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This October, Santa Barbara serves up another edition of epicure.sb: a month to savor santa barbara. Now in its third year, this community-wide festival has cemented its place as the crescendo of Santa Barbara’s culinary calendar with 31 days and 75+ ways to celebrate cuisine, libations and culture. The region’s top restaurants, wineries, gourmet purveyors and galleries present food and wine festivals, cooking classes, winemakers’ dinners, seasonal menus, epicurean-inspired art exhibits and many more ways to taste the very best of The American Riviera®. For the full event line-up and special epicure.sb lodging packages, visit www.epicuresb.com.
Santa Barbara’s abundant natural bounty brims during the month of October, and harvests from the fields, orchards, vineyards and sea are the essential ingredients of this deliciously rich month. Mix in the community’s focus on sustainability, add a dash of ideal “Indian Summer” weather, serve against a stunning Santa Barbara backdrop, and epicure.sb presents a unique culinary festival experience celebrating a tastefully refined way of life.
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), Harbor & Seafood Festival (Oct. 8), California Lemon Festival (Oct. 15 - 16) and Santa Barbara Chowder Fest (Oct. 23).
LIBATIONS: 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 Foods’ DIY Beer Making Class (Oct. 8). Please the palate at Margerum Wine Company’s “Wine & Chocolate Pairing Classes,” and get loose at Wildcat Lounge’s 3rd Annual Mai Tai Tasting (Oct. 20). Sip, swirl & 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 & Stills: Prohibition in Santa Barbara exhibit highlighted at a scandalous reception with whiskey and wine (Oct. 13). Let the artistic juices flow at with Pies & Paint, a pie-tasting and painting session (Oct. 15). Get out of your gourd at the Contemporary Arts Forum’s Pumpkin Carving Contest and Fall-Themed Wine Tasting (Oct. 28). Sip & stroll through downtown Solvang on Third Wednesday & Wine Walk (Oct. 19). Gallery hop at 1st 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.
Reserve your seat at Santa Barbara’s table with special epicure.sb hotel packages which combine accommodations and discounts on dining and wine tasting. For the complete list of offers, visit SantaBarbaraCA.com/epicuresb/hotels.
Cabrillo Inn at the Beach’s “Sleep & Eat” package includes complimentary continental breakfast, a $40 dining certificate and an ocean view (rates start at $129/night).
Hotel Santa Barbara offers the “Downtown Epicurean Delight,” which includes a bottle of local wine, edible treats, and a $100 dining certificate. (Rates start at $309 for a mid-week, one-night stay.)
Inn of the Spanish Garden offers the “Chef’s Salute Package” with a Wine Cask Chef’s Counter dining experience (rates start at $530 for a one-night stay) as well as the “Provence Package,” which includes a cooking class with Chef Pascale Beale (rates start at $595 for a one-night stay).
Old Yacht Club Inn’s “epicure.sb Winery Tasting Package” includes free wine tasting at Santa Barbara Winery, free breakfast and free afternoon wine and cheese (rates start at $159/night).
Santa Barbara Hotel Group presents the “Shop, Sip, Savor & Save” package at all five of their unique hotels in Santa Barbara. The offer includes accommodations, a bottle of local wine and a tote bag filled with discounts valid at more than 80 shops, restaurants and attractions in downtown Santa Barbara (rates start at $173/night).
Simpson House Inn presents the “Wine Tasting & Picnic Lunch” package with accommodations in the luxe barn or cottage rooms, a day of wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley and a gourmet picnic lunch (rates start at $550/night). The Inn’s “Farmers’ Market, Urban Wine Trail & Romance” package including accommodations and complimentary wine tastings (rates start at $150/night).
The Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau and Film Commission and the Santa Barbara Downtown Organisation joined forces to develop and present epicure.sb: a month to savor santa barbara. Epicure.sb is designed to celebrate Santa Barbara’s abundant and diverse epicurean offerings. The annual promotion builds off of established foodie-friendly community events that take place in October, while offering additional programming that showcases regional cuisine, libations and culture.