Mara Papatheodorou

Mara Papatheodorou

Community members are invited to join Mara Papatheodorou, a culinary expert and former travel editor at Bon Appétit magazine, on a virtual journey to French Polynesia. The event will be at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, in Mary Craig Auditorium at Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA), 1130 State St.

A guest lecturer, commentator, panelist/judge, and presenter about food, travel and entertaining, Papatheodorou, in her talk, will transport guests across the Pacific Ocean to the islands of French Polynesia to explore its rich culinary history and culture. Those attending will learn about Tahitian culture and cuisine, tastes and traditions, fact and folklore.

As a 12-year contributing editor at Bon Appétit, Papatheodorou scouted and produced the Entertaining with Style section that highlighted how real people entertain around the country and the world. She also was editor of the publicaton’s annual international editions.

Papatheodorou contributes to National Geographic Traveler magazine and is the author of the coffee table book “Moments in Time, The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa.”

She lectures regularly about the history of cuisine and culture and consults for and travels on a number of cruise lines. As contributing editor for Regent Seven Seas Cruises, she wrote and created the Sail, Sip & Savorseries, which educates travelers about the distinct flavors and flair of each destination.

Papatheodorou is also the culinary specialist for travel company Destinations & Adventures International, where she cultivates and designs food and wine experiences.

Before working for Bon Appétit, Papatheodorou lived in London for 12 years and was a columnist and editorial producer for the European edition of W and Harpers & Queen. She attended UCLA, University of Paris La Sorbonne and La Varenne Cooking School where her food and travel adventures began.

Papatheodorou is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Ticket costs to hear Papatheodorou are $5 for SBMA members; $10 for non-members. Buy tickets at the museum visitor services desk, or online at