Fresh Turkeys (Seasonal)


At Preferred we get fresh turkey once a year by mid November. We take orders starting in September through mid October. Why? Because that’s the season for turkeys and we want to make sure you get the best fresh turkeys for your table! Here are our seasonal offerings:

Willie Bird Turkey Farm
Sonoma, California

The Benedetti family began raising turkeys in Sonoma County in 1948. In 1963 Willie Benedetti developed the formula for the famous Willie Bird Turkey, which the family now raises in the rolling, oak studded hills east of Santa Rosa, California. Willie Bird turkeys are free-range, eat a 100% vegetarian, corn and grain diet free of antibiotics. These broad breasted turkeys are nationally known for their superior quality, tenderness and taste.

Willie Bird Turkeys:
Available sizes are 10# to 30+#.
Please order in 2# increments.


Branigan’s Turkey Farm
Woodland, California 

Branigan’s Turkey Farm is a family-run farm established in 1942.  Today, Terry and Teri Branigan raise between 18 and 20 thousand turkeys every year.  While most turkeys are processed at 16 weeks of age, the Branigan’s raise their Nicholas breed turkeys to 25-27 weeks.  When allowed to mature to this age, Branigan’s acquire a more developed finish as well as a thin film of fat under the skin, creating superior flavor and moisture.  Branigan’s eat a 100% vegetarian diet comprised of corn and other grains, and are not fed antibiotics.

Branigan Turkeys:
Hens:  14-25 lbs.
Toms:     24-35 lbs



We’re talking way back! The native Americans had domesticated, and were raising, the North American wild birds for centuries before Europeans arrived. These turkeys are unlike what 99% of Americans usually eat at their traditional tables these days. Preferred Meats makes truly heritage American bird available to you in limited quantities each season. Descendants of the first domesticated turkey flocks, these varieties are raised slowly and naturally to ensure a truly special and exceptional eating experience!

 A.Q. as far as size and availability. 


CALL 510-632-4065 for pricing and offerings!

Scott Miller – Market Hall Foods

scott-miller-headshotSCOTT MILLER – THE INTERVIEW

From an aimless teen to a successful, driven chef running some of the busiest high-end specialty food stores in the Bay Area, Chef Scott Miller’s story is one of passion, focus, and downright hard work. Chef Miller found his passion at his first job in the iconic Narsai David’s kitchen and, nearly 30 years later, he’s still at the forefront of culinary creativeness.


What was your food heritage growing up?
Cereal, Swanson Pot Pies, Pot Roast, Bazooka Bubble Gum, Winchell’s Donuts, Baskin Robbins, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Der Wienerschnitzel. No vegetable that I can remember, unless you count green M&Ms!


What drew you to the industry and why become a chef?
I was in my late teens and didn’t have much direction in my life. My folks were heavily into politics and none of that interested me. I was just hanging out in Berkeley with zero ambition. At the time, my best friend was Narsai David’s nephew. Of course, Narsai was not only a Bay Area legend, but a pioneer in the food world in general. In those days it was Chez Panisse and Narsai’s. So, my buddy got me a dishwashing job working at Narsai’s. The year was 1978.

After a few weeks washing pots, the chef at the time, Kurt Grasing, who now has Grasing’s in Carmel, asked if I wanted to do prep. Why not? So I started prepping and I really liked it, honing knife skills and competing on production work with other cooks. Pretty quickly I found I finally had some direction in life! Then I was sent to work with the charcutière, who was Narsai’s brother Jim. He taught me the skills of pâté, terrine, and sausage making before he moved on. After he left, I became the charcutière. I became really good at it – finally I was good at something!ribs

I was at Narsai’s from 1978 to 1981. I didn’t realize it then, but I got a break at one of the most difficult places to work for, yet one of the most groundbreaking establishments in the nation. Narsai was a tough guy – a perfectionist who could be very hard on people. When I gave notice he was very upset and angry.  Before long wee patched things up and I even catered the restaurant’s 25th anniversary!

During my time at Narsai’s I had been catering on the side for Rosevine. We worked with the Great Chefs of France program in the Napa Valley and catered a weekly lunch for the chefs and their students. There were the likes of Pepin, Verge, and Bocuse, the big guns, right!? At the time I was a clueless kid who barely knew who they were, I used to call Paul Bocuse, Pablo Cruz after one of my favorite bands. But in retrospect I mean just WOW, we were cooking for legends!

The catering chef of Rosevine was also the chef for The Pasta Shop, and she asked me to work for her, which is where I went after Narsai’s. Two weeks later she left and I took over. It was a smaller version of what it is today but still had all the elements of the gourmet grocery and higher end take-out. I also kept making charcuterie on the side.

