Edible Santa Barbara Archives

March 30, 2009

Where to Find Edible Santa Barbara

Last Friday we picked up just a small initial batch of the magazines from the printer so we could get them out to the subscribers and at least get a little head start on the distribution. Today we picked up another batch. So, while I wouldn't say that they have exactly blanketed the town, they are starting to get out there. Here are the places that you can go to pick up a copy (please let these businesses know how much you appreciate the fact that they support Edible Santa Barbara):

Alma Rosa Winery
C'est Cheese
Full of Life Flatbread
Haagen Printing
Isla Vista Food Co-Op
and any of the Santa Barbara Farmers Markets

Also, if you are a subscriber to Plow to Porch, you will be getting a copy with your weekly produce box. And, of course, we will be adding a lot more places in the next few days and weeks, so I'll keep you posted.

April 1, 2009

Edible Santa Barbara is Getting Out and About

It's been wonderful to get so much positive feedback about the magazine! If you are looking for a magazine, you can go to any of the places listed in the previous entry plus the following:
The Sojourner
Fairview Gardens
Coffee Cat at 1201 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara

April 2, 2009

Roasted Asparagus


Here's a recipe from the spring issue for roasted asparagus, that I just happened to have made again last night for dinner. It's one of my favorites. There are lots of recipes for roasted asparagus, and it's a pretty simple thing to do. But the difference with this recipe is that you preheat the pan in the oven. So when you add the asparagus to the hot pan, you get an immediate sizzle. The asparagus roasts quickly, though the time really does depend on the thickness of your stalks. So you just have to check on it. When the tips start to get crispy, it's done—and delicious.

Roasted Asparagus
Makes 2–4 servings

1 bunch of asparagus, approximately 1/2 pound
1/8 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, or your favorite fancy sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Put a medium sized shallow roasting pan in the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Rinse the asparagus and dry completely. In a large bowl combine the asparagus with the olive oil, salt and pepper, toss to coat the asparagus with the olive oil and to evenly distribute the seasonings.

When the oven is up to temperature, carefully put the asparagus mixture into the hot pan, spreading it out into one layer. It will sizzle. Roast in the oven until the asparagus is soft and the ends are slightly brown and crispy, approximately 10–20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus.


August 2, 2009

A Write Up on Edhat

Billy Goodnick just did a nice write up of the screening of Fresh and community event preceding the film. Scroll down to "Can I Eat The Pages" to see a mention and photo of Edible Santa Barbara: Fresh Event

Birthday Dinner at Root 246

A couple weeks ago I had one of those things that people like to celebrate, a birthday. And my idea of celebrating is to go out to dinner. But it was a Monday night and we were out visiting some wineries in Santa Ynez Valley, so where to eat? I decided that it would be the perfect time to try Root 246, Bradley Ogden's new restaurant in Solvang. I've been wanting to try it since they first opened in April.

Before I get to the mouth watering details. I have to start off we where we started off, with a little wine tasting of Arcadian wines with winemaker Joe Davis at Tastes of the Valleys. As you may have seen in our Summer issue of Edible Santa Barbara, Arcadian wines were featured in our "What the Grownups are Drinking" column by Diane Murphy and Laura Lindsey. So it was a special treat for us to meet Joe and taste a couple of his wines that weren't in the article.



Talking to Joe was as fascinating as drinking his wines, and we could barely tear ourselves away to walk over to the restaurant. But we are so glad we did. The only thing better than drinking fine local wine is pairing those wines with fine local food.

From it's creative name to its modern elegant interior, Root 246 is definitely impressive. I particularly admire their farm to plate philosophy and the fact that they source so many local ingredients. We were lucky enough to get a tour of the restaurant and to meet Bradley Ogden as well as executive chef Jonny Hall, which was a huge treat for this birthday girl. I had a hard time choosing where to sit down to eat: one of the two distinctly different but equally stylish bars or the main dining room. We finally settled on a cosy booth in the dining room. And then we had a simply fabulous dinner. There was a refreshing amuse bouche berry sorbet and a pre starter demitasse cup of corn soup served with a bite sized puff topped with crème fraiche and caviar that was utterly exquisite. We shared several starters, and I think my favorite was the ultra simple Sea Salt Roasted Radishes with Sweet Cream Butter.


I loved my entree of braised lamb shoulder with spring garlic, corn spoon bread and chimichurri.


And top the meal off, dessert was a trio of peach cobbler, a peach ice cream sandwich and peach ice tea.


I can only sum it up by saying incredible food and incredible people. It was a birthday night to remember.

August 9, 2009

A Sustainable Wine Tasting Tour

Recently my husband, Steve and I went on a wine tasting tour with Sustainable Vine Wine Tours. I have to confess that I have never actually gone on a wine tour. We've been to plenty of wineries on our own or with a group, but never actually done the tour approach. Perhaps it was because the idea of getting into a giant gas guzzling bus with a horde of people didn't sound all that appealing. But the premise of Sustainable Vine Wine Tours is altogether different and quite appealing. In the interest of full disclosure, they also happen to be an advertiser in Edible Santa Barbara for which I am the editor and co-publisher. I knew that their business seemed like a good fit for what we were doing with the magazine, but I really wanted to experience one of their tours first hand to find out more about it.

