Santa Barbara’s epicure.sb, the delectable month-long celebration of Santa Barbara’s culinary scene, will be held from Oct. 1–31. Now in its 7th year, epicure.sb showcases the bounty of Santa Barbara’s cuisine, libations and culture through exclusive culinary-themed experiences and special offers at restaurants, hotels, wineries and other venues. It also ties together our region’s capstone food festivals, including the Santa Barbara Vinters’ Celebration of Harvest, Oct. 9–12; the Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival, Oct. 17; and the Santa Barbara Beer Festival, Oct. 17.
This year’s signature events include a “Quickfire Cooking Challenge with Cat Cora” (from The Iron Chef) on Oct. 8, and a winemaker dinner with Bacara Resort & Spa’s new executive chef, Vincent Lesage on Oct. 24, both at the Santa Barbara Public Market, 38 W. Victoria St. In the Quickfire Cooking Challenge, 5:30–7:30 p.m., three contestants will face off using ingredients from the Market’s purveyors to create up to three dishes, which will be judged by the renowned chef. Space is limited for the event, and tickets are $95 and include kitchen seating, appetizers and wine. Please call 805/770-7702 to purchase tickets.
This year’s epicure.sb theme is “The Perfect Pairing,” and more than 55 participating businesses have created unique offerings that feature paired components. Highlight include:
Food Anthropology: The History of Santa Barbara as Told Through Food & Art – On Oct. 23, enjoy a four-course candle-lit meal, prepared by Montecito Country Club‘s Michael Blackwell, in historic Santa Barbara County Courthouse’s newly restored Mural Room while learning about four pivotal moments in Santa Barbara history depicted on its walls. ($185)
Tamales and Tequila Tasting: “Secrets of a Tamale Chef”– In this special class held downtown on Oct. 25, Chef-Owner Richard Lambert of Santa Barbara Tamales To-Go teaches the techniques he uses to make his award-winning tamales and salsas. Attendees are served three samples, each paired with a variety of Tequila Alquimia, a cognac-like sipping tequila. ($30)
On Edge Performance Festival: Artist (Pool) Party & Brunch – On Oct. 17, join the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara in celebrating the artists of the On Edge Festival poolside at the Goodland Hotel in Goleta. Take part in a puppetry workshop, enjoy great music by a DJ and indulge in delicious brunch bites by The Outpost’s Chef Derek Simcik. ($25)
Corks n’ Kernels – Get ready for a rare flavor combination that really pops as Grassini Family Vineyards pairs its Bordeaux-style wines with Santa Barbara Popcorn Co.’s popcorns at its downtown tasting room, every Fri.–Sun. in Oct. ($15)
“Thyme & Energy” Bourbon and Jerky Pairing – Sip on a “Lost Thyme” Old-fashioned at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara’s Ty Lounge in Montecito, followed by the perfect chaser – house-cured beef jerky, marinated with hints of orange, molasses garlic, chili and bourbon. ($16)
Farmers Market and Wine Tasting Tour – Every Sat. in Oct., Santa Barbara Adventure Co. combines wine tasting in the Funk Zone’s Urban Wine Trail with a trip to the Santa Barbara Farmers Market. Learn about the varieties and vintages of some of the county’s finest wines, along with local trivia and history. Along the way, you’ll visit the farmers market, where your guides will pick up fresh produce for a picnic lunch at the waterfront. ($129)
Jaffurs Big 3 and Small Plates – Enjoy three exceptional wines from Jaffurs Wine Cellars paired with small plates of surf, turf and vegetables at The Black Sheep restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara. ($49)
Enchanted Getaway – This offer combines Santa Barbara’s great food and wine with the romance and seclusion of Belmond El Encanto. Enjoy complete privacy in luxury accommodations while savoring a limited-edition, epicure.sb, prix-fixe menu with perfect wine pairings. (fee varies)
Day to Night – Every Sun.–Thurs. in Oct., Hotel Indigo offers guests a special care package to explore Santa Barbara’s daytime delights, from the beach to the Museum of Contemporary Art, and end their perfect day with wine tasting and a relaxing night in a King guest room. ($299)
Wine pours take flight, celebration fills the streets and special flavors dance across plates as the community comes together to highlight Santa Barbara’s highest notes during this collective effort. For a complete list of events & offerings, prix-fixe menus & tasting flights, and lodging packages, please visit www.epicuresb.com