Wednesday, December 31, 2008 

Champagne Dreams....and taste

Happy New Year!

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Peace, y'all


Peace, y'all
Originally uploaded by Chuck T..

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Sideways... Not lost in Translation to Japanese

Wain wa ikaga desu ka?
Remember the enormously successful and slapstick, funny movie, “Sideways” (which boosted sales of pinot noir and all but destroyed sales of merlot)? Well, anyway, a Japanese version of the film, featuring three of Japan’s most famous actors, has been shot in Calistoga. The plot involves a trip to California’s wine country by the principal actor to attend the wedding of a friend, just as in the plot of the original “Sideways.” .... The film is scheduled for release in Japan sometime in the fall of 2009. - St. Helena Star, Variety, DougWilder and Cinematical.
The Japanese are going gaga over the wine picks of their favorite national sommelier. Oh, did I mention he's a cartoon character?
Entire 20,000-bottle shipments of burgundy sell out within hours in Tokyo if he so much as looks at a glass, South Korea's biggest film star is lined-up to play him in a TV drama and he has converted thousands of Asian women into the most discerning oenophiles.

In the rarefied world of superstar sommeliers, there may be none greater than Shizuku Kanzaki.
The only snag is that he is a cartoon. - TimesOnLine

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The Year in Cookbooks 2008

Since everyone is looking back at the tumultuous year that is soon to go into the history books, I thought I would round-up of some cookbooks that piqued my interest (and tastebuds) in 2008.

America Eats! On the Road with the WPA-The Fish Fries, Box Supper Socials, and Chitlin' Feasts that Define Real American Food
Pat Willard takes readers on a journey into the regional nooks and crannies of American cuisine where WPA writers—including Eudora Welty, Saul Bellow, Ralph Ellison, and Nelson Algren, among countless others—were dispatched in 1935 to document the roots of our diverse culinary cuisine. With the unpublished WPA manuscript as her guide, Willard visits the sites of American food’s past glory to rediscover the vibrant foundation of America’s traditional cuisine.
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients
When asked how she gets such flavorful recipes, Ina retorted: "Sometimes flavor is about pairing things. Like adding a little creme de cassis to a plum crunch. You don't know it's there, but it makes the plums taste great.

Sometimes flavor is about how you cook something. I take supermarket plum tomatoes and roast them to bring out their flavor. The sugars caramelize, and the tomatoes become incredibly delicious.

You know, my background is in science - I worked as a nuclear-energy analyst in the White House Office of Management and Budget - and cooking is a lot like a science experiment, except that at the end of the day you wind up with a Caprese salad.
Outstanding in the Field: A Farm to Table Cookbook
Both a cookbook and a guide to supporting farms, this book is a celebration of farmers, nature and the sensory pleasures of creating and eating good food.
The Modern Baker: Time-Saving Techniques for Breads, Tarts, Pies, Cakes and Cookie
Nick Malgieri shows  new approaches to baking, using the most up-to-date tools and techniques to bake everything from bread to biscotti to puff pastry to old-fashioned layer cakes quick and easy—in many cases in under an hour.
Cooking up a Storm: Recipes Lost and Found from The Times-Picayune of New Orleans
What would happen if a natural disaster left you without your favorite recipes? A new cookbook, "Cooking Up a Storm," arose out of of just such a calamity. - SFGate (NPR has a story.)
Cooking with all things Trader Joe's.
Trader Joe's. Need I say more?
Fish Forever. The Definitive Guide to Understanding, Selecting, and Preparing Healthy, Delicious, and Environmentally Sustainable Seafood. 
This is the book for people who love seafood but worry about overfishing and mercury and other contaminants. Fish Forever pinpoints today's least-endangered, least-contaminated, best-tasting fish and shellfish species. In-depth guidance on 70 different fish along with 96 stylish international recipes that highlight the outstanding culinary qualities of each.
The Los Angeles Times is naming it's top recipes of 2008 and memorable restaurant meals. Oh, yummy.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008 

Camille's Day Spa....closed

Dear Clients & Friends

Due to the economy and our property management, we have found it impossible for our local spa business to survive.

..Thank you for your continued support over the past 22 years and we hope to see you all again real soon. 

