon flour 2 cup chicken stock 4 (3-oz.) fillets wild Alaska pollock, cut into 1-inch chunks (continued on page 48)



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Gardens Are for Living

2 8Food Home F OSummer O D +2017.indd HOME 1

W W W. F O O D – 6/8/17 H O M E1:08 . C PM OM


Home Work

Who said it couldn’t be comfortable?


ith more and more companies and businesses moving to an off-site, work-from-home paradigm for at least some of the time, it has been paramount that today’s home office requires more than the dining room table as a workplace. The modern home office needs to be a highly functional, well organized, and a comfortable environment that is both practical and efficient while also being attractive. Fortunately, options for the home office have evolved with entirely new and innovative designs that integrate technology, storage, ergonomics, and attractive design that will actually fit into a look great as part of our home’s décor. Things like cable management, storage for printers and keyboards, along with storage for rechargeable electronics have been designed into these new systems. And there are a wide range of configurations as well as finishes including woods, leathers, and more when you are designing your new home office space. Seating is available that is both ergonomic and good looking. You can even select recliner seating (for those meditative problem-solving moments) that has been specifically designed as an office desk chair with the features of a recliner. Norwegian made Stressless recliners are a leader here. Today’s home office can be beautifully designed space that is a comfortable, inviting environment that inspires creativity and productivity. —RB Several options for home office design are available at Michael Kate contemporary furniture, 132 Santa Barbara St., Santa Barbara. 805-963-1411.

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Stressless office seating (top) brings all the comfort, quality and style of the famous Stressless brand to your office with a variety of handsome styles designed specifically for your workplace. The BDI Modica collection (left) is designed with the home office in mind. The unique platform desk stands securely on a black steel trestle base and features an open storage shelf flanked by two storage drawers. The mobile pedestal keeps hanging files and supplies close at hand and makes a great home for a printer or all-in-one. FOOD + HOME



A new look


ou can create a brand new bathroom simply by upgrading your vanity. James Martin Vanities are known for their clean lines and spacious storage. Available at Economy Supply Co. 632 East Haley, Santa Barbara. 805-965-4319. www.

Shade control


lide on wire awning systems offer an elegant look and the ability to create your own shade or sun when you need it. You can control the hot sun during the day and see the stars at night. Slide on wire panels are made to open and close on a stainless steel cable. The Sunbrella fabric panels come with a 10 year warranty and the steel or aluminum frame tubing are custom made to order and feature a powder coat finish. Available at Van Nuys Awnings for your outdoor experience. 818-782-8607.



W W W. F O O D – H O M E . C O M

yes to a new year and yes to a clean slate!


Sunshine charged By Dennis Allen


arnessing the sun for our electricity, hot water, and space heating is practical and cost-effective, whether remodeling or building from the ground up. After maximizing use of the sun through passive solar design, consider going all electric, since some or all your electricity can be site-generated. When pursuing this strategy, it’s most cost-effective to reduce electrical loads (LEDs, Energy Star appliances, etc.), as fewer photovoltaic panels will be needed. Heat pumps fit nicely into this strategy. They can heat or cool a home, provide domestic hot water, refrigerate your food, and even dry your clothes. Heat pumps use electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly. Their high efficiency results from their capacity to transfer more energy (heat) than the energy they require to operate. They’re rated by COP (coefficient of performance), the ratio of useful heating or cooling provided compared to the energy input. Although they’ve been around for many years, recent improvements greatly increase their efficiency, achieving COPs in the 2-3 range (compared to 0.8 for efficient gas furnaces or water heaters). Variable-speed motors and scroll compressors in lieu of piston compressors are key recent advances that lower energy consumption, minimize noise, and reduce maintenance. Heat pumps work best in moderate climates. For the non-scientist, heat pumps conjure up notions of alchemy: extracting heat from already cold outside air and transferring it inside to heat the home, or when it’s hot outside, reversing direction to act like an air conditioner, removing heat from the home.



