SBCC culinary student at the
Regent Porto Montenegro!
Santa Barbara City College culinary student, Landen Ghen, arrived in Montenegro this month to work at the prestigious Regent Porto Montenegro for the summer of 2023. When approached by the Santa Barbara – Kotor Sister City Committee and professor, Stephan Rapp, of the Culinary Arts department of Santa Barbara City College, Landen embraced the opportunity to work for the summer at the Regent Port Montenegro. Landen is a first-year culinary student, having graduated from Ventura College, with an Associates of Art degree in 2015. Before pursuing his dream of becoming a “chef” he worked in the construction field. He was inspired by his grandfather who told him, “You have the makings of a chef. If not in this life? Which life?” To which Landen quit construction and started working at restaurant Gotetsu – Kushiyaki and Sake House in Ventura and enrolled in SBCC’s Culinary Arts program. Landen is energetic, enthusiastic, and eager to learn all that he can while working at the Regent Porto Montenegro.
Landen Ghen follows in the footsteps of three previous Santa Barbara City College culinary students who worked and interned at the Regent Porto Montenegro; Alberto Santamaria, summer 2022, Ava Engle, summer 2021, and Marcelo Chacon, summer 2021. The Santa Barbara – Kotor Sister City Committee is pleased to have established a meaningful culinary exchange program between our Sister Cities that touches the lives of young people in the culinary and hospitality field.
Marcelo Chacon, Alberto Santamaria, and Ava Engle
Funded by a grant from the U.S. Embassy in Montenegro, composers from Santa Barbara and Kotor created original music, representative of their home countries, which was performed by young musicians from each of our Sister Cities. The performance was attended by U.S. Ambassador to Montenegro, Judy Rising Reinke, and Sister City Committee liaison, Vickie Williams.
As an encore, these young musicians will perform this program at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara on October 2, 2022. Also performing will be Montenegrin guitarist, Miloš Karadaglić, together with Nicholas Petrovic Njegoš, the Crown Prince of Montenegro, on flute. Other dignitaries from both Sister Cities will be on hand as Santa Barbara’s Dr. Ichak K. Adizes is awarded the newly established American Montenegro – USA Friendship Award under the patronage of the President of Montenegro, Mr. Milo Djukanović.
Santa Barbara City College culinary student, Alberto Santamaria, has been chosen by the Santa Barbara – Kotor Sister City Committee to intern at the prestigious Regent Porto Montenegro for the summer of 2022. This informal program had its beginnings in 2010 when Randy Bublitz, former chair of the Culinary Arts School at SBCC, traveled to Kotor to teach a group of young students from the Institute for Children With Disabilities the basic skills for entry level work in Montenegro’s resorts and restaurants. These students, despite their hearing impairments, thrived in the restaurant environment creating multiple employment opportunities for disadvantaged youth.
The success of the program also resulted in SBCC culinary students, Ava Engle and Marcelo Chacon, being invited to intern at the Regent Porto Montenegro in the summer of 2021. The impression these two made on the manager and chef of the Resort resulted in an agreement for continuing the relationship between SBCC culinary tudents and the Regent Porto Montenegro Resort.
The Santa Barbara Sister City Committee is pleased to have established a meaningful exchange program between our Sister Cities that touches the lives of young people for years to come.
Dear Friends of Kotor,
KotorArt was invited by the U.S. Ambassador in Podgorica to apply for a small grant with a project that would strengthen the connections between the United States and Montenegro. We see no better basis for a project like this, than our established collaboration with the Santa Barbara-Kotor Sister City Committee and the University of California Santa Barbara Music Department!
Receiving this grant will allow us to commission four original pieces, from two composers, one from Montenegro and one from Santa Barbara, inspired by Montenegrin and United States heritage (local melodies, jazz standards, etc.).
To perform these pieces, we will create a small ensemble of four young musicians (two from each country). They will collaborate and prepare online, and finally meet in person, to rehearse and perform the pieces at the KotorArt International Music Festival, the University of California Santa Barbara and the Music Academy of the West in 2022.
Founder and Executive Director of KotorArt
The programs we have built together that make a difference.
The success of our Sister City program has been exchanges that bring people with common interests together. The exchanges in music, culinary, and sports have allowed young people from both cities to experience international travel and participate in programs that develop their skills and creates long term relationships within our two cities.
Music exchanges with KotorArt, the Music Academy of the West and UCSBs Music Department.
Culinary exchanges with the Resource Center in Kotor , SBCC’s Culinary School and internships in Santa Barbara and Kotor.
Kotor, Montenegro was established as Santa Barbara’s Sister City in the Fall of 2009. The town of Kotor is located on the Adriatic coast in Montenegro. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its historical monuments, Kotor is located on a natural harbor within the Bay of Kotor. Like Santa Barbara, Kotor offers various year-round activities including sailing, diving, fishing, hiking, water polo, and festivals encompassing everything from theatre to musical arts.