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Monday, December 29, 2008 

Baskin Robbins Introduces a "healthier" ice cream

and will give you a chance to taste it FOR FREE on January 15th with proof that you belong to a gym.
Ice cream chain Baskin-Robbins said Monday it is launching a new line of better-for-you ice cream treats just in time to help New Year's dieters trim their waistlines.

The line, called BRight Choices, will include light and reduced fat, no sugar added ice cream as well as dairy-free sorbet and fat-free frozen yogurt. It will be sold in stores beginning today.

...The chain will offer a free scoop of any BRight Choices flavor on Jan. 15 to any consumer who can show proof of a gym membership. -
BusinessWeek

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Have no fire fear....


Brush Clearing Practitioner
Originally uploaded by Mike_tn.

Brush Goats 4 Hire is here!
They have one of the best appetites for work anyone has seen.

A herd of goats has started to take a bite out of TV Hill in Santa Barbara, to chew through the brush and reduce the fire dangers.

The Buellton based company "Brush Goats 4 Hire" has 50 goats on the steep, rugged terrain for the next month.

The end result will be a substantial reduction in chaparral, weeds, and tall grass. - KEYT

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Kelloggs is saving the Circus Animal Parade


Mother's Cookies Cookie Parade!
Originally uploaded by beastandbean.

How did I let this tasty little piece of info slip by? Kelloggs apparently has stepped in and purchased the recipes and the rights to Mother's Circus Animals!
On Thursday, Kellogg Co. closed on a $12.1 million deal to acquire the recipes and trademark of Mother's Cake & Cookie Co., former sister company of Archway Cookies.

Mother's Cake & Cookie Co., which manufactures iced animal crackers, sandwich cookies and wire cut cookies, has a devoted customer base in California and the western United States.

...Also bidding on the bankrupt cookie companies Wednesday was Charlotte, N.C.-based snack manufacturer Lance, Inc., which won a bid to buy almost all of Archway's assets for about $30 million.

Lance also placed an undisclosed bid to acquire Mother's Cake and Cookie Co., but lost to Kellogg. -
Battle Creek Enquirer 
I suppose it makes a little sense for the the little frosted animal cookies going to the home of the sugar frosted flakey tiger.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008 

2 Santa Barbara Landmark Restaurants for sale

Can you guess which ones?
Priced at $ 2.45 million / $ 1.05 million / or together at $ 3.5 million - Two landmark and immensely popular Santa Barbara restaurants are now available for purchase for the first time in over a decade. This is an extremely rare opportunity to own a part of Santa Barbara history with the turn-key purchase of two successful restaurant operations. - BizBuySell.

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Santa Barbara's Sustainable Seafood Program

The Museum of Natural History's Ty Warner Sea Center has initiated a sustainable seafood program here locally with a partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and a little financial help from Patagonia.
MISSION: To help the Santa Barbara community make conscientious seafood choices that support sustainable and environmentally sensitive fisheries.
...We want to shift our community’s seafood consumption to sustainable sources, consumer by consumer and restaurant by restaurant.

By helping restaurants and markets replace unsustainable seafood items with sustainable ones, we hope to shift thousands of dollars spent supporting unsustainable fisheries to supporting the new sustainable seafood movement. -
SBMuseum of Natural History
Participating restaurants so far....

Elements Restaurant and Bar - 129 E. Anapamu St.
Kanaloa Seafoods  - 618 E. Guitierrez St.
Bouchon - 9 W. Victoria St.
Seagrass Restaurant - 30 E. Ortega St.
Downey’s - 1305 State St.
State & A Bar & Grill - 1201 State St

Let's hope more local restaurants hop on the sustainability boat.

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Dessert Food Trends for 2009?

Specialty Food Magazine gives us a sneak peek. Sounds like it's going to be a "spicy" year.
Move over sugar. Make way for salt, fennel, rosemary, chile powder and even curry. Across the country, bitter, salty and savory flavors are working their way into a growing number of dessert menus and specialty chocolates. It is a trend towards innovation, as well as a move away from saccharine-sweet desserts and confections that often overwhelm with sugar. This new generation of sweets possesses uncommon flavor dimensions and provides a shortcut to sophistication.

...It may be having a gastronomic moment, but [the savory-sweet combination] is nothing new, says Iacopo Falai, chef/owner at his much-acclaimed namesake Italian restaurant in lower Manhattan. “The contrast between sweet and savory is one of the most basic in food, somewhat like the contrast between cold and warm. It is a way of expression, a way of playing with things in the kitchen. The idea of adding salt to chocolate, for example, is 5,000 years old. It is our heritage.” -
Specialty Foods
I have to say, one of my favorite chocolate bars with a little "salty kick" is Mo's Bacon Bar from Vosges Haut Chocolates.

