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Caruso’s in Montecito Earns a Michelin Star

Santa Barbara County added a third Michelin Star awardee to its ranks this week, when Caruso’s at the Rosewood Miramar in Montecito was honored with the culinary world’s most esteemed designation. Bestowed upon a very excited Chef Massimo Falsini during a presentation in Los Angeles on Monday night, the star puts Caruso’s on par with Bell’s in Los Alamos and Sushi by Scratch: Montecito, both of which won their Michelin stars in 2021.

“Thank you! We worked so hard!” Falsini exclaimed after donning his honorary white chef’s coat and reaching the Michelin Star stage at the Petersen Automotive Museum on Monday, bringing passionate emotion to an otherwise staged affair. “I love my team. They worked so hard. Thank you so much!” (Read our 2019 feature about the restaurant here.)

Caruso’s also picked up a Green Star, which designates sustainable operations. The Central Coast added one more awardee as well: The Restaurant at Justin — located in the remote western hills of Paso Robles wine country aside an inn and vineyards — won both the Michelin Star and Green Star as well. The Green Star operations at both restaurants are described in detail here, and this is the list of all the 2022 awardees.

“The culinary industry is driven by passion, artistry, and creativity with a constant strive for perfection,” said Justin’s Chef Rachel Haggstrom in a press release. “I love watching each day as ingredients cultivate within the garden, steps away from The Restaurant, to then translate to the plate, and finally how that dish not only nourishes the person, but their soul.” She called being awarded for something that she loves to do as “a dream come true, and simply surreal.”

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