After some time at The Pasta Shop, I had some other incredible experiences learning from and cooking with the greats – I helped open China Moon with Barbara Tropp, and worked alongside Amaryll Schwertner, Jim Moffat, Marsha McBride and Kelsie Kerr at Premier Cru.

In 1987 when the Wilsons built Market Hall, they came and found me and asked me to come back to The Pasta Shop. I have been here ever since. I started with one dishwasher and me, and we now have more than 80 kitchen staff.

porkchopMy job now as the executive chef of the operation involves the development of the cuisine, and also managing staff and planning for expansion. I also have a lot of great managers around me. I am given the freedom to make major decisions because we have been so successful and are consistently growing.

Market Hall was the only place of its kind when we started, and although now there are several similarly styled markets,, we still have steady growth. One reason, I think, is because we offer many types of regional cuisines and we do them really well. People will come to us and say “WOW, this is really good, just like I grew up eating!” That means something. We really do our homework and we get feedback as we develop the recipes so the cuisine has depth.

I see my future as being here. I’m a lifer. I believe in relationships and loyalty and so I feel really good working for this dynamic company for the long term. They have been really good for me and I really love it here.



How would you define your style and how did you move from kitchen to operations management?
I prefer to create a team atmosphere, building others’ skill levels, recognizing people’s talents. I hold people to a high standard then strive to lead by example, as well as well as teaching respect through mutual respect. This also means always being open to input and ideas from my team. Although I have progressed with the growth of the company and my willingness to lead, I have not moved totally out of the kitchen. I still cook too.


What do you like most/least about being the boss?
Feeling respected for our accomplishments.
Firing people


What industry people influenced you the most (LIST 3)?

  • Narsai David
  • Barbara Tropp
  • Jacques Pepin


If you could keep only 3 industry related books, what would they be?
Since our menus reflect food from all over the world I cannot narrow down to three but here are some of my favorite authors:

  • Jacques Pepin
  • Judy Rogers
  • Paula Wolfert
  • Diana Kennedy
  • Rosetta Constantino

Beef Bourguignon

Favorite kitchen gadget:
White plastic bowl scraper


If you were not in food service what would you do?
I’d be either a DJ or a landscape artist


Culinary trends that bug you/ trends you like:

BUG: Loud restaurants
LIKE: Burgers


An ingredient that you’re attached to:

 kitchen4-14-11 64

Worst blunder on the job:
I accidently mixed in fish stock with chicken stock to make matzo ball soup.

Most memorable dining experience:
Da Delfina in Italy


Favorite ‘elbows on the table hole in the wall’:
My elbows are always on the table


A food item you hate to admit to liking:
Peanut butter stuffed pretzels


Three things in fridge right now:
Pickles, Greek yogurt, and bacon


Secret junk food indulgence:
Donuts and Diet Coke


Three people in history you’d like to cook for or dine with:
Mohammad Ali, Bruce Lee, and Michael Jordan



Scott Miller on Preferred Meats: “Preferred’s commitment is clear and their passion is unwavering and it starts with the owner, Bala Kironde. Besides that, he’s a really great person.”


Interview by John Paul Khoury,CCC
Corporate Chef Preferred Meats, Inc

SF Professional Food Society Brazil by the Bay

SF Professional Food Society Brazil by the Bay

Our Regional Chef/Director of Operations Amey Shaw had a blast at the San Francisco Professional Food Society’s Brazil by The Bay BBQ, August 15th at Coyote Point Yacht Club in San Mateo. She made a delicioso “Linguiça Flavors,” spice rub for our Heritage Pork, and charcoal grilled the pork racks and the tenderloins, and she simmered the shoulders as carnitas over the coals. The crowd was wowed! Another great day of fun that was capped off by our exceptional heritage meats and the expertise of our “seasoned” chef!


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Why You Should Be Using HUDSON VALLEY Foie Gras


402FDFF8-A418-BE14-F2D39A33753D37B7When we speak of Farm to Fork we also speak of sustainability. Hudson Valley Foie Gras not only are the most sustainable producers of foie gras, and duck products, but also one of the most sustainable animal husbandry operations period!


  • Only producer in America that does not use pneumatic feeding. All ducks are gravity fed/finished thus taking the capability of the bird to assimilate feed into account
  • Only USDA certified cage free foie gras operation in the world
  • Evaluation of each duck-none is overfed. Each examined daily ensuring each bird properly digests the feed
  • Professionals in charge of feeding are paid a bonus when their ducks produce the highest quality livers-this ensures the handlers are incentivevised for using sustainable practices.
  • Mixed feed mimics the protein/carbohydrate ratio the bird eats in the wild
  • All parts of bird utilized; inedible products also utilized including bones, feathers, etc.. Almost zero waste
  • Open door policy. Visitors welcome to see the entire facility

That’s why the Hudson lobes are larger, firmer, and easier to sear; they are humanely raised and carefully handled. There IS a difference and it is rooted in sustainable transparent practices.


