Hotel Chefs Dish

Opening spread 805 Living Hotel Chefs Dish March 2020Creators of the farE served at 10 prestigious area resorts share their best new menu items, observations on industry trends, favorite local ingredients, and go-to eats made by other chefs.

By Leslie Dinaberg

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方Great chefs love great food. So who better qualified to share their insights on the 805 dining scene than top chefs at local resorts? With their insider intel on what’s new in Central Coast restaurants right now, crave-worthy dishes from their own kitchens and other chefs, as well as their favorite local ingredients, here’s what 10 area hotel chefs say is trending in the 805.


, Santa Barbara

What’s trending on the 805 restaurant scene right now?收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方 Upscale Mexican cuisine. At least three new Mexican restaurants opened between last year and this year.

Of your latest dishes, which is your favorite? Our vegan ramen. It’s comfort food that pleases everyone.

What is your current go-to dish by another chef? The veggie burger at the Goat Tree restaurant [] in Santa Barbara’s Hotel Californian is very tasty, my to-go dish for lunch.

What other 805-area chef is doing particularly creative, interesting things with food?收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方 Chef Yoichi Kawabata at the Japanese restaurant Yoichi’s [] in Santa Barbara, for clean flavors and clean presentations.

What 805-area ingredient has contributed the most to the elevation of your culinary creations? There are too many to list, but one in particular is the finger lime caviar. It’s fun to use and fits many dishes—from raw fish to desserts—with its bright and bold flavor.

Second spread 805 Living Hotel Chefs Dish March 2020


The Gardens of Avila, Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa, San Luis Obispo, 

What is your current go-to dish by another chef? My go-to dish is always a steak, medium rare. My favorite steak place is The Hitching Post II [] in Buellton. I remember having one on my birthday. It was a 32-ounce rib eye grilled over oak.

What other 805-area chef is doing particularly creative, interesting things with food? Chef Brian Collins at  in Arroyo Grande. He does farm-to-table and the menu changes every month. It’s a really good experience from the service to the food.

What 805-area ingredient has contributed the most to the elevation of your culinary creations? I’m very lucky to have a one-acre garden that we harvest a lot of our ingredients from, including melons, cucumbers, radishes, heirloom tomatoes, beets, greens, herbs, and edible flowers. We have a full-time farmer on-site—Haley Trengove—who is super helpful and really knowledgeable. That is something most restaurants in the area don’t have, and it sets us apart.


收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方San Ysidro Ranch, Montecito, 

What’s trending on the 805 restaurant scene right now? Microbrews are popping up everywhere, which has food trucks coming to serve small plates, whether they’re taco, wood-fired pizza, or barbecue trucks. Also with more and more vegans and gluten-free diners, a lot of restaurants are going in that direction with healthier and lighter dishes. There are so many different options now in the 805 compared to 10 years ago when it was mainly tacos, Italian food, and cafés.

Of your latest dishes, which is your favorite? One of our dishes at Stonehouse restaurant is Local Spiny Lobster with gnocchi, romanesco, speck ham, and Meyer lemon emulsion. The lobster is from Santa Cruz Island and the Meyer lemons that make up the sauce are from our gardens at San Ysidro Ranch.

What is your current go-to dish by another chef? One of my favorite dishes is at Kitanoya Ramen & Sushi [805-382-1222] in Oxnard. It’s the Fried Chicken Ramen with crispy garlic, pickled egg, and spicy miso, along with a side of their house-made kimchi. It is my comfort dish on a cold evening; it’s so good.

What 805-area ingredient has contributed the most to the elevation of your culinary creations?收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方 My favorite ingredient right now is definitely Meyer lemons from our property. We also have beehives on the property that make our honey. It’s got flavors of rosemary and lavender.


Lido, Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa, Pismo Beach, 

What’s trending on the 805 restaurant scene right now?收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方 Not just in the 805 but countrywide, diners have moved to either a plant-based diet or have chosen to omit gluten and carbs from their diets. We here at Lido make an effort to accommodate diners with a host of different diets. Recently we released a house-made vegan burger consisting of edamame, shiitake mushrooms, garbanzo beans, and hominy, which is very popular. We also appeal to gluten-free diners who frequent our resort. I am most proud of this, considering 80 percent of our menu is gluten-free or has the option to be prepared that way, everything from our crab cakes and French fries all the way to our garbanzo bean flour–breaded fritto misto appetizer.

