Not that the Saturday Farmers Market isn’t special on its own, but on March 14, it won’t merely be a produce and raw product delight, it truly will be cooking. That’s because Toyota, which clearly wants to corner the foodie niche (Carla on Top Chef won one, remember?), is sponsoring the Toyota Venza Taste of the Market. This event will bring some of Santa Barbara’s best chefs to the corner of Cota and Santa Barbara streets to turn that great seasonal produce into wonderful dishes market-goers will be able to sample. At press time, chefs include: Justin West of Julienne (Anthony Bourdain’s recent fave), Brandon Hughes of bouchon, Bob and Ellie Patterson of Here’s the Scoop, Serafin Ruiz of Blue Agave, Greg Murphy of Seagrass, Matthew Reddy of Elements, Nat Ely of Los Olivos Cafe, John Downey of Downey’s, Felipe Barajas of Opal, and John Trotta of San Ysidro Ranch’s Stonehouse. In addition to the free tastings, visitors will be able to sign up to receive a month-by-month Taste of the Market Guide to Eating Seasonally in Santa Barbara. There will also be complimentary potted herb plant starts at the Mobile Garden Venza, and the chance to win a unique culinary prize. Rumor has it that it’s not an oil change for your deep fryer.


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