Wednesday, August 31, 2011 

The Brothers Restaurant at Mattei's Tavern Brothers

and their new cookbook are highlighted in the Daily News.
If you're in the heart of Santa Barbara wine country at dinner time, stop by Brothers Restaurant at Mattei's Tavern in Los Olivos. Grab a seat at the bar or dine in one of the cozy rooms straight out of the old West, reflecting the spirit of the stagecoach days.

Built in 1886, Mattei's Tavern was a meeting and dining spot for locals and a resting place for travelers.

There you'll find the restaurant's co-owners and chefs, Matt and Jeff Nichols, turning out an innovative mix of dishes with seasonal, local ingredients. While they share kitchen duties, Matt handles the wine and beverage program, and Jeff is responsible for the business side of the restaurant.

Over the years, both brothers, who grew up in Ames, Iowa, alongside four other siblings, have done stints and mastered their culinary skills in many professional kitchens around the country.

"I always knew I wanted to be chef," says Jeff, 48. Matt, 45, on the other hand didn't have such a vision. Both started out as teenagers washing dishes at restaurants.

"In the course of two and a half years, I went from being a driver to kitchen manager at Spago." The highlight of his six years there came in 1995 when Wolfgang Puck put him in charge of managing the menu served at the Academy Awards Governors Ball.

The brothers' love affair with Santa Barbara wine country dates to 1996 when they were invited to cook a food-and-wine pairing dinner at Andrew Murray Vineyards.

"The wine dinner, a success, was our first time together in the kitchen as chefs," notes Matt. Encouraged by local guests at the dinner to open a restaurant in the Santa Ynez Valley, they began searching for a location.

In July 1996, they opened Brothers Restaurant Solvang in the Storybook Inn Bed and Breakast with a simple menu. "We developed our own style. Our food became influenced by our childhood food memories and by our different backgrounds in our culinary journeys," notes Matt.

...Now you can whip up some of their restaurant creations at home with favorites found in their recently released first cookbook, "Brothers Cuisine, Recipes from Santa Barbara, California Wine Country," (Nichols Brothers Restaurant; $34.95).

The book, an outgrowth of diner requests, is a collection of their most sought-after recipes, says Jeff. The 145 recipes range from simple to complicated.

"We've downsized the recipes, but they are done the way we do them at the restaurant," notes Matt, adding "our style of cooking is really approachable." - The Daily News

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Santa Barbara Culinary Arts presents...

Chocolates and Champagne.

Wednesday, September 7

6:00 p.m.
at Chocolats du CaliBressan
in the La Arcada Plaza
1114 State Street #25

Members - $20

Guests - $25

RSVP to:

Karyn Yule - or

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 

August 29, 2005

Hurricane Katrina by gdsanders
Hurricane Katrina, a photo by gdsanders on Flickr.

Monday, August 29, 2011 

WE ♥ Krispy Kreme

WE ♥ Krispy Kreme by 明SUN
WE ♥ Krispy Kreme, a photo by 明SUN on Flickr.
Hello Kitty Krispy Kreme could you eat it?

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Sunday, August 28, 2011 

To have Bees or Not To Have Bees

There is no question...we MUST have the little bumbly bizzy buzzy bees. Our lives depend upon theirs.
To The Best Of Our Knowledge has a great show on "bees" tonight. Take a listen.

Bees are responsible for forty percent of the food we put in our mouths.  It sounds astonishing, but without bees, we could find ourselves facing food shortages and a collapse of the green and flowered world.  In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge,  a peek inside the world of bees, from the once-in-a-lifetime mating flight of the queen bee to the California almond agri-business, where most of the bees in North America go to work.  And, the poetry of bees.

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Meet the Avocado Diva

Who knows there is more to life than just Haas.
Avocados. Fruit, or vegetable?

...."It's a fruit," she says matter-of-factly. "And did you know that it has the highest protein content of all fruit?"

These are just two of the pronouncements to come from Cusick, a seemingly mild-mannered marketing director and mother of 11-year-old twins for whom the Avocado Diva has become not only an online business but an alter ego intent on changing the way we eat — and think about — avocados.

