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Weekend Off and Santa Barbara

September 5, 2009

Za Za is closed for the Labor Day holiday weekend which means my Friday and Sunday will be much less exciting but also less tiring. I’m amazed at how chefs work 70-80 hours each week. I work a 5 hour shift and I’m beat. Plus I’m not cooking.

Courtesy of Catherine Hartman

I will be heading out to Santa Barbara in a couple weeks for my weekly job and plan to do some investigating of the restaurants and wineries. I’m quite curious about the food scene in the area. I know San Francisco is a great restaurant city with a broad mix of cuisines and discerning diners. I don’t have as good of a feel for the quality of food in Santa Barbara and cities below SF. I am stereotyping here but I imagine a lot of Mexican influenced restaurants featuring local produce and fish (fish tacos in abundance). I hope to discover some really good regional food. Knowing California’s religious zeal for the locavore movement, I will probably not be disappointed. As it stands now, I will be having dinner at Bouchon on my first night in SB. (Side note: When I was first told of the restaurant, I immediately thought Thomas Kellar was involved. Sadly, he is not.) On the up side, I’m told by locals that this is one of the better restaurants in the city. Documenting the meal will be difficult as my guests that evening will be business so photographing plates will probably not go over well.

Touring the local wineries will also be on the docket for the weekend. Now, I’m a bit of a Negative Ned when it comes to California wines. I rarely find one that I like. The Chardonnay’s taste awful; Sauvignon Blancs are too acidic or lack much depth. I’ve had a few good Pinot Noir’s but on the whole I’ve not been real impressed with the wines I’ve tried. France, to me, produces the best white wines, that I’ve found, but I hope to discover some really great smaller vineyards doing good work. My challenge will be choosing the right wineries, seeing as I have no knowledge of the wines produced in the area. The only one I recognize is Firestone and I flat out hate the wines I’ve tried from the Firestone brand. Don’t let me down Santa Barbara.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Patty permalink
    September 9, 2009 5:44 am

    Beautiful picture! Enjoy Santa Barbara. I went on vacation a few years back and found it to be a lovely town. There are a lot of Mexican places, but try the one spot that’s claimed to be Julia Child’s favorite. It was excellent!

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