To start off, transportation is in a 9-passenger Mercedes biodiesel van, so right away you're feeling better about the environment. Owner and tour guide Bryan Hope is as passionate about sustainability in all things as he is knowledgeable about the wine industry in our area. So, as soon as he started to give us a little overview of organic and biodynamic winemaking on the drive out there, I knew this was going to be an incredible experience. The day's agenda is paced perfectly: three vineyards/wineries to visit and lunch in between. The wineries can vary, so the three that we went to on our tour were Cimerone, Alma Rosa and Demetria. Others in the lineup might include Beckman, Ampelos, Coquelicot, Sunstone or Presidio.

Bryan Hope of Sustainable Vine Wine Tours

We started off our tour at Three Creek Vineyard which makes Cimerone wines. It is located in the area known as Happy Canyon, which will soon have it's own sought after AVA (American Viticultural Area) status. Cimerone is not open to the public, so we would have never have been able to go there on our own. And what a treat to meet owners Roger and Priscilla Higgins.


Above Roger shows us the ripening grapes protected from the birds by netting. We tasted a grape and learned what they look for to determine when to pick — the taste of the grape and the taste of the seed, as well as how the color of the skin influences the flesh of the grape.

The vineyard grows their grapes organically but the wine is not technically organic, due to the fact that sulfites are used to protect the wine from damage by oxygen. Without the addition of sulfites, wine is much more unstable and susceptible to spoilage. So rather than try to look for organic wines, you are much better off looking for wines which are made from organic grapes.

The winemaker for Cimerone is Doug Margerum, who is well known as the original owner of The Wine Cask, and he also produces critically acclaimed wine under the Margerum wine label.


Stepping into the immaculate and chilly barrel room, we were all overwhelmed with the delicious smell of the wine, and we were thrilled when we got a barrel tasting of some of their fantastic syrah. Notice how winery dog Kali, who is the mascot on their logo, keeps an eye on us.


Our next stop was Alma Rosa. Owner Richard Sanford first planted Pinot Noir vines in Santa Barbara County in 1970. Whether you refer to him as a pioneer or a legend, clearly he is a pivotal figure in the wine industry, and he was on hand to chat with us as we tasted some of their delicious wines. Their vineyards are certified organic and owners Richard and Thekla are both committed to the environment and to promoting sustainability. From their Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris to their well loved Chardonnay and their stellar Pinot Noir, it was a fantastic tasting and a perfect prelude to our gourmet and organic lunch.

Left to right: myself, Michael, Trish, Bryan, Steve and Tiffany (from New Hampshire)


We gathered in front of the winery for a group shot and Richard Sanford joined us (second from right).

Our final stop for the day was Demetria Estate, one of only a handful of biodynamic vineyards in Santa Barbara County. Demetria is only open by appointment, so it is not for the casual visitor. Tucked amidst stunning scenery, the winery is picture postcard beautiful.


We sat out on the terrace and tasted the wines while learning a little bit about the principals of biodynamic farming. Similar to organic in that they don't use chemical fertilizers or pesticides, biodynamic goes a step further in trying to achieve a holistic and balanced ecosystem. The features of biodynamic farming include using a lunar calendar when planting, pruning and picking and controlling pests or weeds by using their ashes as a deterrent. Some of the attributes of biodynamics seem to stray into philosophy and the concepts of anthroposophy as taught by founder Rudulf Steiner... and as the conversation become more esoteric it all somehow seemed fitting while relaxing on the terrace and drinking their stunning wines.


After a tour of the winery and a more detailed description of how they make the wine, we were all completely satisfied, and it was time to head back to Santa Barbara after a full and rewarding day.

I felt so privileged to have gone on this tour—what a fantastic experience. Many of us who live in this area forget how amazing our wine region is. We have so many world class vintners in our midst. But finding out about some of these organic and biodynamic vineyards takes it to another level. Going on this tour deepened my awareness and respect for what they are doing, and once again reminded me of how fortunate we are to live in Santa Barbara County.

For more information about taking a tour with Sustainable Vine Wine Tours call (805) 698-3911 or visit their website.

September 27, 2009

Countdown to the Eat Local Challenge


In October we're co-sponsoring an Eat Local Challenge in Santa Barbara. This is something that I've wanted to do for quite some time. Perhaps the idea was planted when I first read Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. And perhaps the idea really came together after talking with Sam Edelman of the Farmers Market and realizing that this was something that we could do in conjunction with — the collection of food festivals and events throughout the month of October.

I particularly like the fact that it's for a month. It's long enough to feel like you're embarking on a challenge and yet not so long as to feel daunting. In fact, I think the interesting thing about it might end up being how very unchallenging it is. How can we feel deprived with all of our fantastic sources of produce, meat, seafood, honey, oils, wine and beer? And yet, perhaps there will be some interesting lessons to be learned. Why does Santa Barbara County not have a dairy industry? Why do we have to go up the coast to find artisanal cheese?

I also like the fact that I'm not embarking on this alone. Here in Santa Barbara County, the Isla Vista Food Co-op is doing an Eat Local Challenge for the month of October and nationally the group blog "Eat Local Challenge" will be doing one as well. So there will be ample resources and the feeling of a shared experience. We have just set up a Google Group called SB Eat Local Challenge where you can post questions and share information about finding sources of local food. There are already some great discussions up there about dairy, coffee and local sparkling water.

So consider participating in any way that you can. Whether you take the pledge to eat exclusively local foods for 31 days, or whether you just try to incorporate more local foods into your everyday buying habits, I think there are huge benefits to building this awareness of local foods.

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to In and Out of the Garden: A Blog in the Edible Santa Barbara category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Books is the previous category.

February 2009 is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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