I did find an interesting savory cookie recipe from Outstanding in the Field adapted by the Washington Post.

Savory Pecan, Parmesan and Thyme Shortbread

These go well with a glass of dry sparkling wine just before dinner.

MAKE AHEAD: The dough must be refrigerated for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. It can be rolled into logs and frozen for up to 2 months. The shortbread can be stored in an airtight container for up to 10 days.

Makes about 36 cookies

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon minced thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Spread the pecan pieces on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 8 minutes, until they are fragrant. Transfer to a cutting board to cool, then coarsely chop.

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand or hand-held electric mixer; beat on medium speed for several minutes, until fluffy and light. Add the Parmesan cheese and beat until well blended.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, then add the flour, toasted pecans, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula, then use your hands to help the dough come together. Divide the dough in half, then shape each half into a log 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut one of the logs crosswise into 1/4-inch slices, arranging the rounds of dough 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden. Transfer the shortbread to wire racks to cool completely before storing. Repeat to use all of the dough.

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Saturday, December 27, 2008 

More Santa Barbara Restaurants

are up for sale....looky here...and here...and here...and here...and here...and here.

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Cheflebrity Mario Batali is featured on the cover of SB Wine & Dine


Mario Batali (January 2008)
Originally uploaded by beastandbean.

The write up inside the local magazine is about PBS's "Spain...On the Road Again" which features chefs Batali, Mark Bittman (of How to Cook Everything and The Minimalist fame), and actresses Gweneth Paltrow and Claudia Bassols. 

No mention in the article, however, that "Super" Mario, at age 27, was the head chef at the Four Seasons Biltmore here in Spanish-flavored Santa Barbara back in the 80's! 

The article is not online, yet, but go pick up a copy available in fine newsracks near you. (hint...the one next to Elements Restaurant.)

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Friday, December 26, 2008 

Chocoholics and Guacamole fans...be forewarned

get ready to shell out more greenbacks for "the good stuff." 
Cocoa prices yesterday surged to a 23-year high as speculative investors poured into the market amid concerns about dwindling supplies from Ivory Coast, by far the world's largest producer.

Prices for cocoa have risen 70 per cent in the past year, bucking the weakness in overall commodities prices. -
FT.com
Holy guacamole! An avocado shortage is looming next spring.

California farmers expect to harvest the smallest avocado crop since 1990 and possibly even as far back as 1980. Hot weather in June, at just the wrong point in the growing season, is responsible for the shortfall. -
Latte Times

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Sierra Mar is now on Open Table!

If you are looking for gastronomical and spiritual renewal, Sierra Mar at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur is one of those special places I highly recommend going to, although for most of us we have to really save up our pennies. Now, you can book a reservation on Open Table!
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean with a spectacular view of the California coast, the award winning Sierra Mar Restaurant serves world-class cuisine in an awe-inspiring setting. This Big Sur restaurant features an innovative, four course, prix fixe menu, which changes daily and utilizes organic, seasonal fare. Sierra Mar offers wine selections from one of the most extensive collections in North America. - Sierra Mar

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The Best Present Opening

is the day AFTER Christmas. Santa Anita!

