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Ventura County's Support-Local Program

Dinner at the… 2016 Dinner Series

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND, we added a 3rd dinner for this year – Dinner at the Pumpkin Patch! Thursday, October 13th.

This article describes the Totally Local VC Dinner At The… dinner series held in 2016. For information on this year’s dinner series, go to Farm-to-Fork Dinner Series 2019.

Eat, Drink and Be Local

Totally Local VC’s 7th Annual Dinner at the… series has one dinner left: Dinner at the Pumpkin Patch!

Farm-to-Fork at
its very best

Totally Local VC once again presents its innovative series of dining events, the Dinner at the… dinner series. Since 2010, Totally Local VC marries iconic Ventura County locations with some of the area’s top-line chefs, purveyors, wineries and breweries preparing seasonal selections harvested from the region’s most celebrated farms. The series is structured in two successive events with a possible big surprise location for a third event to be announced later in the season.

These special evenings all revolve around seasonal, local fare with every aspect – from cuisine to libation to music, entertainment and decor – deriving from local auspices, indicative of and in keeping with the incredible bounty that is Ventura County.

Join us in the celebration!

Each event includes five-course, farm-to-fork meal paired with local wine, beer and entertainment. Meet and get to know guests, purveyors, organizers, sponsors and beneficiaries. The Dinner Series presents a unique opportunity to create community connections, form friendships and give back to amazing charity organizations in Ventura County.

Dinners that give back to our local community


This year’s dinner profits will be donated in part to the Steve Toby Scholarship Fund for Ventura County High School Students

The Totally Local VC dinner series also works to strengthen our community by helping to raise funds for local charities. This year’s profits will be donated to the Steve Toby Scholarship Fund for Ventura County High School Students and the Totally Local VC Agricultural Education Program. 

Over the past seven seasons, the Dinner at the… Dinner Series has fed over 4,200 guests and supported over 22 local farms and 172 local purveyors and businesses. “It’s all about going local, supporting local and giving back,” according to Totally Local VC founder Kat Merrick.

The 2016 Dinner Series Schedule

Dinner at the Avocado Orchard

Avocado trees move in the evening breeze as the ocean mist slips quietly in from the Channel Islands just off the coast. The moon rises over the 100-year-old barn as the sounds of civilization vanish and conversations begin to intertwine. New friends are made and family-style fare is shared. A kings table set amongst the orchard is the setting for this spectacular dinner highlighting Spring’s harvest and the bounty that is Ventura County.

The first of this year’s popular Totally Local VC Farm-to-Fork Dinner Series is being hosted by longtime Ventura agriculture mainstays, the Cummings family at their avocado orchard. Guests will sip, taste and enjoy learning more about the legacy of one of Ventura’s oldest ranches and historic farm families.

Chef Jason Collis from Plated Events will top line the evening’s fare, working in the context of our local spring harvest, paired with local wines from Labyrinth Winery, brews from Surf Brewery and spirits from Channel Island Distillery.

Date: Thursday, June 16, 2016
Time: 5:30 pm
Cost: $135.00 per person
Chef: Chef Jason Collis, Plated Events
Beverages: Wine – Labyrinth Winery;
Beer – Surf Brewery;
Spirits – Channel Islands Distillery
Purveyors: Ocean Pride Seafood;
Deardorff Family Farms
Rentals: Ventura Rental Party Center
Date: Thursday, August 25, 2016
Time: 5:30 pm
Cost: $135.00 per person
Chef: Chef Gabe Garcia, Tierra Sur
Beverages: Wine – Herzog Wine Cellars;
Beer – Poseidon Brewing;
Spirits – Channel Islands Distillery
Rentals: Ventura Rental Party Center

Dinner at the Cattle Ranch

Cattle graze quietly as squirrels seek refuge amidst the tall oaks and scrub while softly-blowing ocean breezes make their way through the canyons. Few jobs evoke the rugged glamour or the lasting image of the true West as much as that of the rancher.