"Avocado Diva specializes in heritage avocados from small ranches and farms," she said. "Sometimes there may be only one or two trees, but what they are growing is unique and delicious. "

Cusick's inner green diva emerged after a chance meeting with rancher Jim Lewis at the Moorpark farmers market.

Lewis grows the popular Hass avocado in addition to such lesser-known varieties as Bacon, Frey and Zutano on his 12 - acre property on La Loma Avenue in Somis.

Lewis' Hass avocados typically are spoken for by a cooperative that sells them to mainstream supermarkets and other outlets. But Lewis told Cusick he was having so much trouble selling the other varieties on a similarly large scale that he was thinking of tearing out the trees, some of which date back to the ranch's original plantings nearly 60 years ago.

This struck a dissonant chord with Cusick, who laments that there are no Moorpark apricots growing in Moorpark, and that the Peach Hill neighborhood has no peach trees, she said.

"I'm a fourth-generation Ventura County girl. My great-grandfather came out here during the Dust Bowl. And my grandfather worked on the Lynn Ranch, as well as others. Hearing a farmer talk about ripping out his heritage avocado trees just tugged at me," said Cusick.

"I decided to try and sell them online as a way to make money and to help preserve these kinds of avocados before they all go away," she added.

Thus was born Avocado, the website through which Cusick sells fruit she has found growing in a patchwork of small orchards stretching from Ventura County to Morro Bay near San Luis Obispo. - Ventura County Star

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Friday, August 26, 2011 

Das Williams needs help in trying to Save McGrath State Beach

The public is being urged to help keep open McGrath State Beach in Oxnard, which is scheduled for indefinite closure Sept. 6, by voting for it in "America's Favorite Park" contest.
....It's a special place to our community," said Williams, standing near the Santa Clara River natural preserve. "It would be tragic to see a park like this close." - Ventura County Star
And it's so try to help keep McGrath State Beach open!! 
Go to the following link and vote....often.

McGrath State Beach is one of the best bird-watching areas in California, with the lush riverbanks of the Santa Clara River and sand dunes along the shore. A nature trail leads to the Santa Clara Estuary Natural Preserve. Two miles of beach provide surfing and fishing opportunities, however, swimmers are urged to use caution because of strong currents and riptides. The park offers campsites by the beach. - California State Parks

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011 

El Paseo Restaurant...up for sale

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011 

RIP - Jerry Leiber

Thanks for creating fun music for Elvis to sing...and DANCE to..

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Edible Institute 2012

Mark your calendars. March 10th & 11th.

This event is NOT to be missed...and Edible Communities is bringing it back to Santa Barbara! Home of Edible Santa Barbara. (OK..OK...I'm a little biased on this...)
Edible Communities presents Edible Institute — a weekend of talks, presentations, workshops, and local food & wine tastings — by some of the local food movement’s most influential thinkers, writers, and producers. March 10th & 11th, 2012 in Santa Barbara, California.

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Monday, August 22, 2011 

Alice Waters (the brief UCSB Gaucho) : 40 Years Of Sustainable Food

Fresh Air's Terry Gross interviews Alice on the upcoming 40th Anniversary of Chez Panisse.
Four decades ago, restaurateur and food activist Alice Waters was at the forefront of the now flourishing locally grown, organic food movement. Her Berkeley-based restaurant, Chez Panisse, has become one of the most famous dining spots in America, known for changing its menu daily to reflect what's in season and for sourcing ingredients from local farmers.

But as a child, Waters almost never went to restaurants — and was extremely picky about what she'd actually put in her mouth.

"My mother made a lot of things because she thought they'd be healthy for us," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "There were some very unfortunate experiences with whole wheat bread and bananas. I always tried to get rid of that sandwich and eat one of my friends' lunches." - listen to the show here.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011 

Day 2 of Elvis Week

You just never know how talented a busboy can be.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 

Honey Laundering

Do you know where your bees have been and where your honey comes from..and, well...if it is ACTUALLY all honey?
A third or more of all the honey consumed in the U.S. is likely to have been smuggled in from China and may be tainted with illegal antibiotics and heavy metals.  A Food Safety News investigation has documented that millions of pounds of honey banned as unsafe in dozens of countries are being imported and sold here in record quantities. 