For More Information On Product Line Please Contact Us!



Taylor Boetticher – The Fatted Calf

283040_10150256038108457_4641806_nTAYLOR BOETTICHER- THE FATTED CALF

Taylor Boetticher came from a traditional family in Dallas,TX with a stay at home mom who was a fantastic cook. He then took a non traditional approach to his career choices that had ties to his love of food nurtured by his upbringing. From the kitchen of Stephan Pyles at Star Canyon in Dallas, to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, to along with his wife Toponia, owning the highly regarded Fatted Calf in Napa and San Francisco, CA. Taylor’s story is one of vision and passion plus a lot of hard work.   

What was your food heritage growing up?
I grew up in a pretty traditional nuclear family in Dallas,TX. My dad worked all day and my mother was a homemaker, really the unsung hero of the family. Her job was in retrospect not an easy one. I was fortunate in that my mom would make a great effort to have a well prepared dinner on the table every night and we all sat down and ate together, me, my mom and dad, and my two siblings. Mind you this was not boxed Mac n’ Cheese- I mean I probably ate my way through the Silver Palate Cookbook with my mom’s cooking. She’d make things like Salad Nicoise, and Beef Bouguignon, I mean really nice stuff for the family and not just for special occasions. It’s funny that after I became a professional chef it became like well ‘we can’t cook for you anymore because you’re a chef’. That’s just crazy, I mean cooking for someone is one of the greatest acts of love and has nothing to do with critiquing something because I do it professionally. Anyhow, I grew up eating the classics. A lot of that has translated into how I approach food today.


What drew you to the industry and why become a Chef?
I’ve always liked food and had a good sensibility for it, so as I got closer to graduating from high school the idea of going to college to study for something that I really did not know where it would lead and spending a bunch of money in the process for that uncertainty just did not sit right with me. I graduated in 1995 and decided to actually start working first before I decided whether to go to college or not. I got a job at Stephan Pyles’ Star Canyon. I learned a ton from his executive chef and sous chef. Right off the bat they asked me what my goals were in the industry and I said that I’d like to learn new skills and be creative, etc… Then the exec brought me down to earth right away and basically said this is a really hard job that takes stamina, the ability to accurately execute repetition for long periods of time while working long hours. It was a wakeup call to the reality of the industry that I am grateful for to this day.

I loved the camaraderie and at 18 you can take a pounding and get up and do it again the next day right? Plus Star Canyon had all the latest gadgets for the day including two wood burning grills, it was just really a great place to learn and work. I was there for about a year and a half and worked throughout the kitchen and I thought, hey I can do this and started to think about it as a career. In early 1997 I started at at the CIA in Hyde Park and that’s where I met my wife to be, Toponia, and I really need to say she is one of the best natural cooks I’ve ever known, I mean she really ‘gets’ food. We ended up in the Bay Area for our externships and just fell in love with the area. I mean not just San Francisco but you go three hours in any direction and there is just great stuff all around- unparralled.

577876_683848578292298_793591059_nI externed at the Fog City Diner. That was when I realized the differences in kitchens. At Star Canyon we were really upscale, had 9 people on the line, it was a large kitchen- the Fog City there were a fraction of the number of cooks, small kitchen and we cranked out 50% more covers than Star Canyon! That’s really where I learned multi tasking and consolidation. Well, haven fallen in love with NorCal, when I went back to New York to finished the program, I came right back out here again in 1998 and I really liked Cindy Pawlcyn’s style and vision so started working at Mustards in the Napa Valley. I was also working at Cosentino Winery during the day and then driving back to Berkeley where we lived after my shift at Mustards. Four to five hours of sleep and back up to do it again, I lasted about 8 months before burn out started to set in. I then went to Buck Eye in Mill Valley and did pastry. That was not a good fit. I really should not have been there, I was out of my element and I did not last long. I did not have a self awareness at that point to say this was not a good match, I just thought suck it up and do it. I’m older and wiser now. An industry head hunter, who knew I wanted to be somewhere like a Chez Panisse, that was a single establishment, and owner operated, placed me at Marsha McBride’s Café Rouge in Berkeley. I did not realize there was a meat counter there along with the restaurant, and when I interviewed they told me they needed someone to run that counter. This was cool because I wanted to open myself up to other possibilities than working the line. That’s why I worked at a winery, and why I misguidedly took a pastry chef position, is that I wanted to open up my possibilities and this was another step in that direction. I need to set myself up to strike my own course. We roasted chickens, dry aged steaks, ground burger, etc… and we ran the counter and catered to the public. This also allowed me to get instant feedback from customers; some still come in to Fatted Calf today from relationships developed back there! I worked there from 1999-2001, then took a leave of absence to go on our honeymoon to Italy. That’s when the idea for the Fatted Calf began to take shape. When we got back Marsha had kept a spot in the butcher shop open for me, which was amazingly generous and allowed me to start using some of the new techniques and recipes I’d learned on our long trip.  By March 2003, Toponia and I were ready to strike out on our own. So eventually we rented space in a commissary kitchen with a friend and started to make our own charcuterie and selling it.

