Santa Barbara’s annual culinary celebration “Epicure” takes place throughout October and this year’s event theme is “Local Ingredients.” Here is a press-release about it:

 Santa Barbara, CA — To us here in Santa Barbara and the surrounding communities of Goleta, Carpinteria, Summerland and Montecito, October is the time when we come together to commemorate the bounty that 300+ days of sun every year brings, including fruitful fields, loyal vines, sustainable seas, happy people and laidback autumn traditions. It’s epicure.sb—a celebration of cuisine, libations and culture—or, as some have come to call it, a month to savor Santa Barbara. Now in its fourth year, epicure.sb has grown into a community-wide extravaganza when our crop of exceptional artistic and culinary talent converges for 31 days.  For the full event line-up and special epicure.sb lodging packages, visit www.epicuresb.com.

This year’s event theme is “Local Ingredients” because Santa Barbara’s are some of the best. And we’re not just talking about the fresh flavors you’ll find at the farmers market or the bounty of bold brews and craft cocktails that await you throughout the year; we’re referring to all of the local love that goes into creating an unbeatable mix of Ocean, Earth, Celebration and Cultivation that will feed your soul. These are the cornerstones of what makes Santa Barbara so incredible, which is why they’re the keynotes of epicure.sb 2012

CUISINE: Seasonal dishes, tasting events and winemakers’ dinners are on the menu at dozens of participating restaurants. Highlights include:

  • Chef for a Day at the Farmers’ Market (Oct. 20) – You’ll start the day strolling the Farmers’ Market with the chef of Coast Restaurant & Bar at the Canary Hotel, picking out ingredients for that evening’s dinner. Later in the day, you’ll reconvene for a cooking class using your fresh ingredients that culminates into a four-course dinner with local wine pairings served on the restaurant’s terrace.
  • Farm to Feast Santa Barbara (Oct. 7) – Inspired by the farm-to-table and popup dining movements, Farm to Feast brings together our community by celebrating our local farmers, fresh produce, top chefs and artisans in an intimate, romantic and candlelit, yet communal, festive and fun environment.
  • Eat This Shoot That (Every Fri. & Sat. in Oct.) – A walking, food tasting & photo tour through Santa Barbara’s waterfront neighborhood. Try some of Santa Barbara’s best seafood and local libations while learning how to take better travel photos.
  • Sustainable Local Sushi at Bar Bacara (Every Wed.-Sat. in Oct.) – Offered at the Bacara Resort’s new Sushi Bar, Chef Katie Kim’s Sustainable Sushi prix-fixe menu highlights locally-sourced seafood – all perfectly paired with sake by the resort’s expert Sommelier Michael Trupiano.

LIBATIONS:  Wine, microbrews and spirits take center stage at dozens of special tasting and pairing events throughout October. Highlights include:

  • Winemaker for a Day (Oct. 5, 12, 19) – For the first time Margerum Wine Company is allowing guests to come and be a hands-on winemaker for a day.  Your day will end with barrel tasting and the opportunity to blend your own wine.  A gourmet lunch will be prepared and to commemorate your day, you’ll get a bottle of your personal blend.
  • Farm-to-Bar Happy Hour (Oct. 16) – While Wildcat Lounge has great respect for “your father’s cocktails,” they will refresh traditional libations using fresh-squeezed organic fruits, vegetables, garnishes and their own infused liquors. This is one healthy buzz!
  • Crave: Art, Food & Social Experience – Come to Your Senses Cocktail Party (Oct. 5) Food, like art, is able to build bridges between people. Crave comprises a series of artist-orchestrated, themed meals and cocktails presented by the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum.

CULTURE: Feed your mind and soul with epicurean-inspired art exhibits, live performances and cultural events. Highlights include:

  • Mangia del’ Arte (Oct. 14) – Mangia del’ Arte is that place in the imagination tickled by feats of gastronomic delight and artistry. This on stage feast of the senses features captivating entertainment and premier local restaurant fare as never seen before, promising delicious memories of culture meeting cuisine. This enchanting and exclusive benefit event supports Lobero Theatre, California’s oldest continuously operating theatre.
  • 1st Thursday – An Evening of Art & Culture Downtown (Oct. 4) – Come downtown on October 4th to experience the epicurean focus of the culture of food and drink in Santa Barbara County through visual art, performing art and sensory.
  • Maritime Tastings (Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25) – Each Thursday, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum  will feature a short talk by a producer of the local seafood, a short presentation by an expert about that particular variety of seafood, and a demonstration by a local chef on how to prepare the item followed by a tasting.
  • Foody Movies at Paseo Nuevo (Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26) – Make it a date night and enjoy food centric films under the stars. Wine and snacks will be available for purchase, and the films shown will be: Julie & Julia, Sideways, Chocolat, and Eat Pray Love

SIGNATURE FESTIVALS – As the cornerstones of epicure.sb, Santa Barbara’s signature festivals celebrate the region’s brimming bounty during October. Highlights include:

  • 26th Annual California Avocado Festival (Oct. 5-7) – Three days of Peace, Love & Guacamole in beautiful downtown beachside Carpinteria! Three days of fabulous epicurean delights and entertainment with a premier lineup of music, arts & crafts vendors, and the world’s largest bowl of guacamole.
  • 11th Annual Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival (Oct. 13) – This annual Seafood Festival lures seafood lovers of all ages to Santa Barbara’s thriving Harbor for delectable regional seafood specialties, cooking demonstrations, interactive maritime education, children’s activities, boat rides, live music, a tall ship visit and much more.
  • Santa Barbara County Vintner’s Association Annual Celebration of Harvest (Oct. 13) – Celebrate the 2012 Harvest with all 110+ winery members while strolling the beautiful historic grounds of Rancho Sisquoc Winery, and taste locally grown and raised edibles crafted into tasty bites by dozens of the county’s finest restaurants, caterers and gourmet food purveyors.
  • Santa Barbara Beer Festival (Oct. 20) – Toast micro-breweries, home-brewed beer clubs and classic beer makers in laidback bliss. Sample tasty bites and fine cigars, and sway to live music while drinking in the views from Elings Park.
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