Tag Archives: PlumpJack Cafe

Three Romantic Getaways to Get Your Heart Pumping

Why celebrate your love one day of the year when there are a good 364 other days to celebrate. In honor of Valentine’s Day, we are highlighting great getaways where you can spend a romantic getaway, whether in February or any other time of year.

  1. Take a road trip down the coast to Carmel-by-the-Sea for a beach getaway at The Hideaway. Enjoy complimentary breakfast, fresh baked cookies in the afternoon, complimentary bicycles, turn down service and, our favorite, wine and cheese hour in the evening. Just steps away from downtown Carmel and the beach, you’ll get to experience all that Carmel has to offer.
    Plan Your Getaway.1603-Carmel Signs-3 copy
  2. Looking for a little desert sun on your face? Experience the Hollywood gathering spot that is Melvyn’s and the Ingleside Inn. Order Steak Diane table side prepared by Bobby at Melvyn’s Restaurant or spend the night dancing in the lounge (music nightly), and then there’s always the pool for a lazy day in the sun. If you happen to book your trip over a Sunday – don’t miss the famous Sunday Jam Session from 3:30pm to 7:30pm every week. Book your trip.InglesideInn-Blog
  3. With so much snow we’ve lost count, Squaw Valley is the perfect spot for your outdoor adventure whether skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, tubing, or just taking it all in on your two feet. PlumpJack Squaw Valley is located steps from the tram and Funitel and the Village at Squaw. You can spend your days on the slopes and then head back to enjoy Apres in the bar or the Chef’s Tasting menu at PlumpJack Cafe. Book now and save 25% off your midweek stay (two night minimum required).PJ_SV_16

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Après with PlumpJack in Vail & Squaw Valley

The season for après ski is upon us and there is nothing better than kicking off those ski boots, getting comfortable and enjoying delicious eats and libations after a long day on the slopes. With the opening of our new restaurants in Vail Village, Pendulum and White Bison, we’re excited to share that there are now more opportunities to après with PlumpJack.

Pendulum Restaurant & Bar | Après Menu

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Table Shares
Ancho Spiced Marcona Almonds | burnt orange, fennel, pickled herbs  12
Seasonal Pickles | chili oil, garlic chips  12
Blistered Pardon Peppers & https://www.acheterviagrafr24.com/viagra-pour-homme/ Cipollini Onions | lemon & roasted garlic  12
Charcuterie Selection | mostarda, seasonal pickles, purple mustard  20
East or West Coast Oysters | candied lime & fennel mignonette  21

Flatbreads
Pendulum Chorizo | house chorizo, romesco sauce, manchego cheese, mushrooms, arugula  16
Heirloom Potato Bianca | ricotta, roasted garlic, olive oil, basil, calabrian chili, parmesan  14

View the full après menu here.

White Bison Restaurant & Bar | Après Menu

Bartender pouring drinks at White Bison New Years Eve

 

 

 

 

 

 

BISON SHORTRIB POUTINE | Garlic Fries, Caramelized Onion Gravy, White Cheddar Curds 15
CRISPY WALL-EYE TACOS | Wall-Eye, Cilantro Lime Slaw, Avocado, Chipotle Crema 16
HUDSON VALLEY DUCK WINGS | House Sauce, Duck Drumettes, Herb Buttermilk Ranch 14
FARM RICOTTA BOARD | Warm Apple Chutney, Candied Walnuts, Sage, Olive Oil, Toast 14
CHARCUTERIE & CHEESE BOARD | Seasonal Accompaniments 15

View full après menu here.

1510-Plumpjack SVI-414PlumpJack Cafe | Après Menu

Warm Marinated Olives | shaved garlic, fresh herbs, citrus  4
Selection of Artisan Cheese | traditional garnish, lavosh cracker  16
Bowl of Savory Popcorn | parmesan, truffle salt, rosemary  4
Jalapeño Lime Natural Chicken Wings | avocado ranch  14
Pepita Hummus Dip | roasted hemp seeds, spiced tortilla chips  12

View full après menu here.

PlumpJack Group’s expansion to Vail, Colorado has been a whirlwind and we’re very grateful for the press coverage that the new restaurants have garnered. Most recently, Pendulum has been featured in Zagat Denver, 5280 Magazine, FSR and Eater Denver.

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People of PlumpJack: 20 Questions with Jason Schulz

From the daily management of the wine list to wine trainings and seminars, the responsibilities of PlumpJack Cafe’s Wine Director, Jason Schulz, are endless. With ski season just around the corner, we sat down with Schulz, at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn, and played 20 questions.
Jason Schulz_Food and Beverage Manager_PlumpJack Squaw Valley
What was your dream job growing up?
I wanted to be an Architect/Mechanical Engineer. I always loved designing multiple types of houses, something I still enjoy today.