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Thursday, December 25, 2008 

The San Francisco Chronicle's Top Wines of 2008 list

names quite a number of local wineries.
  • 2006 Alma Rosa El Jabali Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay ($30) Richard Sanford shows his longtime talents with this lavish, ripe single-vineyard Chardonnay. 
  • 2006 Epiphany Cellars Camp Four Vineyard Santa Barbara County Grenache Blanc ($23) From an offshoot label of Los Olivos' Fess Parker Winery comes another terrific vintage of this versatile Rhone grape. 
  • 2006 Kenneth Volk Santa Maria Cuvee Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir ($26) We enjoyed several of his 2006 Pinots, but this blend was especially winning for its lighter food-friendly profile and approachability. 
  • 2006 Rusack Vineyards Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir ($36) Again, John and Helen Falcone find the right mix of fresh fruit and earthy depth in Rusack's mainline bottling. 
  • 2006 Tablas Creek Vineyard Cotes de Tablas Red ($25) The Paso Robles focal point of American Rhone varietals had a solid '06 lineup, but its more affordable Grenache-dominant red in particular seemed to overperform. 
  • 2005 Presidio Artistic License Presidio Vineyard Santa Barbara County Syrah ($39) Douglas Braun's certified biodynamic vineyard just outside the Sta. Rita Hills appellation again shows its extraordinary potential for aromatic Syrah. 
  • 2005 Star Lane Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($50) Former Missouri banker Jim Dierberg's project in Happy Canyon is setting a high standard for Central Coast Cabernet, with help from winemaker Nick de Luca and consultant David Ramey.
  • 2006 Kunin Pape Star Central Coast Red Wine ($18) At a time when Rhone-style California wines seem to come with Chateauneuf-like price tags, Seth Kunin's tribute to that famed appellation remains a terrific find. 
  • 2006 Palmina Honea Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley Barbera ($40) In Lompoc's wine ghetto, Steve and Chrystal Clifton have committed themselves to Italian varietals like few have in California. Honea is essentially their estate plot, and this latest Barbera is as exotic as it is compelling. 

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Holiday Sadness

Eartha kitt has died.
The one and only Eartha Kitt has passed away.

A family friend of the sultry entertainment legend has confirmed that she died of colon cancer today. -
Black Voices

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Apparently Santa didn't get my gift request

I didn't see Top Chef contestant Fabio Viviani (un)wrapped under the Christmas tree in the kitchen.

Dang.

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New Year = New Drinks


Want Coffee?
Originally uploaded by lincaotun.

Starbucks is offering up some new drinks beginning January 3.

* London Fog Tea Latte (Hot)
* Black Tea Latte (Hot or Iced)
* Vanilla Rooibus Tea Latte (Hot)
* Apple Chai Infusion (Hot or Iced)
* Berry Chai Infusion (Hot or Iced)
* New Green Tea Latte Recipe

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Get your shopping carts ready

Retailers are working hard to get merchandise out of their stores.

Sur La Table is starting their sale online today. All their bakeware is on sale from 20% - 40%. Non-stick muffin pans start at $4.46.  Cookie cutters are running $.56!

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It's Not Christmas without THE KING

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Music to put you in the Holiday Mood

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RAUHALLISTA JOULUA!


this is, in fact, the real Father Christmas
Originally uploaded by zoom images.

Santa may have a "branch office" in the North Pole, but he lives in Finland.
Finland didn’t claim itself as Santa’s country of residence until 1927, when radio personality Markus Rautio declared Korvatunturi, a mountain in Lapland, to be Santa’s home. His official address has since moved to Rovaniemi, a city near the Arctic Circle, but these days Santa Claus offers a marketable face for Finnish tourism. According to the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE, nearly 150,000 European and Asian visitors visited Lapland last winter.

“As far as Santa Claus living in Finland, we can stand behind a few facts,” says Ilkka Länkinen, founder and CEO of Rovaniemi-based Pro Santa, a company that sends trained Santa Clauses around the world and is home to the
Christmas village Joulukka. “Finnish is the only language in the world that has named the month of December after Christmas,” he notes. “‘Joulukuu’ literally translates to ‘Christmas month’. And even though Santa might keep an office at the North Pole, he can’t live there, because reindeer can’t survive there. In Lapland, they can make it through the winter.” - Virtual Finland

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008 

Santa Barbara Resident and Iron Chef Cat Cora


Cat Cora
Originally uploaded by JuliaRosien.

Has opened up a new fast-casual BBQ restaurant in South Coast Plaza. CCQ (Cat Cora's 'Que) partnered up with Macy's and is one division of a 3-1 restaurant concept. The other two divisions involve other "celebrity" chefs, Marcus Samuelsson and Bernie Madoff financial victim, Nancy Silverton.
A brand-new restaurant concept for Macy’s Home opened Tuesday at South Coast Plaza. Signature Kitchen, which encompasses three casual eateries in an upscale food court environment, is the first of its kind in the nation.

The three restaurants within the larger restaurant are Cat Cora’s ‘Que, or CCQ; Marc Samuelsson’s Marc Burger; and Nancy Silverton’s La Brea Bakery. -
South Coast Plaza Blog
“This is not your average rib joint,” Cora says. “The twist is incorporating global flavors and presentation.”