What is your current go-to dish by another chef?收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方 Oh, hands down the pork belly and abalone dish by chef Brian Collins at Ember [] in Arroyo Grande. I usually am off on Mondays when they are closed, but every time I visit Ember that is my go-to dish!

What other 805-area chef is doing particularly creative, interesting things with food? Nicola Allegretto at Mistura [] in San Luis Obispo. Mistura stands out because of the lack of Peruvian food represented here in the 805. With fun, eclectic flavors and beautiful presentation, it’s just a fun and interesting place all around.

Third spread 805 Living Hotel Chefs Dish March 2020


Blackbird, Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara, 

Of your latest dishes, which is your favorite? My favorite dish on the Blackbird收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方 menu right now is our Prime New York Steak. It is a grass-fed, all-natural product that is aged for at least 33 days. It’s so tender and delicious by itself, but we accompany it with heirloom carrot variations, caramelized cipollini onions, chimichurri, and a smoked–blue cheese bread pudding. The preparation is beautiful and over-the-top delicious!

What is your current go-to dish by another chef? The buttermilk fried quail from chef Jason Paluska at The Lark [] in Santa Barbara. It is spectacular, and I love that he took such a classic approach to a great ingredient.

What 805-area ingredient has contributed the most to the elevation of your culinary creations? One of the best things about living and cooking in Santa Barbara is the access to great seafood. Right now we are getting the best spiny lobsters I can remember. At Hotel Californian we have great relationships within our local fishing community and are able to get fresh lobsters right off the boat. It doesn’t get any fresher than that! Forging those partnerships means that Hotel Californian will always be able to source the best product in the area. I have such respect for the fishermen and farmers who are passionate about sustainability and being stewards of our natural resources.


Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, 

Of your latest dishes, which is your favorite?收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方 We just introduced a new dish to the Bella Vista menu which is, to me, Santa Barbara on a plate! Santa Barbara Uni with cauliflower panna cotta, smoked crême fraîche, trout roe, finger lime, and sea grass. This dish is not only absolutely gorgeous but also packed with flavor.

What are your current go-to dishes by other chefs? In Santa Barbara, The Tia Juana [spanish octopus and wild white shrimp] tacos at Corazon Cocina [] from chef Ramon Velazquez. I crave these weekly! The Ceviche Verde at Santo Mescal Restaurante [] from executive chef Ricardo Garcia. The Tri Tip at Barbareño [] by executive chef Julian Martinez is seriously one of the most tender and flavorful pieces of meat in town. Of course I am pretty new to town, so I’m still exploring.

What other 805-area chef is doing particularly creative, interesting things with food? I would have to say chef Yoichi Kawabata from Yoichi’s [] in Santa Barbara. The kaiseki is steeped in tradition but packed full of creativity. His attention to detail is amazing. And his use of micro-seasonal Japanese ingredients is inspirational.

What 805-area ingredient has contributed the most to the elevation of your culinary creations?收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方 The amazingly fresh local seafood. Coming from Atlanta, which is minimally three to four hours from the ocean, I find it pretty fantastic being able to work with seafood that is literally only a couple hours out of the water.


收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village, 

What’s trending on the 805 restaurant scene right now?收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方 What I see now is more attention to flavors, how you can take the best avocado, the best cabbage, or the best carrot to the next level.

Of your latest dishes, which is your favorite? Our whole California avocado with Santa Barbara pistachios and seaweed. I think this dish really symbolizes what our restaurant, the region, and the farmers are all about: putting vegetables on the front seat of the plate. The dish has such an interesting story, it is so simple yet so complex and delicious, especially in peak seasons when we get the avocados from Apricot Lane Farms [].

What is your current go-to dish by another chef? Lately I have been in Tyger Tyger收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方 [] in Santa Barbara more than once. I love what Daniel Palaima has done in that space—best Crispy Chicken Wings and Crispy Brussels Sprouts.

What other 805-area chef is doing particularly creative, interesting things with food? Collin Crannell from Moody Roster [] in Westlake Village is super creative in the way he prepares the dishes and incorporates seasonal ingredients into the mix.

