This year’s SOL Food Festival on Saturday, October 1 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Plaza Vera Cruz Park will feature a variety of educational workshops including backyard poultry, food security, beer brewing and compost making, as well as the popular SOL Chef Competition where some of our regions most talented chefs who will be cooking up a storm with food procured from the Santa Barbara Farmers Market.
Also featured will be the kid-approved “Hungry Caterpillar Crawl” and dozens of exhibitors representing the breadth and depth of the Santa Barbara County food world. Renowned chefs Bradley Ogden, who has been awarded Chef of the Year by the Culinary Institute of America and has appeared on the Today show, Good Morning, America, AM/San Francisco, Dinner at Julia’s and the Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs of the West series, will join Ventura Chef Adrien Nieto to participate as a judges in the SOL Food Chef Competition. Chef Nieto, who was a finalist in FOX Network’s reality television program, MasterChef Season 2, will also serve as emcee for various cooking events from the main stage.
In addition, SOL Food will shut down Cota Street between Anacapa and Santa Barbara Street to connect the Farmers Market directly to the SOL Food Festival. The street will be filled with food vendors paired with local farmers, farm equipment including tractors and plows, a free bike valet and more.
The Garden of Eatin’ is the festival’s food court which will feature only the freshest and most local ingredients. Each of the food vendors will be paired with a local farm in order to highlight seasonal, local items from that farm. This allows a direct connection between producers and consumers, directly linking farm to fork. There is also a wine and beer garden featuring local favorites such as Alma Rosa, Buttonwood, Carr, and Martian Wineries and Firestone-Walker and Telegraph Brewing Companies. Regional experts will offer workshops about beer brewing, winemaking and more.
Children’s activities will include the ‘Hungry Caterpillar’ and live farm animals including chickens, goats and turkeys; the Santa Barbara Independent’s 2nd Annual Foodie Awards recognizing local food heroes; a panel discussion with local elected officials entitled “Making Local Food the Easy Option” introduced by Congresswoman Lois Capps and including Santa Barbara’s Mayor Helene Schneider, the County Agricultural Commissioner and other notable officials; a free bike valet and more.
For more information about the SOL Food Festival, visit www.solfoodfestival.com.