Taste of Local Festival

Liz Niles of Balcom Canyon Cider. Photo by Mariah Green

Ventura County Credit Union, Ventura

On Sunday, Sept. 11, the lawn of the corporate offices of the Ventura County Credit Union on Vista Del Mar in Ventura was the site of an afternoon of eating, drinking and making merry. Totally Local VC’s Fourth Annual Taste of Local Festival featured more than 60 local food purveyors and professionals – chefs, caterers, brewers, winemakers and more – who served up tasty cuisine and fine beverages for attendees to sample. Live music (by Dan Grimm, the Rose Valley Thorns and Spencer the Gardener) and presentations (by Shawn Pritchett of Ragamuffin Coffee Roasters, Chef Julia San Bartolome of Sweet Arleen’s and Andy Carter, president of the California Homebrewers Association) kept the crowd entertained. This year featured a special Mixology Throwdown, giving local bartenders a chance to shine by creating craft cocktails using liquors made by Ventura Spirits Company. The winning entry was a beautiful yellow-hued concoction mixed up by Graham Harris of Decker Kitchen in Thousand Oaks. Made with Ventura Spirits Wilder Gin and Angeleno Amaro, lemon juice, triple sec and Saint Germain, it was dubbed the “22 Venturan” and will be available for purchase at select restaurants.

Proceeds from the Taste of Local Festival benefited the Totally Local VC Agricultural Education Foundation.


Attendees enjoyed eating, drinking and making merry. Photo by John Foronda
Chef Alex Montoya of Water’s Edge Restaurant and Bar, Taste and Tales Catering and Honey Cup Coffeehouse and Creamery. Photo by Mariah Green
Graham Harris pours out samples of his “22 Venturan,” which won the Mixology Throwdown. Photo by Kat Merrick
Ivumi Hamagaki of Winchester’s prepares her cocktail at the Mixology Throwdown competition. Photo by Mariah Green
Shannon Vasquez, Vasquez Float Reiki. Photo by Mariah Green
The “22 Venturan.” Photo by Kat Merrick
Strawberry shortcake cones at the California Strawberry Commission booth. Photo by Mariah Green