Allison Costa, owner of Santa Barbara Tasting Tours, has been running food tours in the area for over six years. She started Ventura Food Tours in 2011, and began with tours in Ventura and Ojai. After seeing how much guests enjoyed those tours, she started her Taste of Santa Barbara Tour in 2014, and officially launched Santa Barbara Tasting Tours in early 2015.
Allison 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. Though she's been a wilderness trip leader, a corporate trainer, and even owned her own stationery business, it wasn't until a few years ago when she started writing about food that everything began to come together.
Prior to starting her food tours business, Allison 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.
Allison shies away from calling herself a foodie because she appreciates a greasy cheeseburger just as much as a five-course wine pairing dinner (perhaps even more!). And when she finds a restaurant or shop that she loves, she can't resist telling everyone she knows. Her food walking tours are a natural extension of that passion, built to introduce people to the best food finds and best food stories in the area. We hope you will come along with us, as we eat our way through Santa Barbara, one bite at a time.
Our Lead Tour Guide, Rachel Hommel, is a fearless gourmet and world traveler, promoting culinary tourism in the 805. When not rallying for fair food, Rachel Hommel can be spotted at the farmers market, practicing yoga, and dancing to the "beet" of life.