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My Story

My name is Jane Chapman and I am the creator & founder of "The Communal Table Santa Barbara."  I have been dreaming of & curating this gathering place my entire life.  I was born and raised in Santa Barbara and grew up part of a huge & lively family. Our family culture was one centered around meals together shared with diverse guests & full of  animated conversations & discourse.  It was common at our table to have heated debates and no topic was ever "off limits." In this arena I learned how to navigate  meaningful dialogue with people with different beliefs, backgrounds  & ideologies while maintaining respect for others and nurturing a safe place to share.  Over the past few years as our political climate has become increasingly polarized and the already present disparities within our society have broadened it is on my heart that for many the "art of conversation " has been lost.   It is my desire to bring in and grow a diverse community of women to gather, share, learn from one another,  hear a new perspective and maybe make a friend. In our gatherings there will be no "experts," but instead it is my hope that conversations will flow organically based on our own lived experiences.  These events will  each be unique, you may be challenged in your thinking, you may leave with more questions than you came with but it is my belief  that this is a place where growth within & love for others begins.  I am not claiming to be perfect at this, I will get it wrong and inevitably this project will get messy. I will mediate the conversations and prompt questions to the group as needed to the best of my ability. I am committed to this work, the communities and the women these conversations will elevate.  Below is a bit more about me,  my work experience & hobbies. 

My parents are classically trained chefs whom cultivated and passed down their delight for food and entertaining to me.  I have worked in the food & hospitality industry for over 20 years.  For the past 13 years I operated & managed my family's local restaurants Jane & Montecito Cafe, developed recipes, created community outreach, coordinated events & contributed to numerous food & wine publications including Sunset Magazine, 805 Living & Santa Barbara Food & Home.   I graduated from UCLA with a BA in Latin American Studies with an emphasis in Art History. I live in Santa Barbara with my husband and two children. I am passionate about finding joy each day, creating community, supporting women, elevating our voices, and helping others to see & live to their fullest potential using their unique natural gifting. In my free time I enjoy sharing time with my family & friends, exploring nature, making delicious food, creating art with my hands each day, practicing & teaching Yoga, traveling & meeting new people. I look forward to sitting at The Communal Table with you- Jane

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