This just in from James Sly of Sly’s Restaurant, 686 Linden Ave, Carpinteria:


In celebration of the reopening of the El Encanto this week, Sly’s will be serving the famous “Floating Islands” just like I used to make when I was the Executive Chef at the venerable hotel some 24 years ago.

Ile Flotante, or Floating Islands, is an extremely simple dessert – a poached cloud of lightly sweetened meringue, vanilla-bean scented crème anglaise, a few threads of caramel, and some toasted sliced almonds. It’s simplicity is perhaps it’s main attraction. We had a large bowl in sparkling crystal at the entrance to the dining room, competing for the diner’s attention with the beautiful vista of Santa Barbara through the dining room windows ahead.

We’re all excited here in town to see the El Encanto Hotel reopen after seven years. It’s a bit nostalgic for me, as I first came to Santa Barbara in 1989 to be the chef at the El, and had an enjoyable time there until leaving in 1993. Nothing will ever compare to the view, of course, – the view from the terrace at 7 am before a busy Easter Brunch is the best view of Santa Barbara ever. It was great fun working at the “El”, and I have fond memories of the old place. I’m sure the new one will be stunningly better.

Sly’s will be serving the Floating Islands for a couple of weeks to celebrate the long awaited reopening.

James Sly


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  1. SL says:

    Well it sure doesn’t look as beautiful as Hawaii, but I bet it tastes good.

  2. lemonjelly says:

    Oh yum! Love floating island. Hope it make it down there for some.

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