Imagination Sensation

By Richard Mineards   |   November 15, 2018
Winemaker Matthias Pippig (Sanguis) and Peter Latta (photo by Maxx Hennard)

Foodies were out en masse when Epicurean Santa Barbara, founded by the dynamic duo of Keith and Amy Robinson, celebrated its first anniversary with a spectacular Pure Imagination bash for 120 of its 200 members at the Hotel Californian.

The tony twosome, former musicians who met and lived in the Big Apple before moving to our Eden by the Beach three years ago, have thrown 50 events since launching the popular culinary social club at Sullivan Goss a year ago.

I was at one of the first ones with a scrumptious dinner at the Black Sheep with a friend, Kimi Matar, who writes the Honolulu Social Diary, while other events included a five-course vintage Bordeaux dinner, burger bashes, chef demos at private homes, and visits to new eateries around town.

“They’re investing back into our community,” says Keith. “We introduced them to new spots like the Blackbird and Bibi Ji, and they’ve followed through. In a small town that really matters.”

Master of ceremonies Jennifer Julian (photo by Maxx Hennard)
Roasted lamb loin and lamb bastilla by chef Alex La Motte of Blackbird (photo by Maxx Hennard)

The anniversary fete featured a positive plethora of culinary wizards, including Robert Perez of the Black Sheep, Nick Bodden and Ron Allen of Beefhearts, P.A. Tremblay of Julienne, and a tsunami of Central Coast winemakers, including Jamie Slon, Jacob Toft, Zeitgeist, Tablas Creek, Dilecta and Sanguis.

After the receptions on the oceanside hostelry’s terraces guests enjoyed a four-course dinner prepared by Alex La Motte, chef at Blackbird; Drew Terp, chef at Pico in Los Alamos; and European pastry chef Benjamin Kunert, including duck confit carbonara, California lamb, and ginger-lime mousse with pear confit and pumpkin sorbet, in the hotel’s ballroom.

Jennifer Julian emceed the fun fest, while Alex Goley, Ashley Rose, Katie Fritzke, Samantha Eve, and Matt Shingledecker – three of them flown in from New York – provided vocals for the eclectic music from everybody from Paul Simon to Leonard Bernstein.

All too delicious for words.


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