The late Julia Child was a member of Santa Barbara Culinary Arts, which started in 1995 as a roundtable for women in food service. Formerly known as Women’s Culinary Guild, the group now includes both men and women (all food lovers, both professionals and laypeople, are welcome) who get together to attend chef demonstrations, cooking classes, dinners, wine tastings and special events like the Mushroom Madness wine dinner every March.
The group also supports Santa Barbara City College’s School of Culinary Arts, a robust educational program whose graduates can be found in the kitchens of many top restaurants. One of their fundraisers is the quintessential cookbook for Santa Barbara food lovers, featuring recipes from more than 70 local chefs, restaurants and caterers. A new edition launches this fall.
Last year’s publication of Santa Barbara Culinary Arts—A Taste of Santa Barbara’s Culinary Bounty, 1,080 copies, quickly sold out.
This October, the same dedicated group releases its 2015 cookbook with all new recipes, available at bookstores all around town.
Cookbook editor Tama Takahashi, one of the founders of Inside Wine Santa Barbara and food editor of Touring & Tasting Magazine, says, “This year I actually had people call me wanting to be in the cookbook, which is great! We’ve got The Stonehouse, The Biltmore, Downey’s, Toma, The Lark—all the top restaurants.”
Santa Barbara photographer Linda Blue, who also donates her time, photographs the dishes for the cookbook.
“We really have to give a lot of the credit to her for the success of the book because people pick it up and get engaged with the photographs, they’re so wonderful,” says Takahashi. “They really bring out the deliciousness of all the dishes.”
The book’s theme this year shines the spotlight on the local produce readily available to Santa Barbara County chefs. The cookbook is more than a guide in the kitchen; it helps readers traverse Santa Barbara County’s thriving restaurant scene.
“One thing I was personally hoping to do with this cookbook was to come up with a comprehensive dining directory, where people could not only find fabulous recipes to make themselves, but also find a restaurant among this incredible variety of the dining experiences that Santa Barbara offers,” Takahashi explains.
All proceeds from the sale of the $25 cookbook support the Santa Barbara Culinary Arts Scholarship in Honor of Julia Child. This endowment fund provides scholarships for students in Santa Barbara City College’s Culinary Arts program.
Longtime member of Santa Barbara Culinary Arts Karyn Yule says the group gave SBCC’s program a check for $15,000 in April, which included proceeds from last year’s cookbook. The donation also garnered an additional $7,500 in matching funds.
The cookbook launch party is the afternoon of Saturday, October 24, at the Bacara Resort. Some of the chefs featured in the cookbook will bring food samples and might even autograph cookbooks.
You can sample cuisine from up-and-coming chefs at the John Dunn Gourmet Dining Room on campus. Call 805/965-0581 ext. 2773 for reservations. For tickets or to learn about Santa Barbara Culinary Arts membership, visit SantaBarbaraCulinaryArts.com.
Originally published in the Fall 2015 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.