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Over 1,000 Seafood Lovers Packed the Harbor for Lunch

By Bonnie Carroll


The mood in the Santa Barbara Harbor area was one of pure fun and food during the annual Seafood Festival, which has become a huge event that attracts more than a thousand visitors each year. The local harbor restaurants provide outstanding seafood fare for visitors, while gift stands sell everything from potted plants to diamond necklaces.


The Maritime Museum offered Tall Ship tours and Chuck’s Waterfront Grill offered a lunch special, while musicians entertained. A special exhibition in the Museum also attracted families, who enjoyed a lobster taco lunch on the patio with a view of the boats in the harbor. The Double Dolphin’s boat captain took guests on rides along the coast area, as did additional harbor boat ride providers.


Families came all the way from Los Angeles to spend the afternoon sampling the wonderful seafood and listen to entertaining bands. This annual weekend event began with a kick-off fundraiser at the Ty Warner Center on the Santa Barbara Wharf to benefit Seafood Watch. The center is owned and operated by the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum, where guests enjoy delicious hors d’ouvres and cocktails.


 From eight months to over eighty everyone wanted lobster, crabs, prawns, sea urchins, oysters, clam chowder, fish tacos, sushi and other delicacies that were available for guest’s enjoyment. This was a love-in for seafood aficionados and it was not only fun, but extremely successful for the vendors and local fisherman in the Santa Barbara harbor. People wait with baited breath for this event, and once you experience it – you will be back. I know we will be back next year. For additional information visit: www.harborfestival.org.

Maritime Museum - www.sbmm.org/   Ty Warner Center - http://www.sbnature.org/twsc/2.html

________________________________________________________________   Iron Chef America’s Chef Jet Tila, Kid in a Candy Store Host Adam Gertler, And Food & Wine's Los Angeles Correspondent Jennifer Sommer To Attend Philanthropic 'Taste Of Venice' Event

                                                                                                                             Venice is such an exciting and eclectic community, and Inside Out Community Arts' upcoming 5th annual 'Taste of Venice' event sure validates that! On November 3rd, over 400 guests will eat, drink, and be merry, all in support of the local Venice nonprofit Inside Out Community Arts. Everyone will indulge in tasty offerings from local restaurants, including Govind Armstrong's Willie Jane, and, best of all, there will be high-profile Food Network stars and culinary connoisseurs in attendance!

During the afternoon VIP reception, which feaures music, a silent auction, and food demontrations, Iron Chef America's Chef Jet TilaAdam Gertler from the Food Network's primetime series Kid in a Candy Store, and Food & Wine's Los Angeles Correspondent Jennifer Sommer will make special appearances. After this fabulous reception, guests will engage in a unique restaurant walking/tasting tour on famed Abbot Kinney Boulevard, where they can sample signature dishes from top chefs and tasty beverages, all in support of Inside Out Community Arts!

This year's event will take place at The Electric Lodge, a solar-powered and ecologically minded performing arts center in Venice. For more information, please visit www.tasteofvenice.org
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Best in Show for Pet Friendly Dining

By Bonnie Carroll


The thought of bringing your four-footed best friend to dinner might bring visions of feeding time at the pet shop to some people, but this is hardly the case at The Patio on Lamont Street in Pacific Beach, California, where Chef John Medall prepares doggie cookies to  please any pets palate. We brought Hank the pug and he loved it. I became aware of this delightful spot through the owners of Luv San Diego Surf, a premiere pet friendly boutique vacation rental company; www.luv-surf.com.


The ambiance of this mellow Hawaiian garden meets New York live patio, where you, your friends and your dog can experience the ultimate pampering and outstanding fresh fare is an delightful surprise.

Executive Chef John Medall, younger brother of renowned chef Chris Fearnow,  graduated from the Culinary Institute of Portland. He worked in Las Vegas at various venues and was executive Sous Chef at Bull Shrimp in the Green Valley Ranch Resort before opening The Patio on Lamont Street. Medall’s culinary style has received a nod from President Bill Clinton and Cindy Crawford.

