Inaugural ‘Taste of Santa Barbara’ celebrates celebrity chef along with region’s cuisine
As the Santa Barbara region continues to grow as a world-class destination, its culinary and cultural scene has also risen to new heights.
To continue this momentum, the Santa Barbara Culinary Experience, in partnership with the Julia Child Foundation, will present its first-ever “Taste of Santa Barbara,” from May 16 through May 22, a celebration of all things food and drink in the Santa Barbara region.
Featured will be a broad array of events and special happenings at restaurants, bars, farms and wineries, as well as pop-ups, workshops, speaker panels and more.
Signature events include a special screening of the documentary “Julia” followed by a conversation with Oscar-nominated directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen; “Rebuilding Our Food System,” a panel discussion with visionary leaders who are tackling the planet’s most pressing challenges to develop a more sustainable food system; and “Taste of Santa Barbara Wines” event featuring wine tasting and conversations with winemakers at the historic El Presidio in downtown Santa Barbara.
Many of the region’s restaurants and bars will also participate in the “Dine Around Town with Julia Child” and “Pub Crawl with Paul,” where the public can enjoy tribute dishes or specials as well as cocktails inspired by the celebrity chef, who lived in Montecito, and her husband Paul Child.
“We’re so thrilled to bring back the Santa Barbara Culinary Experience through this thoughtfully curated and innovative celebration that really showcases the vast bounty of all things related to food and drink in Santa Barbara,” said Donna Yen, executive director of the Santa Barbara Culinary Experience.
“Our goal was to create an annual event that’s accessible to our entire community and also provide an educational platform for important conversations about our food systems and what we can all do to be part of the solution. We think Julia herself would agree that the ‘Taste of Santa Barbara’ honors her legacy by educating and encouraging others to appreciate the joys of cooking, eating and drinking well!”
Among the “Taste of Santa Barbara” signature events are the following:
— May 20: 7 to 9 p.m. at Santa Barbara City College, Garvin Theatre. “Julia” documentary screening and Q & A with directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen.
— May 21: 9 a.m. to noon at the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market on the corner of Cota and Santa Barbara streets. Saturday Farmers Market Program featuring a live taping of Heritage Radio Network’s “Inside Julia’s Kitchen” podcast with local farmers, in partnership with Santa Barbara County Food Action Network.
— May 21: 3 to 5 p.m., Santa Barbara City College, Garvin Theatre; “Rebuilding Our Food System.” Panel discussion with U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara; Dr. David Cleveland; Danielle Nierenberg and Dr. Jessica Vieira. Moderated by Todd Schulkin with an introduction by Shakira Miracle, in partnership with Santa Barbara County Food Action Network.
— May 22: 9 a.m. to noon, Regional farm tours at locations around Santa Barbara County, in partnership with Santa Barbara County Food Action Network.
— May 22: 1 to 4 p.m. at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park, “Taste of Santa Barbara Wines” featuring interactive tastings, pop-ups and panels.
— May 16 through 22: “Taste of Santa Barbara” has partnered with Visit Santa Barbara to offer an Online Culinary Calendar of Events where the public can discover a wide variety of special cooking classes, pop-ups, workshops, and food and libation offerings all week long that showcase local talent and small businesses.
The purpose of the Santa Barbara Culinary Experience, in partnership with the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, is to shine a light on the local culinary, hospitality, tourism, artisan and small business communities.
The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts was created in 1995. Its mission is to educate and encourage everyone to appreciate the joys of cooking, eating and drinking well.
Headquartered in Santa Barbara, the foundation has granted nearly $3 million to nonprofits supporting research in culinary history, scholarships for professional culinary training, food writing and media as well as professional development and food literacy programs.