Friday, May 27, 2011 

Happy Birthday Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver
Originally uploaded by Chapters/Indigo Bookstore.

Hope it's "Food Revolution"ary!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 

California Pizza Kitchen chain to be sold

Not sure how this will affect our local CPK.
California Pizza Kitchen, known for such ambitious offerings as the 1,440-calorie Tostada Pizza, will be acquired by Golden Gate Capital, an investment company that owns the Romano's Macaroni Grill and On The Border chains. The deal is expected to be worth about $740 million. 

CPK has been looking for a buyer for about a year. The company has been suffering from a slowdown in sales, despite adding less expensive, smaller portions of some products last year, along with an aggressive international expansion strategy that has taken it to India, South Korea and other countries. This isn't the first time the company has been sold; the founders sold it to Pepsico in 1992, only to buy it back several years later. - The Consumerist

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011 

Food Truck & Bocce Ball Festival

Limoneira Ranch will host the Ventura County Food Truck & Bocce Ball Festival on June 12, July 24 and Aug. 21. A portion of proceeds will benefit FOOD Share, Ventura County’s regional food bank. 

Participating gourmet food trucks, include:
Del’s Lemonade, Dogtown Dogs, It’s In The Sauce Texas BBQ, Louks ToGo, Spencer Makenzie’s Fish Company, The Sweets, Temaki Sushi, Tino’s Pizza and the Yummy One.

Live music will be provided by The Blue Barron Band, Orlando Napier, The Shoemaker Brothers and Michael John & The Bottom Line.

Professional bocce ball courts will host 12 teams of four members each for the Limoneira Bocce Ball Tournament. First place will win a $500 prize. The single elimination tournament is open to beginners and professionals with a $100 entry fee, which includes entry to the festival.
Festival tickets are on sale now.

Food Truck & Bocce Ball Festival
June 12, July 24, Aug. 21
12:00 noon to 6 p.m.

Cost: $20 adults; $10 children up to 12; free to age 5 and below. 

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Sunday, May 22, 2011 

Happy 80th Birthday

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In honor of those crazy La Arcada Turtles

La Arcada Turtle guys
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.

Chocolat CaliBresson has designed some special "turtle" chocolates. Delish little melt in your mouth chocolates in the shape of the little shelled guys just outside their door in La Arcada.

You gotta try them. They are just too cute...and delish.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011 

Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste

I use this brand of vanilla. It simply is the best on the market, in my opinion, however, the bean paste is being recalled.
Officials of an Illinois company say it is recalling Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste because of potential Listeria monocytogenes.

Nielsen-Massey Vanillas Inc. of Waukegan is voluntarily recalling lot No. 11123 of its Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria.

The recall extends to all states of the United States and Canada at all levels of distribution, including the retail level. The recalled product is offered in translucent plastic 1-gallon- and 1-quart-size containers under the name Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste, through a variety of distribution channels including direct delivery to business customers, distributors and retail sales.

There have been no reports of illness related to this product. - Marler Blog

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Friday, May 20, 2011 

McConnell's for Sale?

Tub O Ice Cream
Originally uploaded by Mike Saechang.

Say it ain't so!
Southern California is one of the world's biggest markets
Established brand since 1949
Currently sold in 500 markets and restaurants
Two retail stores (not included)
1,500,000 in yearly sales (was 5,000,000)
Close to a break even during this recession
Owner retiring, OWC
Dream lease, name your terms. 
- BizBen

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011 

My landlord shared a joke

bless his little heart. Jack thought I needed a laugh...and knew I'm into food....pretty funny. Thought I'd share.

New Mexico Chili Cook Off
If you can read this whole story without laughing,
then there's no hope for you.
This is an actual account as relayed to paramedics at a
chili cook-off in New Mexico ....

Note: Please take time to read this slowly. 
If you pay attention to the first two judges,
the reaction of the third judge is even better.

For those of you who have lived in New Mexico , you know how true this is.  They actually have a Chili Cook-off about the time Halloween comes around.  It takes up a major portion of a parking lot at the  Santa Fe  Plaza .  Judge #3 was an inexperienced Chile taster named Frank, who was visiting from  Springfield, IL .

