Dave Potter of Municipal Wines

Paul Wellman

Dave Potter of Municipal Wines

What’s Cooking — or Not — in 2015

New Year’s Predictions from Santa Barbara Chefs, Winemakers, and Brewers

Trends come and go in the world of food and drink, but the desire to innovate always remains, as chefs, winemakers, and brewmasters steadily work toward perfecting their crafts and enlivening all of our palates with new tastes and sensations. Here are a few predictions for what to expect in 2015 from Santa Barbara’s culinary superstars.

Dave Potter, Municipal Winemakers: “Watch for way more Santa Barbara sparkling wines. What used to be a vacuum of sparkling wine is turning into an exciting place with lots of interesting projects popping up. Several producers are experimenting with tiny lots of Sta. Rita Hills chardonnay and pinot noir. Most of these wines will go to wine club members, and people who pay attention, so pay attention!” (

Michael Graham, C’est Cheese: “When the ‘foodie’ movement kicked off several years ago, there was a ton of excitement directed towards the whole slow-food approach to eating and community. That energy is still as strong as ever, with consumers becoming more familiar with artisan foods. I think that’s absolutely fantastic, and we will continue on that delicious trajectory in 2015. We also hope to stretch out our legs and start serving dinner!” (

By Paul Wellman

Brian Thompson, Telegraph Brewing

Brian Thompson, Telegraph Brewing: “We’re looking forward to debuting the final version of our Telegraph IPA in early- or mid-2015. We’ll continue to brew a series of IPAs as we work our way toward that signature recipe. Also, we plan on releasing more sour and barrel-aged beers in 2015 than ever before; the move to our new facility has enabled us to greatly expand our barrel-aging program and increase production capacity for those beers.” (

Avery Hardin, Scarlett Begonia: “We would like to continue to better ourselves and fill everyone’s bellies with goodness. We will continue to source local and organic produce from the farmers markets, and dinner service will be a huge focus.” (

Tyler Peek and Ryan Simorangkir, Sama Sama Kitchen: “Get ready for some heat — we’re bringing spicy back! Our prediction for 2015 is that kai lan will be the next kale. We’ve always been firm believers of respecting an animal and eating the whole thing. We would like to start serving the people more offal, and we promise it will be good!” (

Alavaro Castellanos Rojas, milk & honey and Alcazar: “I hope we can create a less disenfranchised culinary community. I would love to see gatherings in our industry, perhaps whilst breaking bread, like those of the salons from the 17th century and Greek symposiums. I know this will elevate our craft as a whole.” (;

Alberto and Elaine Morello, Olio e Limone: “We think the ascendancy of artisan menu items will continue, with ice cream and cheese at the forefront. Of course, artisanal Italian food will always be a favorite! Artisan butchery will continue to be hot. Pickling and fermenting with a modern twist, with ethnic flavors and specialty vinegars, is another area we see gaining ground.” (

Nui Pannak, Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar: “We will continue to bring new and hard-to-find traditional Thai dishes to customers. We will be kicking off 2015 with cooking classes and demos utilizing Asian medicinal foods and Thai herbs. And be on the lookout for a second location in the near future!” (

Nui (left, one name like Prince/Madonna) and Cindy Black are running the show at Blue Owl's second location on Canon Perdido St.
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

Nui (left, one name like Prince/Madonna) and Cindy Black are running the show at Blue Owl’s second location on Canon Perdido St.

Cindy Black, The Blue Owl: “I foresee vegetables. Big, beautiful vegetables. They will be the center of a beautiful meal, and meat will be used as a condiment. Okay, maybe not in 2015, but eventually. I hope to find an investor and expand Blue Owl to a larger kitchen.” (

Greg Murphy, bouchon: “I believe Santa Barbara’s farm-to-table phenomenon will continue trending in 2015, hopefully with new developments. I really enjoy the idea of ‘tickets’ for dinner (buying a reservation much the same way one would buy a concert ticket). I also predict a rise in establishments offering diverse and specific regional ethnic cuisines.” (

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