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by Theodora (Theo) Stephan, Founder, Global Gardens®
Saturday, June 7
Learn everything you never knew about Extra Virgin Olive Oil by Santa Barbara’s most awarded EVOO producer in a fun easy-to-understand class…like how to tell if you really have an “extra virgin” in your cupboard, how to cook, bake and even fry with EVOO, nutritional information, storage, facts and foes about olive oil as an essential part of longevity going back to ancient Greece. Create your own fast food club (by learning to cook quickly, simply, deliciously, with worldly flavors!)
This interactive, inspiring class will be led through a tasting of seven varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oils & five Fruit Balsamic Vinegars, all grown and made by Theo. After the tasting, Theo will demonstrate how to prepare a healthy, easy and delicious recipe using EVOO.
Attendees will each receive their own Tasting Kit, Tasting Pallet & Package of 12 recipes with easy-to-follow instructions and photos. As a special gift, each attendee’s kit includes a $10 Gift Certificate to be used on the Global Gardens website or onsite at the Global Gardens retail store or Caliterranean Café, located inside the store.
About Theodora Stephan
Theodora (Theo) Stephan founded Global Gardens® in 1998 as the brand name for Santa Barbara County’s only complete specialty food & lifestyle company. She planted the 1st Certified Organic olive grove in the Santa Ynez region specifically for extra virgin, first cold pressing olive oil in 1997, importing the Koroneiki varietal from her mother’s homeland of Greece along with Spanish varietal trees indigenous to our climate.
Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Theo moved to the Santa Barbara region in 1996 and opened a West Coast office on Ventura Blvd. in North Hollywood for her graphic design firm, Real Art Design Group, Inc. She had acquired significant accounts with Universal Studios, Disney and SeaWorld. Art directing a large photo shoot brought her to Santa Barbara wine country in 1993 where she first experienced the silvery sway of historic olive trees in our lovely valley. Countless frequent flyer miles later, Theo decided to acquire partners, sold the design firm in 2001 and devoted herself full-time to developing the Global Gardens brand—Santa Barbara’s only complete food product line, made in California, with worldly flavors.
Theo recalls her first experience with actually tasting olive oil on bread when her favorite Aunt Lou was frying eggplant for making moussaka, a family favorite Greek dish. She was about five years old and asked her aunt why she used olive oil instead of Crisco, which was much, more common in the mid 60’s. Her aunt handed her a hamburger bun (!) and poured from an unmarked liter bottle she had just brought home from a family property in Thessaloniki. The fresh smell, buttery flavor and dancing sensations tingling the back of Theo’s throat never left her memory (or her palate!).
Theo’s favorite Universal client introduced her to a Nepalese family in 1999 that needed help after losing their mother in a horrific accident in the Himalayan foothills. Anita and Sunita were immediate loves of Theo’s life as soon as she made eye contact with them and it took Theo two years to achieve immigration status and complete the rigorous adoption process. Ani and Suni are now 18 & 19 years old, and Theo’s most successful love story. Ani has developed and branded Ani’s EVOO Ice Cream for the Business, featured in the upcoming May 2014 issue of Sunset Magazine. Suni is a freshman at Ithaca College and is works at the Destination Store while off school.
A great love for gardening and entertaining tastefully with easy-to-use-products and recipes has grown into the Global Gardens Destination Store & on site Caliterranean Cafe–a food tasting experience unique to Santa Barbara County. Theo has developed a proprietary formula for over fifteen fruit-infused champagne and balsamic vinegars. Over forty products comprise the Global Gardens brand including appetizer spreads, sauces, mustards, savory snacks and confections made with Theo’s recipes. The Global Gardens mission is to teach customers, one at a time, the healthful benefits of cooking with olive oils, vinegars and the enjoyment of cooking at home for friends and family. The Café Menu changes weekly, sourcing from only Organic and Local purveyors, with generous bounty harvested daily from the Café patio.
Currently, Theo is promoting her informational cookbook, Olive Oil & Vinegar For Life: Delicious Recipes for Caliterranean Living. She will celebrate her 14th Certified Organic EVOO harvest and production this year. She has a second Caliterranean book coming out winter 2014.
Theo’s dream is to develop an omnimedia company which will feature a comprehensive “Caliterranean” experience from Santa Barbara County, making the region an international destination, entertainment and educational resource. Theo is available for special events, olive grove consulting, planning and planting!
If you would like additional information please reach her via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.