On May 5, 1986, our installation into the International Wine and Food Society was celebrated with dinner at Michael’s Waterside Inn. We had 41 members, and our honored guests included Mr. René Aponte, Chariman, North American Board of Governors, and his wife; Mr. Joseph P. Wilkerson, former Chairman, International Wine and Food Society, London; and Mr. John Ivenson, Chairman, London Branch.
This was also the 28th meeting of the Santa Barbara Food and Wine Society, which preceded our affiliation with IWFS by 9 years. There were 38 members (originally men only), and our first meeting was June 28, 1977, at the Valley Club of Montecito. We planned up to four dinners each year, with wives invited for the Christmas Holiday black-tie event. We met at different venues, including an occasional dinner at a private home. Our leader was the late and very able Robert Vaillancourt, assisted by a seven-member Board of Directors. They purchased wines for our cellar, chose dinner sites, and acted as dinner and wine chairs. Dr. Bill Hein is our remaining charter member.
The Santa Barbara Branch now meets six times per year at either La Cumbre Country Club or at the historic Santa Barbara Club in the arts and entertainment district of downtown Santa Barbara. Members are encouraged to bring guests to all events.