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As Seen in Santa Barbara During Annual IFEC Conference

During the annual International Foodservice Editorial Council gathering in Santa Barbara, Calif., conference organizers encouraged attendees to “Toast the Coast,” and boy did they ever! During the conference’s premier event, the Chef Showcase, chefs from around the city converged on the Mar Monte Hotel’s Cabrillo Pavillion to show off their culinary prowess through the likes of appetizers and plates. Here’s a look at the truly appetizing and trend-forward bites that attendees were treated to. 

All photos courtesy Buzz Orr Multimedia

Mango Masala Shrimp from Chef Gunnar Planter with the Mar Monte Hotel featuring squid ink, scallion, Fresno, chili, and Meyer lemon.

Santa Barbara Bluefin Tuna Crudo from Chef Sergei Simonov with Loquita featuring hibiscus gel, smoked ajada, arbequino olive oil pearls, and micro radish.

A Watermelon Poke Bite from Chef Manny Juan with Oliver’s featuring watermelon poke marinated in yuzu and furikake on a nest of watermelon rind topped with watermelon ‘caviar.’

Chef Brian Smith with UC Santa Barbara Residential Dining Services prepared roasted grapes with a ribbon of Szechuan peppercorn-crusted salmon gravlax atop crispy sushi rice and garnished with kaiware and pickled daikon matchsticks.

Cacahuate Pork Belly from Chef Adam Sanacore with LOCAL featuring crispy cacahuate pork belly, endive cups, pickled shallot, ninja radish, micro cilantro, and crushed peanuts.

Spiny Lobster Crispy Rice from chefs Peter Lee and Felicia Medina with Secret Bao featuring soy sauce, Santa Barbara spiny lobster, furikake crispy rice, secret spicy sauce, chives, lemon, and local finger limes.

Salt Boiled Idaho Fingerling Potatoes from Chef Jeremy Tummel with La Paloma featuring avocado serrano salsa, horseradish, and smoked trout roe.

Oak Smoked American Lamb Ribs from Chef Nick Priedite with Priedite BBQ featuring fermented hot honey and lemon cucumber pickles.

Oak Smoked American Lamb Ribs from Chef Nick Priedite with Priedite BBQ featuring fermented hot honey and lemon cucumber pickles.

Amber Kispert

Senior Content Producer

Amber is the Senior Content Producer for Catersource. Amber previously worked as a Communications Specialist for LeClair Group and a reporter for the Woodbury Bulletin, both located in Woodbury, Minn.  As a self-described "foodie," Amber loves to experience the world of food and beverages, and is excited to help share the stories of Catersource and the world's caterers.