A Tavola! and Carina Cellars evening
I recently had lunch at Via Maestra 42, and near my table sat a man who had a 25 pound tub of Italian flour brought to him. It’s hardly an item one orders from a menu, so it got my interest. It came to pass in conversation that he was private chef, and would be holding a wine and pasta demonstration evening in town, as part of a month long event called Epicure SB.
I’d heard murmurings of the event, yet had seen very little advertising for it. And a while back I’d glanced at the website, and there was very little information available at that time. Browsing the site now, there considerably more listings available around town, starting with a grand kick-off during First Thursday that included a number of free events. Primarily, though, the special events cost money, as these were special dinners by local restaurants. Most were in the $60-$100 range, which suddenly made the $30 price to attend the wine and pasta evening quite reasonable.
We attended the evening of 8 October, held at the Hayward Center demonstration kitchen near downtown Santa Barbara. I was worried it wouldn’t have many participants, but the turn-out was decent, about a dozen people.
The chef was John Fernandez, owner of a private catering and teaching business, A Tavola! And our wine hostess was Carolyn Turner of Carina Cellars in Los Olivos. Throughout the evening, John prepared six pastas and sauces, and Carolyn poured six wines. It was very enjoyable and educational to me.
For each pasta dish, Carolyn introduced a wine, and poured for the group. Our area tends towards pinot, but Carina Cellars sure can do syrahs! Really delicious stuff.
It was an evening well-spent, and my own pasta making skills have greatly improved since then.
John and Carolyn ran the pasta and wine demonstration for two additional evenings, one in Los Olivos and another back at the Hayward Center a week later. I’ve heard the Hayward Center one was sold out. As it should have been.
The full photoset of 95 images is available here, on flickr. It includes the names of the pasta dishes and its wine pairing.