CCQ’s menu will be limited, but varied. Meat is the focal point—slow smoked beef brisket, pulled pork, and smoked chicken. Customers can choose from platters, salads, or wraps, which Cora calls “the barbecue version of a burrito.” Vegetarian choices will include fire-roasted vegetables, a signature chopped salad, and sides of beans. Rounding out the menu will be seafood dishes such as skewered shrimp with a Basque rub, chili or lemon zest, garlic, and olive oil.

“I started out with a huge menu, but for fast-casual it has to be formulated and pretty tight,” Cora says.

Consumer health also played a role in Cora’s menu design. CCQ’s meats will be all-natural and cooked with minimal oil. “Smoking and grilling are great options for lots of flavor with not much fat,” she says. -
QSR
Home of BBQ has the recipe for Cat Cora's BBQ Pit Beans.

FoodGal has an interview with Cat Cora on BBQ, TV and life. One interesting question of note...
Q: Why did you decide to settle in the Santa Barbara area?

A: I get to live by the beach, mountains and vineyards. Plus the public schools there are probably better than most private ones around the country.


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Cats + Christmas = Trying Times

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

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Santa May Be Comin' in a Boogie Woogie Choo Choo Train

but the mailperson will be comin' with an electric bill.

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Are Circus Animals coming back?

Archway bakery (maker of Mother's cookies) is back in action and the workers re-hired.
An Ohio bakery shut down in October is bustling again, with 60 eager employees who had expected a Christmas on the unemployment rolls.

Some 300 workers lost their jobs when the Archway cookie factory in Ashland, Ohio, was suddenly closed by the private equity firm that owned it. The workers also were left without benefits like health insurance.

But then Lance Inc., a Charlotte, North Carolina-based snack food company, purchased Archway at a bankruptcy auction. And last week 60 workers were asked to return immediately, with perhaps more coming back in the months ahead.

When it promised to reopen the bakery, Lance gave all 300 former Archway workers a $1,500 prepaid debit card.

...David Singer, CEO of Lance, says the gift cards were a way of letting Ashland know the new owners are different. "We wouldn't do it willy-nilly," Singer says. "We do want to make money. But this is the pool of folks that we intend to hire. We just wanted to let them know who we were."

The 60 workers rehired so far are earning their previous salary and retained their seniority. They also were provided health insurance from day one. -
CNN
Is this a delicious piece of Christmas spirit, or what?

Send these folks a little thank you and suggest (OK, in my case "demand") that Circus Animals be brought back.

Lance Consumer Affairs
P.O. Box 32368
Charlotte, NC 28232
1-800-438-1880

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Bernie Madoff's criminal enterprise affects LA foodies

The famed Nancy Silverton was one of those who sunk her moolah into Bernie's ponzi enterprise.
It's a good thing Nancy Silverton still has her day job.

The La Brea Bakery founder and queen of L.A.'s restaurant scene is among the legions of investors who've lost their fortunes in the alleged $50-billion fraud attributed to New York financier Bernard L. Madoff.

Silverton said she learned the bad news from her father when she called him at his office as she was driving up to Napa Valley about two weeks ago.

"He said, 'I want to tell you something. Everything's gone. We lost everything.' " - Los Angeles Times
Here's hoping that Nancy's sister Gail didn't lose everything along with her, as Gail is part owner of The Gelato Bar which supplies their amazing gelato to Spoon, here in Santa Barbara.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008 

Food Trends for 2009

According to the Food Channel and the World Thought Bank. (Let's hope it's not one of those banks lacking in funds....)

Top Ten Food Trends for 2009

1.
Home on the Range -- Downsized economy breeds new generation of home
chefs, more food-savvy than their predecessors
2.
Foodie 2.0 -- Growth of virtual and non-virtual food communities
3.
Going, Going Green -- Kitchens go eco-conscious
4.
Living La Vida Locavore -- Eating locally and seasonally, both at home
and in restaurants
5.
TMI? -- Is seeing the calorie count on the menu Too Much Information
(TMI), or will it lead to healthier choices?
6.
FrankenFood -- The rise of bioengineering and genetically modified
food; the next evolution of last year's Functional Food trend
7.
Food Philanthropy -- Individuals and companies address world hunger
8.
Food Insecurity -- The call for tighter food controls, after the
tomato and jalapeno scares of 2008
9.
Brewing Business -- Striking a balance when cost is an issue; the
divide widens between the exotic and day-to-day food needs
10.
Where in the World ... -- is the next flavor trend coming from? It's
all about globalization and variety

Seems there are a few conflicting trends there...how can locavores (#4) want globalized food (#10) or frankenfood (#6)?

