Guerneville-booster Volpatt kicks off guest chef series
Restaurants are a delight for many reasons – most of them obvious – but however exciting and varied an eatery’s menu may be, there are diners who often crave something unique and different from the usual fare.
Says Michael Volpatt, along with Crista Luedtke owner of Guerneville’s The Big Bottom Market, “Having guest chefs is also a fun way to mix things up at (the) market and draw in crowds from outside of Guerneville that usually would not consider coming our way for dinner.”
A Pittsburgh native, Volpatt has had considerable marketing experience, is expert at promoting and has more than once caught the attention of the New York Times
In a story that appeared in its business section, the N.Y. Times wrote, “Among his successful marketing strategies – stocking private label wine made by Thomas George Estates, offering a $20 fixed price dinner, delivering free box lunches to administrative assistants in charge of their companies’ catering orders and creating celebrity sandwiches…..”
As Volpatt explains, “One of our goals when promoting the market is to also promote the town of Guerneville. Our town is really becoming a destination not only for tourists but for Sonoma County and Bay Area locals. It is amazing when we hear people say that they would have never considered heading out our way for a great meal. Now they can get great food from a number of establishments.”
To facilitate visitors’ (as well as locals’ ) ability to sample food they would normally find in other establishments, Volpatt is hosting two guests chefs in February.
On Feb 13, Christian Gomez, a local caterer and sommelier is going to team up with Volpatt to prepare a menu “inspired by the warmth of the season.”
Says Volpatt, “Christian has worked in the front of the house at the Fifth Floor, Meadwood and Frances. He is a self taught cook, excellent pastry chefs and does projects on the side. He is also a certified sommelier. We chose the name “warmth of the season” because the dishes we are preparing are hearty and tasty and will pair well during our chilly season”.
Gomez currently lives in Guerneville and works as a caterer and sommelier.
Says,Volpatt, “I chose to work with Christian because he is a very close friend, an excellent pastry chef and very creative.” The February 13 menu, served 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and costing $25 per person is:
- Savory Shortcake – Mini Big Bottom Biscuit, mixed greens, lardons, poached egg and Meyer lemon vinaigrette (no lardons on vegetarian version)
- Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder, two cheese polenta, wild mushrooms and spinach OR
- Seasonal roasted vegetables, two cheese polenta, wild mushrooms and spinach
- Warm Brioche doughnuts and ice cream
Reservations are not necessary, says Volpatt, unless your party consists of six or more people.
On Feb 20th, Jamilah Nixon, executive chef from Forchetta Bastioni in Sebastopol will be preparing a Vietnamese inspired menu. Stay tuned.