Hot off the Press!


Preserving The Season by Karna Hughes

Santa Barbara News Press, July 21, 2011

The Really Goodland in Scene Magazine

Santa Barbara News Press, June 17, 2011

Goodland Kitchen featured on

June 8, 2011

If you haven’t heard, the recently opened Goodland Kitchen in Old Town Goleta is serving up the goods. Owner and chef, Julia Crookston has been working in the culinary industry for over thirty years, and has taken a leading role in the promotion of sustainable / local food production systems. Much of the produce Julia serves is sourced from farms less than 15 miles away from her kitchen, and is incorporated into her succinct seasonal menu on a daily basis. But the coolest thing about the kitchen is that it is community supported – offering aspiring chefs an opportunity to test the limits of their culinary creativity in a professional setting for a reasonable rate. So, next time you’re in Goleta stop by the kitchen and make yourself at home.

There are never too many cooks in the kitchen at Goodland!

A Community Kitchen Simmers in Goleta by George Yatchisin

The Independent, May 5, 2011


Nipper’s Table Talk Radio Show hosts Julia Crookston

April 28, 2011

Click here to see the link. Scroll to 40:42 to see our wonderful Chef, Julia Crookston!


April 18, 2011

Goodland Kitchen – What’s for Lunch?

For lunch today I decided that I would head down the street for some of the much anticipated fare from the newly opened Goodland Market. Over the last six months the owners have been renovating an old market that has seen only a few tenants in the last twenty years, but nothing as brilliant as this. This once 1600 square foot market has been replaced with a fully functioning community kitchen. Julia, the owner, has been a chef for both private homes and catering and she has now designed a place for both the small entrepreneur to work on their own projects in their own space of this kitchen. She has gone a step further and also develop a fully functioning restaurant/market to turn out beautiful food.
Mezza Plate.  Photo Credit: SBCanning.Com

Today I bought the Mezza Plate with pita, hummus, marinated feta, olives, artichoke and other seasoned vegetables. The colors and smells are fresh and the taste is excellent. I am pleased to see that we have a new choice in this small town of mine to get fresh ingredients that are not cooked to death and make you want to go back for more. I am looking forward to trying more of the lunch choices and getting to know Julia and Melissa, who is the manager, in the future.

Julia’s Kitchen: Julia Crookston and the Good Land Kitchen

Edible Santa Barbara , Issue 9, Spring 2011
By Carrie Clough

Julia Crookston and I met after a presentation on raising chickens at the Faulkner Gallery, about a year and half ago.  Katherine Anderson of Blue Oak Ranch introduced us, knowing we were both chefs.  I liked her immediately.  It wasn’t just her enthusiasm for food that appealed to me—it was her enthusiasm for life.  She seemed like a kindred spirit.

What intrigued me most about Julia was that her business was focused on food preservation: the canning, pickling, and fermenting of surplus farm produce.  “How absolutely fantastic,” I thought.  Not only fantastic because those three methods are a wonderful way to both prevent spoilage and enhance the flavor of foods, but also because we have so much produce in Santa Barbara County that ends up in the compost.

Julia is what you might call a seasoned chef.  During the course of her 30-year career, she has worked for Chez Panisse, for Jeremiah Towers—of Chez Panisse fame—at Stars, for the catering placement agency, Bon Appetit, for nearly 10 years, as a cooking instructor at the Southern California School of Culinary Art—now Le Cordon Bleu—and as a personal chef for Julie Andres, Barbara Streisand, James Garner, Antonio Banderas, and Melanie Griffith.

For a number of years now, Julia had been using produce from local farms here in Santa Barbara, transforming it into masterpieces ranging from organic blood orange marmalade to bread and butter pickles.  Her business is called Preserve Santa Barbara, with a side business called Bona Dea expressly for sweet concoctions.

The biggest problem Julia faced was finding a kitchen she could use as often as necessary and, preferably, during the daytime hours.  This is a challenge for many chefs who are trying to sell their products, as commercial kitchens are not only expensive to rent but most are almost always being utilized by other chefs.

One avenue Julia considered was to have a community-supported kitchen—not too dissimilar from community-supported agriculture model, or CSA, though it does not involve box schemes.  Instead of fresh produce, the kitchen will sell prepared foods using produce from local farms.  Like blood orange marmalade made from Seven Oaks Ranch oranges in Ojai or apricot preserves from Tom Shepard’s Sedgwick Reserve apricot crop.

Julia’s brother Michael—now one of her business partners—encouraged her to find a kitchen of her own, which took some effort.  Eventually, they found a kitchen in Old Town Goleta.  If any of you have ever gone for drinks at the Mercury Lounge, you have likely parked on the street adjacent to Hollister, which is South Magnolia Avenue.  You might have even parked there during the daylight hours and noticed an intriguing storefront called The Esmeralda Market, which has been closed now for several years.  This is the location for their upcoming venture: The Good Land Kitchen.

Julia met Melissa Gomez through a mutual friend who knew they had a shared vision.  Melissa worked as marketing manager for the Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens and has been interested in setting up a community-supported kitchen for a couple years.  With Julia’s experience as a chef and Melissa’s experience working for a CSA, it felt like the right blend of expertise to get this business off the ground.

With Julia running the kitchen and producing many of her famous jams and pickles, Melissa will be running the deli at the Good Land Kitchen, as well as using her marketing background to attract interns to help as volunteers.  They are planning to have a full-service deli as well as a retail shop, offer cooking classes and continually evolve to become a great resource for the community.  Their goal is to inspire others to get involved and become excited about their contribution to the business.

After she and Melissa gave me a tour of the kitchen, Julia sent me home with a smorgasbord of her outstanding pickles and jams.  The apricot preserve made from Tom Shepard’s apricots is easily the best I have ever eaten.  Barely sweetened with the most intense apricot flavor, I have been putting it in my yogurt in the morning—incredible. This morning I had toast spread with mascarpone and Julia’s blood orange marmalade—outstanding.

The pickled carrots with oregano, garlic, and chilies are nearly gone and the preserved lemons are absolutely perfect.  So much better than any preserved lemons I’ve made.  I plan on buying them from her as oftern as necessary, and luckily the Good Land Kitchen plans to open in April.


Goodland Kitchen

The Daily Sound
The Restaurant Guy, John Dickson
March 21, 2011

A new cafe and rental kitchen named “Goodland Kitchen” opens at 231 S. Magnolia Ave in Old Town Goleta.  Hours will be Mon-Fri 7am – 2pm. Here is a description found on their web site

The Goodland Kitchen is a grab-and-go eatery in Old Town Goleta that specializes in delicious, artisinal, simple, and affordable food. We prepare food on a community scale, instead of an industrial scale, and utilize local and sustainable products so we can provide an exceptional culinary experience.