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Saturday, March 23 , 2019, 4:57 am | Fair 48º

 
 
 
 

Longtime Chef Opens Take-out Sandwich Shop in Solvang

Louise Smith, owner of Louise’s Kitchen Table, hopes to cater to “local folks”

Louise Smith recently opened a take-out sandwich and salad site at 1210 Mission Dr. in Solvang. She plans to add soups to the menu in coming months. Click to view larger
Louise Smith recently opened a take-out sandwich and salad site at 1210 Mission Dr. in Solvang. She plans to add soups to the menu in coming months. (Laurie Jervis / Noozhawk photo)

Solvang resident Louise Smith, a longtime chef and caterer, has opened a take-out sandwich and salad window from her commercial kitchen, located in the business park adjacent to Nielsen Building Materials on East Highway 246.

Louise’s Kitchen Table at 1210 Mission Drive is open from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, but Smith hopes to be open Monday through Saturday as business increases.

In the coming months, she will add soups, including a daily special, to her take-out menu, she noted.

Despite the Santa Ynez Valley’s myriad restaurants and growing reputation as a “foodie” destination, “we are very limited on delivery options,” Smith said.

In 2009, Smith moved to Solvang from Santa Barbara, and said she left “corporate America” behind after being laid off from a longtime job.

The native of Stockport, England, and graduate of Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania, said she lived all over the United States before settling in Santa Barbara.

Growing up, Smith recalled being comfortable in her family’s kitchen, and over the years honed “a cooking passion and lots of confidence” while preparing food.

While Smith was a graduate student, her mother asked her for a reliable recipe for cheesecake. Smith said she experimented with several versions before perfecting her own style.

Louise Smith prepares a sandwich order at her new “to-go” eatery. Click to view larger
Louise Smith prepares a sandwich order at her new “to-go” eatery. (Laurie Jervis / Noozhawk photo)

After beginning to professionally craft cheesecakes in 2004 while still a resident of Santa Barbara, Smith — known throughout Santa Ynez Valley circles as “the cheesecake lady” with both retail and wholesale sales — since has grown a catering business that focuses on food and wine pairing for intimate gatherings, she said.

As a chef, Smith offers custom menus, such as vegan and vegetarian, paleo or the Whole 30 Program, she explained.

She hopes to focus her future catering efforts on home deliveries of food to the greater Santa Barbara region, Smith noted, and offer her clients options for a full week’s menu.

With a 1,073-square-foot commercial kitchen in Solvang, Smith said she is eager to share space with other chefs and bakers who may need temporary or permanent space and “don’t want their own kitchen.”

Louise Smith is well known throughout the Santa Ynez Valley for her homemade cheesecakes, which have earned her regional acclaim Click to view larger
Louise Smith is well known throughout the Santa Ynez Valley for her homemade cheesecakes, which have earned her regional acclaim (Laurie Jervis / Noozhawk photo)

Among Smith’s sandwich shop offerings are roast beef, ham and turkey, with cheddar, provolone, pepper jack or Swiss cheese, plus all the typical fixings and choice of bread.

Each order includes a homemade dill pickle and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. The mini cheesecake, Smith’s favorite dessert, is $2.50.

She encourages patrons to call or text in orders to 805.403.9649 to save time.

— Laurie Jervis blogs about wine at www.centralcoastwinepress.com, tweets at @lauriejervis and can be reached via [email protected]. The opinions expressed are her own.

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