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Santa Ynez residents prepare for 22nd annual Taste of Solvang

7 Mar 2014 10:19 AM
Santa Ynez residents prepare for 22nd annual Taste of Solvang

Due to its advantageous location within California, as well as its different topographical features and breathtaking scenic beauty, the culinary offerings found in and around the Santa Ynez Valley have long been considered a regional highlight. Over the years, respected chefs and knowledgeable gastronomes flocked to this portion of the Golden State, and its tradition of providing high-end cuisine and fine wine has led the area to gain a considerable amount of popularity. 

And, this month, residents who are well versed in the local culinary scene will have the opportunity to indulge to their heart's content during the annual Taste of Solvang event. For the 22nd year, food lovers will be invited to take a savory journey through the city of Solvang, speaking with accomplished chefs and tasting the unique dishes created specially for the affair. If you have been looking for an excuse to enjoy the spring weather and spend some time exploring all that the Santa Ynez Valley has to offer, you would be remiss to skip attending this five-day celebration. 

Numerous events planned throughout area
From Wednesday, March 12 to Sunday, March 16, individuals will have the opportunity to participate in a number of enriching activities and attend a multitude of gourmet tastings. Whether you're interested in new American cuisine, traditional Japanese or rustic Italian, you will be able to feast on fresh, succulent morsels while sampling selections from world-class wineries and award-winning breweries.

Festivities officially kickoff the afternoon of March 12, when some of the city's best gastronomic maestros lead groups through the Solvang Farmer's Market as part of the popular Chef Walk & Demo. It is here that the culinary professionals will discuss the area's agriculture and its influence on offerings found at local restaurants.

From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, March 14, ticket holders will be invited to participate in the Sweets & Swing event, where dessert is taken seriously. Individuals can taste more than 20 different confectionery concoctions while listening to live jazz music and sampling locally-produced sparkling wine. Individual tickets can be obtained for $25.

Between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 15, culinary enthusiasts will have the chance to mix and mingle with each other - as well as internationally known chefs - during the Grand Tasting event. Formerly known as the "walking smorgasbord," this offers participants the opportunity to taste dishes and drinks from more than 40 area restaurants. Tickets are available for $35. 

The highly anticipated Solvang Beer & Wine Walk will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, as well as from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 16. This occasion enables individuals to take a break from their culinary evaluations to stroll the picturesque village and visit the breweries and wineries touting locally-made craft beers and boutique wines. For $40, those who are interested in attended can purchase a two-day pass, which includes a souvenir wine glass. 

VIP Passport offered for weekend participants
If you're interested in attending the many festivities, but wish for a more exclusive experience, you might want to consider purchasing a VIP Passport Weekend package. This option, which is available for $185, will provide ticket holders with access to the Sweets & Swing event, as well as the Solvang Wine & Beer Walk and Grand Tasting. VIPs will be given a souvenir wine Glass, a commemorative wine charm and a stylish souvenir tote. In addition, for $120, these individuals can participate in the Farm to Fork Experience with chef Budi Kazali, which provides the chance to experience a curated four-course meal and high-end wine pairings. 

As many Californian gastronomes are expected to attend this year's event, reserving your admission in advance is highly recommended. Regular tickets and VIP packages can be purchased through the event's official website.