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As a foodie living in California, we are fortunate that most restaurants feature locally sourced products. But, sometimes we take for granted our access to these foods. In many other cities around the country, the access to local farms is not possible and farm-to-table is more of an exception than a rule. To cap off the weekend in Santa Barbara wine country for the Wine Bloggers Conference, we traveled to Bridlewood Estate Winery in the heart of Santa Ynez Valley. After a fresh picnic lunch sipping Bridlewood Chardonnay, Rose and Pinot Noir and overlooking the lake, we headed up to the barrel room to "Meet the Makers", the farmers responsible for products were were eating. These passionate farmers spend their days producing organic and sustainable products. They are small businesses who are concerned with quality over quantity. And, they want to make the products available to the community. Meet the farmers:
The Wallace Tucked among the busy Main Street in Culver City, sandwiched between Venice Blvd and Culver Blvd, is The Wallace. The restaurant concept may not be new, but former SBE corporate chef Michael Teich and his wife Carol are doing it well!
I was so happy to hear that Chez Panisse has reopened this past June after a fire in March shut them down for a few months. Fortunately, I got to eat there just before the fire while in San Francisco last February for my birthday.  And, all the more special to celebrate my birthday there as Chez Panisse and I share a birth year.   Founded by Alice Waters, Chez Panisse opened its doors in 1971 and has been cranking out delicious menu items ever since. For the past 40+ years, Alice Waters and Chez Panisse have offered dishes prepared with organic and locally grown food. The fresh flavors are tasted in every dish and our lunch at Chez Panisse was everything I expected and more.