Heat pump appliances such as refrigerators, dryers, or water heaters have condensers built in (water heater condensers can be either built in or located outdoors). Space-conditioning heat pumps always have two main components, an outdoor condenser and an indoor air-handling unit. In recent years, mini-split or ductless units have become popular because of their small size and zone heating/cooling capabilities and significantly reduced operating costs. Ductless systems offer multi-stage filtration that can drastically reduce dust, bacteria, pollen, allergens and other particulates in the air. Roughly eight million domestic water heaters are sold in the US each year, 80 percent on an emergency basis when an existing unit starts leaking. In such circumstances, owners reflex to lowest price and quickest replacement. The most sensible course, however, would be price plus operating cost, where heat pump water heaters have a big advantage. Such heaters convert a given amount of input energy to about four times more hot water than a gas or electric water heater. The only caution is that heat pump units have a slower recovery time. Heat pump equipment costs the same or more than comparable natural gas equipment, but the operational savings add up rapidly, especially if run off sun-generated electricity. The super efficiency, along with tax credits, makes it the more economical choice. I’m convinced that the all-electric home run off the sun is the future. Dennis Allen is the founder of Allen Construction in Santa Barbara. www. W W W. F O O D – H O M E . C O M

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A Better Bathroom Designer Christine Craig of Designology Studio turns a Santa Ynez bathroom into the most impressive room in the house By Hana-Lee Sedgwick


Photos By Lindsey Drewes

Main floor & shower floor: AlysEdwards London Calling Trafalgar Square marble mosaic in cloudy Shower walls: Statuary honed marble 12x24” Shower niche: Mir Mosaic Savannah Hemingway Circle marble mosaic Backsplash: Statuary honed marble 4x12” with custom inlay of Schluter Systems polished brass jolly trim Countertops: Polished statuary marble Main cabinetry: Starmark Stratford style in oak with tarragon tinted varnish and ebony glaze Makeup vanity cabinetry: Starmark Stratford style in maple with peppercorn-tinted varnish Cabinetry hardware: Emtek Lowell geometric knob in crystal and polished brass Paint: Sherwin Williams SW 7757 high reflective white in flat finish Plumbing fixtures: Newport Brass Skylar Series in French gold Mirrors: Chelsea House London church mirror Vanity sconces: Modern Forms Vogue wall sconces Chandelier above tub: Tech Lighting Viaggio chandelier


estled amongst majestic oaks on the reservation of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, this Santa Ynez remodel started out as a modest project, shared Designer Christine Craig of Designology Studio, who was hired to help the homeowner select new interior colors and materials. What was originally intended to be a small upgrade turned into a year-long remodel with the addition of an owner’s suite with stately bathroom (pictured). “Our client originally purchased this as a second home to be next door to her son and closer to her Chumash community,” said Craig. “A remodel had been started by her son previously, so the exterior of the home already had developed a modern farmhouse look. We took that and meshed it with our client’s preference for a more traditional California beach house aesthetic.” To achieve this look, Craig chose neutral materials that would outlast trends, and added shades of gray, mixed textiles, and pops of gold and brass, such as thin pieces of Schluter polished brass trim between the marble backsplash, to create a subtle warmth throughout. “We really like how the rusticity of the walnut and cedar woods in the vanities and infrared sauna paired with the sleekness of the marble, gold fixtures, and crystal hardware. Everything came together in such an organic way,” she said. “At the end of it all, our client loved the house so much she ended up selling her other home in Santa Barbara to live here full time.”



W W W. F O O D – H O M E . C O M

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Coastal California kitchen featuring the beautiful Cote D’Azur Brazilian Quartzite Countertops. Slabs available at Forte Stone LLC, in Goleta. 805 685 6202.

Built by Allen Construction. Photo Jim Bartsch. W W W. F O O D – H O M E . C O M




The 5,000-square-foot house sits on a 12-acre low-lying meadow surrounded on two sides by creeks that stream from the Los Padres National Forest into the nearby Ventura River. Entered through a private gate and a bridge over the creeks, the secluded property is surrounded by some 200 native oaks. Photo by Michael Montano.





