Celebrating the Spirit of Julia Child

Taste of Santa Barbara Hosts Week-Long Series of Food and Drink Experiences

Celebrating the Spirit
of Julia Child

Taste of Santa Barbara Hosts Week-Long
Series of Food and Drink Experiences

By Matt Kettmann, Anna Ferguson Sparks, and George Yatchisin
May 11, 2023

Credit: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University

Of all the places in the world where she could have spent her twilight years, Julia Child chose Santa Barbara, where she lived from 2001 until her death in 2004. Long before many figured it out, she recognized that our pleasant climate, historical farming culture, and ranch-to-plate cuisine were conspiring together to elevate the American Riviera into a formidable epicurean empire, the blossoming of which we are all enjoying today.

Taste of Santa Barbara (TOSB) was launched last year to celebrate and support that spirit, and this coming week will feature dozens of ways to indulge, explore, and get educated about what makes Santa Barbara County’s culinary scene sing. Put on by the nonprofit Santa Barbara Culinary Experience — which was founded in 2019 and functions as the West Coast face of the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts — TOSB’s week of dinners, farm tours, cooking classes, and more includes more than a dozen restaurants and bars serving dishes and cocktails inspired by both Julia and Paul Child, her mixologist-minded husband. 

The celebration culminates with a weekend of larger events, including a book-signing with Dinner with the President author Alex Prud’homme on Thursday, May 18, at Field + Fort in Summerland; a screening of Julia Child programs with live commentary from celebrity chefs on May 19 at the New Vic downtown; a women-in-hospitality afternoon on May 20 at Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos; and a wine festival with educational panels at El Presidio on May 21.  

We dive a little deeper into a few of these offerings below, but make sure to see sbce.events/taste-of-santa-barbara for a full rundown of events.

Editor’s Note: Matt Kettmann is on the advisory board of the Santa Barbara Culinary Experience. 

This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook—try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and, above all, have fun.
—Julia Child

Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

Cooking Classes for All at Apples to Zucchini

Where Santa Barbara’s Kids and Adults
Are Learning to Shop, Cook, and Eat Well 

By Matt Kettmann

Credit: Courtesy

Celeb Chefs Toast Julia Child on May 19

Taste of Santa Barbara’s Friday night features
Nancy Silverton, Susan Feniger, clips of “The French Chef,” and more.

Credit: Courtesy

Working Women Reflect on
Santa Barbara Food and Drink Careers

Cherry Bombe Co-Hosts Taste of Santa Barbara’s
Showcase of Female Hospitality Stars

By Anna Ferguson-Sparks

Credit: Silas Fallstitch

Taste of SB Wine Fest

Taste and Talk About
Santa Barbara County Wine on May 21

Credit: Michael Lionstar

Alex Prud’homme Captures Our
Culinary Commanders-in-Chief

‘Dinner with the President’ Author, and
Julia Child’s Nephew, Comes to Taste of Santa Barbara

By George Yatchisin

Credit: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University 


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