Saturday, May 28 , 2016, 12:28 am | Fair 57º

SOL Food Festival to Get Cooking Saturday in Santa Barbara

Workshops, tastings and more will focus on growing a brighter food future

By David Fortson for the SOL Food Festival |

The SOL Food Festival planning team is proud to present the third annual SOL Food Festival from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday in Plaza Vera Cruz Park, 130 E. Cota St. in Santa Barbara.

In partnership with the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, this festival profiles Sustainable, Organic, Local (SOL) food and its role in creating a brighter food future.

Last year’s festival attracted more than 7,000 people to the park to enjoy incredible food, tasty beer and wine, and kids activities, meet local farm animals, enjoy educational workshops and network with fellow foodies.

This year’s festival will feature a variety of educational workshops, including backyard poultry, food security, beer brewing and compost making to name a few. The wildly popular SOL Chef Competition will feature some of the region’s most talented chefs cooking up a storm with food procured from the Santa Barbara Farmers Market.

Also featured again in 2012 will be the kid-approved “Hungry Caterpillar,” as well as workshops and dozens of exhibitors representing the breadth and depth of the Santa Barbara County food world.

This year’s SOL Food Festival highlights:

» Expanded food options: SOL Food will again shut down Cota Street between Anacapa and Santa Barbara streets to connect the Farmers Market directly to the SOL Food Festival. The street will be filled with even more “SOL” food vendors paired with local farmers, farm equipment including tractors and plows, a free bike valet and more. Click here to check out the full menu.

» Wine & Beer Garden: Our wine and beer garden will feature local favorites, including Alma Rosa, Carr and Martian wineries, and Figueroa Mountain, Firestone-Walker, Stone and Telegraph Brewing, Island and The Brewhouse, where attendees will be able to enjoy some of the finest local beverages in the region. Regional experts will offer workshops about beer brewing, winemaking and more. An eating area will be set up within the garden so you can enjoy a tasty beverage while eating lunch with friends or people watching.

» Other notable attractions: Children’s activities will include the “Hungry Caterpillar” and live farm animals, including chickens, goats and alpacas; the Santa Barbara Independent’s third annual Foodie Awards recognizing local food heroes; free and refrigerated grocery check for Farmers Market shoppers; our famous Salad Eating Contest; free bike valet and more!

Click here for more information about the SOL Food Festival.

Special thanks to our lead sponsor, Cox Cable. Others include the Santa Barbara Farmers Market, the Isla Vista Food Co-op, Whole Foods, the Lucidity Festival, The Fund for Santa Barbara, Bamboo DNA, Antioch University, the Santa Barbara Independent, the Center for Sustainable Medicine, HARVEST, Edible Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara ParentClick, Fishbon,, Be Green, Mission Linen, Healing Grounds Nursery, the Downtown Organization, the Convention & Visitors Bureau, Branches Gallery and KTYD. Special thanks to the fiscal agent and partner of the SOL Food Festival, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County

— David Fortson represents the SOL Food Festival.

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