By Leslie A. Westbrook




t’s a far cry from the bustle of downtown Los Angeles to the quietude of the Ojai Valley. But for one powerhouse couple, renowned architect and artist Scott Johnson and his wife, gynecologist Dr. Margaret Bates, the pandemic contributed to a seismic lifestyle shift. Their main residence is in the Arts District in downtown LA, close to Johnson’s architectural firm (Johnson Fain) and Bates’s medical practice at PIH Good Samaritan Hospital. Before the virus hit, the couple were spending many weekends, holidays, and special events, like the annual Ojai Music Festival, in the valley. But COVID-19 has them spending more time at Wall House, their stunning Ojai retreat that Johnson designed in 2014. Bates and Johnson are more than their professions. And the pandemic’s restrictions have created more chances to explore interests outside of their jobs. For Johnson, it’s time in the studio to work on his mixed media art. For Bates it’s her devotion to her garden and the fruit-bearing orchards. “Since last March, we’ve been pretty fully ensconced in Ojai with weekly trips into LA to work in our offices for two to 40


three days,” Johnson said. “Otherwise, I’m doing virtual meetings and Meg is on her iPad doing telemedicine with access to electronic medical records. Most of the cultural things we enjoy doing in Los Angeles are still closed or rescheduled — concerts, theater, dance classes, museums, and art openings.” Instead of dance, art openings, and theater, there are peaches and apricots to tend, as well as a dance studio with a barre for Bates, who takes ballet classes on Zoom. Proximity to a newly built art studio for the busy architect allows Johnson a place to explore other creative endeavors and still maintain virtual contact with his colleagues at Johnson Fain. “I was always interested in art and making things, but sometime in high school I got it in my mind that buildings could be art and have impact,” Johnson said. “So I went to college with an open major and spent my sophomore year in Italy, where all roads led to architecture.” The couple initially began their search in Ojai for a hillside property, but, after exhausting their options, discovered the off-market, 11-acre, completely private site. It took one year to find the site, a year to design Wall House, and two years to build the main structure. The original house, consisting of four bedrooms and three and a half baths, was W W W. F O O D – H O M E . C O M

completed in 2016. Three years ago, a building was added that included a guesthouse and dance studio. In 2019, they opened Wall House for the Ojai Music Festival’s annual Holiday Home Tour to help support the festival. And this past November, the large “Artbarn” — Johnson’s painting studio—completed the compound. Mostly flat, surrounded by some hundred large oak trees and two creeks, the land provided a perfect setting for the impressive, horizontal structure. “We enjoy the natural landscape so much, the oaks, the meadow grass, the big sky, and the view of the Topatopas, that we didn’t want to obscure the distinction between the architecture and nature,” Johnson said. “We’ve tried to respect the superiority of nature by containing and clarifying our own efforts. The idea of a super-long steel wall seemed ideal both to draw attention to the long north/ south axis of the site, but also as a device to make the arrival side of the house completely private and the opposite living side of the house completely transparent and open to the landscape.” This is not Johnson’s first design to house his family. Asked about the process, he replied, “It was beautiful. PeoW W W. F O O D – H O M E . C O M

ple always say, ‘It must be so hard being your own client.’ No, actually it’s like skating on smooth ice. You can still have issues with the contractor, the subs, the building inspectors, but you know your program, you know what you want to get done, and you just go about figuring out how to best do that. In my case, I have a great family, not lacking any ability to say what they like and don’t like, and we had done a number of houses together over the years.”


The garden is contained within a six-foot-tall wall with a potting shed. The wall, which is gated and planted with grapevines, was constructed to keep the deer, rabbits, and other wildlife without and protect the plants within. The farming is all organic: no pesticides or toxic substances. In some cases it’s taken a season or two to experiment with plants such that beneficial insects are attracted and birds take care of the others. “The garden perimeter comprises the herb garden, which is harvestable year-round,” said Bates, the gardener in the family. “When the basil is plentiful and before it flowers, we make large containers of pesto, some of

The rear yard is paved in natural flagstones with a 25-meter pool, outdoor fireplace, and kitchen complete with woodburning grill and pizza oven. Stone planters contain native plant species with a flower, herb, and produce garden adjacent to the kitchen. Photo by Tom Bonner, courtesy of Johnson Fain.