Do you have a personal philosophy?
“Do as you will, but harm none.” It’s an ancient motto that we could all live by today.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled?
Ollantaytambo, Peru!

 

Favorite hotel/restaurant there?
Pescados Capitales in Lima, Peru has THE best grilled octopus I’ve ever had.
ticr_890_370First thing you do when you get up in the morning?
Brew a fresh pot of coffee. It’s an impressive habit that makes me human again.

When not working, what do you love to do?
Ski, Hike, Golf, Kayak, Camp

What’s your current favorite song?
Pets by Deadmou5 right now. Disco Science by Mirwais, as well.

How did you get involved with PlumpJack?
I wanted to work at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn since I first visited Tahoe in 1997. When I moved up to Tahoe from San Francisco in 2011, I pursued it immediately. When the position became available, I interviewed… and here I am!

PlumpJack_Squaw Valley InnTell us about your journey as PlumpJack Cafe’s Wine Director.
I attained a wealth of knowledge through some of the best Wine Directors and Master Sommeliers (and aspiring M.S.s) in San Francisco, in addition to working for a wine distributor for a few years. Wine has always been a passion of mine. As the need for a Wine Director at the Cafe became apparent, it was a logical choice to have someone with a multitude of experiences from both the buying and the selling sides of the wine business to lead us and to continue the legacy of world class offerings that PlumpJack has become synonymous with.

How did you become interested in wine?
I’ve literally grown up in the restaurant industry where wine was always around. Since I was 13, working in an Italian restaurant that a family-friend owned, wine and food have always gone together for me. Plus, it’s just SO delicious.

What do you think is the most versatile wine?
German Riesling for whites and reds from Piedmont, Italy. Although, I could throw Northern Rhone reds in there, too.

What is the bestselling wine at PlumpJack Cafe?
Chardonnays and Pinot Noir’s still reign supreme, but it is my goal to match wines and foods together as best I can.

Favorite food and wine combination?
There are so many food and wine pairings that I enjoy! Foie Gras and Sauternes. Spicy Thai and German Auslese Riesling. Mushroom Risotto and Barbera d’Alba. I also just had some phenomenal Charcuterie with a new world Grenache that was outstanding.

Favorite food?
Any variety of noodles – Pho noodles, Thai noodles, Seafood Ramen… I love them all.

What do you believe is the most underrated wine?
Two styles of wine that I feel are grossly underrated are Madeira and Champagne, frankly bubbles in general. People think that Madeiras are strictly for dessert, but they’re laden with wonderful acids that pair with a wide variety of foods, especially meats and game dishes.

Any wines that are misunderstood?
Champagne and bubbly wines are typically held for festive occasions only, but their global diversity is unmatched, and they can pair with everything from cheese and charcuterie to heartier seafood dishes. Plus, who doesn’t love a glass of bubbly any time?

What advice would you give to someone getting started in the wine industry?
My advice would be to work in the environment and to engross themselves in the wine world. Work in a restaurant that has a Sommelier or Wine Director and learn from them. Attend wine seminars and tastings when possible. Visit wineries and meet the winemakers; one can learn an infinite amount from these passionate, talented people.

Who do you admire most in the wine and hospitality industry?
We genuinely care about the experience that our guests receive and want to make sure that, when they are in our restaurant, they have the best care possible. From a wine point of view, it’s the people and http://www.cialispharmaciefr24.com/achat-cialis-en-ligne/ effort that go into making wine. The winemakers are the epitome of devotion to their craft, but no one can do it alone. The workers in the fields that pick and sort the grapes are some of the hardest working people you’ll ever meet, and their passion for what they do is admirable.

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What has been the most significant project or accomplishment of your career?

Starting a beverage consulting business (Mountain Beverage Solutions) with my partner, Jake Spero, has been exceedingly significant and rewarding for me. Maintaining and managing a “Best of” Award of Excellence winning wine list that features some 725 selections at PlumpJack Cafe has been one of my greatest accomplishments. I was also Lead Captain at Saison Restaurant in San Francisco when we received our Michelin Star, which was awesome.

Bucket of wine and champagne If you were not working in the wine industry, what would you be doing?
If I was not in the wine industry, I’d probably be involved with the ski and golf industries on some level. I have been skiing since I was three, and I used to work in that world for a while and enjoyed it immensely. I’ve also been, at one point, a low, single digit handicap golfer and could see myself being a teaching pro.
PlumpJack Cafe is now taking reservations for the Holidays and it’s busy winter season. Don’t wait to book, especially if you have a larger group.

