Check out Barbareño Central Coast Cuisine in Santa Barbara
Check out this Kickstarter project for the Barbareño Central Coast Cuisine Restaurant, which focus on locally sourced dishes in Santa Barbara, California.
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Julian Martinez has worked in the restaurant industry, in various capacities, for the past 7 years. He hopes to bring his experience in cooking to his hometown of Santa Barbara, California to help shape and further define California Central Coast cuisine.
1. What is California Central Coast cuisine? Can you give us some examples of some dishes?
California Central Coast cuisine is food that embodies our area. Based on local traditions, specialty products, native plants, and the many unique purveyors we get a chance to work with, we are striving to serve food and create flavors that wouldn’t come about anywhere else. One dish that represents what we’re trying to do is our Ranch Agnolotti. With this, we start with the idea of ranch dressing, which was invented just outside of Santa Barbara at Hidden Valley Ranch. From there, we think of other foods that typically go with ranch—in this case, carrots and celery. So for the dish we make fresh pasta and fill it with whipped ricotta seasoned with buttermilk that we make ourselves, along with the seasonings that go in ranch. We top the pasta with a caramelized carrot puree and roasted diced celery root. The end result is something familiar—carrots and celery with ranch—yet completely new.
2. What ingredients are indigenous to the Central Coast?
In thinking about wild plants to cook with, we usually reference the foods that made
up the Chumash Native American diet. Acorns, white sage, coastal buckwheat, California bay laurel, fennel, Manzanita berries, wild mint, miners lettuce, coastal sagebrush, yucca…there are so many foods all around us that are edible and delicious. As long as you do your homework and know what is safe to eat.
3. What is the Santa Barbara food scene like?
Santa Barbara has some of the best raw products available in California—and for that matter, in the country. So a lot of the top restaurants in town are market-driven and seasonal—classic California cuisine. Fresh, simple, good food. Coming from the Bay Area, however, I find that there is a lack of creative food options here. Not a lot of places that are pushing the limits and making diners think. In general, I’d say the food scene here is high quality, but safe.
4. How did you get into culinary industry?
I got a job washing dishes at a bar and grill while I was in high school. I thought everyone working there was kind of crazy, which appealed to me since I’m a bit crazy myself. I went to college and needed some money, so I got a job at a café on campus, called the Shakedown. Here I met more crazy people, which drove me to spend four years there, where I eventually served as head chef. When it came time to find a job in the real world, all I knew was restaurants and cooking, so I moved up to the Bay Area and immersed myself in the amazing food culture that’s up there. And it just snowballed from there.
5. If you reach your fundraising goals, will the money be spent on?
The Kickstarter community has been absolutely incredible. We actually reached our goal within 48 hours, far exceeding our expectations. We’ll be using the extra money to fund an awesome wood-burning Santa Maria grill, which will be housed on our outdoor patio, allowing us to not only cook with local ingredients, but also to cook using the type of grill that was invented here on the Central Coast.