Sustainable elements of the house include the exterior wall assembly that has been designed as a rain-screen system to provide a high level of thermal insulation. The roof houses a large photovoltaic solar array as well as a rain collection system for gray water irrigation. In addition, select floors feature radiant cooling and heating. Opposite: The expansive living area is column-free, with the ceiling hung between two massive board-formed concrete walls. The Douglas fir ceiling is open and naturally ventilated through an automated clerestory system that produces changing patterns of light on the interior. On one side of the living area, a depression in the floor defines the seating area around a hearth sheathed in silver travertine, while on the other side, a small rise in the floor creates a stage upon which sits a concert grand piano. Floors throughout the common areas of the house are polished concrete with steps lined in native flagstones. 42


W W W. F O O D – H O M E . C O M

which we use fresh and some of which goes in the freezer for later. Vegetables are harvested throughout the summer with the many varieties of tomatoes coming on in the latter half. The peaches come on early, depending on the heat. The apricots are ready usually about a month later, so there are pies and preserves and boxes for friends and family. When the summer ends, and the tomatoes are cleared away, it’s time for planting winter lettuces and fava beans.” The peach and apricot orchards are elevated and surrounded by stone borders. One of the five stone planting beds is reserved for David Austin roses in different colors, all of which have beautiful soft blossoms and make for lovely bouquets throughout the summer and well into the end of the year. Well known for the many skyscrapers he’s designed, Johnson notes they’re only a part of the Johnson Fain practice, which has some 60 employees. The firm recently completed La Plaza Village, a low-rise residential/retail community adjacent to the historic Pueblo in downtown LA; a Catholic cathedral in Orange County; and they’re “wrapping up” the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City for the Native American tribes there. (If you were a fan of HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” you’ve seen Johnson’s work in the form of the palatial home of Renata Klein, played by Laura Dern.) And whom does he admire in his profession? “I admire the GOOD architects!” laughed the award-winning, Harvard Graduate School of Design alum. “In Southern California I’ve admired the ones who tried to master sunlight and shade and the implications of outdoor livW W W. F O O D – H O M E . C O M

ing,” citing Richard Neutra, Rudolph Schindler, Raphael Soriano, and A. Quincy Jones. Internationally, he says his tastes vary with cultures, calling out Kengo Kuma in Japan, Álvaro Siza in Portugal, and Richard Rogers in the U.K. And what’s Johnson’s favorite part of Wall House? Answer: The hub of activity — the kitchen. “There are more serene parts of the house, however, the kitchen turns out to be the social engine of the place,” Johnson said. “Someone starts to prepare food, someone goes out into the garden to get shallots, herbs, flowers, whatever, someone thinks it’s time for a glass of wine while someone else takes charge of Spotify. Then we talk while dinner is made, the table is set and we sit down and enjoy more time together. The kitchen and dining room are one and the same with a large square table in the center.” Perhaps the jewel in the crown is the living room, designed to seat 120 guests, punctuated with a Steinway concert grand piano placed atop a small plinth for home recitals. “At the time we bought the instrument, it was mostly for my daughter, Zoe, who is an opera singer and we wanted her to have great accompaniment,” Johnson recalled. “As it happens, she’s now married to Christopher Allen, the conductor and concert pianist, so we consider it one of our savvier investments.” Wall House seems to be an accumulation of the many homes Johnson has designed for his family, and the couple plans to stay put. Perhaps one silver lining of the pandemic has been their ability to bond even more than expected

with their Ojai weekend home. “In the past, when the kids were small, they always referred to these unusual houses I made for us as ‘Dad’s House,’ ” Johnson said, recalling his “no feet on the table” dictates and questions from the couple’s two children like “What’s with the weird furniture?” — complaints that are no longer uttered. “Both kids chose to be married on the site and my daughter’s production company is called Shokat Projects, named for our street address,” Johnson said. “I don’t think they’ll let us sell or move anytime soon.” Scott Johnson’s art website Instagram account is #scottjohnsonartist

Scott Johnson FOOD + HOME



A winter’s day By Lisa Cullen “All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray... California dreaming on such a winter’s day” —“California Dreamin’” by John and Michelle Phillips


t may seem there’s no huge difference from one Santa Barbara season to the next. We always have the most glorious weather during the holidays, particularly on New Year’s Day. Which I’m sure is part of some divine plan so we can show off to all of our friends and family in colder climes. But, for planting and garden planning purposes, there are some important things we can do in winter to ensure a sensational spring. 44