And the flow of Chinese honey continues despite assurances from the Food and Drug Administration and other federal officials that the hundreds of millions of pounds reaching store shelves were authentic and safe following the widespread arrests and convictions of major smugglers over the last two years. - Food Safety News

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Mini Santa Barbara Food Truck Fest

This Saturday, August 20 at the Wheelhouse @ 528 Anacapa from 7:00 - 10:00 p.m. Stop by and grab a bite.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011 

16 august 1977

the king went home.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2011 

Renaud's is coming to Gelson's Santa Barbara

Jeannine's Bakery is moving out...and Renaud's is moving in...even though they have a restaurant a couple stores down.

Renaud's Express, perhaps? Hey...anything I can do to get my macarons quickly!

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Sunday, August 07, 2011 

Silvergreens Healthy School Lunch Delivery Program

Silvergreens by rosidae

is looking for some help.
Silvergreens Downtown is expanding our healthy school lunch delivery program and looking for a committed person to join our team. Must have restaurant experience, be fluent in English, reliable, dedicated, and fast-moving. Your driving record must be absolutely clean and you must have a large delivery vehicle in good working condition. You must also be a tremendous multi-tasker and handle stressful situations well, in addition to being able to lift crates of food and Catering equipment. This position will be Monday through Friday from 9am-Noon with ability to gain more hours in-store if you have desire and ability. You must be committed from August until mid-June and be able to work all weekdays during that time (except school holidays). This is a position of great responsibility since you are helping prepare and deliver hundreds of school lunches daily. After bagging and organizing all food according to school and grade you then load up our delivery vehicles (or your own large vehicle) and deliver to a couple of schools from Goleta to Carpinteria each day. When you get to the schools you unload, organize, and display our food and then head out to the next school and repeat the procedure. Customer service is crucial. Please only apply if you meet all of the above criteria and can excel in this fast-pace environment. When we post positions like this we typically get flooded with responses so please excuse us if we do not respond to each applicant.

Silvergreens Lunch Program serves the following schools:
  • St. Raphael School
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel School
  • The Howard School
  • Santa Barbara Christian School
  • Bishop Diego High School
  • Montessori Center School
  • Santa Barbara Middle School
  • Notre Dame School
Silvergreens, a photo by rosidae on Flickr.

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Monday, August 01, 2011 

Happy 60th Anniversary, Gelson's!

Gelson's Market by jericl cat
Gelson's Market, a photo by jericl cat on Flickr.

Designed by Stiles Clements, the shiny new Gelson’s Market was modernistic in design and had the air of a building set in a tropic land. Inside, from roof to floor, the market’s front had a glassed instead of a cement front, an industry first. It was completely air-conditioned and heated. Huge circulating fans and giant heaters guaranteed a complete circulation of clean, fresh air of proper temperature every five minutes. Specially designed fixtures in all departments afforded ample display of the peerless selection of items which Gelson’s handled. 

Spacious aisles — which would become a Gelson’s hallmark — and large shopping carts were available to make shoppers’ selection of merchandise a pleasure. The first Gelson’s also set the stage for what would become Gelson’s tradition of exemplary meat and seafood. The store had an ultra-modern, self-service Meat Department, with stainless steel and enamel cases running the building’s full length. Behind these cases, in full view of the customers — when you’ve got it, flaunt it! — was the meat cutting and wrapping room. - Gelson's

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Viva La Food Truck Fiesta!!

Viva La Food Truck Fiesta - August 6, 2011. 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. at the old Be-Bop Burgers parking lot.
The Santa Barbara Food Truck Festival attendees include Sugar and Salt Creamery, O Street Truck, Road Dogs, Green & Tasty, & THAI on a truck.

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