Foodies and wine lovers came together at the Bacara Resort & Spa for the 2nd Annual Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend. The event, benefiting the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, featured chef demonstrations, wine tastings, as well as classes on cooking, food pairing and much more.
The four day extravaganza of the senses provided an over-the-top opportunity to sip wines, taste foods and celebrate the life and work of Julia Child. The cooking maven lived in Santa Barbara the last four years of her life.
“She loved Santa Barbara, she loved farmers markets and she got out and about and ate at the restaurants. People knew her and this is where she wanted to spend her final years,” said Eric Spivey, chairman of the Julia Child Foundation. Spivey said they partnered with the Bacara to craft an event around something that Julia would want to attend herself.
“We have authors, we have chefs, we have wine makers, we have brew masters and all of these things that Julia would love to attend,” said Spivey.
Johanna Finley of Finley Farms in the Santa Ynez Valley was also on the panel. She talked about how hard it was for her to get a vendor space at Santa Barbara’s Saturday farmers market. For her family farm, it was an eight year wait.
Finley encourages shoppers at farmers markets to get to know their farmers and ask questions. She said, if a vendor is not certified organic, it’s a good idea to ask what kind of fertilizer they’re using.
“Organic fertilizer is much more expensive than conventional or synthetic fertilizer, so that’s very important to check,” said Finley.
Celebrity chefs & restaurant owners Suzanne Goin and David Lentz (The Hungry Cat in Santa Barbara & other restaurants) prepared a multiple-course extravaganza starting with local rock cod ceviche. The salad featured salmon, roasted beets and green goddess dressing and the main course was a chicken paillard with parmesan pudding.
Foley Wines (located on-site at the Bacara) offered a blind taste testing.
Lemon Country Loaf bread came from the Crazy Good Bread Co., and Santa Barbara icon McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams provided dessert. Winemaker Richard Sanford and his wife, Thekla, were also at lunch, pouring wine from their Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards.