Category: Featured Events

Meet Stephanie Sokolove

Preface: This interview took place last year. She is graciously hosting this year’s Table of Life Event at her Estate. What a wonderful partner she has been to the Foodbank!

Onto the Interview: September 2014

The-BEET Stephanie Sokolove

Many of you have heard of the Table of Life Fundraiser that supports the Foodbank’s Feed the Future programs, a sequential series of programs created by the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County that fosters nutritional health and independence in children of all ages. This year, on October 5th, the Foodbank is thrilled and proud to have Stephanie Sokolove as Table of Life’s keynote speaker. Stephanie is Owner and Executive Chef to THREE nationally recognized restaurants in the Boston area, Stephanie’s on Newbury, Stephi’s on Tremont, and Stephi’s in Southie.

Stephanie has built her business on a style of cooking that she calls “Sophisticated Comfort,” a style that is fresh, interesting, and yet familiar. “Sophisticated Comfort Food” is the next generation of comfort food in that it blends traditional favorites with today’s food preferences. Dishes are imaginatively created with current, fresher ingredients and bolder flavors then artistically presented. At the restaurant, Stephanie spins familiar classics into elegant dishes that comfort and surprise without being fussy or intimidating.

I sat down with the gracious Stephanie Sokolove to ask her some questions about her health and food philosophies, and of course I couldn’t help but ask a little about her restaurants.

The BEET Question 1To me healthy is waking up and feeling good; feeling energetic, clear headed and ready to face the day.

The BEET Question 2

It’s important to be able to function at your top level.  If were not healthy it’s hard to get through the day.  For example, I play golf.  To feel and play my best, I don’t eat big meals beforehand, as I need to feel light to play well.

The BEET Question 3

It’s got to play into it. But I believe survival probably comes first before health. If people knew where healthy choices were offered, I think they would make the right choice. But people don’t always know where to get healthy foods.   If we can get this message out to the community, I think that would be amazingly welcomed. What kills me is to see overweight kids, eating unhealthy foods, they can’t feel well!

The BEET Question 4

Personal health choices and restaurant services can be conflicting, as, what makes food delicious is not necessarily what you should eat every day.  However in my restaurants, everything is fresh, nothing comes out of a can; fresh is best.  That is a requirement to make food delicious.  Sugar, butter, and salt tend to make food taste better but we have cut back on these things for our health.   So we also offer dishes with less butter, less cream, and use fresh sauces instead of cream sauces for fish. California food has seen an evolution over the last 20 years.  It was known for its heavy comfort foods, but now we are seeing lighter comfort foods and fresher options like all kinds of amazing salads.

The BEET Question 6 I believe the Avocado is the healthiest single food we could eat.  And it is so versatile!  Substitute for oil and butter.  It’s a Fruit/ vegetable that is worth experimenting with;  Salads, sauces, baking.  Salads don’t need oil, ripe avocado gives salad a lovely creamy texture.

The BEET Question 8 Working in a restaurant where food is abundant, you become unaware of how much food is needed.  Working with the Foodbank has been an eye-opener to me.




April 22 – Foxen Canyon Food Drive

Foxen Canyon Wine Trail Food Drive Flier

March 21st, 2015 – April 22nd, 2015

Receive one complimentary tasting for every two non perishable food items you bring in. Please donate items that are Foods 2 Encourage. Thank you!

Participating Wineries:

Andrew MurrayCambria, Cottonwood CanyonFess ParkerFirestone, Foxen Vineyard & WineryKenneth VolkKoehlerMartian RanchRancho SisquocRiverbench, Tres HermanasZaca Mesa

Mar 25 – Lompoc Empty Bowls


The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is proud to announce

Lompoc Empty Bowls on
Wednesday March 25th
11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Dick Dewees Community and Senior Center
Check out the Facebook Event Page

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For a donation (ticket price: $25), attendees select a beautiful hand-crafted ceramic bowl, enjoy a meal of gourmet soup and bread, and take home the bowl as a reminder of the event’s purpose: to help feed hungry people wholesome and hearty food in our community.

There will also be a raffle extravaganza with many fantastic items!

For more information, sponsorship, or raffle details please contact
Development Manager Judith Monte 805-937-3422 x106 with questions.

Tickets available from:  

  • Stillman Capital Group (1201 East Ocean Ave #K)
  • Chamber of Commerce (111 South I Street)
  • Sue’s Place (101 North H Street)
  • Rabobank (828 North H Street)
  • Walnut Pier Health Club (803 East Walnut Avenue)
  • The Bookstore (1137 North H Street Suite Q)

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Oct 17 – Table of Life Gala

School of Knowledge Table Sponsors have generously released limited tickets for purchase. Your donation sponsors 5 children enrolled in our Feed the Future programs. Each child receives delicious, fresh produce and food literacy training.

Garden Party Attire: Hats, flats, semi-formal. This is not a black tie event.

Date: October 17, 2015
Time: 4 pm – 7 pm
Host/Location: Jim & Stephanie Sokolove’s Montecito Estate
1569 East Valley Road, Montecito CA 93108

Honoring: Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree and Sherry Villanueva
Co-Chairs: Marybeth Carty and Arlene Montesano
Band & Entertainment: Doublewide Kings and La Boheme Professional Dance Group

Honorary Committee: Michael & Tracy Bollag, Citrix, Ann Daniel, Bob & Christine Emmons, Dr. Stephen Aizenstat & Dr. Maren Hansen, Carla Hahn, Perri Harcourt, Natalie Orfalea, Alison Wrigley Rusack & Geoff Rusack, Ken & Jo Saxon, Richard & Maryan Schall, Michael & Anne Towbes, Fielding Graduate Institute
Host Committee: Marybeth Carty, Ann Daniel, Arlene Montesano, Nancy Paley, Nancy Sheldon, Stephanie Sokolove, Nina Terzian, Judi Weisbart

Fruit of the Earth Champion
Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree

School of Knowledge Sponsor
The Bank of Santa Barbara
Michael & Tracy Bollag
Lillian Lovelace
Chuck & Missy Sheldon and Mike & Nancy Sheldon
Jim & Stephanie Sokolove
Warren  & Mary Lynn Staley
Sherry Villanueva

Feed the Future Supporter
Ann Jackson Family Foundation
Blue Star Parking
Cottage Health System
Marcy Carsey
Robert & Christine Emmons
Montecito Bank & Trust
Mosher Foundation
Orfalea Foundation
Sage Publications
Ken & Jo Saxon
Richard & Maryan Schall
Venoco, Inc.

Other Contributions
Bryant & Sons, Ltd.
UC Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Hustlers

Fourth Annual Table of Life Gala
a garden party benefitting the Foodbank

Bringing together the local food industry, chefs, restaurateurs, wine makers and foodies to celebrate Santa Barbara County’s finest. This year, the Foodbank is proud to honor, Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree and Sherry Villanueva for their leadership and steadfast commitment to improving food security. The Table of Life Gala will be held at Jim and Stephanie Sokolove’s beautiful Montecito Estate on Saturday, October 17, 2015. Proceeds will support the nutritional health of our community through building and inspiring our next generation of culinary talent. Learn more about Feed the Future programs. Event is limited to 200 guests.

Restaurants & Chefs: Michael Hutchings, Christine Dahl, Stephanie Sokolove, the Lark, Trattoria Mollie, Little DoorDriscoll’s Berries, World Cuisine Express Organic Kitchen, Edie Robertson, Lys Santa Barbara Caterer, Catering Connection, Pete Clemens, McConnell’s Ice Cream, Tri-County Produce, Shalhoob Meat Company, Nimita’s Cuisine, Bacara Resort and Spa

2015 Sponsorship Levels 
Fruit of the Earth Champion $30,000 – includes 10 person table
Garden of the Earth $20,000 – includes 10 person table
School of Knowledge $10,000 – includes 10 person table
Feed the Future Supporter $5,000 – includes 5 person table

For sponsorship, please contact: Matt Neal, Director of Strategic Gifts, 805-967-5741 x 116

Tickets are $1,000. Your donation sponsors 20 children enrolled in our Feed the Future programs. Each child receives delicious, fresh produce and food literacy training.

Artwork by Cathy Quiel