What 805-area ingredient has contributed the most to the elevation of your culinary creations? From this particular area, so many: fresh avocados, strawberries, Santa Barbara spot prawns, pistachios, citrus, and the list continues.

Fourth spread 805 Living Hotel Chefs Dish March 2020


Westlake Village Inn, 

What’s trending on the 805 restaurant scene right now? Trending in the 805 and the restaurant scene in general are regional foods that highlight a specific cuisine and serving more vegetable-centered items.

Of your latest dishes, which are your favorites? Mediterraneo’s Roasted Cauliflower Bagna Cauda, which is roasted and bathed with a garlic anchovy sauce that has such umami-rich flavors. Salatim, because it offers a different, healthy way to start your meal with vegetables that are marinated and turned into dips and spreads, and our grilled Whole Branzino.

What other 805-area chef is doing particularly creative, interesting things with food? Executive chef Peter Lee at Loquita收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方 [] in Santa Barbara is doing fantastic fresh Spanish small plates with a lot of seafood and vegetables.


收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方Allegretto Vineyard Resort, Paso Robles, 

Of your latest dishes, which is your favorite?收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方 An example of old made new is the Burgundy Braised Boneless Beef Short Ribs. I have rejuvenated and improved a perennial favorite. These were on the menu the entire five years [I was] at Roberts Restaurant & Wine Bar [now closed]. It’s like reuniting with an old friend, old faithful. It starts off right, using prime grade steak, heavily marbled and thick-cut, lots of fresh herbs picked right here on the Allegretto property, fistfuls of toasted spices, gallons of burgundy, and three hours of slow cooking—and that’s just the beginning.

Brian Terrizzi and his crew at Etto [] pasta help to take this dish to the next level with their great pappardelle noodles, which I get fresh every few days. A luxurious sherry cream sauce with oak-roasted oyster and cremini mushrooms coats everything. Rustic, rough-chopped parsley, lemon, and green onion gremolata brighten the palate. The surprise for this dish, which I discovered while snacking in the kitchen late one night, is that the carrots used in the braising of the beef become so delicious. They get their own groove on and just melt in your mouth, so yes, they go on the dish, too.

What is your current go-to dish by another chef?收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方 Larb ga—Thai chicken salad—is my perennial favorite morning, noon, and night. Extra fish sauce, extra lime, extra cilantro, and brown rice. In Paso Robles, Basil Thai [805-238-9945] and Thai Classic [805-226-9032] always hook me up.

What 805-area ingredients have contributed the most to the elevation of your culinary creations?收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方 Tomatoes! Paso Robles tomatoes are the best I’ve ever had. Vanessa Harris from Heart of Paso Produce [] and Zina Engel of Loo Loo Farms [] have blessed me with an unlimited abundance of simply amazing fruit, when the season happens. Harris had plus or minus 180 tomato varieties growing. That means they start early and stay late in the season, and the diversity of color and flavor is mind-blowing. Also plum-basil balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil from Chaparral Gardens [] in Atascadero, sea salt, basil, real mozzarella di buffalo, and pink peppercorns.


收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方Olivella at Ojai Valley Inn, 

What’s trending on the 805 restaurant scene right now?收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方 Simplicity. Looking around at what other chefs and restaurants are doing throughout Ventura County, I feel they all kind of echo this philosophy of simplicity, and that food doesn’t need to be so far out of the box. It should just taste delicious and make diners feel warm and satisfied.

Of your latest dishes, which is your favorite?收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方 I do have a soft spot for our pan-roasted lamb loin. Beside the fact that it tastes yummy, what makes this dish special is the skill and patience required to execute it consistently. It all starts with the sauce, making a proper lamb jus, simmering it down with marsala, roasted lemons, aromatics, and proper seasoning. The sauce must be just right, balanced between sweet and savory, playing off the flavors of ground espresso seasoning on the lamb loin. Every component on the plate must be done with 100 percent thought and focus, from beginning to end. The result showcases balanced flavors in what I would consider a very simple and restrained dish.

What is your current go-to dish by another chef?收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方 The Lamb Korma at The Taj Cafe [] in downtown Ventura is without a doubt my go-to dish. It is just simply delicious!

