SBCE Neighborhood Tasting | Credit: Carly Mask

Individual event tickets are now on sale for the inaugural Santa Barbara Culinary Experience, which is serving up a range of food & drink events from March 13 to 15 throughout Santa Barbara County, with a special focus on venues around the Hotel Californian. The nonprofit organization is an offshoot of The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, and aims to become a major annual event on the region’s epicurean calendar. 

There are more than 40 scheduled meals, tastings, panels, tours, and so forth of varying price points, from a $350 San Ysidro Ranch dinner on Friday night to a $15 screening of Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy at the Riviera Theatre. There’s a doughnut-making workshop at Bossie’s ($60), macadamia nut grove tour ($50), kid cooking classes at various times ($40), and a number of free events in the works, including mixology and guacamole demos and a Julia Child walking map.  

SBCE Neighborhood Tasting

The three “signature” events are Friday’s opening night wine reception at the Hotel Californian ($75), Saturday’s Border Grill lunch at Chase Palm Park’s Carousel House with Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger ($125), and Sunday’s Savor Santa Barbara Neighborhood Tasting ($65), a festival-like format with multiple restaurants and producers at the S.B. Historical Museum. For $20 more, you can see a panel of renowned home winemakers discuss their passion the morning before the Neighborhood Tasting opens. 

Speaking of wine, there’s an entire track for wine lovers to choose from on Saturday, including Santa Barbara Wine 101, Cool-Climate Syrah & Charcuterie, a Rhône wine blending seminar with Doug Margerum, and Pinot Noir Through the Ages, with pinot experts Richard Sanford, Adam Tolmach, Greg Brewer, Justin Willett, and Mikey Giugni. There are also chocolate and wine pairings, beer tastings, and much more on the libation front throughout the weekend. 

Starting Sunday, Alisal Guest Ranch in Solvang is hosting a three-day after-party, with chef potlucks, wine pairing panel, and cooking demo and dinner with Chef Ludo Lefebvre.

See for a complete list of ticket options. 

Editor’s Note: The author is a member of the nonprofit organization’s advisory board. 


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