Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Garagistes Go for Gold

When you're a home winemaker, you might as well practice saying, "We learned that by trial and error." When you're a home winemaker, you might end up choosing a chemist to work with you because you met him while walking your dogs. When you're a home winemaker, it's wise if your team includes someone good at wood-working to build the cold room in the garage where you keep your wine at a pleasant 67º. When you're a home winemaker, if one of you owns a van, and doesn't mind if the suspension gets shot hauling a half-ton of grapes, so much the better.

Want to read the rest then do so at KCET's Food Blog.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Meatless on the Mesa

Living in Santa Barbara, you can get tacos anywhere, but then there are wild mushroom tacos, topped with lemon crème fraîche, harissa, pepitas, and baby spring onion. First, that makes my spell-check go ouch. Second, it’s incredibly delicious, a taco by way of Morocco. Third, it’s vegetarian, as are all the dishes at the newly opened Mesa Verde, rising out of the ruins of Cliff’s & Co. on, fittingly, the Mesa, Santa Barbara’s bluff-top neighborhood.

Want to read the rest then do so at the Indy's site.

Wines Die in Hot Cars

If The Weather Channel can be believed -- and since we're not asking them for the forecast, let's assume so -- if the air temperature is 90º F, it will be up to 124º F inside your car in 30 minutes. We all know enough not to leave our children or dogs in a car on a steamy day like that, but this column is about other babies that also do poorly in such heat: bottles of wine. It's easy if you're out visiting wine country to buy a few here, then a few at the next stop, then stop for a picnic lunch.... In the meantime those recently purchased prizes that tasted so good in that cave setting or thanks to the flirty pourer's charm at the tasting room is turning on you before you even get home.

Want to read the rest then do so at KCET's Food Blog.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sisters of the Sauce

The Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival doesn’t just brew up bacteria for our health and taste buds. It’s also the breeding ground for new businesses, one of which will have a very splashy debut at the fourth annual event on July 19, serving as the fest’s official condiment station while also enhancing the dishes of both Sama Sama and Nimita’s that day. Welcome to Cultured & Saucy, the long-brewing idea of sisters Lauren Temkin and Simone Temkin-Wilcox.

Want to read the rest then do so at the Indy's site.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Reserve Tastings, White Rhones, The Central Coast, and You

Archie McLaren, the beret-topped impresario of the Central Coast Wine Classic, has organized his fest for 30 years now, raising money for all sorts of non-profits who do work in healing, performing, and studio arts. "I love the Central Coast Wine Classic, and think it's a largely unrecognized gem locally," claims Jason Haas, Partner and GM at Tablas Creek Vineyard. "The auction is its centerpiece, and gets great attendance from serious bidders from around the country as well as the local wine community, but the educational seminars are superb each year, the auxiliary dinners always beautifully done, and the two tastings a chance to taste some of the Central Coast's greatest wines in relative peace."

Want to read the rest then do so at KCET's Food Blog.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Eat This: Crabcake "Burger" @ On the Alley

Sometimes a great food experience takes just a little bit of care. How many places seem to think the bun is an afterthought, the sauce can just be bottled, the onions can be sliced too thick and be left biting. On the other hand there’s this simple, delectable, well, it’s not a dish as it comes to you in a cardboard tray-box, but that’s all about the convenience as you’re going to dine on picnic tables marina-side.

Want to read the rest then do so at the Indy's site.

Friday, July 4, 2014

C'est Cheese, Part Deux

There are numerous ways to pronounce the luscious laminated pastry kouign-amann from Brittany. But after eating one, everyone speaks the same language: a deeply satisfied, bit-ashamed-for-liking-something-so-much groan. You can only get these buttery caramelized delights in one place in Santa Barbara, and that’s the newly, finally(!) expanded C’est Cheese, four times its old size and about to be a full-fledged café, marketplace, and extended catering service.

Want to read the rest then do so at the Indy' site.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Going 'Cue Crazy

Just so you know we take the Sizzling Summer BBQ Contest seriously, we ended up with 14 judges for just 12 contestants this year. Of course, there was plenty of regular hedonistic fun to be had on June 26, when our now-usual, multiculti, multi-tasty food extravaganza party popped up at Oak Park. But the annual event, with 2014 being the fifth such incarnation, is really fueled by the passion and pride of our grillers.

Want to read the rest then do so at the Indy's site.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Session Beers for Independence Day Drinking

Oh say, can you still see straight at the end of a beer-fueled Fourth? If you decided you couldn't abandon drinking your favorite IPA all day, despite its relatively high alcohol level (most IPAs clock in at about 7% ABV, or more), here's some advice about how to keep those bombs bursting in air and not in your head as your hangover starts during the fireworks finale.

Welcome to a session ale.

Want to read the rest then do so at KCET's Food Blog.

Michael Franti Fundraises with Wine

It's not the kind of thing you expect to happen as a wine writer. We're backstage at the Santa Barbara Bowl, with a trumpet trilling down the hall and a very tall and very red-headed Brett Dennen almost running us over on our way to a dressing hall room to, yes, taste wine. In the process we end up hearing lines like, "Michael [Franti] goes crazy for fonts, he adores fonts. For nine hours we did nothing but fonts."

Want to read the rest then do so at KCET's Food Blog.