Posted on 11-03-2017

Author: Bonnie Carroll

Date: 9/21/2016

The 35th annual Taste of the Town Santa Barbara, benefiting the Arthritis Foundation, was held again in the beautiful setting of Riviera Park Gardens overlooking the city.
Tina Takaya and Richard Yates, co-owners of Opal Restaurant & Bar again retured to co-chair the annual event.

Photo courtesy Arthritis Foundation's Taste of the Town

The area’s signature culinary event benefiting the Arthritis Foundation, featured tastings from 80 of the finest local restaurants and Central Coast wineries, breweries and distillers at the Riviera Park Gardens, and was one amazing meeting of supporters of the Arthritis Foundation, who also loved savoring fine wine and food samples, while enjoying a silent auction, and enjoying live music.

Ron Melville, Event Lead Vintner

Ron Melville, Melville Winery was named the 2016 honorary lead winery for the event. Melville was poured at the 7th Connoisseurs' Circle Dinner, and during the Taste of the Town.

Central Coast Home Health Dinner Table Sponsor Jerry Jordano & Staff
2016 Taste of the Town sponsors included official Automotive Partner, BMW Santa Barbara, wine glass sponsors Montecito Bank & Trust and HUB International Insurance Services, Inc., and event sponsors were First Click, Inc., The Berry Man, Inc., Opal Restaurant and Bar, Terry Ryken, Diana MacFarlane, Amye Leong & Bob Price, Jeffery Baldwin & Michal W. Wiesbrock, as well as Central Coast Home Health, Inc.
The 2016 Youth Honoree was Erin Mahan, a senior at Dos Pueblos High School with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a form of arthritis that affects the spine and other joints. Mahan exuded enthusiasm when talking about her experience at Camp Experanza this summer,“it was a truly amazing experience. I met so many strong kids and teens going through similar challenges and I made lifelong friends.” The Medical Honorees were Dr. William Gallivan and his wife Karen Gallivan, RN, who work together in their Santa Barbara office and have been volunteers with the Arthritis Foundation since 2011. They were co-chairs of the 2013 Santa Barbara Walk to Cure Arthritis. The event co-chairs were board member Amye Leong and John Stampe.

Melville Wines                                                       Margerum Wines


Santa Barbara Wines 
The Taste of the Town in the garden was a delightful slice of gourmet heaven for attendees who sampled tastes from a collection of Santa Barbara's finest restaurateurs, and caterers, while savored sips were poured by Brander Wines, Margerum Wine Company, Melville, Mosby, Pali Wine, Presqu'le, Qupe, Refugio Ranch, Sanford Winery, Sanger Winery, SB Winery, Silver Wines, Sort This Out Cellars, Thacher Tolosa, Whitcraft Winery, Zaca Mesa, Kessler/Haak, LaFond, Lucs & Lewellen Vineyards, Alexander & Wayne, Alma Rosa, Arthur Earl, Au Bon Climat, Brewer Clifton, Caribbean Coffee, Carr Vineyards & Winery, Cebada Vineyard, Cutler's Artisan Spirits, Demetria Estate, DV8 Cellars, Figueroa Mountain Brewing, Firestone Walker, Gainey Vinyard, Geissinger Winery, Grassini Family Vineyard, island Brewing Company, Jaffurs, Jalopy, Jamie Slone Wines, and Ken Brown Wines. All this was going on as CJ Ward (KEYT3), who also served as emcee at the Connoisseurs' Circle Dinner and Auction, kept things lively.

Sanford Wines  

It was great to see this amazing collection of wine makers and lovers supporting such a great cause. Fred Brander shared how much he enjoyed this event each year, and both Margerum brothers and Marnie were busy pouring and chatting up their newly released Rose. Also very nice to see John Cushman's Zaca Mesa table filled with tempting tastes. Countless beautiful bottles of wine filled the auction tables, where bidders were scrambling to get in the last bid in.

