Eric Roland

Alas, we’re in an age when it seems we need to donate to everything, as so much seems at risk — women’s rights, the air we breathe, the arts, bear cubs in their den … So it’s great to see that the Foodbank continues a wonderful way to raise some funds with the Fork & Cork Classic, celebrating what’s good to eat and drink in Santa Barbara. This year’s event happens Sunday, May 7, at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort.

“Each year, we feature restaurants and wineries that have been mainstays in the region’s food and wine landscape, and we introduce new voices,” says Leslie Velez, development coordinator of the Foodbank. “The restaurants as a group represent our diverse food culture, from seafood to tacos to beef sliders. Since a major part of the Foodbank’s mission is to transform the health of Santa Barbara County through good nutrition, we emphasize restaurants that use fresh, local produce in their cuisine and serve food that is as nourishing as it is satisfying.”

Think everyone from Bar 29 to Wildwood Kitchen, plus special hyper-local delights such as The Good Lion serving cocktails made with Cutler’s Artisan Spirits at the Backyard Bounty Bar, which highlights the Foodbank’s Backyard Bounty produce-gleaning program.

Fork & Cork Modern Masters honoree Archie McLaren
Courtesy Photo

Each year, Fork & Cork honors Modern Masters, and this year it lauds Independent Foodie Award–winning chocolatier Jessica Foster, Independent Foodie Award–winners Jasper and Brook Eiler of Harvest Santa Barbara, and Archie McLaren of the Central Coast Wine Classic, who has never won a Foodie as his event is so wonderfully wine-y. “At Fork & Cork, we recognize visionaries in food, wine, and agriculture,” Velez stresses. “Our 2017 honorees have distinguished themselves in their work, but what is most impressive is how much they each give back to the community through their businesses and also through generously sharing knowledge and time.”

So while people eat and drink themselves happy on Fess Parker’s circular Plaza del Sol, they are also helping the Foodbank provide food for 300 nonprofit organizations in Santa Barbara County. “One in four people seek nutritional support from the Foodbank annually; we distribute 10 million pounds of food countywide each year,” Velez points out. “This event has raised as much as $50,000 for the Foodbank in past years.”

4∙1∙1 Help the hungry by stuffing yourself at the 4th Annual Santa Barbara Fork & Cork Classic, Sunday, May 7, at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort Santa Barbara (633 E. Cabrillo Blvd.). See


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