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Feast on Santa Barbara’s October month-long ‘Culinary Celebration’

This year’s “Perfect Pairing” theme will get mouths watering

Santa Barbara cafes

An aerial shot of Santa Barbara, CA by March Sanchez.

Held from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31, is a delectable month-long celebration of Santa Barbara South Coast’s culinary scene. Now in its seventh year, epicure.sbshowcases the bounty of Santa Barbara’s food, libations and culture through exclusive taste experiences, events and unique restaurant, hotel and tasting room offerings. The program ties together many of the region’s most popular epicurean festivals, including Santa Barbara Vintners’ Celebration of Harvest (Oct. 9-12), the Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival (Oct. 17) and the Santa Barbara Beer Festival(Oct. 17), kicking off early with the California Lemon Festival (Sept. 26-27).

Stearns Warft

Stearns Warf image by Charlie Jaye.

In a signature event, celebrity chef Cat Cora (of Food Network’s “Iron Chef America”) will host the “Quickfire Cooking Challenge with Cat Cora” 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thurs., Oct. 8 at the Santa Barbara Public Market. Three contestants will face off using ingredients from the market’s purveyors to create up to three dishes, which will be judged by the renowned chef. Co-presented by Visit Santa Barbara and the Public Market, space is limited for the event. Tickets are $95, which includes kitchen seating, appetizers and wine, and can be purchased beginning September 8 by calling 805-770-7702.

This year’s theme is “The Perfect Pairing.” More than 55 participating South Coast businesses have created unique offerings that feature paired components. Highlights include:

  • “Food Anthropology: The History of Santa Barbara as Told Through Food & Art” (Oct. 23, $185): Enjoy a four-course candle-lit meal in historic Santa Barbara County Courthouse’s newly restored Mural Room while learning about four pivotal moments in Santa Barbara history depicted on its walls. Art and ingredients meld deliciously into one, as the menu, prepared by Montecito Country Club’s Michael Blackwell, draws inspiration from the mural. The event benefits Casa del Herrero, a National Historic Landmark.
  • Tamales and Tequila Tasting: “Secrets of a Tamale Chef”(Oct. 25, $30): In this special class held downtown, Chef-Owner Richard Lambert of Santa Barbara Tamales To-Go teaches the techniques he uses to make his award-winning tamales and salsas. Attendees are served three samples, each paired with a variety of Tequila Alquimia, a cognac-like sipping tequila.
  • On Edge Performance Festival: Artist (Pool) Party & Brunch (Oct. 17, $25): Join the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara in celebrating the artists of the On Edge Festival poolside at the Goodland Hotel in Goleta. Take part in a puppetry workshop, enjoy great music by a DJ and indulge in delicious brunch bites by The Outpost’s Chef Derek Simcik.
  • Corks n’ Kernels (Fridays through Sundays in October, $15): Get ready for a rare flavor combination that really pops as Grassini Family Vineyards pairs its Bordeaux-style wines with Santa Barbara Popcorn Co.’s popcorns at its downtown tasting room.
  • SB County Fair by March Sanchez. October is a month-long celebration of Santa Barbara's finest culinaries.

    SB County Fair by March Sanchez. October is a month-long celebration of Santa Barbara’s finest culinaries.

    “Thyme & Energy” Bourbon and Jerky Pairing at Ty Lounge (daily, $16): Sip on a “Lost Thyme” Old-fashioned at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara’s Ty Lounge in Montecito, followed by the perfect chaser – house-cured beef jerky, marinated with hints of orange, molasses garlic, chili and bourbon.

  • Farmers Market and Wine Tasting Tour (Saturdays in October, $129): Santa Barbara Adventure Co. combines wine tasting in the Funk Zone’s Urban Wine Trail with a trip to the Santa Barbara Farmers Market. Learn about the varieties and vintages of some of the county’s finest wines, along with local trivia and history. Along the way, you’ll visit the farmers market, where your guides will pick up fresh produce for a picnic lunch at the waterfront.
  • Jaffurs Big 3 and Small Plates (daily in October, $49): Enjoy three exceptional wines from Jaffurs Wine Cellars paired with small plates of surf, turf and vegetables at The Black Sheep restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara.
  • Enchanted Getaway (daily in October, fee varies)combines Santa Barbara’s great food and wine with the romance and seclusion of Belmond El Encanto. Enjoy complete privacy in luxury accommodations while savoring a limited-edition, sb, prix-fixe menu with perfect wine pairings.
  • Day to Night at Hotel Indigo offers guests a special care package (Sundays through Thursdays, $299) to explore Santa Barbara’s daytime delights, from the beach to the Museum of Contemporary Art, and end their perfect day with wine tasting and a relaxing night in a King guest room.

A complete list of offerings will be available soon at


2015 Pebble Beach Concours D’ Elegance Car show in full swing in Northern California this week

The  Pebble Beach Auto show never seems to stop raising eyebrows. This year’s biggie was the BMW i8 that starts at $135K. The first one sold for $825K.
Last year there were a dozen different prototypes that made your head spin including the Laracki Epitome, 1,750 HP, zero to 60 MPH in 4 seconds.

Every year ear in August about 200 of the most prized collector cars and motorcycles in the world roll onto the fairway of what is often called the best finishing hole in golf — the famed eighteenth at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Tire meets turf and transformation occurs: the stage is set for one of the most competitive events in the automotive world. The occasion is the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Originally a small social event paired with a road race through the pine and cypress forests of Pebble Beach, the Pebble Beach Concours has grown into the top-ranking collector car competition in the world. People from all over the globe come to compete in or simply witness and enjoy the Concours here at Pebble Beach.

The Concours is not a contest of speed, but of elegance. Automobiles and motorcycles are judged for their historical accuracy, their technical merit and their style—and the best garner reward and recognition.

Pebble Beach car show

Last year’s Pebble Beach Concours D’ Elegance show stopper was the Laraki Epitome for $2 million each and only 10 made.

 1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A took home Best In Show at the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The car is owned by Jim Patterson of The                   Patterson Collection in Louisville, KY. According to Pebble Beach Concours records, this vehicle has only had four owners, and spun around in France           and Switzerland before coming to USA in 2014. Now you can see it, and maybe touch it at of Monterey Car Week and show.

The 65th  Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the famed Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca track where the Rolex Motorsports Reunion took place.              You can read more about both of those events at Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance — for which Rolex is the Official Timepiece —                  hands out awards to the best of each classification of cars, with only one of those winners receiving the overall Best of Show amongst the scores of               cars.