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CEC is committed to creating a more resilient and just region in the face of climate change. Through our work with the Central Coast Climate Justice Network and elsewhere, our vision includes an end to racial injustices and their resulting environmental inequities.

To celebrate Eat Local Month this October, we asked CEC’s Staff, Board, and Partnership Council about what local foods they’re indulging in, where they make their purchases, and what the local food scene means to them. 

Today we’re hearing from Krista, Sarah, Dawn, and Kathi.  Stay tuned for the next installment of this series.

CEC Partnership Council member Krista Harris knows her food.  As editor and publisher of Edible Santa Barbara, a local food magazine and co-sponsor of Eat Local Month, she praises the bounty of Santa Barbara’s offerings.  “We have it all – world class wines, incredible produce, seafood, grass-fed beef, craft breweries and now even a couple distilleries.”  She’s a member of Fairview Garden’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and focuses her shopping at the Farmers Markets on local farms like Rancho San Julian, Fat Uncle, Drake, Roots, and Milliken.  When asked to share a hidden food gem, Krista mentions the Williams-Sonoma Artisan Market, which occurs once a month on Saturday at their store in La Cumbre Plaza and brings small artisan food producers together to sell directly to the public. Having her finger on the pulse of the local food scene, she says “I think we are on the brink of relocalizing our food system. There are more and more ways for consumers to find and buy local food. I think eating and shopping habits will change and it will become the ‘norm’ for us all to eat more local food.”

Sarah Clark, a member of CEC’s Partnership Council, calls herself a flexitarian, which means she eats a mostly vegetarian diet with some flexibility.  Like many locals, she says that some of the best locally-sourced meals can be found at Full of Life Flatbread in Los Alamos.  Her other favorite local purveyors are Alchemy Arts Café, Municipal Winemakers, Rori’s Artisanal Ice Cream, and fresh, local seafood from Plow to Porch Organics.  Sarah believes that by buying locally, consumers can help increase the amount of local items available.  “As we continue to support local growers, the future of food in Santa Barbara will only get better.  And with more people who are passionate about this approach, the more likely restaurants and bakeries will be to support the use of local ingredients.”

CEC Partnership Council member Dawn Mitcham’s favorite thing about the local food scene is “the breadth of food offered.  You can find anything you crave here and discover many things you never knew you would love.” While there is no shortage of variety, Dawn would like to see Santa Barbara transition to growing gardens instead of grass. “There is a movement starting in Los Angeles called LA Green Grounds that is changing turf into edible gardens.  With more people growing their own food they will start taking pride in the food they grow and put in their body.”  Dawn recently became vegan, but still gives a shout out to a former favorite: Chef Rodrigo Gimenez Cocinero, winner of the Santa Barbara Independent BBQ competition two years in a row, who occasionally hosts dinners at Goodland Kitchen in Goleta.  “He’s an amazing chef who makes artisan empanadas and sells them through various outlets like William Sonoma’s Saturday artisan market and Plow to Porch Organics.”  This season, Dawn is looking forward to eating more squashes and soups after a summer full of salads and fresh fruit.  

CEC’s Donor Relations Manager Kathi King is a regular at Savoy Café.  Only a block away from the CEC office, Savoy offers a variety of locally-sourced, organic ingredients including a full soup and salad bar.  She recently discovered a new local gem — Bookends Café  — which features locally grown and sourced food. Located on the top floor of Antioch University at 602 Anacapa St., “The outdoor patio adjacent to the cafe is quiet, beautiful, comfortable and has phenomenal views.” When making her own meals, Kathi enjoys meals such as figs with goat cheese and prosciutto or tomatoes from her garden, simply sliced and sprinkled with sea salt.  She describes Santa Barbara’s food scene as “ever-changing and catering to a growing desire for local products and synergy between growers and providers.”  She’s also excited to see “a healthy competition happening, especially in the burgeoning Funk Zone.  People seem to be demanding better quality combined with locally sourced ingredients.”

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