11149693_10152698097797553_885667019766403360_oThe idea of the Fatted Calf itself took place while in Europe. I’m not particularly religious but the biblical parable that Jesus gave of the prodigal son that went away and returned remorseful, coupled with his father’s forgiveness and the slaughtering of the fatted calf for him, where they ate, drank, and enjoyed themselves because of his return, always resonated with me. It started out as a musing but we thought what better name? So we went with it. We opened in 2003 as a business but no store front yet. We worked out of a commissary in the Dog Patch south of AT&T Park in San Francisco, and did farmers markets, catering, etc.. and still had part time jobs to make ends meet. Then we decided we needed a face on this venture.

In 2007 we moved to oversee construction at our present Fatted Calf location in Napa, where the OxBow is now. We felt the only way to take this forward was to have a store front where we could produce but also sell to the public at the same time. And being close to what became the public market here in Napa was a really good move for us. We thought we were going to open in mid 2007 but did not open until January 2008, all the while living up here and still working in the Bay Area. It stretched us a bit.

It was a change moving to Napa as you couldn’t just go out and get like Ethiopian or Korean food, and things close early, but the more I’m here the more I like it. It has been a good fit for Toponia and I. It forced us to learn to adapt, as there are so many moving pieces. It was not easy for us for the first couple years but around 2010 things started to smooth out and we became established. You learn a lot from the process if you’re fortunate enough to survive!

In 2010 we jumped on the opportunity to open Fatted Calf SF and we did. It is a smaller place and we don’t have the same production capabilities, so it was a bit easier to get going. In 2011 we started working with a guy at Ten Speed publishing on producing a book. Two whole years of working on it for about 4 hours a day and sometimes more becomes consuming, but in 2013 “In The Charcuterie” was born! I still pinch myself, when I see copies of the book around and displayed in our shop, that the book exists, and that it has catalogued recipes and dishes that we are proud of. It is a testament to our team and the hard work by everyone to make Fatted Calf happen, and there it is documented in a book. Pretty cool! It’s in its 4th printing. What I’m proud of is that each printing we can edit a few things- but they have all been minor (like typos) but every recipe in the book worked from day one- and would appeal to home cooks and professionals as well.

This whole journey has really highlighted to me the value of a good team. I have never been one to hunger for the spotlight. What I really appreciate is the people that I work with and that work for me- the input they give and the time it gives me, and Toponia, to be able to bring new exciting things to the table!



How would you define your style?
Classically rooted old school with the good sense to utilize all the amazing products and new techniques that are available.




What do you like most/least about being the boss?
Being able to teach people, and be the cheerleader to my crew.
Being a babysitter. I hate managing petty squabbles between adults.


What chefs influenced you the most?

  • Jacques Pepin
  • Staffan Terge
  • Andrea Nguyen


If you could keep only 3 culinary books, what would they be?

  • La Technique
  • The Art of Simple Food
  • The River Cottage Meat Book

Favorite kitchen gadget:
Hasty Bake Smoker


If you were not a chef what would you do?
Chicken farmer


Culinary trends that bug you/ trends you like:
BUG: Making things too precious. If it takes more than one set of tweezers to plate a dish it had better blow me out of the water.

LIKE: I like seeing the lines getting blurred. People incorporating influences not necessarily inherent in the style of cooking they are doing, like the kung pao pastrami at Mission Chinese- Traditional? No. Delicious? Yes.


An ingredient that you’re attached to:
Piment d’espelette


Worst kitchen blunder:
Adding fresh figs to a big batch of pork and fig crepinette. The enzymes in the fruit would not allow the proteins to bind and it would not come together. I made a huge batch of terrines out of it though. Good lesson.



Most memorable dining experience:
A chef I worked with at Star Canyon, named Mark Castle, opened this place in Dallas that also next to a pretty high energy club that the owners wanted to have a decent dining venue associated with it as well. Anyhow they opened early after the remodel and my wife and I went there when we were in town on a slow night. He destroyed us- amazing dining experience!


Favorite ‘elbows on the table hole in the wall’:
Libby’s Mexican restaurant in Philo, CA. Just the best Mexican food in the state, in my opinion.