Chef John has created unique doggy biscuits for pets who come along for dinner that are made from recycled ribs, shanks and fresh peanut butter. The chef has three dogs of his own and knows that dogs love peanut butter. His menu for dog owners is exceptional and unique as well, utilizing recycled ingredients to create pesto, gazpacho, soup stock, ceviche, corn chowder and more. The restaurant opened one year ago, and instantly became a hot spot for locals and tourists alike.

The bar at The Patio features a signature cocktail that is a pink delight “Memories of Maui” inspired by the owner Marie during a vacation in Maui. The mixologist at this bar has his own open herb garden from which he picks fresh herbs to muddle in their numerous healthy and delicious cocktails. The bar is a lively place for socializing and offers a respectable assortment of local beers and international wines, as well as mixed drinks.


The menu is loaded with seafood and local produce. It is quite large and sharing is recommended to sample a collection of these delicious and original plates. Small and sharing plates we enjoyed included the signature crab and Ahi tuna tower, braised octopus with huge white beans, smoked pork belly and pine nut butter. The Portuguese garlic shrimp are also outstanding, and the braised beef short ribs served with parsnip puree, and vegetable demi-glace was the dish everyone wanted seconds of. Chef Medall’s heirloom tomato gazpacho soup with basil oil garnish is a favorite of restaurant patrons, and below you will find his original recipe for your collection.

Any of these small or sharing plates work well with the signature Patio salad of seasonal fruit, chevre, candied walnuts, ciabatta and mixed greens in fruit vinaigrette. The fish of the day was and outstanding salmon preparation, and their skill with seafood is such that I’m sure any day would be a delightful fish special day at this venue. The risotto dish with mushrooms, zucchini, squash, English peas and shrimp paired perfectly with the fish special.

They are not short on desserts here. They feature many sinful selections. We settled on a pairing of perfect crème brulet & chocolate ganache that was a sweet ending. Their carrot cake is also worth a try. The staff at The Patio are charming and will insure you and your dog have a pleasant evening and a fantastic meal. For information visit: www.thepatioonlamont.com.

 Chef John Medall’s Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Basil Oil Garnish

Yield 1/2 gallon.  In a blender incorporate the following:

§                     The equivalent of 4 medium heirloom tomatoes 

§                     The equivalent of 3 stalks of celery by using the tops and leaves

§                     4 cloves of fresh garlic

§                     The equivalent of 2 red or yellow bell peppers by using the tops and bottoms

§                     The equivalent of a half of a red onion by using any trim or scraps

§                     1/4 cup red wine vinegar

§                     A pinch of red chili flake or small red chili’s with a little spice

§                     A large pinch of any fine herbs ( parsley, thyme, rosemary)

§                     The equivalent of 1/2 cup of left over tomato juice or bottled water

§                     A large pinch of celery salt

§                     The equivalent of 3 slices of day old bread

Blend all ingredients until smooth on high speed and slowly add extra virgin olive oil (1 cup total ) to emulsify. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours, garnish with basil oil and a pinch of chiffonade basil and serve

Basil Oil

Use any and all stems and left over leaves from basil. Place all ingredients in boiling water for 30 seconds. Immediately place in ice water.

In a blender incorporate all blanched basil with 2 cups canola oil and a pinch of salt and pepper until smooth

Heat this mixture in a sauce pan just until oil starts to boil and immediately place in a bowl over ice to cool. Once cool strain through a very fine mesh strainer and or cheese cloth

The Patio on Lamont Street/4445 Lamont St San Diego, CA 92109 (858) 412-4648 www.thepatioonlamont.com


Roasted Turkey Recipe Courtesy of Paula Deen


Tip: Drizzle the bird with its own juices once every 30 minutes 

Servings: 12 servings
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 min
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients Add to grocery list

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 turkey, 12-14 lbs, thawed if frozen
1 onion, quartered
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
Several sprigs of fresh herbs, such as thyme, parsley, rosemary, and sage
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 can (14 1/2 oz) chicken broth
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup cornstarch


Preheat oven to 325 F. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper inside turkey cavity. Place onion, garlic, herb sprigs, and bay leaves insides cavity. Place turkey breast-side up on rack in large roasting pan. brush with half of butter; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon pepper and remaining salt. Truss, if desired.