The Ultimate Spring Guide to Squaw Valley

From the people who know best, a selection of Squaw and North Tahoe locals give us insight on the best things to do, see, go, eat, events, etc..this Spring. So much to do, plus with the addition of the mountain staying open in May, there are even more fun activities on the list.

Squaw Valley Resorts Hot Tub at High Camp, is an iconic get together of

all walks of life. Get to know locals, visitors, young, old, ski pros and newbies. Plus, the views are some of the best in Tahoe at 8200 elevation and the beer is cold. Swim all day in the pool and relax in the hot tub.

Spring is a multi-sport season!
One of the best ways to experience the warmth and sunshine of Lake Tahoe is by paddle board, kayak, or boat. If you’re into experiencing the water in a different way, there’s always Fly Fishing! We recommend Matt Heron Fly Fishing in Squaw Valley.
Rock climbing season has begun, and you have the chance to rope-up! We recommend Donner Summit or Big Chief.Hiking is a must for anyone, whether you need to find your zen on a solo adventure or you want to experience with a group. During the spring months, you’ll get to see some of the most gorgeous waterfalls from all of that snow runoff. Some of PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn’s staff recommend Shirley Canyon or the many trails around Emerald Bay. Check out the massive list of hiking trails in Squaw Valley here.
1510-Plumpjack SVI-345Dining and Drinking Everyone agrees there is a lot of great dining and drinking to go around in North Lake Tahoe, and especially Squaw Valley. We are biased and think that PlumpJack Cafe has the best weekday happy hour and a pretty darn good bar menu, and then the dining room, which is the spot for a more elevated culinary experience. We are also big fans of many of our fellow restaurants and bars. In Squaw Valley, we love Mamasake for their Beer and a Handroll special and their excellent sushi. We also love grabbing a glass of wine and some cheese at Uncorked. For a rowdy and fun night, you can’t miss the Cantina where all the locals go for cheap PBRs and music.

PS – Don’t miss PlumpJack Cafe’s Pig Roast & Tequila Toast on June 12th. This years theme is Mexican, enjoy Mexican beers, tequila and inspired cocktails with slow roasted carnitas.
Notable Events In Squaw Valley
Made in Tahoe Festival. Which celebrates all things local. The Village at Squaw Valley hosts a wide array of offerings that are made, or inspired, in the Lake Tahoe Basin and Truckee areas- local artisans, businesses, food, organizations and entertainers. More info here.

The 4th AMCRC Western Regional Car Show
On May 21st Come to Squaw Valley for a Spring day of amazing and unique automobiles. More info here.

Bluesdays
This popular and free outdoor concert series at the Village at Squaw Valley features acclaimed blues musicians, great grab and go food offerings from Village restaurants and a Blues bar with beer, wine & spirits available in the Events Plaza. June 14th, 21st, 28th and July 5th.

Outdoor Movie Series
Families and friends can snuggle up under the stars while enjoying new releases and family classics on the big screen in the Events Plaza at The Village at Squaw Valley. For date and movies playing click here

Art, Wine & Music Festival
Squaw Valley’s village will burst with color, taste, and sound as fine artists, crafts makers, performers and musicians come to participate in this fun, two-day annual event. More info here.

Shameless PlumpJack Plug

Enjoy 25% off a two night mid week stay at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn for stay dates between April 3rd and June 16th, 2016. Restrictions apply.
BOOK NOW

PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn is closed from May 1st until the 12th.

Don’t forget to stop by PlumpJackSport to shop and save! Jump on the end of season sales for winter apparel. Get all your gear for next season at up to 60% OFF! If you’re in San Francisco on May 21st stop by our Trunk Show and shop up to 70% odd winter gear. 

PlumpJack Does Easter Brunch Better than the Rest

PlumpJack does Easter Brunch better than the rest. With restaurants spanning from San Francisco and Marin to Napa and all the way up to the Sierra Mountains, you’re guaranteed a spot at the table. Enjoy the classics like the Balboa Huevos Rancheros or some upgrades on some classics, like PlumpJack Cafe’s Cinnamon Challah French Toast. See below for menus, links to make reservations and more.

