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“Top activity in Santa Barbara!”
Review of Market Forays

Market Forays
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Market Forays offers Locavore Cooking Classes and Culinary Adventures for leisure travelers. Sustainable Team Building Events for Corporate Groups. Private Chef Services. Our classes are built around the freshest seasonal local ingredients, combined with a playful attitude that draws on my French upbringing, enriched by the cuisines of the many countries I have visited and by California's own multicultural richness. The preferences and restrictions of my guests are built into the day's lesson plan to ensure that everyone enjoys the experience. Sample menus can be viewed on the Market Forays website. Classes are hands-on, and a printed recipe guide is provided to each guest. The goal is not to impress you with my skills, it is to help you realize your own abilities. Saturday Market Forays classes begin at 8 in the morning at the harbor, continue on to the farmers market, and then we cook and share a feast. Class wraps up around 3:30 pm. Cost is $145 per person. Private classes available during the week, advance reservation is required.
Level Contributor
95 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Top activity in Santa Barbara!”
Reviewed November 15, 2012 via mobile

Laurence is a masterful French chief and teacher. She began our day by meeting at the Santa Barbara harbor dock where the fisherman had just brought in their fresh catches. We visited with Stephanie the urchin diver and tasted urchin fresh from the Pacific! We also talked talked with the lobsterman, Jim the rock crab fisherman and the and a fisherman who had some beautiful fresh caught halibut. Laurence selected a 22 lbs halibut that became our main course later in the day.

The next stop was at the Santa Barbara farmers market. We spent a wonderful time browsing the market vendors for a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts other items. This farmers market rivals those that we visited in Provence!

The next stop was at C'est Cheese shop for multiple tastings and to purchase cheeses for Laurence's meal and for our own nibbles for the rest of the week.

Next on to the main event! In a beautiful gourmet kitchen overlooking the Pacific, we spent the next couple of hours learning and cooking with two other couples and Laurence, our master French chief. We were served specially paired wines as the various courses were ready and also a glass or two just to complement the learning process!

The meal, wine and the good friendships developed where simply superb!! This day reminded us of a similar experience with Mama Agata in Ravello Italy.

Thank IndianapolisFun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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47 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
27 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Amazing Class on Hoshigaki - Japanese Dried Persimmons”
Reviewed November 13, 2012

Laurence Hauben teaches a wonderful and fun class on making Japanese dried persimmons called hoshigaki. This class is a hands-on experience, but it's very easy, requiring little more than the ability to use a paring knife. Laurence demonstrates all the steps, and you can see hoshigaki in the process of drying as well as the finished product. Laurence serves a lovely lunch and best of all, she sends you home with a full case of persimmons and a bamboo rod to hang them on, so you're all set to make your own as soon as you get home! This was a fantastic class!

Visited November 2012
1 Thank Shell39709
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colton, California
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Lunch for 4 friends”
Reviewed November 1, 2012

My maid of honor found Market Forays for my bachelorette weekend through this website. Four of us had a private cooking session with Laurence that started with the Farmer's Market and then to her home to prepare and enjoy our meal. We were surprised to see that she had arrived with persimmon bread that was still warm which we snacked on as we walked through the stalls. While we were somewhat disappointed at first that we wouldn't be able to get fresh seafood at the harbor due to winds, Laurence found some wonderful rock crab at the Farmers market which we turned into a delightful appetizer. While we had a set menu (Laurence gave us menus with tips when we arrived), she was quick to improvise a new dish when we found some dandelion greens at the Farmer's market.

The cooking process was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. She never criticized how we did things and was good at making sure everyone was involved. It was also nice to have some fresh iced tea and sangria as refreshment during the cooking.

The 5-course meal was delicious and filling. She was right--no need to eat dinner later. I would recommend this experience to a family, group of friends, or anyone who has an interest in cooking or eating good food. I had never been to Santa Barbara before and this was a great way to get to know this area through food.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank Kelly K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
37 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Sexy Lingerie Party with Laurence and Julia”
Reviewed October 19, 2012 via mobile

We were spending a birthday week in Santa Barbara and our evening with Laurence and her daughter Julia was the highlight. They catered a party at our rented villa. Prior to our party Laurence was told that our attire for the evening was sexy lingerie. (We were a party of ten women.). She was a great sport, excellent teacher and fantastic chef. The table was beautifully set and our evening with Laurence and Julia was quite festive. And her jams.....they are fabulous. An absolute must do in Santa Barbara.

2 Thank Linda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Amazing way to spend your Saturday”
Reviewed October 17, 2012

My girlfriend and I signed up for Market Forays as a fun way to spend our Saturday in Santa Barbara. Both of us were visitors to the area so we did not know where to go and what to eat. A cooking class that started at the market sounded really fun. We were greeted by Laurence at the pier at 8 AM and she brought the most delicious freshly baked and still warm scones with her. From there we walked a few feet over to the fisherman's area where they sold their fresh catch along the pier. Laurence picked up live spiny tailed lobsters. If you love seafood, this is definitely the place to check out. Besides lobster they had live rock crab, sea urchin, prawns, and fresh fish on ice. Everything was so fresh and looked amazing.

Next, we drove over to the Farmer's Market in downtown. This has got to be one of the best farmer's market I ever been to. I am from San Francisco so comparing it to the Ferry Building, Pleasanton, and Oakland. I must say the Santa Barbara farmers market is my favorite. It's everything a farmer's market should be. With just farmers and local stores selling their food and produce. Not many food trucks so the market was not too busy but the stands were stocked with fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, etc. Each vendor was happy to give out samples. I tasted some of the sweetest mandarins and strawberries I ever had. Half the fun at the market was having Laurence there to take you to each stand where she personally knew the farmer. When a chef knows the farmer and the quality of the ingredients it really shows in the kitchen and on the plate. It was also fun to just find fresh ingredients that day that gave Laurence inspiration such as squash blossoms and basil. They were not on the list but because they were so fresh and looked good she bought them to create stuffed squash blossoms and pesto.

After the farmers market we visited the cheese store and got to sample a wide variety of hard, soft, and sweet cheeses. Then it was off to Laurence's house to start the cooking. Laurence's home was extremely warm and welcoming. Everyone in the class got to participate in making and prepping the meal. It was a real team effort. You don't need to be a professional chef to take this class. Beginners like us were welcome. Laurence took her time to properly show us how to chop and mince everything.

I highly recommend Market Forays if you are ever in Santa Barbara. You will get to see and eat fresh and amazing foods. Meet friends on the way and sip wine as you enjoy the food you cooked at the end of the class.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank Thomas V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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