A food item you hate to admit to liking:
Chili Cheese Fritos and a Dr. Pepper (hey, I’m a Texas boy!)


Three things in fridge right now:
Kimchi, 6 year old Parmesan, four different kinds of anchovies.


Secret junk food indulgence:
In-N-Out Double Double, no tomatoes Animal style.


Three people in history you’d like to cook for:
Ghengis Khan, Mark Twain, and W.C. Fields


1233219_637645122936316_31098829_oTaylor Boetticher on Preferred Meats : “Preferred is a small company that brings in good stuff, I mean if it comes from Preferred I never have to worry about the quality. Preferred is the epitome of the type of purveyors we like to work with.”


Interview by John Paul Khoury,CCC
Corporate Chef Preferred Meats, Inc

Wayfare Tavern – San Francisco’s American Gathering Place


slide12If you were to define the quintessential upscale American gathering place you would no doubt find your answer in Tyler Florence’s Wayfare Tavern. Located in San Francisco’s financial district in the former site of the legendary Rubicon, Wayfare is fast becoming legendary as well. At the helm is Chef Omri Aflalo. He and his crew execute Tyler’s vision of American comfort at a level worthy of the City by the Bay!

We started off with those incredible Wayfare pop overs then items we enjoyed in our evening with friends included an eye of rib beef tartar, w/ house ground mustard, celery and homemade potato chips. The tar tar also had a rich, velvety, egg yolk folded into it table side. Yum!  Also, you can’t pass on the Wayfare deviled eggs with pickled onions. We also had an avocado, hearts of palm and orange salad, and a crudo of hamachi with roasted beets, miso, and soy poached cranberries- American with an Asian twist!

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Time for the entrees! We enjoyed a Prime beef flat iron with chanterelles, charred green garlic, and Delta asparagus; Skuna Bay salmon w/ chard, parsley, capers, and cannellini beans; New Bedford scallops w/spring onion fondue, king trumpets, and a light fume’; and the famous Tavern Burger which we at Preferred grind to Wayfare’s specs. (Hey if we’re grinding the burger we got to have one and make sure we’re doing a good job, right?) Preferred’s grind and Wayfare’s preparation- how can you lose? We also enjoyed a big side of charred broccolini that was delicious!

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Finally dessert. We’re stuffed but how can one pass up a chocolate cream pie that also has salted caramel AND devil’s food cake in it? And to cut the richness of the pie we just had to have the strawberry rhubarb cobbler w/pecan streusel and caramel. (Had to make an excuse for ordering more sweets.)

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The place was hopping, we were satiated and happy. With all it has to offer you can understand why Wayfare Tavern is such a popular American gathering place in San Francisco!

Gabriel Glasier – Cask & Barrel, Enotria Events, Chef & Baker

11021498_455842564569038_1788209825291981530_o (1)GABRIEL GLASIER -THE INTERVIEW

With over 3000 hours of stages while in school, to a chefs position within a short time of being in the industry, to a corporate chef position that could have made him a very wealthy man before disaster struck; owner of several restaurant and catering ventures and only 38 years old. You might say Gabriel Glasier’s career is in hyper-drive, but Gabriel was built for speed! Here is his story…


What was your food heritage growing up?
Actually, I had this conversation with my fiancé Kristel the other day, I actually had no specific food heritage growing up though I ate really well. I grew up in Southern California and it was anything and everything. I had tacos, and then we’d have Vietnamese, and then Italian. Although I have French/German heritage I was never focused on one cuisine. My culinary training is French but I apply that to broadening my culinary horizons and applications to all cuisines- why limit it to a few or one? 


What drew you to the industry and why become a Chef?
It was actually an accident. My family moved up here to the Sacramento area from Southern California when I was young. By the time I was 17 I was working retail at Dimple records, I had played in a punk band and just finished a stint playing bass as a jazz musician. My car broke down and I needed a steady job and got hired on at Home Chef here in Sacramento as a retail clerk. I show up one day to work and there was paper on the windows- it closed over night. The manager came out and handed me my final check and I walked around the corner to the Zinfandel Grille and applied for a job, with limited experience mind you, and Chef Doug Eby actually hired me. I worked there for two and a half years because I didn’t know any better making minimum wage and worked the pantry, moved into the pizza station, got broiler time, and enjoyed every minute of it! It was around 1998 that a friends mom asked me why I didn’t enroll in culinary school, and shoot I didn’t even know that was an option, I mean I had never planned on making a career of this but I loved doing it so much that at that point I seriously considered becoming a chef. I really looked up to Rick Mahan and a that moment in time I thought if I can become as good as this chef I will have made it, and that became a goal.