Garden Planning

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” —Abraham Lincoln Before you go charging around to every nursery in town, spend some time envisioning what it is you want to achieve. Make a file, a Pinterest board, or whatever suits you. There’s no need for a drawing, just gather some images of the look you’re going for. I suggest planting an edible garden as part of the vision. With everyone spending more time at home there’s been a big resurgence in homegrown food. Make

lists of what fruits and vegetables you and your family like to eat as a starting point. Almost every garden has room for a few fruit trees and a small vegetable plot. Even if you’re going to have someone else do the work, have photos ready of what it is you like. It’s your garden, after all, and should be to your taste and aesthetic. Grab this opportunity and tap into your creative side.


“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success” —Alexander Graham Bell W W W. F O O D – H O M E . C O M

I doubt Alexander Graham Bell’s famous words referred to planting a garden, but it’s certainly true, nonetheless. No matter what type of garden you’ll be planting, good drainage is key. Mediterranean and California Native so popular in our area require good drainage. Lavenders, rosemary, rockrose, ceanothus, and even succulents can fail to thrive if drainage is poor. Heavy compaction as well as heavy soil are drainage challenges. Fix drainage and amend the soil. Successful gardeners “feed the soil not the plant.” Worm castings, composted chicken manure, fish, and kelp all add life to the soil and always cover the soil with mulch.


Winter is bareroot season! Yay! That means big savings and greater selection. Bareroot plants are dormant (not actively growing) and look like bare sticks. Roses, fruit trees, and lots of different fruits and vegetables can be found this time of year in bareroot form, which amounts to big savings to you. Apricots, plums, persimmons, nut trees, asian pears, figs, mulberries, and more can be purchased in bareroot form. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, boysenberries, and trees of all kinds should all be planted now. In your vegetable garden it’s not too late to plant all your favorite cool-weather crops, like kale and broccoli. Fortunately for Santa Barbarans, we can plant just about anything this time of year. Of course, if we get a ton of rain, hold off until the soil dries out.


Rain: will it or won’t it

Typically, our rainy season is winter/spring and though the weather gurus are calling for increased drought conditions, I always hope they’re wrong. All the desalinated water can’t replace rainwater. Did you ever wonder why plants look better after a rain? It’s because rainwater contains nitrogen and oxygen that isn’t present in tap water. And because rain is slightly acidic, it helps release micronutrients essential to plant health. Plus, tap water contains chlorine, fluoride and other chemicals that kill the microorganisms in your soil and over time can cause toxicity. The end result of long-term drought is plant stress no matter how much you water. I highly recommend some type of filtration system for your water system that removes harmful chemicals.

Gardens are for living

There’s scientific proof that all aspects of gardening, from the planning to the physical labor to the fact of being surrounded by greenery and beauty, all relieve stress and promote calm and well-being. Life can be challenging, gardening shouldn’t be. I want you to be successful in your garden endeavors. Feel free to email me your questions and concerns at lisacullen@ Lisa Cullen, landscape designer and organic gardener, owns Montecito Landscape with her husband, Chris. She can be reached at 805.969.3984 or W W W. F O O D – H O M E . C O M




Christine Cowles & Mauricio Bergamin wife-husband staging team


Leslie Westbrook


T is for Tillandsia


illandsia are a botanical species commonly known as air plants. Yet, the name air plants is a misnomer that has many people falsely believing that these perennials don’t need water and/or that they get their water and food from the air. In places with high humidity, like Georgia and the tropics, this is true. But it also rains in those places a lot more than in Southern California. “I like to think of them as air plants because they don’t need any soil or dirt to live and thrive,” said Margaret Peavey, co-owner of Terra Sol Garden Center in Goleta. “They are actually in the same group of plants as orchids and bromeliads known as epiphytes. Which mostly means they grow on tree branches without harming the trees themselves.” “One of the many reasons they’re so popular, besides their myriad of beautiful and different forms, is because, like succulents, they won’t suffer or die if they miss a watering once in a while,” Peavey said. “They’re also easy to tuck anywhere or glue onto anything.” At Airplant Alchemy in Carpinteria, new hybrids are being developed by Brian Kollenborn, who claims the title of the largest hybridizer in the U.S. The self-proclaimed “plant fanatic” grows some 700 species and the retail shop shows off a myriad of examples in stunning glass containers, air plant walls, “plant curtains,” and other unique displays with future plans for artful happenings in one of the many greenhouses being revitalized.—LAW Available at: Terra Sol Garden Center – and Airplant Alchemy -



