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Posted on April 14, 2014 | 3:43 p.m.

Wine Cask, UCSB Partner for Dinner and Lecture on Sustainable Seafood

Source: Jennifer Zacharias for Wine Cask

This spring, UCSB’s Culture & Nature Series continues at the Wine Cask this Thursday, April 17, with a dinner and lecture exploring sustainable seafood in Santa Barbara.

nature dinner
Wine Cask offers a bounty of locally sourced seafood on its menu year-round, like this crispy skin-on salmon with smoky lentils and asparagus. (Wine Cask photo)

The event will coincide with Earth Day. With a bounty of local seafood available in the Santa Barbara region, how can we take advantage of the many offerings while ensuring we make sustainable choices? UCSB professor Peter Alagona will shed light on the sustainability of seafood while guests embark on a one-of-a-kind, five-course seafood dinner, almost completely from local, renewable sources.

The five-course menu is a feast of seafood, carefully crafted by Chef Brandon Hughes with sustainability in mind. The first course is a seafood trio of Channel Islands Sea Urchin with soba noodles and citrus salad, smoked Hope Ranch black mussels with baby broccoli, crispy shallots, cheddar fondue, and house-cured British Columbia farm-raised salmon gravlax with herb-crusted bagel, cream cheese, pickled onion and watercress. For the second course, guests will dine on California spiny lobster bisque with herb crème fraîche.

The feast will continue with the third course, a Santa Barbara spot prawn salad with mint and cherry tomato quinoa, butter lettuce, fresh herbs and Meyer lemon vinaigrette. For the fourth course, chef is presenting a local halibut "en croute" with wild mushrooms, fava beans and ramp hash. The night will end on a sweet note with dessert prepared by Wine Cask Pastry Chef Rosie Moot, who will whip up a lemon sorbet with shortbread cookie.

To top off the indulgent culinary experience, dinner will be perfectly paired with award-winning selections of wine, courtesy of Margerum Wine Co. Wine pairings will include the Riviera Rosé, Klickitat Pinot Gris, Margerum D Sauvignon Blanc, Alamo Creek Vineyard Grenache and the Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc.

In addition to the phenomenal dinner, guests will learn about sustainable seafood in Santa Barbara from Alagona, from the departments of History and Environmental Studies at UC Santa Barbara. He is the author of After the Grizzly: Endangered Species and the Politics of Place in California and an expert on land use, natural resource management and environmental politics in California and the North American West.

Alagona’s lecture, “Go Fish: The Sustainability Edition,” will explore the relationship between our local seafood and the history of the world’s oceans by telling three fascinating stories of human relations with marine creatures, all of which will be on the menu for this wonderful meal. Guests also can look forward to an original surprise performance! As previous dinner series guests can attest to, these pop-up performances have given the UCSB Culture & Nature Series a well-deserved reputation for being entertaining as well as informative and enlightening. This sustainable seafood dinner event on Thursday is the final event of the series this year.

Dinner begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $95 per person, all-inclusive. For reservations, please call Wine Cask at 805.966.9463 or email [email protected].

UCSB’s Culture & Nature features events designed to highlight the interrelation between nature and the environment and religion, art, literature and other fields within the humanities and arts.

— Jennifer Zacharias is a publicist representing Wine Cask.

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