Tent turkey with foil, roast 2 hours, 30 minutes. Remove foil, brush with remaining butter. Increase oven temperature to 425 F. Roast turkey until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh away from bone registers 180 F about 45 minutes, tenting with foil during last 15 minutes of cooking time, if browning too quickly. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.

Meanwhile, skim and discard fat from pan juices. Place roasting pan with 1 1/2 cups juices over medium heat. Add broth, chopped thyme, and remaining pepper, stirring up browned bits from bottom of the pan. Simmer 3 minutes.

Stir together cornstarch and 1/3 cup water. Strain gravy into small pot over low heat, gradually whisk in cornstarch mixture. Simmer stirring, until thickened, 2 minutes.




Art and Appetite Presents More than 100 Paintings, Sculptures, and Decorative Arts

Opens in Chicago November 12, 2013


Images: Wayne Thiebaud. Salad, Sandwiches, and Dessert, 1960. Lent by the Sheldon Museum of Art, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. NAA–Thomas C. Woods Memorial. Art © Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY; William J. McCloskey. Wrapped Oranges, 1889. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Acquisition in memory of Katrine Deakins, Trustee, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, 1961–1985; William Michael Harnett. For Sunday's Dinner, 1888. Art Institute of Chicago, Wilson L. Mead Fund.

This season, the Art Institute of Chicago invites visitors to feast their eyes on the rich tradition of food in American art with the opening of the major exhibition Art  and Appetite: American Painting, Culture, and Cuisine. Exploring the many meanings and interpretations of eating in America, Art and Appetite--on view from November 12, 2013 through January 27, 2014 in the museum's Regenstein Hall --brings together 100 paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from the 18th through the 20th century to demonstrate how depictions of food have allowed American artists to both celebrate and critique everything from the national diet to society and politics. Following its premiere at the Art Institute, Art and Appetite: American Painting, Culture, and Cuisine will travel to the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas (February 22-May 18, 2014).

Art and Appetite takes a new approach to American paintings of food, contextualizing them to rediscover the meanings they held for their makers and their public. Despite the prevalence of such works, research has rarely focused on the cultural significanc of the objects depicted in these paintings, nor has it addressed how these paintings embodied changing ideals throughout the nation’s history. Thematically and chronologically organized, Art and Appetite breaks with the traditional histories of the genre to explore how it illuminates American attitudes about patriotism and politics, identity and gender, progress and history, and production and consumption. The exhibition examines the agricultural bounty of the “new world,” Victorian-era excess, debates over temperance, the rise of restaurants and café culture, the changes wrought by 20th-century mass production, and much more—all represented in American art spanning 250 years. A wealth of fascinating materials are also showcased in the exhibition, including menus, cookbooks, advertisements, and decorative arts.

From the earliest years of the United States, American artists such as Raphaelle Peale used still-life painting to express cultural, political, and social values, elevating the genre to a significant aesthetic language. Later, in antebellum America, depictions of food highlighted abundance, increasing wealth, and changing social roles, while elegant decanters of wine and spirits in still-life paintings by John F. Francis reflected the prevalence of drinking and the mid-century debates over temperance. During the Gilded Age, despite the implications of the term, American artists moved away from excess and eschewed high Victorian opulence in favor of painting the simple meal. Many artists, such as William Harnett or De Scott Evans, also used food pictures to serve up biting political commentary that addressed the social and economic transformations of the 1880s and 1890s.

