A Month to Savor Santa Barbara
True story: someone once asked me, “What’s wrong with Santa Barbara in fall?” Without hesitation I answered, “Nothing.” Honestly, it’s hard to find something to complain about when “Indian Summer” brings long, hot days, the summer crowds vacate the beaches, and our culinary calendar crescendos with epicure.sb.
Now in its third year, epicure.sb is a community-wide celebration of cuisine, libation, and culture. For 31 days, the area’s best restaurants, gourmet purveyors, and galleries dish food-and-wine festivals, seasonal menus, winemakers’ dinners, tasting events, epicurean-inspired art exhibits, and many more ways to savor our tastefully refined way of life here in Santa Barbara.
Here’s an appetizer from this year’s lineup; for the full menu, visit the epicure website.
CUISINE: Seasonal dishes, tasting events, and winemakers’ dinners are on the menu at dozens of participating restaurants. Tackle the “Eat Local Challenge,” presented by Edible Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers’ Market, and brush up on sustainable living with educational events including cooking demos presented by Whole Foods and gardening classes at Fairview Gardens’ Center for Urban Agriculture. The second annual SOL [Sustainable-Organic-Local] Food Festival (Oct. 1) features exhibitors and vendors representing every aspect of the food system, a farm-animal petting zoo, inspiring workshops, and a chef competition. Join in more lively, food-centric fun at the California Avocado Festival (Oct. 7 – 9), the Harbor and Seafood Festival (Oct. 8),the California Lemon Festival (Oct. 15 – 16) and the Santa Barbara Chowder Fest (Oct. 23).
LIBATION: Wine, microbrews and spirits take center stage at dozens of special tasting and pairing events throughout October. Join the wine-country buzz during the Celebration of Harvest (Oct. 8), or stay downtown and go car-free with Santa Barbara Pedicab, offering special rates for Urban Wine Trail tasters all month. Celebrate the season with Oreana Winery’s Rocktoberfest (Oct. 1) or Carr Winery’s Italian Sunday (Oct. 2). Sample regional microbrews at the Santa Barbara Beer Festival (Oct. 15), and learn the craft at Whole Food’s DIY Beer-Making Class (Oct. 8). Please the palate at Margerum Wine Company’s “Wine and Chocolate Pairing Classes,” and get loose at Wildcat Lounge’s Third-Annual Mai Tai Tasting (Oct. 20). Sip, swirl, and save with discounted tastings and special wine pairings at area restaurants throughout October.
CULTURE: Feed your mind and soul with epicurean-inspired art exhibits, live performances, and cultural events. Discover “Julia Child’s Santa Barbara” on Road Scholar’s multi-day educational tour. Uncover Santa Barbara’s “dry” past at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum’s Speakeasy and Stills: Prohibition in Santa Barbara exhibit highlighted at a scandalous reception with whiskey and wine (Oct. 13). Let the artistic juices flow at Pies and Paint, a pie-tasting and painting session (Oct. 15). Get out of your gourd at the Contemporary Arts Forum Pumpkin Carving Contest and Fall-Themed Wine Tasting (Oct. 28). Sip and stroll through downtown Solvang on Third Wednesday and Wine Walk (Oct. 19). Gallery hop at First Thursday (Oct. 6), a monthly evening of art and music that takes a special focus on the culture of food and drink in October at more than 30 participating downtown venues.