What other 805-area chef is doing particularly creative, interesting things with food? What Ted and Yong Kim of Seoul Sausage Co. [] are doing at The Annex in the Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard is some of the most thoughtful and creative food in the county. It is flat‑out soul-satisfying and delicious.

What 805-area ingredient has contributed the most to the elevation of your culinary creations? The largest contribution that the local farming community has provided us at Olivella is the bounty of fruits that are being showcased year-round. Whether it’s persimmons, pixies, lemons, limes, strawberries, or melons, they all give us an opportunity to elevate our food and add unique flavors and textures.

805 Living Cover, March 2020.Click here to read this story as it appeared in  magazine 805 Living March 2020 Hotel Chefs Dish

Menu Mergers

805 Living March 2020, Menu Mergers story by Leslie Dinaberg.

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方805 Living March 2020, Menu Mergers story by Leslie Dinaberg.

Crazy culinary mash-ups can sometimes turn out to be pure gold. Here are three such surprisingly delicious creations in the 805.

The Homemade Breakfast Lasagna at Ventura’s Immigrant Son Caffe () quickly attracted a following after the restaurant opened on January 1. The traditional strips of pasta are layered with spinach and prosciutto cotto in a béchamel marinara and topped with a fried egg.

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方“All of our dishes come from a long line of family traditions and recipes that are incredibly special to us personally,” says Matt Coulter, who co-owns the restaurant with Alessandro Tromba. “Growing up in the family business, Alessandro knew that if he could create [a restaurant with] the warm feelings of home and bring that atmosphere to downtown Ventura, it would be a special place for so many friends and family to create lifelong memories.”

History also plays a role in the Reuben Egg Roll at Lovejoy’s Pickle Room () cocktail lounge in downtown Santa Barbara. The hybrid dish was created to honor Jimmy’s Oriental Gardens, the Chinese restaurant that previously occupied the space and was a favorite of the Lovejoy family, founders of the Pickle Room收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方 and Three Pickles Subs & Sandwiches, which now share the historic landmark building.

In what owner Clay Lovejoy calls “a great conversation starter,” the classic ingredients for a Reuben sandwich (hot pastrami, sauerkraut, Russian Dressing and Swiss cheese) are wrapped in eggroll skin and deep fried.

Why put a waffle on a plate when it can be served on a stick? Inspired by Mexico’s mangos and other treats on sticks, “Don” Francisco Lara decided to go vertical with his Don Waffly waffle on a stick收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方 (instagram/donwaffly), making it from scratch and dipping it in milk chocolate, white chocolate, matcha-flavored white chocolate, or cajeta (Mexican caramel sauce) before sprinkling it with toppings like shredded coconut, crushed Oreo cookies, Fruity Pebbles cereal, chopped almonds, or sprinkles. The waffle sticks are available at Dolce Vita (805-746-5009) in the Oxnard Transit Center and can be ordered for on-site catering.

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方Lara’s son Javier says he and his father plan to expand the offerings to include savory varieties and add a food truck to the mix.        —Leslie Dinaberg

805 Living Cover, March 2020.Click here to read this story as it appeared in  magazine, (805 Living Pulse March 2020).

Santa Barbara Visitor’s Magazine

Santa Barbara Visitor's Magazine 2020

I had the honor of writing several pieces for the Santa Barbara Visitor’s Magazine this  year, as well as serving as the copy editor.  To read the magazine in its entirety, click.

Festival Pick: World of Pinot Noir

World of Pinot Noir is coming to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara Santa Barbara March 5-7, courtesy photo.

One of my all-time favorite wine festivals is coming to the Central Coast next week. The (March 5-7) brings together an impressive lineup of producers from the most exceptional and unique regions in the world with Pinot Noir enthusiasts for a weekend of celebration and education at the beautiful .

The event kicks off on Thursday with the unique opportunity to visit the legendary and learn firsthand about the history of winemaking — particularly Pinot Noir — on California’s Central Coast. This celebrated spot, now owned by , is not usually open for visitors, so don’t miss out on the exclusive kickoff for the 20th anniversary of World of Pinot Noir. I went to a media exclusive version of this event收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方 back in 2017 and trust me, you don’t want to miss it!

