Barbecue boot camp to feature favorite vintages at Alisal Ranch in Santa Ynez Valley
Back by popular demand, the BBQ Bootcamp at Alisal Ranch will now be held three times a year, with the first one scheduled for March 5-8 at the 10,500-acre spread in Solvang.
The camp’s theme is “From the Vine.”
Featured will be California wineries pouring their favorite vintages and teaching guests how to pair and incorporate them into grilling recipes in addition to a private tasting excursion.
The BBQ Bootcamp brings some of the nation’s top chefs and grill masters to the ranch, where they will prepare indulgent barbecue feasts, demonstrate their unique approach to grilling (even desserts!) and share their barbecue secrets, tips, and tricks.
Chef Valerie Gordon will be in charge.
The celebrated Los Angeles chocolatier and James Beard finalist cookbook author for 2013’s “Sweet,” founded Valerie Confections in 2004 and eventually guided the confectionery to become one of the nation’s most highly acclaimed boutique chocolatiers.
In addition to emceeing the bootcamp, Ms. Gordon will conduct two of her own cooking demonstrations, sharing recipes and tips for grilling desserts.
Craig Riker, Alisal Ranch’s executive chef, will be offering a hands-on, interactive steak grilling demonstration. In addition, Frank Ostini of Hitching Post ll returns to the BBQ Bootcamp lineup with a wine tasting and burger lunch. The legendary restaurant owner, chef and winemaker is most recognized for his Buellton restaurant, which appeared in the 2004 movie “Sideways.”
Govind Armstrong, who is returning to the ranch after participating in a California Ranch Cookout last year, will demonstrate and pair grilled seafood with wine, a first for BBQ Bootcamp.
Chef Armstrong, who was raised on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, uses a seasonal approach to cooking and sustainability that has resulted in a slate of celebrated restaurants in Los Angeles, Miami and New York. They include Chadwick, Table 8, 8oz Burger Bar, Willie Jane and Post & Beam.
He is often recognized for his appearances on “Top Chef” and “Iron Chef America” and is the author of “Small Bites, Big Nights: Seductive Little Plates for Intimate Occasions and Lavish Parties.”
Helen Johannesen of Helen’s Wines will pair up with Chef Gordon for a wine, cheese and chocolate tasting experience.
With four locations in Los Angeles, sommelier Johannesen’s wine shops focus on naturally driven and organically farmed labels, small production vineyards, wine makers with integrity, lower intervention élevage and dynamic thoughtful wines. She is also celebrated for her “WineFace” podcast.
In addition to the guest chef experiences, participants will be taken to the nearby Folded Hills winery for a private, expert-led tasting.
Starting at $945/a night for double occupancy, the adults-only, multi-day package at Alisal Ranch includes:
— Western-themed accommodations for three nights.
— All meals and specialty dinners.
— A selection of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages.
— Demonstrations on grilling methods, equipment, barbecuing, spice blending and more.
— Special event keepsakes.
— Hay wagon ride to the historic adobe for breakfast.
Future iterations of the experience this year include BBQ Bootcamp: Spring Classic in May and BBQ Bootcamp: World BBQ in October. Dates and guest chef lineups will be announced.
“It has been exciting to see guests fall in love with our BBQ Bootcamp experience and return year-after-year to learn from the very best in the industry of food and wine,” said Kathleen Cochran, Alisal Ranch general manager. “We are starting 2023 with an incredible lineup of talented chefs, who each bring something unique to barbecue, a cuisine that has always been celebrated as part of our ranch’s unique and timeless history.”