Santa Barbara Uni

Imagine that... a festival in Santa Barbara!

It seems like there is always some kind of festival going on... French, Greek, I'Modonnari, Film, Avocado, Lemon, Food, Wine, Sandcastle.  I'm sure I'm missing some.  This past Saturday was the Harbor and Seafood Festival, which celebrates the opening of lobster season and features local commercial fishermen offering the Santa Barbara Channel's freshest seafood.  

We are so fortunate to have such a beautiful harbor and coastline here in Santa Barbara and to be so close to the Channel Islands. 

Hubby, Middle Daughter, Fiance' and I went to check it out.  How could we leave out the doggies... Middle Daughter's new addition, Little White Dog, and Little Brown Dog?!  Little White Dog has given Little Brown Dog some serious competition.  She got a ton of attention. 

There was live music, arts and crafts vendors, children's activities and boat rides.  

The local fisherman lined the pier with their fresh catch. 

I was especially interested in the Uni or Sea Urchin.

Just off our coast, in 20 to 100 feet of water, Santa Barbara divers harvest some of the world's best Sea Urchins.  They call them "California Gold" the highest grade Uni.

I watched a local fisherman demonstrate how to extract the beautiful golden meat referred to as roe.

Uni or Sea Urchin is one of those tasty local items I'll add to my menus.  Uni is harvested all over the world but the West Coast of the United States has been one of the largest sources.  It has a light, sweet and somewhat briny flavor.  It can be an acquired taste but prepared and paired right... yummmm!  

 Uni Trio -  Uni Shooter and Quail Egg with Citrus Ponzu, Plantain Chip Boats with Uni Citrus Frisee Salad

Uni Trio - Uni Shooter and Quail Egg with Citrus Ponzu, Plantain Chip Boats with Uni Citrus Frisee Salad

I've had Uni on my mind for a couple of years ever since Son created and prepared this awesome dish in culinary school.  This was one of his dishes that was selected out of many to be served in their restaurant... Uni Trio - Uni Shooter and Quail Egg with Citrus Ponzu, Plantain Chip Boats with Uni Citrus Frisee Salad.  I'm getting excited thinking about all the wonderful local seafood I'll be able to serve on Green Flash!  

I can hardly wait to get Her to Santa Barbara!  Unfortunately, it's not a process you can rush.  It's amazing how much organizing and planning has gone into the upcoming sail to the West Coast of California from the Virgin Islands. Hubby has been busy scheduling crew comings and goings, researching weather, and applying for all the paperwork necessary for customs and immigrations of each country they will pass through.

Hubby, Son, his trusty delivery/chef crew, is heading on down to Tortola to relaunch Green Flash.  Hopefully She faired well through the hurricane season and their won't be any surprise projects.  It's always a huge amount of work relaunching and getting the boat ready, especially this time prepping Her for the transit.  If all goes well, they should be on their way to Panama in a week.  There will be friends and family meeting up with them at different times to help with the delivery.  I am really looking forward to getting their pictures along the way.  I'll be sharing my own pictures with you as well when I fly down to Panama to help with the Canal transit.  

I'll keep you posted on the progress and share some tasty recipes too... so stay tuned!