Wines Brander Wines

Three Honorary Lead Chefs for the event included Bacara Resort & Spa’s Executive Chef Vincent Lesage, who recently opened the beautiful new restaurant Angel Oak at Bacara; in addition to Patrice Martineau, Executive Chef at Montage Beverly Hills and Chef Johan Denizot, Executive Chef at the Belmond El Encanto Santa Barbara. Each chef and his team designed a course as part of a spectacular menu for event sponsors and their guests at the unique eighth Connoisseurs’ Circle dinner. It was a true gastronimique dinner followed by a very entertaining auction at Bacara Resort & Spa.

Connoisseurs' Circle Entre and Dessert

Chef Patrice Martineau - Chef Johan Denizot - Chef Vincent Lesage
Chef Vincent Lesage, Bacara Resort & Spa At the age of 30, Chef Vincent Lesage's impressive career already includes Michelin three-star restaurants in Paris as well as experience at some of the world’s most luxurious hotels. Born and raised in Paris at the center of the food universe, Lesage was surrounded by the rich flavors and techniques that define French gastronomy. After graduating from the Institut Paul Bocuse in Écully, France, Lesage trained at some of the world’s most celebrated establishments including The Ritz Paris, the Michelin three-star restaurant L’Astrance, and Michelin three-star restaurant Bras. Most recently, Lesage served as the Executive Chef of Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach. Since 2015 as Executive Chef of Bacara’s renowned culinary program, Lesage oversees the resort’s six dining experiences including a new signature restaurant Angel Oak.
Chef Patrice Martineau, Montage Beverly Hills Award-winning chef Patrice Martineau was recently named Executive Chef at Montage Beverly Hills. Martineau was classically trained in some of France’s most acclaimed restaurants. He began his career in his hometown of Champagne, France at two legendary restaurants, Le Chateaubriand and Le Valentino. Chef Martineau later moved to Burgundy as Chef de Partie at the region’s world-renowned Michelin two-star Abbaye de Saint Michel and Michelin three-star La Côte Saint-Jacques. Chef Martineau later moved to New York and served as Chef de Cuisine at Daniel Boulud’s iconic New York eatery, Daniel. He acted as Boulud’s second-in-command at Daniel for six years amidst Manhattan’s highly competitive and robust culinary landscape. Martineau was then tapped to assume the role of Executive Chef at London’s Savoy Hotel, before joining the pre-opening team as Chef de Cuisine at The Peninsula Tokyo’s Peter Restaurant. Most recently, Chef Martineau served as Executive Chef at the Belmond El Encanto Hotel and the Viceroy Palm Springs.
Chef Johan Denizot, Belmond El Encanto Johan Denizot is the Executive Chef of Belmond El Encanto, recently joining the resort from Bacara Resort & Spa. Situated on seven acres of lush gardens with sweeping ocean views, Belmond El Encanto is known for its California coastal cuisine, highlighting the local bounty of the resort’s surroundings, and expertly prepared at The Dining Room and Terrace. French born, raised, and trained, Denizot garnered nearly a decade of culinary experience before beginning his successful career in the United States, where he launched the pastry and bakery program at Annabelle’s Bar & Bistro in San Francisco. Denizot went on to implement creative menus at Root 246 in Solvang and most recently Miro at Bacara, where he was instrumental in the restaurant earning its Forbes four-star rating. Fluent in French, English, and Spanish, Denizot received his Certificate of Professional Studies in the Culinary Fields at the Restaurant Formation School in Pontarlier, France, and then received his Certificate of Professional Aptitude at CFA Hilaire de Chardonnet in Besançon, France.
The Arthritis Foundation is the Champion of Yes. Leading the fight for the arthritis community, the Foundation helps conquer everyday battles through life-changing information and resources, access to optimal care, advancements in science and community connections. The Arthritis Foundation’s goal is to chart a winning course, guiding families in developing personalized plans for living a full life – and making each day another stride toward a cure. The Foundation also publishes Arthritis Today, the award-winning magazine that reaches 4 million readers.
About Bonnie Carroll
Bonnie Carroll has been a food/travel/lifestyle writer since 1983. She is the founder & publisher of Bonnie Carroll’s Life Bites News (www.lifebitesnews.com), does travel and food reporting on local Radio/TV, and contributes to a variety of national and international travel/lifestyle publications. She is a member of IFWTWA and NATJA. Contact her at writebc@aol.com.