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(continued from page 26)

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

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Directions: Preheat oven to 425 F. Slice the leeks in half the long way, and then slice into quarter- inch half-moons. Rinse the sliced leeks in cold water and drain to remove any silt. Melt two tablespoons butter in a sauté pan and cook the leeks over medium heat until they become soft and fragrant, about seven minutes. Add white wine and bring to boil to burn off the alcohol. Remove from heat, add the peas, and set aside. Melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter in a saucepan or skillet. Stir in the flour and cook for two to three minutes. Slowly whisk in the chicken stock, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens, about three minutes. Add the pea and leek mixture and wild Alaska pollock, and simmer for one minute. Spoon the mixture into a greased eight-inch casserole dish. Remove the pastry from freezer and gently unfold onto a floured work surface just enough to smooth out creases. The pastry may take a minute or two to soften. Roll the pastry gently so that it’s large enough to fit over dish with some overhang. Drape the puff pastry sheet over the filling and crimp the edges under the side of the dish to create a seal. Cut two or more vents in the center of the crust. Set the casserole dish on a baking sheet and cook on center rack for 25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.

1 quart water 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste 1/2 cup heavy cream 8 each cremini mushroom, sliced 8 each de-stemmed shiitake mushroom, sliced 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat leaf parsley Directions Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir onion and celery in the hot oil until translucent, about five minutes. Add garlic and salt and stir for one minute. Stir in potato, cauliflower, chicken broth, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until cauliflower is tender and potatoes are easily smashed against the side of the pot, about 30 minutes. Puree the soup using an immersion blender until smooth. Reduce heat to low, season with cayenne pepper and salt. Pour in cream and stir until warmed. Season with more salt if needed. Cook the mushrooms in a skillet over medium heat until tender, about eight minutes. Transfer cooked mushrooms to a small bowl until ready to garnish the soup. Serve soup garnished with warm mushrooms over the top. @chefpeteclements Yelp 805.637.8706

Cauliflower Soup with Mushrooms

Spicy Winter Slaw

Ingredients 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 onion, chopped 1 rib celery, chopped 3 cloves garlic Salt to taste 1 large russet potato, peeled and quartered 2 heads cauliflower, cored and separated into florets 1 quart chicken broth

After the holidays you might be in the mood for something light. This colorful, brightly acidic slaw with a hint of spice will be a sure winner as a side dish or with the addition of avocado and some protein makes a great lunch. The ingredients can be adjusted to personal taste and take advantage of all the lovely winter produce from our abundance of local farms. Feel free to amend the vegetables to include whatever looks good at the market.

Recipe by Pete Clements Serves 8

Recipe by Lisa Cullen

W W W. F O O D – H O M E . C O M

Ingredients 1/2 head red cabbage, shredded 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded 1 green apple, grated 3 carrots, grated 3 or 4 green onions, thinly sliced 1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeds removed and minced (adjust to your heat preference) 6 stalks celery with leaves chopped 1 bunch cilantro finely chopped 1 bunch Italian parsley finely chopped Handful of mint finely chopped 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, pumpkin seeds or pistachios (for garnish) Optional add-ins: pomegranate seeds, tangerine or orange segments. Combine vegetables in large bowl until mixed. Toss with dressing and garnish with toasted nuts and pomegranate seeds (if available). Citrus Dressing Zest and juice of 1/2 lime (about 1 tablespoon) Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon) Zest and juice of 1/2 orange or tangerine (about 1 tablespoon) 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 1/4 cup good olive oil 2 tablespoons walnut oil or pistachio oil Salt and pepper to taste. Peri Peri spice rubs are available at Santa Barbara Fish Market. 117 Harbor Way.