At that point I enrolled at the CCA in San Francisco. I lived in the Presidio for a while then moved to Berkeley. It was in Berkeley, while still going to school, that I started to get some heavy restaurant experience. I worked at Via Centro, a little 30 seat Tuscan restauraunt that had an ever changing menu, then also at a place called Downtown. This place was a beast. I saw a veteran of 16 years burst into tears, throw down his pans and walk out. In the theatre district, on a show night just packed and the saute’ station had 16 burners. I started on the broiler but then I was put onto saute’ and I mean just trying to manage that as a young cook was an incredible challenge but man did I learn speed! The saute’ station is still where I get the most excited even to this day.


I was at Downtown for about 6 months, and this is where I have to clarify things. I bounced around a lot, I mean A LOT. I staged, worked multiple jobs and went to school at the same time. You see I have been blessed with a tremendous amount of natural energy, I mean I can go and go- there was one week where I slept less than 20hrs for the whole week. So what I was doing is taking advantage of that drive by speeding up the time it takes to get to a certain skill level by doing more in any given day, simply because I did not tire out easily. Look, to become a decent executive chef you need to put in the time, so I wanted to speed the process up by simply immersing myself into the process at the right places. I really can’t name all the restaurants that I put individual and/or multiple days at with no pay but it amounted to about 3000 hours time and I learned something at each and every place. This was free time but really enhanced my ability to earn a better wage in a reduced amount of time. I was able to properly take on a sous chef’s responsibility after about 6 years in the industry total.


One of the places I staged multiple shifts was Chez Panisse. I was not an employee, I would just go in after a job, or school, or on a free day and  work wherever they put me. I wasn’t looking for pay, I was looking for experience at a high level. That’s the first place I ever saw a cardoon, had no idea what it was but after cleaning and prepping cases upon cases of them you learn, now I know cardoons inside and out! The experience and education at that level was invaluable to me in the culinary process.


I would check the board at the CCA on what restaurants or chefs needed help and I’d be the first to go. So needless to say I was a terrible student as far as school went. I wouldn’t take tests or go to certain classes because I had already read the book and was working, I mean that’s the whole point right? I think I graduated because they sent me a diploma, but I wasn’t at the ceremony because I was working at Chez Panisse that day. So I think I may be a culinary school graduate, I mean I do have the paper that says so!


This experience over the working years helps me go into something new with more confidence. Not that I don’t get into a pickle when attempting something outside of the comfort zone but the skills acquired allow me to dig out of the hole instead of getting buried in it. It really comes down to time, experience, and application. But let me say the more one knows the more discovery there is to be made. Now looking at SE Asia I’m learning techniques that turn my classical training on its ear. I know look at new ways to approach familiar things and how to apply what I know and am learning to unfamiliar things. This is where I’m at now in my journey. This is also what I try and impart to my team.


My first real non bouncing around job out of school was in 2000 at the Carneros Winery when the Sabastiani family owned it, I was there until 2002. The cool part was we could not make money because of the tax implications so we had carte blanche. I had to learn about production for high end weddings for 500 that ran $200,000+. There were three of us with occasional help coming in. We didn’t have a normal kitchen structure but I guess I was number two man. I was young but let me tell you when it was busy it was BRUTAL! Sometimes 20 hour days. I guess that has made me a bit insensitive to whining. I worked sick and in pain regularly. Now when someone says, “My back hurts”, I think yeah so does mine and probably more than yours but I just don’t notice it. So when I’m sick and a job needs to get done I just don’t pay attention to being sick. I mean that’s what you need to do in this industry- it battle hardens you.


I then went to work for SRO Inc. for a couple of years and worked under Fred Haines at the Riverside Clubhouse. Adam Pechal and a number of other chefs that went on worked the line there as well. I was sous chef at Riverside and also cooked at 33rd Street Bistro so it was pretty much a 70 hour week for me, but hey I was used to these hours.


I then opened up my own restaurant in Cameron Park called the Red Bud Café. We got tremendous reviews from the Sacramento BEE and we were doing very well until 2008 when we were going to expand and we made a crucial mistake in how we distributed investors funds for advancing the business and then the market collapsed it completely shut us down. We learned a vital business lesson in that. In fact looking back this may have been the best business lesson that I had ever gotten. Failure hurts but if you learn from it, it makes you stronger.


Just before this the owner and CEO of a major development group called Watermark would frequent Red Bud and really liked what we were doing. He sat me down one day and told me how frustrated he’d been in finding new culinary vision for his existing properties and those to come. They were putting together 36 yacht marinas up and down the eastern seaboard, multiple golf courses, a dining train, restaurants- I mean a really big deal and he wanted me to be involved. Then he presented a figure to me that dropped my jaw, not only a large six figure salary, but 15% of the profits and part ownership of the business. I never thought that anything like this was even available to a chef! With the closing of my café I was about to embark on a role as a corporate chef of a major development company with multiple properties all over the eastern seaboard.


