Speakers discuss the influence of immigrant communities on Southern California’s food culture. Gustavo Arellano will moderate “Table Talk” at the Museum.
The Museum of Ventura County will host a panel discussion, 7 to 9 p.m., Nov. 1, on the influence immigrant communities have had in shaping the food culture of Southern California. The panel will include Ventura County Star Food Editor Lisa McKinnon, Alison Costa owner of Ventura Food Tours, Sarene Wallace editor and co-owner of Edible Ojai and Ventura County Magazine and Alex Montoya executive chef at The Cave in Ventura. Serving as panel moderator will be nationally syndicated columnist and author Gustavo Arellano. The event will be held in the Museum’s Martin V. and Martha K. Smith Pavilion, 100 E. Main St., Ventura. Admission is free for members, $5 for nonmembers.
Arellano is a nationally syndicated columnist of the award-winning column ¡Ask a Mexican! in which he answers any and all questions about America’s largest minority. The column has a weekly circulation of 1.8 million in 28 newspapers across the United States and has also been published in book form. Arellano has authored additional books including Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America in which he presents a tasty trip through the history and culture of Mexican food, charting the cuisine’s rise in popularity north of the border, and Orange County: A Personal History. A resident of Anaheim, Arellano served as publisher and editor of Orange County’s alternative weekly OC Weekly for 15 years and has won numerous awards including the 2006 and 2008 Best Non-Political Column in a large-circulation weekly from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, the 2007 Presidents Award from the Los Angeles Press Club, an Impacto Award from the National Hispanic Media Coalition and a 2008 Latino Spirit award from the California Latino Legislative Caucus.
Costa, owner of Ventura Food Tours and Santa Barbara Tasting Tours, has been running food tours in the area for over seven years. She started Ventura Food Tours in 2011 providing tours in Ventura and Ojai and soon after launched sister company, Santa Barbara Tasting Tours, in early 2015. Costa grew up in a Southern family where food always played a central role, yet it wasn’t until she had young children and found herself at home more, that her love of food and cooking grew into what it is today. Her food walking tours are a natural extension of her passion, built to introduce people to the best food finds and best food stories in the area. Prior to starting her food tours business, Costa worked as a freelance writer for Edible Ojai and Ventura County Magazine, the VC Reporter, and Ventana Monthly Magazine. She also appears occasionally on KCRW’s Good Food with Evan Kleiman to discuss local restaurants.
A food editor for the Ventura County Star, McKinnon, is also known as 805foodie on Twitter and Instagram, or VCS Eats on Facebook. She is The Star’s resident chef and food maven covering all things food related throughout Ventura County, including reviews, recipes, restaurant openings and closures, and event coverage. Her Cafe Society column appears in the Sunday Life section and Fridays in the Time Out section.
Wallace is an award-winning food journalist and editor of Edible Ojai & Ventura County magazine, a quarterly publication that focuses on the county’s food, drink and ag. She previously was the contributing food editor for 805 Living magazine and wrote the “Food on the Fringe” column in the Ventura County Star. Her features and food columns have been featured in more than 70 publications across the US. Wallace is also the co-leader of Tasting Jerusalem, a global, virtual cooking community established in 2013, with members from all across North America, New Zealand and the UK. Tasting Jerusalem has been featured in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Ventura County Star, San Jose Mercury News and online publications including The Daily Meal.
For more information, visit venturamuseum.org or call 805-653-0323.