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SB’s in a Pickle! by Jeff


he West Coast is famous for fads. Skateboards, Hula Hoops, Wacky Wallwalkers, and Santa Barbara’s own Beanie Babies are just a few examples. The latest is a game with a funny name and a whole lot of fans. It’s called pickleball. (The name: The most popular theory is that it was dubbed for the creator’s dog, Pickles, who would sometimes run off with the ball.) Invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island off Seattle, pickleball’s growth was slow and steady until fairly recently when it exploded. If you want proof, look no farther than Santa Barbara’s Municipal Tennis Center, fondly known as Muni. “We started about six years ago with four courts,” said Richard Salzberg, Santa Barbara’s enthusiastic Pickleball Ambassador. Then it grew to eight courts. And now, after two-years of working with the city, it’s shot up to 12. The push to raise funds for four more courts was initiated by a pickleball-themed mask-making brigade led by Jan Wesemann, which brought in about $3,000. Then the players themselves made donations that propelled the total to over $10,000. Game, set, match. Where did those courts go? On former 50



tennis courts. “They’re being used less and less,” said Ambassador Salzberg. Meanwhile, the 12 pickleball courts are jammed every day. “Literally, people are getting up at midnight to reserve 8:30 a.m. slots as soon as they’re available,” said Wesemann. Courts are also popping up all over the city, at tennis clubs, other public parks, and behind private residences. It’s a bona fide rage. So what’s different about pickleball, compared to tennis? Well, it’s played with paddles and big whiffle balls, instead of racquets and tennis balls. And the court is about one-fourth the size of a tennis court. With less space to cover, it’s easier for players to negotiate. Which means it’s very popular with older folks, but not exclusively so. Lauren Stratman, a Dos Pueblos High School graduate and a former tennis star at Westmont, converted to pickleball and is now a teaching pro in Tennessee. “The most important message about our sport is that it gives people the ability to be active, regardless of age or skill level,” Salzberg said. “I don’t think you can say that about many sports.” Also, pickleball is “fairly easy to learn,” he added. “I like to say it’s a sport you can easily

learn and quickly become mediocre.” But while the court is smaller, that doesn’t mean the exertion necessarily is too. “It’s good exercise,” said Wesemann, who plays tennis and/or pickleball most days of the week. She feels pickleball is “much more exhausting than tennis, mostly because the rallies are longer.” Bottom line for her: “I love pickleball. But I definitely also love tennis.” Not everyone’s so broad-minded. “Tennis people don’t like pickleball,” Salzberg said. “We’re infringing on their territory.” It reminds him of another transition, when snowboarders started taking over the former exclusive terrain of skiers. Nevertheless, the pickle population keeps pickling. When Salzberg took over as ambassador five years ago, the newsletter mailing list numbered 80. Now it’s 475. And not just locals are playing. People come down regularly from Santa Ynez and even Napa. Visitors from as far away as Hawaii and Europe frequently visit the courts. “It’s not only growing here but in every other part of the world,” Salzberg said. But it’s so evident here because, “Let’s face it,” he said, “everybody wants to come to Santa Barbara.” W W W. F O O D – H O M E . C O M

“What We Need, When We Need It”

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Articles inside

in the Garden a winter s daY article cover image

in the Garden a winter s daY

pages 44-45
the last PaGe sB’s in a Pickle article cover image

the last PaGe sB’s in a Pickle

pages 50-52
ON THE COVER article cover image


pages 38-43
sPaces kitchens article cover image

sPaces kitchens

pages 36-37
sPaces a Better Bathroom article cover image

sPaces a Better Bathroom

pages 34-35
Builder notes sunshine charGed article cover image

Builder notes sunshine charGed

pages 32-33
home chef alwaYs in season article cover image

home chef alwaYs in season

pages 24-28
Pan tastic forGinG for the future at sB forGe article cover image

Pan tastic forGinG for the future at sB forGe

pages 20-23
home stYle home work article cover image

home stYle home work

pages 29-31
five wines on our radar this winter article cover image

five wines on our radar this winter

page 19
Pot chocolate or hot chocolate article cover image

Pot chocolate or hot chocolate

page 18
OLIO BOTTEGA FIRSTS 13 article cover image


page 13