Before I threw myself completely into this Kerry Kassis called me into the now defunct Slocum House and because of what we were doing at Red Bud he wanted me to help him turn this once great restaurant around, so I took on the task along with consulting on the major Watermark project. The Watermark thing now blossomed and I went to it full time, menus were written, business plans in place, construction moving forward and then the Gulf oil spill happened. That was a hit and then the chief development officer left and now no one was overseeing the construction, then embezzlement started to take place in that arena and it really was the writing on the wall that this was not going to last. My lucrative corporate gig was over. A shame since it had so much potential. Now I was off for like a month going stir crazy, I even laid a 1000# of sod in a friends yard in one day so I wouldn’t lose my mind! I was used to being so busy so this down time was. I’m just so high energy that I don’t do well with down time.


Then I went to work at Maranello’s in Fair Oaks until they sold to Dad’s Kitchen. At that point I decided to partner with my fiancé (also our pastry chef) and just start a catering company in 2014. We called it Chef & Baker and it is still a very successful venture. We operated out of the Enotria space on Del Paso Blvd and finally we made the owner of the property an offer to take the place over. So far a success, at this point we will do 70 weddings this year, plus keeping the Enotria events alive, and our restaurant Cask & Barrel. We kept Enotria as a entity in that this place, for events, is an establishment that has been around for a long time, and we would hate to see it disappear so Enotria events will continue.


Look, we do well because I limit the labor that I need. Cask & Barrel will take on different menus that reflect our take on different cuisines with fresh menu changes. Of course our name reflects the excellent wine & whiskey list that has some pretty cool offerings. I do not have cooks- I have two chefs. We have two servers on the floor. We seat no more than 40 for the restaurant. The dish washer also preps. We have a total of about 15 employee’s for all the venues combined. Everyone gets paid well, we’re able to purchase really quality ingredients, we get our butts kicked but we get compensated and we make money- a win win. I plan to open more restaurants, with various concepts, but none will have more than 40 seats- 40 in my mind is the magic number to keep a restaurant profitable from a chef/owner standpoint. I have worked so hard to bring it to this point and I think I want to have it where I can take more time off, travel, explore and bring these experiences back home to share with others through our venues.


How would you define your style?
Eccentric! Although I was trained in French technique I love so many different kinds of cuisine that I look for ways to incorporate the spirit of those into my cooking.


What do you like most/least about being the boss?
I like to develop young talent and not having to answer to anyone about my cuisine except the customer.
Constantly being pulled away to answer questions that can be answered by a little common sense. Combat distractions!


What chefs influenced you the most?

  • Thomas Keller
  • Andy Ricker at Pok Pok
  • Any chef/cook at the humble little hole in the wall and stalls throughout my travels.


If you could keep only 3 culinary books, what would they be?

  • Modernist Cuisine
  • Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet
  • NOMA Cookbook


Favorite kitchen gadget:
Edge Pro knife sharpener



If you were not a chef what would you do?
CIA Operative – the travel and intrigue interests me.



Culinary trends that bug you/ trends you like:

BUG: I don’t like this kind of elitist type thing where certain items or techniques have been banned because they are deemed ‘not cool’. I mean whatever happened to demi-glace? Demi-glace is fantastic , and what can’t we use a squirt bottle, or tongs anymore?Why eliminate tools, just because they’re perceived as not cool?

LIKE: The move away from excessive modernist techniques and back to basic cooking. Nothing against the modern techniques, but it should be a tool in ones bag, and not the main focus. It got to the point where people were putting chems in everything and losing the solid basic cooking techniques. Things would be pretty but lack flavor as flavor development to second stage to being able to make a sphere or whatever. I think we’re heading back to straight up cooking and using the modern elements in moderation.



An ingredient that you’re attached to:
Bagoong and any fermented Asian fish product- I am simply crazy for the stuff.


Worst kitchen blunder:
Not too long ago I had a catering event at a winery with 1500 plated appetizers and we got all the way up there and realized I had forgotten one of the apps. I had 35 minutes to figure it out with no time to go back. I ran to a grocery store, bought enough stuff for 400 pieces, sped back and threw together an app and dodged the bullet. No one knew the difference, but I was just sick to my stomach.


Most memorable dining experience:
In 2014 Kristel and I were in BangkokThailand during the political riots during the elections. One sweltering night we were walking the streets looking for a cold beer and they were not selling alcohol during the elections. I was dying and we cut down this alley and saw a table with a beer on it so we stopped and it was a pop up restaurant that not only served us beer but the best Thai meal of my entire life, course after course from this little old lady cooking her heart out. Unforgettable!


