With a new cooking reality show popping up virtually every week on television, a Whole Foods coming soon to upper State Street, and interest in cooking and greenmarkets at an all-time high, we decided to take a look inside the workings of two of the most happening restaurants in town-Downey’s, a Santa Barbara institution, and the Hungry Cat, a new restaurant started by a celebrity-chef couple from Los Angeles and run by some young potential rising stars in the Santa Barbara culinary firmament. George Yatchisin sat down with John and Liz Downey to discuss their legendary restaurant’s 25th anniversary, while Charles Donelan chased the crew from the Hungry Cat through the Farmers Market and then ate the consequences.
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When Dan Randall first started coffee roasting 15 years ago, it was with one intention-to create the kind of gourmet, organic coffee he loved. His girlfriend at the time was unimpressed. “She didn’t like my stuff,” Randall said recently. “Her idea of a good cup of coffee was Farmer Brothers. If it didn’t taste like a brown paper bag brewed through a gym sock, she didn’t like it.”