Hotel Californian Pop-Up Party This Weekend

Chefs, Rockers, Mixologists, and Winemakers Converge in Santa Barbara

Chef Chris Mangless left his Midwest home to roam the country and deliver good eats to other regions, including a stop at a the Hotel Californian for a pop-up party with winemakers, mixologists, and musicians this weekend.
Courtesy Photo

Here’s the thing: In all likelihood, you’ve fallen off the New Year–New You Intermittent Green Keto Diet/Sober January wagon already. And if you’re still, uh, celebrating, you’re due for a reward. Why not make like it’s some other time of year and go big this weekend at Hotel Californian’s first-ever Constellation Pop-Up?

The weekend-long to-do will bring a slew of events of the eating, drinking, and listening variety, shot through with rock-and-roll soul and infused with Hotel Californian’s signature sophisticated sense of glam, brought to life via a meeting of the minds. Hotel Californian GM Warren Nocon and Chris Mangless — a Midwestern private chef to the stars known for creating the sort of food-and-music pop-up events that people talk about for years — met through the hotel’s ownership group, and, pretty much from that moment, it was on.

“We invited [Mangless] to Hotel Californian and immediately knew that we needed to align with him to bring events to Santa Barbara that would fuse music, gastronomy, and wine into an amazing and memorable experience,” Nocon said. “We are always looking to work with iconoclasts like Chef Mangless who challenge traditional ideas.”

It’s a mutual-admiration society. “For our team,” Mangless said, “the inspiration came from the incredible spaces that make up Hotel Californian. After being in Santa Barbara and exploring this hotel, we knew we had to collaborate on an event, and that’s when the planning began.”

What they’ve pulled together is sure to satisfy the most discerning of palates. The beer and wine roster includes familiar area favorites Third Window, Herman Story, Potek, Municipal, and Desperada; meanwhile, the chefs and mixologists plan to take hold of local ingredients and let it rip.

Highlights include the opening-night Meet the Makers reception scored by Boom Forest; a mixology class hosted by cocktail savants Ira Koplowitz and Louie LaFleur of Bittercube; a chef and winemaker reception and six-course dinner that will bring together Mangless, Hotel Californian chef Blake Silberman, and acclaimed Milwaukee chef/frequent James Beard finalist Justin Carlisle (#dietstartstomorrow); performances by Langhorne Slim, Stelth Ulvang of The Lumineers, and Field Report’s Chris Porterfield; plus a winemaker brunch on Sunday morning that’ll have you downing a slate of David Potter’s Municipal wines. Before noon.  

January will never know what hit it.

The Constellation Pop-Up is this Friday-Sunday, January 25-27, at Hotel Californian (36 State St.). See for tickets.


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