March 19, 2019 - Rancho Cielo executive chef Estevan Jimenez will receive the prestigious Chef of the Year award from the Monterey Bay Chapter of the American Culinary Federation at its annual gala in May.
Jimenez—who formerly worked at Aqua Terra Culinary, Ventana Big Sur and the Monterey Bay Aquarium—was selected because of his professionalism and expertise, and for his dedication to community service—both in his work with at-risk youth at Rancho Cielo and within the chapter.
The talented chef attended the California School of Culinary Arts, Le Cordon Bleu program and moved to Monterey shortly afterwards as a chef for Bon Appetit Management, which at that time handled the aquarium restaurants and events. He was promoted to chef de cuisine in 2007 and then moved on to the position of executive sous chef at Ventana Inn in Big Sur.
Returning to the Monterey Peninsula he worked with Dory Ford as corporate chef de cuisine at Aqua Terra Culinary for seven years, before taking his current position at Rancho Cielo's Drummond Culinary Academy in Salinas.
As executive chef at Rancho Cielo, Jimenez oversees all the culinary education programs and acts as a mentor to underserved and disconnected youth—helping ... Read More
March 19, 2019 - At the Ment’or Cooking Demo on a brilliant Saturday morning at Gourmet Fest, organizer David Fink introduced chef Walter Manzke of République in LA as having been his original chef at Bouchée in Carmel. Fink then purchased the L’Auberge property, where Walter became the first executive chef. The dish Manzke prepared for us was beef short ribs, something David said he ate three times a week while he owned Bouchée. Manzke mentioned the Meatery in Seaside as a good source for meats.
Among the things we learned: reduce the red wine to remove all the alcohol before putting in with the meat, cook the mirepoix separately until all the vegetables are translucent—which can be like watching grass grow—and finally, before launching them into a 325 degree oven, put the seared short ribs into a cast iron pot and cover them with parchment paper before putting the lid on. This prevents them from becoming too dark, which can render them bitter. Never let the mixture boil.
Chef Manzke likes to serve this dish, which includes blanched baby carrots and fresh peas, atop something creamy like mashed potatoes, wild mushrooms or sunchoke purée.