 In the 20th century new ways of eating and socializing began to change depictions of food in art. Restaurant dining—still novel in the United States in the late 19th century—became a common subject in the works of William Glackens, John Sloan, and others. Café and cocktail culture, described in the work of Stuart Davis and Gerald Murphy, became increasingly important even as Prohibition banned the consumption of alcohol. Modernist artists employed food in their radically new explorations of pictorial form, all the while challenging national ideals of family and home. Finally, during the 1950s and 1960s, Pop artists, among them Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg, addressed the ways in which mass production and consumption dramatically altered the American experience of food. Hamburgers, fries, and cakes were depicted as objects of mass-produced comestibles without human referent. Artists employed new means to explore the visual power of advertising, the standardization of factory-produced meals, and the commercialization of American appetites.

Today, as professional and home chefs increasingly turn toward local, organic food and American society ponders its history as a fast-food nation, this exhibition on the historical art of eating is highly relevant, offering visitors the chance to look at depictions of American food and culture with new meaning and fresh eyes.


 William Grimes: The Fruited Plain—Food and the American Imagination

November 15, 2013, 6:00–7:00 p.m.

Fullerton Hall; free

New York Times food critic William Grimes discusses the importance of food to the American psyche. This lecture occurs after the museum has closed for the evening; doors will be open at 5:45 p.m. Enter at the Michigan Avenue entrance only.

Ingredients of the American Appetite

December 19, 2013, 6:00–7:00 p.m.

January 10, 2014, 12:00 p.m.

Fullerton Hall; free with museum admission

 Culinary historian Andrew Smith discusses gustatory explorers with connections to Art and Appetite.

Art and Appetite: American Painting, Culture, and Cuisine is organized by the Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition is curated by Judith Barter, the Field-McCormick Chair and Curator of American Art at the Art Institute. ADM is the Lead Corporate Sponsor for Art and Appetite. Major support is provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art and an anonymous donor. Additional funding is provided by Mr. and Mrs. Morris S. Weeden and the Suzanne and Wesley M. Dixon Exhibition Fund. The exhibition catalogue���is funded by The Jacob and Rosaline Cohn Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Wesley���M. Dixon, Jr. Annual support is provided by the Exhibitions Trust: Goldman Sachs, Kenneth and Anne Griffin, Thomas and Margot Pritzker, the Earl and Brenda Shapiro Foundation, the Trott Family Foundation, and the Woman’s Board of the Art Institute of Chicago.




All Aboard November 28, 2013



Thanksgiving Day aboard Silver Lariat has become a 25-year tradition.  The California Zephyr Rail car is located on the rear of the Coast Starlight as it makes its way from Los Angeles to Oakland.  Thanksgiving is all about good food, and guests celebrate with a lovely breakfast, a complete luncheon, hors d’oeuvres and the traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings, paired with favorite wines, including selections from local California vintners. 


The turkeys are whole birds and are roasted fresh on board, with taste tempting aromas giving a preview of the anticipated feast to come.  Dinners include turkey with all the trimmings, pumpkin pie for dessert and more. Pricing per person of $345 includes complimentary bar service featuring premium labels of beer, wine and spirits. 

An original art work still can be viewed on the Silver Lariat train that was built in 1948. A mural was painted for this car by Mary Louise Lawser in 1948 titled Pony Express, it is one of the very few original California Zephyr murals in existence. The mural is oil on canvas and was cleaned in 1989 by a professional art conservator. 

The cars’ deluxe accommodations make the perfect beginning and ending for groups on tour, special celebrations or corporate entertaining included.  It is an imaginative, first-class way to entertain guests or clients, while savory aromas of food cooking in the kitchen and your favorite music playing on the sound system combine with the ever-changing scenery outside the windows to make this a memorable experience for travelers. 

California Zephyr Railcar Charters

1146 Charleston StreetCosta Mesa, CA 92626

(714) 751-2032


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© 2008 Bonnie Carroll, All Rights Reserved