The tasting tour, coined as Mile Marker 60 referencing WALT’s 1,000 Miles of Pinot concept, includes a vineyard tour, moderated panel conversation alongside a vertical tasting, and a backyard BBQ with live music. Guests will embark on a guided shuttle from the The Ritz-Carlton Bacara to the Clos Pepe Estate Vineyard in on Route 246 in Lompoc.

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方Clos Pepe Estate, photo courtesy World of Pinot Noir.

Clos Pepe Estate, photo courtesy World of Pinot Noir.

Other events on Thursday:

Exploring the Elegance of Alto Adige Pinot Noir – Seminar & Luncheon

Take a deep dive into Italy’s preeminent Pinot Noir region, . Led by Tim Gaiser, Master Sommelier, the seminar and luncheon will explore the region’s rise as a Pinot Noir powerhouse, forecast its exciting future and delve into the wines of its top producers.

— Opening Night Party

Kick off the 20th 收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方Anniversary of World of Pinot Noir with a wine-filled feast and fête featuring Pinot Noir wines from all over the world poured by America’s leading sommeliers. This year, the main bar is hosted by the and will feature a special selection of wines from the famed region. You’ll meet and talk with winemakers, indulge in tasty bites prepared by The Ritz-Carlton Bacara’s Executive Chef, , and dance the night away with DJ Malik. Click for a peek at delicious menu.

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方World of Pinot Noir is coming to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara Santa Barbara March 5-7, courtesy photo.

Events on Friday, March 6:

— What’s Altitude Got To Do With It? – Seminar & Luncheon

Michael Schachner, Spanish and South American Editor at Wine Enthusiast, leads a winemaker panel discussion and tasting that explores the wines, the effect of elevation (or lack thereof), and the exciting future of these regions.

— Siduri: 25 Years of Cruising the Pacific Coastline – Seminar

winemaker Adam Lee facilitates a celebratory retrospective tasting. Explore the wines, along with Siduri’s partners in the vineyard, a handful of growers from this famously sunny yet cool stretch of coastline, who will share  stories about growing and making Pinot Noir together for the last 25 years.

—Friday Grand Tasting

Here’s your opportunity to do a true vertical tasting. The room is conveniently organized by region as you taste through more than 100 Pinot Noir producers from around the world gathered in the Ritz Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara’s Grand Ballroom.

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方World of Pinot Noir is coming to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara Santa Barbara March 5-7, courtesy photo.

—The Bollinger Experience – Seminar

This seminar (for passport holders only) explores age-old winemaking artistry, the role of Pinot Noir in its bubbles

– The World of Pinot Noir’s 20th Anniversary Founders Dinner

The festival founders in attendance include, Brian Talley of , Dick and Jenny Doré of , Anne Moses and James Hall of , David Adelsheim of , and Steve and Paula Dooley of . The wine will flow and the stories will unfold as guests enjoy a prepared by Ritz-Carlton Bacara’s Executive Chef Umit Kaygusuz.

—The World Tour of Pinot Noir Pairings Dinner

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方Spotlighting the preeminent wines and cuisines from some of the most storied Pinot Noir frontier regions on the planet, including Italy’s Alto Adige, Argentina and Chile.

— Celebrating Bouchard & Champagne Henriot Dinner

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方The World of Pinot Noir has the honor of presenting Maisons & Domaines Henriot’s two most storied brands – , one of Burgundy’s oldest estates, and the famed .

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方World of Pinot Noir is coming to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara Santa Barbara March 5-7, courtesy photo.

Events on Saturday, March 7:

– The Grand and Premier Crus of Burgundy – Seminar & Luncheon

This Burgundy seminar spotlights the region’s marquee designations: Grand and Premier Crus.

– Rosé Lawn Party – Presented by United Airlines

Always one of my favorite spotlight events at World of Pinot Noir, this “drink pink” event is held on the lush seaside lawn of Angel Oak, where you can’t beat the ocean view — especially while sipping  more than 50 of the best Pinot Noir Rosés available.

Rose Lawn Party at World of Pinot Noir, courtesy photo.

