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Ventura County's Support-Local Program

Dinner at the… Returns for 2012!

Last year’s series was a great success. And what we have planned for this year is even better! World class cuisine and agriculture come together for fabulous evenings of fun and community.

This article describes the Totally Local VC Dinner At The… dinner series held in 2012. For information on this year’s dinner series, go to Farm-to-Fork Dinner Series 2019.

What a difference a year makes.

Twelve months ago, with Totally Local VC operating well under the community radar but already picking up speed, Kat Merrick and her allies unveiled an ambitious notion – to create an alliance of local farmers and chefs in a series of spectacular one-time-only dining events for a discriminating subset of the Gold Coast community. Dubbed Dinner At The for the sake of the ever-changing location, the series became an overnight sensation. While farm-to-plate fetes are hardly a new idea, TLVC’s mission added just the right spice to the recipe, emphasizing community as the unequivocal centerpiece to each event. Just as TLVC’s mission is dedicated to local living across a wide spectrum, so the events are meant to express a broad experience of community, of “living local” with high intention: honoring the community by staging the events in high-profile, imagination-catching venues; honoring the farmer by sourcing the food from local, organic growers; honoring the craft by engaging some of the area’s most celebrated chefs to create the meals; honoring local vintners and brewers by offering the finest local wines and ales. Truly, the county’s cup runneth over, and nowhere is the fact more in evidence than at the Dinner At Theking’s table, where neighbors and strangers come together to pass the platter and celebrate, in a word, community. The contrast between last and this year is evident in more ways than one, as TLVC rolls out the slate for 2012’s Dinner At The series: while last year the series was only a potentiality, with much to prove, this year it lands on the calendar a tried-and-true hit, and a hot ticket on the veritable eve of sales. Anticipation is already high among a dining public keen to see what’s next in the popular and innovative series; as before, proceeds will go to benefit Food Share, and, as before, the well-known non-profit’s ubiquitous volunteers will anchor the labor force. The series will again enjoy sponsorship from Ventura Rentals, and will also benefit from backing by Republic Recycling. That said, the question of the hour remains where Dinner At The… will actually be served. Check out the lineup below.

The Dinner At The…  lineup

Dinner At The Orchard: May 24, 2012

Chef Jason Collis of Plated Events returns to the series, bringing his fare to the citrus hillside of Santa Paula’s Limoneira Ranch. Wines will be provided by Four Brix Winery, and complemented by the beers of Surf Brewery. It SOLD OUT!!! And it was great! Thank you for your support.

Dinner At The Mission: July 26, 2012

Chef Tim Kilcoyne of Sidecar Cafe takes over the kitchen as the event lands in the county’s historic birthplace, the grounds of Mission San Buenaventura, where the community founded by no less a personage than Junipero Serra himself, some 230 years ago. Wine tasting will be offered in the Mission Gardens by Emilio Estevez’s Casa Dumetz Winery and Surf Brewery, and Shannon Marie returns to the series with her extraordinary desserts. It SOLD OUT, too!!! And it was great! Thank you for your continuing support.

Dinner At The Ocean:  September 20, 2012

The Cave’s Chef Gary Daniels toplines the autumn event, which journeys to land’s end to a seaside setting, to celebrate all the charm of our coastal lifestyle. Wine tasting kicks off the event with Ojai Vinyards and Surf Brewery. Wow, this one SOLD OUT too!!! Three for three! And it was, well… great! Thanks to all that attended for your terrific support.

Get all three dinners at a 10% discount!

Buy all three dinners and get 10% off of the normal single dinner price. SORRY, this option is no longer available cuz, well, this year’s Dinner At The… series is over. But look for a great discount  again next year.

We look forward to seeing you at our table at next year’s Dinner at the… series!


Dinners.  Our Dinner times vary with the day of the week as well as the season and location. Please check times for each dinner. Guests are greeted by friendly Totally Local VC staff–and offered a taste of our featured winery and light appetizers before beginning our informal tour. Dinner is served outdoors at communal tables where you will eat and visit with local growers, farmers and purveyors.

Menu.   Our menu is inspired by the weekly harvest. For this reason, we are unable to announce our menus ahead of time. We hope you’ll enjoy the surprise and the wonderful diversity of foods fresh from the farm, ocean and ranch. Each meal consists of a set menu of several courses prepared on-site. The Price for each dinner is $90 per person plus tax.

Wine.   We work closely with each chef to select the perfect local wines to pair with each of our menus. Wine is served with each course throughout the meal. Wines will be available for purchase at each dinner.

Reservations.   To make your reservation just clicks the buy now button and proceed through the purchasing process. Take advantage of this great offer – 10% discount. if you purchase all three dinners in the series. Once your complete the ticket purchase process You will receive a confirmation E-mail. Please note that your reservation is not confirmed until your payment is received. Thereafter, unpaid reservations will be void. If you must cancel, your reservation will be refunded if you contact us 7 days in advance of the event. There is a $10 service charge applied to all cancelations. Seats are a first-come, first-served basis.

Waiting list.   If you are interested in attending a dinner that is sold out, please e-mail us at and note in your e mail the event and date you would like to be wait-listed on and the number in your party. You will also need to provide us with your name and a contact phone number and e-mail address. Things happen and seats open up so we suggest following us on our Facebook page to see when this happens. You can also drop us a note on our contact page as well.

Dress.  Dress is casual. We recommend that you wear your walking shoes and a sunhat. You will also want to bring a jacket, layering is suggested as our coastal weather is unpredictable and evenings can get chilly.

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