Favorite ‘elbows on the table hole in the wall’:
Las Cuatro Milpas – a 73 year old tortilla factory in San Diego. Handmade tortillas and like 5 items every day. You better be in line by 10am because they are out of food by noon and that’s it. The line can be 2 hours long. The tortillas will change your life. Oh, in Sacramento I would say Chando’s Tacos.


A food item you hate to admit to liking:|
Del Taco’s Fish Tacos– it’s probably not fish and barely a taco but after 17 hours of work it hits the spot!


Three things in fridge right now:
Beer, wine, and inedible over ripe cheese.


Secret junk food indulgence:
It’s that Del Taco Fish Taco


Three people in history you’d like to cook for:
It would be family members I never got to cook for. I never got to cook for either of my grand mothers and I would like to have done that- they were brilliant cooks.



Gabriel Glasier on Preferred Meats :”The heart of the matter is that I run my business in a way so I can purchase the best quality products and that’s why for my meats I call Preferred. There is a difference that is apparent in the final product. Preferred is also represented by chefs that have been on the front lines and understand my needs and not just salespeople with catalogs. I feel it is a company geared toward chefs and represented by chefs, and to me that’s hard to find and greatly appreciated. ”



interview by John Paul Khoury,CCC
Corporate Chef Preferred Meats, Inc

Foie Gras Cubes!

foie_cubes.jpgFOIE GRAS CUBES?

Oui, foie gras cubes! Now available from Hudson Valley.

These cubes are cut from lobes of sustainably raised Moulard duck foie gras. Cubes are great for
making butters, stuffings, sausages, terrines, and
finishing sauces. Or with some transglutaminase you can form into whatever size or shape you wish for
torchon or searing!

Perfect for applications where you don’t need to have a
whole lobe!

For about $20/lb you now can utilize foie gras economically to dishes you may have not thought about!
(5# BOX of 1# CRYOS- FROZEN)


Cubes-Precita  Cubes-Precita_CLOSE

Blueberry cured foie gras, pickled green strawberries, frisée, pickling vin, onion ash & blueberry gelee. Served with brioche.Precita Park Café



MAGPIE – Quintessentially Sacramento

217255_10150156140969519_7129271_nMAGPIE – QUINTESSENTIALLY SACRAMENTO

If you were to pick the quintessential restaurant for casual regional dining in Sacramento you would be hard pressed to find a better example than Magpie. Even the name of the restaurant is of a bird that is almost exclusively found in the Sacramento region.

And so it is that Magpie is owned and operated by a Sacramentan, Ed Roehr, and his wife Janelle. The chef de cuisine is Kelly Hogge, a long time chef in the region who cooks up local and sustainable fare that reflects the spirit of Sacramento. And what is that spirit? Sacramento is about agriculture and is an Ag town, yet at the same time is the 20150305_192703capital of the State that boasts  the 9th largest economy on the planet.

So, rustic yet sophisticated, ingredient driven simply, yet intelligently, prepared with a focus on comfort would be a good descriptor, and Magpie nails it.

Like Cast Iron Fried Trout and Chips with crispy lemon slices, a expertly prepared mélange of local vegetables (about 10 different ones) all given special attention and artfully arranged- definitely not an ‘after thought’ vegetarian dish. (Chef explained it is perhaps the most labor intensive item on the menu).
Crispy Berkshire Pork Belly, Shrimp & Crab Louie (revisited), house baked treats including a really yummy bread pudding, and much more! When in California’s Capital stop into Magpie and get a good feel of  Sacramento.

Here is some of the fare we enjoyed at Magpie and more!

Cinco Jotas- The Finest 100% Iberico Acorn Fed Jamon

%j_JamonCinco Jotas- The Finest 100% Iberico Acorn Fed Jamon

When you speak of the finest 100% Iberico Acorn fed Jamon you speak of Cinco Jotas or 5J. Since 1879 Cinco Jotas has been producing their hams, carefully guarding the purity of breed, along with the terroir and subsequent diet, the climate of Jabugo, and the expertise of the master jamon makers. When all of this comes together you have one of the finest hams available in the world!

This is why Cinco Jotas is known as Spain’s National Treasure.

From breeding to table it takes 5 years to produce a 5J ham. This time and care is something that your customers will appreciate in the amazing aroma, and depth of flavor of the jamon on their palates.


We at Preferred are proud to be working with Cinco Jotas to make these remarkable hams available to you.


Available in:

Bone In Back Ham (Jamon)  (1013-1)
Bone In Front Ham (Paleta) (1011-1)
Boneless Back Ham (Jamon) (1014-1)
Boneless Front Ham (Paleta) (1012-1)





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