– Exploring the Neighborhoods of the Russian River Valley – Seminar

This winemaker panel discussion and tasting will explore “The Neighborhoods” of Sonoma’s famous Russian River Valley, home to some of the most sought-after Pinot Noir in the world.

– Saturday Grand Tasting

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方Here’s your opportunity to do a true vertical tasting. The room is conveniently organized by region as you taste through more than 120 Pinot Noir producers from around the world gathered in the Ritz Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara’s Grand Ballroom.

– Vintage Burgundy Dinner

Jay James, Master Sommelier and Chairman of , presents vintage Burgundy wines from their extensive cellar in this one-of-a-kind, six-course gourmand experience.

– The 20th Anniversary Soirée Dinner

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方Don your cocktail attire for an evening of epicurean delights, wine and dancing as you mingle amongst the legends of Pinot Noir and meet the rising stars. This special dinner features a walk-around mixer of the World of Pinot Noir winemakers, sommeliers, wine world celebrities and a gourmet menu prepared by Ritz-Carlton Bacara’s Executive Chef, Umit Kaygusuz. For a peek at the menu, click

– Bollinger: Le Grand Dinner

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方This special dinner is open exclusively to Weekend Passport guests to explore the pairing power of one of Champagne’s historic houses, Bollinger.

For more information on all of the outstanding World of Pinot Noir events taking place March 5-7, visit . Hope to see you there!

Surviving the Era of Unlimited Distraction

A team of scientists is helping teenagers learn to calm and focus their minds

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 – 16:15
Santa Barbara, CA

Stress, distraction, unhealthy use of technology and rising rates of mental illness — life is increasingly tough for teenagers today, and educating them is a challenge at best. But researchers at UC Santa Barbara have found success in a new program to address those four themes, which stand out as struggles for the majority of high school students in the United States.

A new, evidence-based, online course that provides students with personalized attention training is being developed at the , part of the university’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. The course teaches students to focus their minds and manage their emotions so they can succeed academically.

Practicing mindfulness are (L-R) UCSB's Alissa Mrazek, Jonathan Schooler and Michael Mrazek. Photo by Matt Perko, UC Santa Barbara.

Practicing mindfulness are (L-R) UCSB’s Alissa Mrazek, Jonathan Schooler and Michael Mrazek. Photo by Matt Perko, UC Santa Barbara.

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方Twenty-five high schools around the country are currently using the course.

“We are quite encouraged by the enthusiasm that our program has received from both students and teachers. We are also heartened by preliminary findings of benefits for students who participate in the program,” said , CMHP director and a professor of psychology.

In one study, published in the journal Education Sciences, the researchers surveyed 190 high school students before and after they completed the 22-day course. They found that students improved their ability to manage stress and regulate emotions. The study also revealed that students came to view their ability to focus as a trainable skill, and they felt more motivated and confident to train this ability. “We found that among the 82% of students who initially reported paying attention in class less than they felt they should, classroom focus significantly improved following our intervention,” Schooler said.

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方UCSB Center for Mindfulness & Human Potential (CMHP) app.

“Teachers everywhere are reporting that it’s increasingly hard to get students to actually pay attention,” noted , CMHP research director. “We’ve interviewed more than 200 high school teachers and principals over the last two years to understand their biggest challenges as well as their perspective about current challenges for teens. There’s a palpable sense of concern around increasing distraction, stress and mental illness. Individually, those are each distinct and important problems. Yet a lot of research has shown that mindfulness-based attention training is an elegant solution that can help address each of those issues. That’s why we’re so excited about finding the most effective way to bring this training into high school settings.”

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方Michael Mrazek, CMHP research director. Courtesy photo.

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方The project is primarily funded by a development and innovation grant from the Institute of Education Sciences, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education. The goal of the grant is to use empirical research to iteratively refine a digital course that can ultimately scale to provide evidence-based training to millions of high school students in the United States. The online course includes not only four 12-minute lessons and daily 4-minute exercises for students, but also a teacher interface that makes it easy for teachers to enroll students and monitor their progress.

“We deliberately designed this resource so that teachers don’t need to become topic experts to be able to share attention training with their students,” Mrazek said. “When a teacher creates an account, they get access to facilitator training as well as their own personalized 22-day course. Time is a precious resource for teachers, so the course is largely plug-and-play.”

