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Making The Foodie Scene

You can find gourmands and perhaps a few undiscovered gems in lots of cities. But when it comes to cool towns, hip foods, local wines, beers and fresh and in-season, Ventura is truly making the scene. Food Scene that is.

by Kat Merrick
Beef on platter FEATURED

At Totally Local VC, we often use the term “celebrate the bounty that comes from our county.” But that celebration is about more than just acknowledging all the agriculture we have here. It’s also the fact that Ventura County has become a true foodie heaven.

You might wonder what makes a place a foodie town. It is usually not a list of celebrity chefs though many of our locals feel that our chefs are rock stars. Foodie towns tend to draw people who enjoy good food and celebrate it and, for reasons of geography, they usually have high concentrations of or access to dedicated farmers, food purveyors, innovative shopkeepers, an excellent Farmers Market and talented chefs, bakers and cooks. A thriving food scene usually reflects a strong sense of identity and is connected.

Most foodie communities generally have pro-active locals who also support the arts, music, independently owned shops, butchers, bakers and fisherman. (We know you were thinking candlestick maker but they support that too!) There are other aspects that play a role in building a foodie town. Ventura County is home to a number of food-related businesses.

For example, we have over 17 wineries producing amazing wines daily (Four Brix, Vino V, Ojai Vineyards, Cantara Cellars, Old Creek Ranch… the list goes on), fantastic locally crafted beers (Surf Brewery, Ouroboros, Anacapa Brewing), companies like Ventura Limoncello, Alquimia Tequila and Beacon Coffee, Chef Stroh’s Pestos, Jolly Oyster, Buon Gusto Farms Olive Oils and so many more.

foodie appetizer platter

A diverse group of dedicated local farmers and ranchers (Petty Ranch, Watkins Beef, McGrath Family Farms, Rio Goza, McGrath Brothers Farms, Atmore and Sons, Underwood Farms, Houweling’s Tomatoes, Dave Pommer, Tomi Farms. You pair all that with our very creative and talented chefs (Tim Kilcoyne, Rachel Main, Andy Brooks, Jason Collis, Gary Daniel, Adrien Nieto, Marie Shannon Confections – just to name a few from another long list) who all understand the connection between our food source and community and you have not only a winning hand, or should we say plate, you also have a foodie town.

One of the greatest advantages of living in a place that has such a connection to its food includes improved health, social cohesion, beautiful land and seascapes. But there is an advantage that I feel is intangible and that is the sense of pride that comes with living in a dynamic, connected and agriculture community. We each play a role in this evolution, this creation of our community, whether you are the grower, chef or purveyor… or even the customer who supports it. When we support our local community, when we learn and take part in what surrounds us, we become a link in its success and nourishment and that is just cool. Join the support local movement today.

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