Taste of Santa Barbara

Culinary icon Julia Child, who spent the final chapter of her life in Santa Barbara wrote, “The climate and the atmosphere recall the French Riviera between Marseille and Nice. Very often, being there on the Riviera where we used to have a little house I’d say…‘well I’d just as soon be in Santa Barbara.”

Inspired by Julia’s appreciation for Santa Barbara’s bounty and her devotion to ongoing, the Santa Barbara Culinary Experience created in partnership with the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts presents its first annual Taste of Santa Barbara, May 16-22, 2022. The weeklong, county-wide celebration of all things food and drink will feature insightful panel discussions, creative pop-ups, film screenings, farm tours, tasting events and more meaningful ways to connect and celebrate the best of Santa Barbara County. The thoughtfully curated program is designed to gather the community and visitors to celebrate the bounty of Santa Barbara’s local farms, ranches, vineyards and fisheries.

Be sure to follow the Satna Barbara Culinary Experience on social media so you don’t miss out on exciting announcements and event details: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Signature Events

Regional Farm Tours

Regional Farm Tours will take place throughout Santa Barbara County offering an up-close look at how to rebuild our food system bringing to life the May 21st panel discussion. Learn More

Taste of Santa Barbara Wines

Join us for our first-ever Taste of Santa Barbara Wines at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park! Come explore, connect, and learn from Santa Barbara County’s top winemakers and vintners. Learn More

Dine Around Town with Julia Child & Cocktail Crawl with Paul Child

Julia and Paul Child often entertained friends with good food and cocktails, many of them crafted by Paul Child, who was known for his custom libations. Explore Santa Barbara County’s beloved bars and restaurants for week-long specials in honor of these two love birds. Learn More

Photo Credit: Used with permission by Schlesinger Library Radcliffe Institute Harvard University

Culinary Calendar of Events

A digital round-up of special events and offers, including all the tasty happenings, flavorful pop-ups, and inventive collaborations to customize your personal culinary extravaganza throughout Santa Barbara County during Taste of Santa Barbara 2022. Learn More


Julia Child fans can follow in her local footsteps with the Julia Child Map. A self-guided tour featuring Julia’s go-to local dining spots, including La Super-Rica Taqueria, a humble Mexican taqueria she raved about regularly. She also praised longtime local staple, McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, a homegrown brand that’s expanded significantly over the past decade while maintaining local ownership. Julia also knew Hitching Post 2 was destined for stardom long before Sideways was released. From classic institutions like Lucky’s and Santa Barbara Shellfish Company to the less expected like Costco (yes, you read that right!) and In-N-Out Burger, the map reveals that Julia savored all kinds of culinary experiences in Santa Barbara.

Julia’s love for Santa Barbara goes back to her childhood. As a young girl growing up in Pasadena, Julia’s family would summer in Santa Barbara—it was the place where her parents’ romance originally blossomed, long before Julia and her siblings came along. She had many fond memories of learning to swim in the city pool, days at the beach, summer camps on the Mesa and family lunches at the Miramar.

Throughout the course of her adult life, she would return to The American Riviera®, where she had many friends and felt at home. In the 1980s, Julia and her husband Paul started wintering in Santa Barbara and were active in the local community. In 2001, after selling her Cambridge, Massachusetts home and donating its famous kitchen to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, where it resides today, Julia moved to Santa Barbara permanently, living here until her death in 2004.

Julia was, and is still, beloved by the Santa Barbara community. Always quick to promote the local restaurants, winemakers and talented chefs who impressed her, Julia became an unofficial ambassador for Santa Barbara whether she was being interviewed by press or showing friends around town. The Santa Barbara Culinary Experience and the 2022 Taste of Santa Barbara are fashioned in this spirit, to continue Julia’s enthusiasm for sharing the culinary talent and bounty of the region she was proud to call home.

Even More Eats
Santa Barbara is a truly flavorful place. Don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered with these food & drink-themed itineraries.
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