The Culinary Rhythm of El Encanto
By Zach Rosen   |   April 16, 2024

Brunch. It’s the perfect meal for when you know the day is going to happen at some point but there is no rush to get there – drifting somewhere past the time of breakfast and maybe on the precipice of lunch and beyond. This magical meal sets the pace and expectations for the rest of […]

Mikuna: The Rise of a Pioneering Protein Powder
By Amélie Dieux   |   March 12, 2024

Chocho is the new name that will soon be on everyone’s lips – and in their morning smoothie. Chocho is the mysterious word behind the company Mikuna, and a product whose properties and benefits will amaze you.   In 2017, Founder and CEO of Mikuna (which means “to nourish your body through food” in Kichwa […]


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Fine Food First, Gluten-Free Second: ‘Lilac Montecito’ Calling All Diners
By Gabe Saglie   |   February 27, 2024

“Gluten-free is really just a by-line for us – it’s important to what we do, and we do it well,” Gillian Muralles, owner of Montecito’s newest eatery, Lilac Montecito, recently told the Journal. “But if someone doesn’t care about that, I’d love to get them through the door just as much!” Mrs. Muralles and her […]

Kabocha Squash
By Melissa Petitto   |   February 20, 2024

The kabocha squash is one of my favorite squashes, creamy, nutty, and sweet – this squash has an edible thick green skin, a low glycemic index, is super low calorie, and contains a plethora of vitamins and minerals. I found some gorgeous ones at the market this week at Jimenez Family Farms.  The kabocha squash […]

By Melissa Petitto   |   February 6, 2024

Garlic, part of the Allium family and closely related to the onion, chive, leek, shallot, and scallion, has been used in daily cooking in all parts of the world throughout history. It has not only been used as a flavor enhancer, but also to prevent and treat a variety of diseases and conditions. I know […]

By Melissa Petitto   |   January 23, 2024

Is there a more exquisite vegetable than the Romanesco? Its geometric patterns are whimsical and, dare I say, too pretty to eat? Milliken Family Farms has this cauliflower-broccoli hybrid, and it is not only beautiful, but it is tasty and full of vitamins and nutrients. This Roman cauliflower hails from Northern Italy and has a […]

By Melissa Petitto   |   January 9, 2024

The apple is a food synonymous with health: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” There are so many varietals now that I have truly lost count, but what I do know is that the apple in all its many forms and varieties is delicious. Crisp, tart, sweet, sour, juicy, red, green, yellow, pink, […]

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  • A Hardcore Passion for Pizza
    By Christopher Matteo Connor   |   January 2, 2024

    What does pizza and punk have in common? Maybe more than you think! Both can be cheap and fast, but also contain the potential to have lots of substance. There’s attention to the ingredients. It seems simple, but all put together, it can be something powerful and moving. And tasty… depending on what punk shows […]

    Sweet Potatoes
    By Melissa Petitto   |   December 19, 2023

    The sweet potato is one of my favorite fall finds. I adore all varieties, but right now in the farmers market, there is a particularly sweet one called ‘Bonita Sweet’ and Chavez Family Farms has them! This varietal of the Japanese sweet potato is so sweet – like its name suggests – and oh so […]


    Totally Local: The Indefatigable Mollie Ahlstrand
    By James Buckley   |   December 12, 2023

    After nearly 30 years, the mudslide of 2018 put an end to her elegant Trattoria Mollie on Coast Village Road. She opened a new Mollie’s next to the Granada on State Street, but COVID-19 crushed that endeavor too. Armed conflict broke out in the Tigray region of Ethiopia in 2020 and the country is now […]

    By Melissa Petitto   |   November 28, 2023

    This nutty little tuber may be small, but she makes up for it in personality and flavor! I found some gorgeous sunchokes this week at Mt. Olive Farm. The sunchoke or Jerusalem artichoke is nothing like the globe artichoke and is in fact a member of the sunflower family. The root is the edible part […]

    By Melissa Petitto   |   November 21, 2023

    The holidays are upon us and I for one am all for the sides, give me all the sides! I tend to make plant-based sides that everyone can enjoy and just not tell people that they are in fact eating vegan. It helps to serve incredibly delicious sides that surpass all your guests’ wildest dreams. […]

    Local Holiday Gift Ideas 2023
    By Montecito Journal   |   November 20, 2023

    Rare Brazilian Cabochon Paraiba Tourmaline surrounded by 114 diamonds, set in 18 kt yellow gold and platinum. For over 40 years, Silverhorn has been renowned for its handcrafted jewelry, using rare gemstones and exemplary craftsmanship. Known for award-winning creativity, each piece is artfully crafted with precision. At their Design Studio in Montecito, clients can observe […]

    Take a Bite with The Grazing Place
    By Amélie Dieux   |   November 7, 2023

    Mother of two children, wife, and business owner with a chemical engineering degree, Monica Vuchkova is the quintessential new modern woman. Based in Santa Barbara, and thanks to her childhood in Bulgaria, food heritage, lifestyle, and her love of people, she started her company The Grazing Place in 2021. She creates exquisite gourmet boards for […]