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方Alissa Mrazek, senior postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences, photo by Matt Perko, UC Santa Barbara.

Music plays an important role in most of the daily exercises. As Alissa Mrazek, a senior postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences, explained, the researchers have partnered with dozens of famous musicians to create training exercises for students. Students learn to focus their attention by listening deeply to music that is personalized to their preferred genre. “We ask students to try to keep their attention focused on the sounds they hear,” she explained. “Then when distractions arise, as they inevitably do, it’s an opportunity to practice letting go of that distraction and coming back to the music.”

Music plays an important role in most of the daily exercises.

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方Keeping the students engaged in the lessons is critical but also challenging, noted Michael Mrazek. “We’re constantly striving to use all of the best practices from educational psychology that optimize learning, and to implement them in fast-paced videos that resonate with a teenage audience,” he said. “It’s a delicate balance, and it’s forced us to develop a unique style that can both captivate and educate.”

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方Jonathan Schooler, CMHP director and a professor of psychology, photo by Matt Perko, UC Santa Barbara.

“I was skeptical initially, just because I thought that pairing a digital format with mindfulness is kind of antithetical, that digital programs are really one of the largest distractions for our teens,” said Gabriel Villegas, a teacher at , which uses the course. The program soon won him over. “I tried it with some of our students, and they loved the music options that were chosen and they loved the lessons.”

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方In Santa Barbara, teacher Jeffrey Bailey is also a fan. “The feedback that I got from the students was that they felt, especially when they had a stressful day, the program helped them to recalibrate and refocus, as well as to be able to notice their emotions a little bit more without judging themselves.”

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方Each exercise is designed to help students achieve a mental state of calm and focus. “What we’ve heard from students and seen in some of our data is that these 4-minute exercises give students an immediate way to relax,” Alissa Mrazek said. “We’ve also had teachers say that when they start class with an exercise, students are suddenly more present and receptive to learning because they’ve let go of some of the anxiety that they had before class.

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方“The exercises help you relax in the moment,” she continued, “but they also train underlying skills that can be used to regulate your focus anytime you start getting worked up about something.”

The program is designed to be a “tier-one universal intervention that can teach preventative techniques to every single student in a high school,” Alissa Mrazek said. “All students experience stress and emotional challenges, and they all need access to evidence-based tools that help them understand and care for their own minds.”

Noted Villegas, “I think there is a movement in schools to be teaching the whole child, kind of a more holistic style instead of just academics. We’re realizing that hasn’t worked very well with all of the anxiety, depression and suicide rates.”

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方But how would training your focus improve your mental health? “Most people think about attention in terms of how long you can concentrate, but it’s much more than that,” Michael Mrazek explained. “Attention is a fundamental cognitive capacity that works like a spotlight, influencing what you actually experience in any given moment. If you train that fundamental skill, it not only allows you to focus better on a test but also gives you much more influence over how you relate to your entire inner world.

“I’m so excited about this project,” he continued. ‘What we’re trying to accomplish is very challenging, but all of my life I wanted to do something that really makes a difference in the world. When we were awarded this grant it was the first time I felt like we had a genuine opportunity to do it.”

Originally published in (UCSB) on January 28, 2020.

Pretty Persian Pastries

Pretty Persian Pastries, from 805 Living, Winter 2020.

For something sweet and special to share with loved ones this Valentine’s Day, check out Simi Valley–based ZoZo Baking Studio (), where owner and pastry chef Fariba Nafissi brings international flavors to the 805. The heart-shaped is a “traditional pastry that has no added sugar, and it’s naturally sweetened by dates,” says Nafissi. “Guided by an international palate, I use traditional Persian baking techniques to create interesting flavors.”

Each pastry is pressed with a handmade walnut-wood stamp, then carefully crimped. Her kolompeh comes in a strawberry-pistachio flavor, blueberry-almond, and the original, saffron-infused date. All of Nafissi’s treats can be purchased directly from the bakery or ordered online to be shipped. She also offers recipes and baking classes.

Photo courtesy ZoZo Baking Studio.

Photo courtesy ZoZo Baking Studio.

Photo courtesy ZoZo Baking Studio.

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方Photo courtesy ZoZo Baking Studio.

