100% Grass-Fed Picnic
The weather report for Paicines Ranch at 8:00 AM on Saturday, May 22 looks good for today's 100% Grass-Fed Picnic. We expect sunny skies with highs in the low 60s and occasionally breezy weather. The evening should cloud up a bit, with temperatures dropping into the 50s by the end of the barn dance (overnight lows will be in the low 40s, but that will be long after we've gone home). There is no rain expected.
It should be nice. Bring appropriate layers and a jacket to keep comfortable.
100% Grass-Fed Picnic
Saturday, May 22, 2010
1:30 - 10:00 PM
Tres Pinos, CA
Slow Food, Paicines Ranch, Eating With the Seasons and
Real Food Bay Area members: $45
Children 6 - 16 half price
Children under 6 free
Spring time seems to have finally arrived in Northern California - the days are warm, the nights are comfortable and the rains have started to slack off. The wildflowers are amazing and, perhaps most importantly for Slow Food and its friends, the great variety of fresh food that we are justly famous for has started to arrive. It's time to celebrate.
Slow Food South Bay member Sallie Calhoun, owner of Paicines Ranch in San Benito County, will be our host for the chapter's first ever 100% Grass-Fed Picnic. And just so you won't be misled by the word "picnic", we do plan to feed you, and feed you well. The picnic will be a day of celebrating the food of the South Bay, with most of the food sourced in our neighborhood, including the namesake grass-fed beef from Paicines Ranch, and fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables from our partner Eating With the Seasons.
We plan to entertain you with more than just great food. Plan to spend the whole day at the Ranch. Get to know producers from the area, many of whom work with Eating With the Seasons, at the vendor tables set up in the historic ranch headquarters area. Take a tour of the ranch. Listen to speakers tell us about the food we're eating, and sustainable food in the South Bay and beyond. And finish the evening with great music and cheer - we will conclude with a Barn Dance like the one made famous at Pie Ranch workdays.
- 1:30 PM - People are welcome to arrive at the ranch anytime after 1:30. You are welcome to bring your own picnic lunch if you want at eat on the lawn.
- 2:00 PM - Activities start. Sustainable vendors, including those who will be providing food for our dinner, will have tables to show their products and talk about their operations. Paul Hain, of
Hain Ranch Organics,
will be bringing a pen of chickens. There will be demonstrations to see, products for sale, mailing lists to join, and more.
- 2:30 PM - First ranch headquarters walk and tour.
- 4:30 PM - Second ranch headquarters walk and tour.
- 6:00 PM - Dinner is served. Slow Food South Bay member Chef Udo Prambs, will lead a volunteer group of Slow Food members in creating a dinner for us based around chile made with Paicines Ranch beef, and a vegetarian heirloom bean chile for those who don't eat meat. There will also be great salads, sides and dessert made with fresh local vegetables. And, of course, there will be local wine and beer for those who might be interested.
- 6:45 PM - As we finish our dessert, we'll have a chance to listen to a number of speakers, including some of the producers who made our day possible.
- 7:30 PM - What could be a livelier way to end than with a Barn Dance? Caller
who leads the monthly dance at Pie Ranch, and a live band will provide the music for you to dance by. No dancing experience necessary - Andy will teach everyone the steps as we go.
- 10:00 PM - Time to go home.
You won't want to miss this great event. Arrive any time in the afternoon, but plan to be there in time for a tour. Dress is casual. Bring a hat and/or some sunscreen - days in San Benito County can be toasty. Bring a sweater or jacket for the evening - nights can get cool. Bring a cooler to keep anything you purchase cold until you get home. Bring your appetite!
Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets. We will not be selling tickets at the door.
Paicines Ranch is located about 7 miles south of Hollister, just off State Highway 25. Turn right on Cienega Road and follow the signs to ranch headquarters. Click here to locate the Paicines Ranch gate on Google Maps.