Frank:  “Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cook-off..  The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge's table, asking for directions to the Coors Light truck, when the call came in.  I was assured by the other two judges (Native New Mexicans) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy; and, besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted and became Judge #3.”

Here are the scorecard notes from the event:
Judge # 1 -- A little too heavy on the tomato.  Amusing kick. 
Judge # 2 -- Nice, smooth tomato flavor.  Very mild. 
Judge # 3 (Frank) -- Holy crap, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway.  Took me two beers to put the flames out.  I hope that's the worst one.  These New Mexicans are crazy.

Judge # 1 -- Smoky, with a hint of pork.  Slight jalapeno tang. 
Judge # 2 -- Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously. 
Judge # 3 -- Keep this out of the reach of children.  I'm not sure what I'm supposed to taste besides pain.  I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver.  They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.

Judge # 1 -- Excellent firehouse chili.  Great kick. 
Judge # 2 -- A bit salty, good use of peppers. 
Judge # 3 -- Call the EPA.  I've located a uranium spill.
My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano.
Everyone knows the routine by now.
Get me more beer before I ignite.  Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest.
I'm getting sh*t-faced from all of the beer.

Judge # 1 -- Black bean chili with almost no spice.  Disappointing. 
Judge # 2 -- Hint of lime in the black beans.  Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili. 
Judge # 3 -- I felt something scraping across my tongue,
but was unable to taste it.  Is it possible to burn out taste buds?  Sally, the beer maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills.
This 300 lb.  Woman is starting to look HOT ....  Just like this
nuclear waste I'm eating!  Is chili an aphrodisiac?

Judge # 1 -- Meaty, strong chili.  Jalapeno peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick.  Very impressive. 
Judge # 2 -- Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato.  Must admit the jalapeno peppers make a strong statement. 
Judge # 3 -- My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes.
I farted, and four people behind me needed paramedics.
The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage.  Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher.
I wonder if I'm burning my lips off..  It really ticks me off that
the other judges asked me to stop screaming.
0h, Screw them!!!!!
Judge # 1 -- Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili.  Good balance of spices and peppers. 
Judge # 2 -- The best yet.  Aggressive use of peppers, onions, garlic.  Superb. 
Judge # 3 -- My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames.  I crapped on myself when I farted,
and I'm worried it will eat through the chair.
No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that Sally.
Can't feel my lips anymore.
I need to wipe my butt with a snow cone.

Judge # 1 -- A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers. 
Judge # 2 -- Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment.  **I should take note that I am worried about Judge #3.  He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably. 
Judge # 3 -- You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin,
and I wouldn't feel a thing.  I've lost sight in one eye,
and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water.
My shirt is covered with chili, which slid unnoticed out of my mouth.  My pants are full of lava to match my shirt.
At least during the autopsy, they'll know what killed me.
I've decided to stop breathing.  It's too painful.
Screw it; I'm not getting any oxygen anyway.
If I need air, I'll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.

Judge # 1 -- The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili.  Not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence. 
Judge # 2 -- This final entry is a good, balanced chili.
Neither mild nor hot.
Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 farted,
passed out, fell over and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself.  Not sure if he's going to make it.
Poor fella, wonder how he'd have reacted to really hot chili?
Judge # 3 -- No report.

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Santa Barbara Agrifood System Workshop

Localizing Santa Barbara County agrifood systems: research, action and policy.

Friday, 20 May 2011, 12:00p-6:30p
Saturday, 21 May 2011, 8:00a-7:30p

McCune Conference Center (HSSB 6020), UCSB


Workshop Schedule

The Santa Barbara County Agrifood Systems Research Group is hosting a workshop at UCSB on the Santa Barbara agrifood system. The agrifood system includes everything from production inputs, on-farm production, distribution, processing, preparation, and consumption, to the effects of such factors on the community, human nutrition, the economy and the environment.

The workshop will bring together participants in the SBC agrifood system (farmers, policy makers, distributors, researchers, and food advocates) to begin moving towards a future for Santa Barbara County and our region that is locally oriented, environmentally sound, socially responsible and economically viable. Our vision is to support the development of a system that encourages and enhances opportunities for small-to-medium sized farmers, minimizes the use of toxic substances, provides living wages and healthy working conditions to farm workers, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, conserves water, and makes nutritious, healthy local food available to all residents.