Totally Local VC is proud to announce the second dinner in this year’s Farm-to-Fork Dinner Series: Dinner at the Cattle Ranch. This terrific dinner is hosted by cattleman Mike Williams of Diamond W Cattle Company and Rancho Cañada Larga, whose lifelong carrier in ranching brings all the passion and flavor of the American cowboy right to our table.

Chef Gabe Garcia from Tierra Sur top lines this summer event which journeys to this magnificent open space as we take in the wonder of ranch life at its best. The featured libations are provided by Herzog Wine Cellars, Poseidon Brewing and Channel Islands Distillery.

Back by popular demand,

we are adding a third dinner to this year’s Dinner Series

As evening’s coolness settles in across the fields and the setting sun casts its last light over the pumpkin patch, hints of orange and yellow hues inspire a sense of childlike excitement as fall harvest has arrived. Savor a meal scented by smoky meats and spices, perfumed with luscious wines and beers that are all distinctly Californian and offered in the evening air. Your feet touch the earth amidst a field filed with gourds, squash and pumpkins.

Totally Local VC is very proud to present our third and final Farm-to-Fork dinner of 2016: Dinner at the Pumpkin Patch, hosted by longtime Ventura agriculture mainstays the McGrath Brothers Great Pacific Pumpkins. Renowned local chef Tim Kilcoyne of Scratch Food Truck will prepare a wonderful Farm-to-Fork Feast using local and in-season ingredients harvested fresh from our local farmers and ranchers. The five-course meal will be paired once again with a selection from one of Ventura’s local vintners, Four Brix Winery. Guests will enjoy a hayride out to the patch as they learn the unique legacy of one of Ventura’s oldest ranches and historic farm families.

Date: Thursday, October 13, 2016
Time: 5:30 pm
Cost: $135.00 per person
Chef: Tim Kilcoyne, Scratch Food Truck
Beverages: Wine – Four Brix Winery;
Beer – Poseidon Brewing Co;
Spirits – Channel Islands Distillery;
Coffee – Beacon Coffee
Music: Francisco
Rentals: Ventura Rental Party Center

Join us as we close out the 2016 season with this final celebration of the Fall Harvest from the Bounty that is Ventura County.

This will be a once in a lifetime experience.

Want to see what it’s like to experience the Dinner at the Pumpkin Patch?

Here’s the Video & Photo Gallery of our last one.

A great video and some joyful photos show you some of the fun we had at Totally Local VC’s Dinner at the Pumpkin Patch, held in October 2014, smack dab in the middle of the pumpkin patch at McGrath Brothers Great Pacific Pumpkins in Ventura.

Need more info? Have any questions? Then contact us: send us an email at or leave a message on our contact page.

NOTE: These dinners are for persons aged 21 and older.

Image credits: Denise Dewire, Kat Merrick and Robert LeMaire.


  1. Where is the cattle ranch located?

    • The Dinner at the Cattle Ranch is being held at a large cattle ranch in Ventura. Sorry, we can’t give out the address on our site. Ticket holders will receive an email with the exact address and directions one week prior to the event.

  2. Can you give an approximate drive time/distance from Oxnard Shores? A general idea would be a great help!

    • As a very rough estimate, the Dinner at the Cattle Ranch is in Ventura and is about a 15 mile, 20-30 minute journey from Oxnard Shores. Sorry, we can’t give out the address on our site. As we’ve mentioned before, ticket holders will receive an email with the exact address and directions one week prior to the event. Hope that helps.

  3. We would like to get notices of upcoming events

    • Sure thing. We’ll put you on our mailing list. Anyone who wishes to be kept informed about Totally Local VC events, new articles on the web site or other happenings can sign up for our mailing list. Just fill in and submit the Get on our mailing list form found on most pages of the web site including the home page. We periodically send out mailings keeping you up to date with what’s happening in the world of Totally Local VC. And we promise that we won’t annoy you with way too many emails either.

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