This topic came up at a party the other night and we thought that locavorism will continue stronger, as will the foodie culture, both on and off the 'net(s). We noted that there wasn't specifically a cuisine that reigned supreme, such as the Southwest/New Mexican swept through decades ago. More toward flavor though use of spices, though.

I'm not too enthused to see frankenfoods on anyone's radar, especially since Obama selected Tom Vilsek as Ag "Czar." However, I am rather intrigued with the added "bonus" trend they add in of "clandestine cuisine!"

What do YOU think are the upcoming trends.

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It's that time....

Christmas cookies! Do you have yours all baked up yet? Don't disappoint Santa...you'll be sorry.



Cakespy wonders what about the "true meaning of Christmas...cookies" 
And we are remiss in not congratulating Cakespy for being mentioned on the official Whole Foods blog! Congrats, cuppy!

Ah....the power of sugary goodness!

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Monday, December 22, 2008 

Foley Wine Group buys the Historic Sebastiani Vineyards

The Foley Wine Group is pouring some more "green" into another "grape" adventure..this time a historic winery in Sonoma.
The historic Sebastiani Vineyards in Sonoma has been sold to the Foley Wine Group.
...Foley Wine Group, based in Santa Barbara, manages a portfolio of vineyards and wineries in California and the Pacific Northwest, including Foley Estates Vineyard and Winery, Lincourt Vineyards, Firestone Vineyards, Merus, Altus, Goodnight Cellars and Three Rivers Winery. - San Francisco Business Times
The history of Sebastiani Vineyards dates back to 1825. In that year, the Franciscan fathers of nearby mission San Francisco Solano, assisted by local native Americans, first cleared and planted land for their vineyards. These vineyards are among the oldest vineyard sites in northern California. They were acquired in 1904 by Samuele Sebastiani, the founder of our family winery, who immigrated from the wine producing region of Tuscany, Italy in 1895. - Sebastiani Vineyards
The decision by the Sebastiani family to sell their namesake winery rather than conquer their internal divisions will bring to an end a family business that formed Sonoma's wine identity for more than a century.

"This is a benchmark transaction because the Sebastiani name has been synonymous with Sonoma and with California," said Robert Nicholson, principal of International Wine Associates of Healdsburg. "I am sure it was a difficult decision within the family of pioneers in the wine business. But sometimes selling is the right decision. -
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Speaking of local wine happenings, the documentary From Ground to Glass (featuring some big name local vintners) is now available on DVD.
With a background in professional snowboarding and no money, self-taught filmmaker Robert DaFoe decided he wanted to leap into the winemaking business.

With a camera at his side, DaFoe was compelled to track his experiences from harvest to bottle, and all the strife in between — mainly the struggles to find cheap or free wine-related essentials. Things like grapes. And barrels. Oh, and a place to produce it all.

But what’s notable about DaFoe’s film, “From Ground to Glass,” is that he goes beyond merely tracking his own successes and failures — he’s able to get a rare glimpse into the livelihoods of some of the biggest names in the tri-county wine industry. Though the film premiered at the Santa Barbara Film Festival two years ago, it was released earlier this month on DVD, bringing the faces and histories behind the area’s biggest labels into mass distribution. - Pacific Coast Business Times
Gotta love a wine drinking documentary filmmaker former local who blogs!

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Santa Barbara Commercial Kitchen for sale

How I would love to be able to afford this.
$179,000 - First Class Commercial Kitchen Rental Business. Ideal For Growing Catering Business. Fully Equipped And Versatile. Turnkey Facility. 200,000 Remodel And Buildout In 2005. Act Now! Possible Conversion To A Full Service Restaurant. Price Reduced For Quick Sale! This Is A Versatile Food Service Facility For Many Different Food Concepts. - BizBen
Anyone out there want to invest in terrific cookies? Heee...Heee...

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008 

Matador Restaurant is selling off their stuff?

One Day ONLY.