The goals of the workshop are to share our research, invite open discussion and dialogue among participants, identify key barriers and agree on a key set of strategies for education, research, action and policy. 

For Questions or Suggestions, please email:

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011 

Santa Barbara Food Truck Festival - May 29, 2011

Sun, May 29, 11:00am – 3:30pm
110 State Street Santa Barbara CA (map)
Cross streets - State and East Mason, on the ocean side of the railroad tracks.
Be at the old Be Bop Burger location starting at 11a.m. until around 3:30 p.m.
O Street Truck
Lickety Split's
Burger Bus
and YOU?

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Monday, May 16, 2011 

John Corbett....Hunk-o-rama

So, tonight, I went out with a friend to Cafe Luck here in Santa Barbara. As I was noshing on bread, I noticed a slightly familiar scruffy face sitting at a table not too far way. Sure enough, it was Dennis Miller, who lives in Montecito. I then noticed another couple sitting down next to Dennis, and the woman I assumed was "Mrs. Miller." This new couple was jovial and comfortable and full of smiles. I recognized the long blonde hair, the piercing blue eyes and sculpted nose immediately. Bo Derek. I then caught the very distinct voice of her companion, John Corbett. OMG. I have had this mad crush on him for years, having loved him in the short lived TV show "Lucky."

Cafe Luck with "Lucky." Wow. I was in heaven.
(Oh, and by the way...the food was outstanding.)

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Sunday, May 15, 2011 

Far Western Tavern

is moving! They are picking up their BBQ fixin's and moving from Guadalupe to Orcutt.
The Far Western Tavern today announced that the restaurant will move to a new location in Old Town Orcutt in late 2011. The existing restaurant in Guadalupe will remain open until a few weeks before the move. 
“The new location in Old Town Orcutt will enable us to continue the Far Western Tavern tradition for years to come in the Santa Maria Valley,” said Renee Righetti-Fowler, whose grandparents Clarence and Rosalie Minetti established the Far Western Tavern in 1958 along with Rosalie’s cousin, the late Richard Maretti, and his wife Jean. The Far Western Tavern is today owned by the greater Minetti family, with the third generation now actively overseeing the restaurant’s operations.
The new location at 300 Clark Avenue in Old Town Orcutt will be built out over the next year. Like the current restaurant, the new restaurant will feature separate downstairs bar and dining areas, along with an upstairs banquet room. 
“Our goal is to capture the distinctive spirit and ambiance of the original restaurant,” Righetti-Fowler said. “The menu will also be very similar.”
The current restaurant occupies the Palace Hotel building that was built in 1912. The building is owned by the Minetti family. The family plans to collaborate with the City of Guadalupe and others to determine the best course of action for the building after it is vacated by the restaurant. “We want to find a workable solution, but we just don’t know what that solution is at this point,” Righetti-Fowler said.
She added, “This was a very tough decision for our family after all of these years in Guadalupe. But after carefully evaluating our options, we felt that it was the best decision for ensuring that the restaurant remains a viable family business for years to come. The Old Town Orcutt location, which is more centrally located to both Highway 1 and Highway 101, will make the restaurant more accessible to visitors and locals alike.”

“We are truly grateful to our community of Guadalupe for their support over the decades,” Righetti-Fowler said. “We invite everyone to come out and share memories with us.”

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Friday, May 13, 2011 

Taste of the Nation - June 5, 2011

Share Our Strength's "Taste of the Nation" is back! It will, again, be at the Montecito Country Club at 920 Summit Road. Buy your tickets early, they tend to sell briskly!

Take a delicious look at the participating vendors...

