Are you a Food Network Junkie? If so, you probably saw the new culinary competition All-Star Academy in which ten home cooks across the country were paired with Food Network famous chefs. If not, here's a quick update. After eight episodes, it came down to two finalists and Santa Barbara local Vanessa Craig was one of them. Paired with Chef Michael Symon, she was energetic, spunky and lots of fun to watch. Sadly she didn't win the final prize but 2nd place isn't shabby!
After the national exposure and now that the show is over, Vanessa is back home in Santa Barbara. Her passion is to share her love for food and her love of Santa Barbara and is now a private chef and caterer with her newly launched business Vanessa Loves Food.
The 2014 harvest is almost complete. Most of the grapes have been picked and the grapes are in tanks and barrels so it was time to celebrate at the Santa Barbara Vintners Celebration of Harvest Festival (Oct 10-13). Over a three day weekend, Santa Barbara wineries opened up their tasting rooms with special offers and other events. The main event of the weekend was the Festival Grand Tasting.
The Festival Grand Tasting took place outdoors at the Old Mission Santa Ines in Solvang. More than 100 members of the Santa Barbara Vintners were there, as well as local restaurants and artists. With all of the participants, the question always is, "which wines should we try? where should we go first?".