On a beautiful, bright Sunday late-morning, the Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend continued with the Neighborhood Market Tour. Bacara Resort converted their courtyard, which is normally used for the valet, into a marketplace setup. As if in Europe, the courtyard encased local artisans, restaurants, distilleries, and wineries all in one place. The aroma of grilled and cured meats, freshly baked breads and pastries, sweet chocolates and desserts, and wine permeated in the air. As your nose found a scent, it would lead you to each table to sample creations and sip to your heart’s content.
Here are some of the participants that were sampled (To see all of the participants, watch the video above):
Chocolats du CaliBressan displayed a colorful array of handmade chocolates by Jean Michel Carre, the French Chocolatier of the American Riviera. Buddha Beauty is a salted caramel in a dark chocolate shell. The outside is molded in the shape of Buddha with a dark, ruby red exterior. The salted caramel inside just envelopes your senses as if enrobed in luxurious silk with its sensual texture.
The Good Lion served up Rosemary Clooney, a cocktail made with vodka, rosemary, citrus, honey, and absinthe. It is a strong drink but great for a spring or summer day. It has a refreshing citrus flavor along with a touch of sweet from the honey.
Bacara Crepe Station served up Smoked Salmon Crepes with cream cheese, lemon, fontina cheese, and spicy lemon dressing. This crepe was absolutely delicious! It has a “brunchy” sense to it with the smoked salmon and cream cheese. Capers and some diced red onion would have really put it over the top.
Maudet’s Artisan French Crêpes with chocolate and raspberries. These traditional organic crêpes are great for anytime – breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, or dessert. They do not have any preservatives or GMO products. They are only made with ingredients you know and can spell – milk, wheat flour, eggs, cane sugar, vanilla, and sea salt. The texture is perfect, not too thin and not too thick. Chocolate and raspberries are excellent toppings for dessert or just a decadent snack.
Alle-Pia served up their Barolo (made with Barolo wine) and Tartufo (made with black summer truffle) salamis along with Nduja (Italian salami spread). These products are made from mangalitsa pigs from Winfield Farm. Mangalitsa pigs are an old world breed of pig from Hungary. Due to the high lard content, the meat along with the creamy lard are well suited for sausage, salami, and dry-cured hams like Spanish Jamón.
Valle Fresh served up Taco of Slow Braised Pork Belly with goat cheese and green harissa on a handmade stone-ground maize tortilla. The pork belly was braised just right and then grilled to make the edges nice and crispy. The flavors worked well together.
Scratch Kitchen & Wine Bar served up a spin on Julia Child’s liver mousse in a banh mi style sandwich but using a puff instead of a French baguette. The liver mousse was exquisite with its creamy texture. The vegetables gave it the banh mi feel like a paté sandwich you would order at a Vietnamese sandwich shop. Julia Child would be proud!
Sugar & Salt Creamery served up Peanut Butter and Strawberry Banana “ice crèmes” that are gluten- and dairy-free. The “crème” is made from raw sprouted almond milk. It has a very creamy texture and you would be hard pressed to figure that it was dairy-free. Peanut Butter would be great with a drizzle of chocolate sauce on it. Strawberry Banana tastes like a fruit and cream bar with lots of strawberry and banana flavor.
Pretzel Guild served up organic Bavarian Soft Pretzels made with local pale ale. The glazed dark, golden brown color on the outside grabs your attention and the aroma of the pale ale and fresh-baked pretzel wafts to tantalize the senses. The texture is soft, yet chewy for the perfect pretzel. Each are handmade and when gone, you can’t wait to have another. One of the best pretzels ever!
Santa Barbara Popcorn Company served up Maple & Brown Sugar and Balsamic & Italian Herb popcorn. Maple & Brown Sugar popcorn is lightly sweetened – imagine a level down in sweetness of kettle corn, but with a caramelized molasses flavor. Balsamic & Italian Herb popcorn is quite a different flavor than you might expect on popcorn, but it works. The sweet tangy flavor of the balsamic and the herbal notes are similar to the flavor of EVOO, balsamic, and herb dip for bread at an Italian restaurant. Once you start eating, it is very hard to stop.
Make plans to attend next year’s Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend! It’s filled with fun, food, education, and surrounded by the beautiful grounds of Bacara Resort.
For more information:
8301 Hollister Ave
Santa Barbara, CA 93117