Forge the best of European culinary and pastry training and a knack for being a culinary frontiersman and you have Chef Pascal Godé, Executive Chef for the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort – a lavish guest ranch nestled in the pristine Santa Ynez Mountains since 1946.
Chef Godé has distinguished the Alisal’s culinary style during his 19-year tenure with the ranch in ways guests don’t expect. Catering to guests with varying tastes, the ranch’s three restaurant locations accommodate ranch goers’ western cravings with traditional items like pot roast and prime rib, to ribs and mouth-watering steak. Guests from Los Angeles and Santa Barbara looking for lighter, more refined dishes find the creativity in seafood, pastas and locally picked vegetables a refreshing divergence from ranch menus. Striking a balance isn’t easy – especially when Chef Godé serves between 1,000 and 1,200 meals daily.
“I try to be creative, but I can’t go crazy,” Chef Godé insists. “Some of our guests have been coming here every year since they were small children and now come with their grandchildren. They are expecting the same savory ranch-style classics they’ve always enjoyed here.”
Raised in France’s Vosges Mountains and shadowing his father, a pastry chef, Chef Godé brings European influence to his kitchen with homemade Crème Brûlée and overseeing a full-time pastry chef to craft every pastry onsite. With a seven-day cycle of rotating menus, Chef Godé is constantly restructuring his food programs.
“We feel that indulging in great ranch-style dining is a vital part of life here at Alisal,” says Chef Godé who runs a team of nearly 90 employees to support the various restaurants on the property. “We try to make every meal a compliment to the range of activities we’ve got here. After horseback riding, fishing and golf, we want the ranch experience to carry over into the cuisine.”
To meet the needs of all guests, he expanded the natural seafood and fish program to now include sustainable salmon; the changing demands for grass-fed and hormone-free meats are also being incorporated.
Often at the forefront of breaking trends, Chef Godé was working with quinoa 10 years ago and began creating gluten-free options for guests for some time now. To stay ahead of the curve, he advises other chefs to keep reading and keep innovating.
“I am constantly reading, relying on my European culinary knowledge, asking questions, researching on the Internet and culling through my collection of 500 cookbooks to challenge myself,” he says.
The Alisal also taps into that knowledge and shares it with their guests by hosting three-day cooking seminars. Chef Godé educates guests on proper techniques for building a barbeque fire, selecting the right wood for smoking and building up a great tasting spice rub for the meat.
When Chef Godé wants to try something new, he contacts his Jordano’s Account Executive, George Anthes, to source the item, “Sometimes it takes them a little while to find it, but they always get me what I need.”
According to Chef Godé, ninety-five percent of the food, china, equipment, and chemicals the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort orders are supplied by Jordano’s, so the relationship and dependability of Jordano’s service is especially valued.
“We rely on them to deliver a lot in order to run the three restaurants I manage. From the top down, I have always received personal service…someone always calls me back. With other foodservice companies, I am just a number – it’s not that way with Jordano’s,” he says. “They are very dedicated to our needs.”
The philosophy of delivering great service is entirely in line with the guest experience at the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort. Escape to an unchanged old west experience and taste Chef Godé’s creative twists on ranch classics.
For additional information or travel accommodations, contact the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort at 888.4.ALISAL, via e-mail at [email protected] or visit the Ranch on the web at alisal.com.