  • Ariel's Catering

  • Birnam Wood Country Club

  • Bella Vista at the Four Seasons Resort the Biltmore

  • The Blue Owl

  • Blush Restaurant and Bar

  • C'est Cheese

  • Ca'Dario

  • Coast at The Canary Hotel

  • Duo Events and Catering

  • Jessica Foster Confections

  • Los Olivos Cafe

  • Marquee

  • Montecito Country Club

  • New West Catering

  • Omni Fresco Catering

  • San Ysidro Ranch

  • The Savoy

  • Wine Cask

  • Alma Rosa

  • Ampelos Cellars

  • Beckmen Vineyards

  • Blair Fox Wines

  • Brander Vineyard

  • Bridlewood

  • Carina Cellars

  • Carr Winery

  • Cleb Wines

  • Cold Heaven

  • Consilience

  • Core

  • Demetria Estate

  • Dierberg

  • Dragonette Cellars

  • Kaena Wines

  • Lucas & Lewellen

  • Municipal Winemakers

  • Reeves Ranch Vineyards

  • Shai Cellars

  • Silver

  • Star Lane

  • Tre Anelli

  • Whitcraft

  • Brewhouse

  • Firestone

  • Telegraph

  • St Germain

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    Monday, May 09, 2011 

    No Cat Theifs allowed

    You ROCK, Robert!

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    Sunday, May 08, 2011 

    R.I.P. Seve Ballesteros

    Seve Ballesteros
    Originally uploaded by jbruntthailand.

    You were a champion both on and off the course...and so dashingly handsome.

    Seve never had an entourage of sycophants traipsing after him or bodyguards rushing him to exits and keeping the public at arm's length. Seve had time for everyone and anyone. He was a working class hero who was just as comfortable in the company of kings and golf fans. He was a sporting god who never lost his common touch.

    Nobody, of course, is perfect. Seve could be feisty, confrontational, intimidating, bad-tempered and moody, but he never bore grudges. He was joyous, charming, charismatic, witty, approachable, and boy, he was cool. His aura simply oozed sex appeal. He was Elvis in slacks and that navy-blue Sunday sweater. It was a privilege to be around him. Seve made it easy. -

    There are very few people in the world, let alone in sport, who are known by one word, one name. Just the mention of Seve was enough. Everybody knew instantly about whom you were talking, what he did and what he stood for. That is special.- The Telegraph

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    Happy Mother's Day

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    Friday, May 06, 2011 

    Au Bon Climat opens a tasting room

    in Downtown Santa Barbara! Yeah! Edible Santa Barbara breaks the story...

    We are thrilled to find out that after nearly 30 years of making wine, Jim Clendenen will be opening the Au Bon Climat Tasting Room and Jim Clendenen Wine Library in Santa Barbara. Even more interesting is that it will be adjacent to the Wine Cask Restaurant and Margerum Wine Co. Tasting Room. They will actually share staff and a point of sale system so customers will be able to do a dual tasting, purchase items at both locations under the same account and even order food from the Wine Cask to accompany wine. This concept is a natural given the long-term friendship and partnership between these two industry pioneers, but it does make for a unique tasting experience in Santa Barbara.

    ...The grand opening will be Memorial Day weekend, Saturday May 28th and Sunday, May 29th from 12:00 noon to 4:00pm. For the opening there will be a special dual tasting of both Au Bon Climat and Margerum Wine Co. current releases and library wines with foods provided by the Wine Cask for $25, with a sale on wines throughout the 3-day weekend. The Au Bon Climat Tasting Room and Jim Clendenen Wine Library will be located at 813 Anacapa St., Suite 5. 

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    Happy Fire Blogging Friday

    Jesusita Fire
    Originally uploaded by zwarburg.

    Ah, forget cute fuzzy animals Friday day.
    It was 2 years ago yesterday that the Jesusita Fire broke out and caused havoc.

    My how time flies and how much things have changed..and yet, in Barbarian fashion, stayed the same.

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    Thursday, May 05, 2011 

    I see Christine! is back

    commenting on things she knows nothing about
    Wow. That particular post is certainly generating some weirdness.



    Tuesday, May 03, 2011 

    Dear Anonymous

    Hate to break it to you....that particular post....was not about you.


    Sunday, May 01, 2011 

    Cielito Restaurant

    in a nod to Santa Barbara's culinary past, the new Mexican restaurant going into empty space in La Arcada at 1114 State Street seems to be showcasing a sign bearing the name Cielito.

    Long before the old mainstay Mexican-esque Acapulco Restaurant, and the disasterous swanky neuvo-somthing or other Stateside Restaurant, was there was the beloved El Cielito Restaurant in that very spot.
    I understand the new restaurant might be offering up tequila tastings. Ooooh...let's hope!

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