Some Photos From Oregon and Big Sur

Here are some photos of the areas I visited..
The first two are of Jacksonville, Oregon. Beautiful.
The middle two are of Big Sur from my balcony at Ventana.
The last one is of an unfortunate car that got caught in the mud slide in Big Sur which caused me to have to stay an extra night because of the road closure. Continue reading

Some Things Happen For a Reason

While away in Oregon, I got a call from Ventana in Big Sur, California. I had actually applied for an Executive Chef Position there after learning that they were looking about 2 months ago. This is where I had got my culinary start over 14 years ago. This is also the property I use as the standard that I have measured other places I have worked. Apparently a wild fire had destroyed the restaurant about 10 months ago and it is in the process of being rebuilt.  They have built a “Bistro” restaurant that has been servicing the Inn in the meantime. Needless to say, I was very excited about the possibility to go back there. The property and surrounding area is truly magical.
After a couple phone interviews, I had changed my plans and added a leg to my trip to go to Big Sur. Upon arriving, I had learned that there were several people I had worked with before that were still there. It was great being able to see everyone again. I was asked to cook for an informal tasting. I was happy with what I made and hope I will be able to move to the second round of interviews which will include a trip to San Francisco to cook for the corporate guys. I think this is the first time that the Inn has been managed by a management company in it’s 35 year history. After visiting, it’s clear that they are doing great things. Also, there are some cool toys in the kitchen including a PacoJet, CVap and a Couple immersion thermal circulates. We’ll see how it goes.
The tasting I made included Roasted Heirloom Beets with Herbed Chevre and Pickled Onions, Seared Spring Lamb with Minted Pea Puree and Kalamata Ravioli and Oven Dried Strawberries with Strawberry Consomme, Basil Tapioca and Citrus Cream.
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