This story was originally published in the Winter 2020 issue of . Click  here  to read the story as it appeared in 805 Living. 805 Living Pulse Winter 2020

High Impact Housing

High Impact Housing from 805 Living Magazine, Winter 2020.

Tragedy can sometimes lead to innovation. One example: Plant Prefab’s () new scalable prefabricated home, the Sunset Bud LivingHome, designed by Burdge Architects () and presented in partnership with .

“As a resident and one of the leading architects in Malibu, Doug Burdge [founder of Burdge Architects] wanted his first LivingHome to be especially capable of meeting the needs of those who lost their homes during the and who want a way to return to their property as soon as possible,” says Plant Prefab CEO Steve Glenn of the recent addition to his company’s LivingHome line.

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方Created in response to a City of Malibu program that allows victims of the 2018 fire to install as a temporary housing solution, the Sunset Bud LivingHome offers an efficient and flexible model for ADU-compliant properties everywhere.

The modular units can be configured in a range of housing sizes from studio (445 square feet) to two bedrooms plus a studio and garage (1,200 square feet), with prices starting at $315,000.

Originally published in the Winter 2020 issue of . Click  here  to   read the story as it appeared in 805 Living. 805 Living Pulse Winter 2020

StarCycle Puts Indoor Cycling in the Spotlight

StarCycle is one of Santa Barbara’s hottest new fitness studios. Courtesy photo.

“It’s a dance party on a bike, like when you’re at a wedding and your jam comes on and you don’t care what anybody thinks — you just get up there and move your body.” That’s how co-owner Dani Stone describes the workout at StarCycle. The  fitness center is part of a new breed of indoor cycling studios that use music and choreography for a physical and mental approach to cycling.

At StarCycle, the lights go off before the 45-minute full-body workout begins.

“The most appealing part to me has been that we work out in the dark, which allows you to really focus on yourself and just ‘do you,’ — modifying as needed,” said Julie Sorenson, who joined the gym on an introductory membership in March 2019 (opened on February 28) and recently completed her 170th ride.

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方“The community there is incredible, and the instructors are super motivating,” she said. “It’s empowering. I can feel the positive energy in the room when I ride. The full-body workout (with weights) has also helped me heal from a shoulder injury.”

Another big appeal for members is that childcare is always available. Moms are the target demographic for the studio, explained co-owner Kayla Johnson-Neal, a personal trainer and fitness professional who’s been working in the industry for 24 years. “With young kids, they are maybe at a phase in life where they aren’t that challenged, so the challenge of doing this workout is like they’ve climbed Mount Everest. It is so fun to watch.”

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方Themed music rides, ranging from holiday specials to boy bands, Coachella, Stagecoach, and special “naughty rides with explicit lyrics” are also part of the attraction, as is the warm, welcoming atmosphere, where clients are greeted with smiles and hugs.

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方“I’ve never seen results like this in all of my years of experience. And we’re only a year in now. People have melted,” Johnson-Neal said. “But you know what I love? Weight loss is not what they talk about. Somebody came up to me yesterday and hugged me and started crying and saying, ‘I’m a better wife and a better mom because of StarCycle.’ She’s lost weight, but that’s not where the focus is, and that’s what I think is so cool.”

Tips from Kayla:

  • Find something that you love. “Love” might be an extreme word, but find something that you don’t hate. I’m always telling clients that you need to find a workout that’s going to make you a little bit excited to show up.
  • You don’t have to go all or nothing. It’s just consistency. Maybe it’s kickboxing; maybe it’s Zumba. Just be consistent in that movement.

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方For more information, visit .

Originally published in on January 21, 2020.

StarCycle co-owner Kayla Johnson-Neal, right, has been in the fitness industry for 24 years, courtesy photo.

Chef Ink

Chef Ink Cover, SB Independent January 2, 2020

Chef Ink Cover, SB Independent January 2, 2020

Talking Tattoos With Decorated Chefs From Los Alamos to Coast Village Road

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方It was so much fun to interview local culinary wizards and talk tats. Check out this week’s cover story in the , or click below to see the PDF.

Chef Ink

收到的微信红包怎么退回给对方Originally published in the Santa Barbara Independent on January 2, 2020.