Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend honors Julia Child

Julia Child moved into her "nice little pad" in Montecito in 2001. Her kitchen was about the size of a boat galley and could seat only six.
Julia Child moved into her “nice little pad” in Montecito in 2001. Her kitchen was about the size of a boat galley and could seat only six.
(Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times)

If you didn’t make it to any of the many wine festivals scheduled for May in nearby wine country, here’s one celebrating none other than cookbook writer extraordinaire Julia Child on the weekend of June 6 to 8.

The tall Californian who introduced America to French cooking via “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” and was the first cooking show personality way back in the early ‘60s, has been embraced by Santa Barbarans as their own. Child lived the last years of her life in Montecito, just south of the beach town.

The Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend at Bacara Resort & Spa is organized by the resort in partnership with Edible Santa Barbara magazine and the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts. And the powers that be are determined to make this festival something unique.

Check the site for a full schedule of the weekend’s events.


Some highlights: On Saturday, a Santa Maria-style barbecue lunch cooked by Hitching Post II ($70 per person), and bread baking demonstration by Bob Oswaks of Bob’s Well Bread in Los Alamos ($25); a cocktail class with Santa Barbara’s top mixologist, Patrick Reynolds ($25); and an educational seminar on sea urchins with commercial fisherwoman Stephanie Mutz. On Sunday, cookbook author and culinary historian Anne Willan is giving mini farmers market tours as part of the Neighborhood Tasting event ($50). And somewhere in there, Times food editor Russ Parsons will be participating in a panel on cookbook writing with Willan.

Of course, there’s a fancy dinner on Saturday night at the resort touting its 12,000-bottle wine cellar. Master sommelier Brian McClintic of Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant will match each of the four courses with a Santa Barbara wine and its Old World counterpart, giving everybody something to talk about other than how stunning the view is.

If you’ve been itching to try the posh Bacara Resort & Spa on the Gaviota coast just north of Santa Barbara, they’re offering a special overnight package that includes a two-night stay June 6 and 7, two tickets to the opening night wine reception, two tickets to the Sunday neighborhood tasting--and valet parking, starting at $515 a night. Okay, that would be $657 if everything was purchased separately. And hey, you can bring your (well-behaved) dog for a $150 fee.

For room reservations, call (855) 456-6800.

For more information on the weekend, check