January 31, 2017 – Local celebrity chef Todd Fisher—known for his over-the-top dishes and his 2013 reality TV show The United States of Bacon— is leaving Tarpy’s Roadhouse and heading to Folktale Winery in Carmel Valley as vice president of culinary operations.
His new gig involves expanding the wine-pairing menu, training staff and literally getting his hands dirty in a soon-to-be-planted 2.5-acre organic kitchen garden.
“I think the things they are doing out there are brilliant and exciting and I’m just thrilled to be part of it. I couldn’t be happier,” says Fisher.
His new role will include more management and mentoring than in the past. “I’m not tired of being a chef. It’s a quality of life shift,” he says. “I want to expand beyond the day-to-day operation of the kitchen and focus on the cerebral part, more than the execution part.”
Fisher is also looking forward to spending more time cooking for his family and bringing his wife out to help with the garden, where he plans to grow tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables for the winery.
“We got to know chef Todd when KRML brought him in for their Live in the Vines concert series and we just clicked really well,” says Folktale partner Gregory Ahn. Since then Fisher has been involved in catering concerts and special dinners, and hosting the popular Monday night “Chef Duels” series—a live Iron Chef-style competition.
“We’re excited to really put a spotlight on what’s special about the Monterey Peninsula and having him be a leader on that from the food side is a perfect fit,” Ahn says, adding that Fisher’s role should allow him to continue to be active in community work.
The outgoing chef is very generous with his time when it comes to charity events, especially projects involving youth, Kinship Center and the Red Cross—where he sits on the board of directors.
Folktale just completed a kitchen renovation and is working with county agencies in order to be able to serve more food. “Our focus will remain on wine, but there will be more choices in what to pair with them,” he says.
Folktale—which is open daily from 11am to 8pm—hopes to be able to debut the new expanded menu in April.
Meantime a search is underway for a new chef for Tarpy’s in Monterey and Fisher is staying on until the end of February to ensure a smooth transition.