Love Thy Neighborhood Eats – Bacara Food & Wine Weekend

“A beautiful day in the neighborhood…”

Live Painting with Artist Kelly Ann Campbell, Education Director at Fairview Gardens

In the spirit of Julia Child, the Bacara Food and Wine Weekend is a three day celebration of local gastronomy, culinary excitement, and Santa Barbara’s coastal bounty. This past Sunday, I was invited to discover a variety of gourmet neighborhoods at the Neighborhood Market Tour & Tasting. Each “neighborhood” offered distinct tastes, sights, and sounds, highlighting local and nationally-acclaimed chefs, artisans, winemakers, and farmers.

Held in the Bacara Courtyard, guests were invited to sample and savor regional specialties, exploring unique culinary neighborhoods in the 805. The event offered a perfect introduction into the rich food culture of Santa Barbara County, while honoring Julia Child’s lifelong love of eating well. Grab your appetite…as we navigate each region.

Funk Zone

The Pretzel Guild – Traditional Bavarian soft pretzels made with organic ingredients

Hail to soft pretzels, whiskey, and artisan jam! From Santa Barbara’s first legal-distillery to California-grown artisan popcorn, the Funk Zone neighborhood is an ever-evolving neighborhood. Highlighted purveyors included Culter’s Artisan Spirits , SB Popcorn Company, The Pretzel Guild, Finley Family Farms, Red Hen Cannery, Figueroa Mountain Brewery, and C’est Cheese. Come for the art, stay for the food.

Arts District

Jean-Michel  and Jill Carre of Chocolats du CaliBressan

Seeing a show in Santa Barbara? These vendors will feed your appetite (or thirst) before the first act. From farm to bar cocktails at The Good Lion to Indonesian dinner at Sama Sama Kitchen, this neighborhood wines and dines with delightful decadence. Highlighted purveyors included Forbidden Fruit Orchards, Cebada Wine, Isabella Gourmet Foods, Chocolats du CaliBressan, and il Fustino.

Old Town Goleta

Raw Cacao Truffles by Sasha Gibson, Holistic Health & Wellness Coach

Nicknamed the Good Land, Goleta is blessed with ample farm land and beautiful bounty, from Ellwood Canyon Farms to the Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens. Celebrating its agricultural roots, highlighted purveyors included Bragg Live Foods and Organic Farm, Caribbean Coffee Company, and the Farm Box Collective.

Santa Ynez Valley

Vallefresh – Slow Braised Pork Belly Taco

Black summer truffle salumi. Fatty mangalitsa yakitori. Pinot Noir chocolate truffles. From the town that gave the Valley its name, this neighborhood is all about producing hand-crafted, genuine food (including heritage bred meat). Highlighted purveyors included Zaca Mesa Winery, Winfield Farm, Buttonwood Winery, Stafford’s Chocolates, VallefreshJimenez Family Farm, and First & Oak Restaurant.


Scratch Kitchen – Chicken Liver Mousse With Pickled Veggies, inspired by Julia Child

Discover “what’s around the bend” in the town of Lompoc, home to country roads and award-winning Pinot. This laid back town is no longer an epicurean desert, thanks to innovative chefs and ample access to farm fresh produce. Highlighted purveyors included Central Coast Specialty Foods, Scratch Kitchen, Sugar & Salt Creamery, and A Taste of Ojai.

Los Alamos

Pico Restaurant, inside the Los Alamos General Store

This sophisticated cowboy town is becoming a hot bed for chefs in the 805, a culinary gem of innovation and taste. Surrounded by ranches, farms, and vineyards, this 7 block town has rapidly become a premier dining destination. Highlighted purveyors included Bedford Winery, Los Alamos General Store, Municipal Winemakers, and Pico.

Planning your own culinary road trip? Region by region, bite by bite, Santa Barbara will feed all your gourmand adventures. As Julia Child put best, life itself is the proper binge.

Taste. Trek. Travel.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Andy and Carol says:

    Next time my husband and I travel to the Central Coast we will make
    sure to sample some of the delicious offerings from the various food
    and beverage purveyors that were written about in such mouth-watering
    details !!


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