Refrigerators, Metro Shelves, Dishes, Wine Racks, Glassware.
ONE DAY ONLY: THURSDAY 12/18 FROM 1 - 3 PM
714 State Street, Santa Barbara

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Sometime sources are incorrect

I stand by my sources....but, I won't name them. Sometimes they are wrong, so I'm sorry if their information they passed along to me was incorrect.

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Airborne forced to make unscheduled financial touchback

Airborne to pay $7mil for false advertising. Ouch. I know the stuff works for me and for many of my friends in "fighting off a cold", but I never thought that it could actually "cure a cold." Geez. We can put a man on the moon, but we still can't cure that pesky common cold. Guess I'll be passing this by in the Trader Joe's aisle.

Airborne Health Inc has agreed to pay $7 million to settle investigations by 32 state attorneys general and the District of Columbia over the past marketing and labeling of its products.Airborne did not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement. It previously settled two matters involving similar claims.

The privately held company makes popular dietary supplements with vitamins, minerals and herbs that it says help support the immune system.

...According to Blumenthal, Airborne agreed to certain prohibitions against making claims over the benefits of its products. The company also may not demand where a retailer puts its products in stores, he said.

Blumenthal also said Airborne agreed not to market a product with directions that would result in a person ingesting 15,000 International Units of Vitamin A or more per day.

Airborne previously reached a $23.5 million settlement of a class action lawsuit and a $6.5 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. The company said the FTC settlement funds would be paid only if the class action settlement does not cover all consumer claims submitted by September 18. - Reuters

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Friday, December 12, 2008 

EPIPHANY RESTAURANT....It's STAYING!

Thank goodness. I highly recommend everyone stop by and discover this little jewel of a restaurant. Great martini's by the way. And, if you have an Axxess card, bring it with you...you get a % off of your dinner! I enjoyed the pan roasted chicken last time I ventured there.


Pan Roasted Chicken at Epiphany
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008 

A Goodbye Toast to Stateside?


Liquid lunch
Originally uploaded by regina:rivera.

It's looking like another local restaurant "bites" the "bye-bye" bruschetta and heads to Craigslist to look for buyers.

The Owner Invested Over 2.5 Million In The Renovation And Restoration Of This Historic Venue Creating The Perfect, Turnkey Location For Any One With A Vision Of A Restaurant / Nightclub In A Premier Downtown Location. Plans Are Approved With The City Of Santa Barbara For A Large Outdoor Patio, Featuring A Full Bar And Double The Restaurant Capacity. This Would Be One Of The Largest Approved Outdoor Patio Bars In Downtown Santa Barbara, Second Only To Tonic. - Craigslist

Hopefully this doesn't mean the "turtle guys" in the fountain will be homeless.

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Epiphany Restaurant set to close?


Epiphany Restaurant
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.

Rumour among foodie locals is that Epiphany will be closing, too, as it's "sister" restaurant, Sesto Senso is now shuttered. For those non-locals, you might have gotten a glimpse of the restaurant during the second season of Top Chef; the "infamous" episode where Cliff and his knives are sent packing for trying to shear the Foam King's (Marcel) hair.

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Monday, December 08, 2008 

Esau's Cafe - Carpinteria is up for sale


Esau's Cafe, Carpinteria
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.

Say it ain't so!

Asking: 475,000 / Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment: 200,000

Esau's Cafe First Introduced It's Recipes At The 1939 San Francisco World Fair, Where The Talents Of The Young Tom Esau Made An Excellent Impression Among Local Restaurateurs. This Location Shares The Tradition From A Highly Visible Spot On Linden Avenue, Facing One Of The Largest Traffic Counts In Carpinteria.... Offering An Outdoor Patio And Easy Street Parking, This Restaurant Has Been A Local Favorite For Several Years Running, With An Established Breakfast And Lunch Business Serving The Local Demographic. The Owner Has Branded This Location As The “It Place” For Morning Pancakes In Santa Barbara County, And It Is The Longest Operating Breakfast House In The Area. - BizBen

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Winter Santa Barbarian Style


Corner of Anacapa and Canon Perdido
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.

My computer crashed.
My friend needed to borrow her own laptop I was borrowing.
I've been without a computer for sometime...and I'm going crazy without the internet(s) action.

Guess what I'm hoping Santa will bring my way.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008 

Savoy Truffles Restaurant...closed?


Savoy Truffles Restaurant
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.

Sign of some tough times for local restaurants?

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