Taste of the Town Santa Barbara
Once again, Riviera Park will host Taste of the Town Santa Barbara benefitting the Arthritis Foundation. (Arthritis Foundation photo)

Featuring two signature culinary events, the public is invited to attend the 37th annual Taste of the Town Santa Barbara weekend benefitting the Arthritis Foundation.

The first event is Taste of the Town Santa Barbara Connoisseurs’ Circle Gala Dinner on Friday, Sept. 7 at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. The evening will feature a VIP tasting event with a select group of Taste of the Town wine and beer partners along with appetizers; a four-course gourmet dinner prepared by 2018 Honorary Chefs including Matt Johnson (San Ysidro Ranch), David Rosner (Monarch at the Montecito Inn), Steven Giles (formerly of Sage & Onion and Le Gavroche London), David Cecchini (Cecco Ristorante), and a guest chef from Hilton Hotels & Resorts served in the oceanview Rotunda paired with wines from 2018 Honorary Vintner Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat.

Guests will have the opportunity to meet 2018 Youth Honoree Shannon Morehouse and 2018 Honorary Artist Chris Potter as well as enjoy a live auction and dancing under the stars. Seating is limited, so advance reservations are highly recommended.

On Sunday, Sept. 9 from noon to 3 p.m. at Riviera Park, 2030 Alameda Padre Serra overlooking the city, the popular Taste of the Town Santa Barbara features unlimited samplings from the area’s finest restaurants, caterers, wineries, breweries and spirits providers, with a silent auction of lifestyle items, a photo booth and live jazz entertainment by the David Tovar Trio.

Confirmed food tastes include Ca’Dario, Chefs on a Mission, Country Catering, Finch & Fork, Finney’s Crafthouse, Flightline, Green Table, High on the Hog Catering, Lilac Patisserie, Michael’s Catering, Mizza Artisan Pizza, opal Restaurant & Bar, Pascucci’s, Santa Barbara Yacht Club, SBCC Culinary, The Little Door, The Little Kitchen, The Nook, The Nugget Goleta, The Palace Grill, The Secret Ingredient and Via Maestra 42.

Confirmed beverage tastes include Alexander & Wayne, Alma Rosa, Arthur Earl, Artiste, Au Bon Climat, Brander, Brewer-Clifton, Cutler’s Artisan Spirits, Demetria Estates, DV8 Cellars, Gainey, Giessinger, Grassini, Islands Brewing Co., Jaffurs, Ken Brown Wines, Kessler-Haak, Margerum Wine Company, Melville, Presqu’ile, Qupe, Refugio Ranch, Roblar, Temperance Cellars and Whitcraft Winery.

All proceeds from Taste of the Town Santa Barbara support the programs and services of the Arthritis Foundation. The foundation is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of 50 million people (including nearly 300,000 children) with arthritis through health education, advocacy, research and local juvenile arthritis support.

VIP tickets for the Connoisseurs’ Circle Gala Dinner Sept. 7 are $500 per person with tables of 10 for $5,000, which includes admission to the Sept. 9 event. Individual regular admission tickets for the Sunday afternoon Taste of the Town are $125 per person in advance and $140 at the door (if available). Click here for tickets, or call the Arthritis Foundation Central Coast at 805.563.4685.

Taste of the Town Santa Barbara is pleased to acknowledge its confirmed sponsors, including official Automotive Partner BMW Santa Barbara, along with HUB International (wine glass sponsor), Terry Ryken COMPASS, American Riviera Bank, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation, Senior Planning Services, Central Coast Home Health and Hospice, Diana MacFarlane/Caliber Home Loans, Amye Leong and Bob Price, Jeffery Baldwin and Michal Wiesbrock, the Santa Barbara Independent, KEYT NewsChannel 3, opal Restaurant and Bar, the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort, The Berry Man Inc., Bluestar Parking, You’re The Star, AA Expressive, Jill & Co. Events and Ana’s Balloon Creations.

A number of Taste of the Town Santa Barbara sponsorship opportunities and benefits are still available by contacting the Arthritis Foundation Central Coast office at 805.563.4685 or emailing Executive Director Michal Wiesbrock at mwiesbrock@arthritis.org.

Returning as honorary co-chairs to this Santa Barbara philanthropic culinary tradition are opal Restaurant & Bar co-owners Tina Takaya and Richard Yates; joined in 2018 by John O’Neill of Banc of California. Taste of the Town all-volunteer committee members include Amye Leong, Jacques Habra, John Stampe, Jessica Stampe, Laura Kath, Juli Askew, Susan Shane, Marilyn Hansen, Debby Deneault, Jen Lilienstein, Mindy Denson, Pam Tanase, Melitta Ramsey, Krista Reardon, Sonja Nelson and Ruth Ann Bowe.

Click here for more information.

— Laura Kath is a publicist representing Taste of the Town Santa Barbara.