Chef Udo has finalized the menu, based on the seasonal produce available from the sustainable vendors who will be attending the fair at the ranch during the day:
- Beef chili with Paicines Ranch beef
- Vegetarian chili with mixed beans
- Lemon chicken from Hain Ranch Organics and Surfside Chickens
- Mixed Green Salad
- German Potato Salad
- Minted peas
- Dilled Carrots
- Drinks and Desserts:
- Fresh squeezed lemonade and orange juice
- Beauregard Sauvignon Blanc - Lake County
- Pietra Santa Sangiovese - San Benito County
- Tied House New World Wheat
- Strawberry and rhubarb crumble
The vendors at the fair will not only be offering information about their operations and some tastes of their produce, but opportunities to buy things to take home. If you intend to come to the vendor fair and buy, make sure to bring a cooler to keep your purchases cold until you get home. The vendors who are confirmed to be there include:
- Eating With the Seasons - CSA
- Real Food Bay Area - CSA
- Herbert Family Organic Farm - vegetables
- Larry Hirahara Family Farm - blueberries
- Hain Ranch Organics - chicken
- Paicines Ranch - beef
- Surfside Chickens - chicken
- TLC Ranch - eggs, pork, beef, lamb
- T.O. Cattle Company - beef
- La Mesa Verde - community vegetable gardens
After some short speeches by our host, chef and the suppliers of our wonderful dinner, Raul Lozano of La Mesa Verde, will be our guest speaker. He'll tell us about their program which helps low-income families in Santa Clara County build organic gardens at their homes.
Caller Andy Wilson has booked the California Thrashers to back him up at the Barn Dance. Make sure to bring comfortable shoes with you for dancing the evening away (and remember that no experience is necessary - Andy starts the evening by teaching everyone what to do).
Profile of Chef Udo Prambs
by Linda Collery
Slow Food South Bay has quite a few "rock stars" in its midst. A case in point - one member who holds the title of "Youngest Certified Master Chef in the World." Yet he is so down-to-earth and modest, you'd never suspect him of such an impressive accomplishment.
Over the past several months, many of us have had the wonderful opportunity to get to know chef Udo Prambs. Udo volunteered to serve as Executive Chef at our recent Marin Sun Farms Meat Tasting - a veritable feast where his exceptional talent became apparent to all. He has also generously offered to serve in the same capacity at our upcoming Paicines Ranch event on May 22.
Udo is an instructor at the Professional Culinary Institute in Campbell, where he has worked since 2005. He loves teaching, finding it a most rewarding experience. He strives to impart two essential principles to his students - take both food and customers seriously.
Udo has a deep commitment to sustainable and ecologically healthy food. He believes food is a responsibility and it is critical to partake of food that does not harm the environment or our bodies. He shares his philosophy with his students with the hope that they, too, will become advocates for organic and sustainable foods once they become professional chefs.
Udo is also dedicated to exemplary customer service. He advises his students to be client-oriented, a quality he finds lacking in far too many restaurants nowadays. If a customer is a vegetarian, Udo believes chefs should do their best to prepare an exceptional dish (rather than expect customers to be satisfied with typical substitute dishes such as pasta). Similarly, if a customer has a dietary problem or allergy, it is important for chefs to respect this.
So just how did Udo become the world's youngest certified master chef? His personal story is straight out of The Apprentice - Jacques Pepin's version, not Donald Trump's! While growing up in Bavaria, Udo was required to take home economics in seventh grade. This class, along with the influence of his older brother Elmar (already an accomplished chef), inspired Udo's love of food. He left school at the age of fourteen to begin an arduous three-year apprenticeship at a world-class European restaurant and hotel. Following his apprenticeship, he worked briefly in Cologne, but quickly moved on to Switzerland, where he worked as a chef in a variety of restaurants for seven years. He then decided to return to Germany to pursue a combined Master's Degree in the Culinary, Hotel and Restaurant fields. It was upon the completion of this degree that he became the youngest certified Master's Chef in the World - he was 25 years of age!
Udo's work has taken him to many places on the globe including England, where he worked as a restaurant consultant and caterer for over a decade. It was there that he met his wife, Rany, a writer and advocate for healthy food for children. Eventually the two of them moved to the United States to be closer to family.
Both Udo and Rany enjoy the food scene in California, finding it active and inspiring. Udo loves the easy lifestyle here and Slow Food South Bay loves having the world's youngest certified Master Chef as one of our most gifted volunteers.