FARM at The Carneros Inn
View Menu and Make a Reservation 
Boon Fly Café at The Carneros Inn
Will be serving their regular brunch menus from 7am to 3pm
Make a Reservation 
Balboa Cafe San Francisco
View Menu 
Balboa Café Mill Valley
Make a Reservation 
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PlumpJack Cafe
View Menu and Make a Reservation
Join us on the upper pool patio for an Easter egg hunt at 11:00 am
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Spread The #PlumpJackCheer

Tis the season for #PlumpJackCheer. We have countless activities, gift options and events going on at our properties to celebrate the holiday season!new balance running shoe

Show us Your Holiday Cheer with tag #PlumpJackCheer for a chance to win dinner for four. Share holiday décor; festive meals; celebrating with friends and family; and anything that brings you cheer!

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  1. Follow us on Instagram @PlumpJackGroup
  2. Point, zoom, shoot and show us your cheer!
  3. Tag it #plumpjackcheer
  4. Be automatically entered to win dinner for 4 at a PlumpJack Restaurant ($200 gift certificate)*
  5. Contest ends December 31st, winner announced in January 2015


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Balboa Cafe Mill Valley
Holiday Hours
Join us for Christmas and New Years Eve Dinner! Enjoy our regular menu plus specials. We are closed on Christmas Day.
Christmas Eve, December 24, 2015 
Dinner served 4 pm to 10 pm
New Years Eve, December 31st, 2015 
Dinner served 4 pm to 11 pm

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Balboa Cafe San Francisco 
Holiday Hours
Join us for Christmas Dinner at Balboa Cafe San Francisco and enjoy traditional Christmas fixings, with choices from firsts and entrées
Christmas Eve, December 24, 2015
11:30 am to 11:00 pm
Christmas Day, December 25, 2015
12 pm to 2 pm limited lunch menu
2 pm through 8 pm
Reservation recommended
New Years Day Brunch 10 am to 3 pm
Call us at 415.921.3944 to make a reservationpics of stephen curry shoes

In need of some special holidays plans for Christmas Eve, Day and New Years Day? PlumpJack Cafe at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn is the perfect please to celebrate the holidays. Nothing beats celebrating in the snowy mountains with friends and family.

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PlumpJack Wine & Spirits, Marina: Give amazing gifts this holiday season! From gift baskets/boxes and wooden boxes can be filled with the wine or spirit of your choice. Our gift baskets are packed with wine, spirits, beer, gourmet treats, and more. Custom gift boxes and baskets are also available. These gift packs are perfect for holiday gifting and special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, congratulations, corporate gifts and more.
Cocktail kits make a great gift for the experienced cocktail maker, or for a beginner trying to build their at home bar.
PlumpJack Wine & Spirits Clubs are the perfect gift that keeps on giving. With nine different clubs to choose from there is something for everyone. Wine, whiskey, champagne to gin, we have it all.
Try Forgery‘s new cocktail menu! A fun place to reunite with family and friends around the holiday season. Forgery recently made Playboys list of Best Bars in America, check out the article here.Give Back This Holiday SeasonWe love supporting great causes and charities, especially around the holiday season. For a special Thanksgiving meal our Chef from Balboa Cafe San Francisco prepared a delicious thanksgiving meal for 160 students at Holy Family Day Home in the mission.

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Give Back with PlumpJack for #BCAM

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Hilary Newsom with her mother, Tessa Newsom, who lost her battle with breast cancer.


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Throughout the month of October, PlumpJack businesses are joining the cause to help raise awareness and raise funds for UCSF’s Art for Recovery. Every cent counts, so get shopping, sipping and dancing.
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Get educated with our social media campaign throughout the month of October. Follow the PlumpJack Group on twitter and facebook to get a daily mix of links, infogrpahics, photos, videos and messages! Become more aware of breast cancer prevention and help raise awareness with us.
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Tessa's Tini

Tessa’s Tini


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Sample delicious cocktails and help raise money for UCSF’s Art for RecoveryBalboa Cafe San Francisco  features the Tessa’s Tini with Absolut Kurant, Combier, fresh lime juice, a splash of simple syrup and cranberry – $14 ($4 will be donated). Balboa Cafe Mill Valley features a Bubbling Bliss cocktail with Skyy citrus vodka, St. Germaine elderflower liqueur, cranberry juice, sparkling wine – $1 from this drink will be donated.
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PlumpJack Wine & Spirits Noe Valley and Marina locations will feature Tessa’s Cuvée with 100% of the sale of this wine going to Art for Recovery.

PlumpJack Cafe at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn features Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rose for $10 a glass and $40 per bottle. Plus, a  featured specialty cocktail for October – the La Presidente with Papa’s Pilar Blonde Rum, Carpano Bianco vermouth, housemade grenadine, lime, Gran Classic bitters, and a house brandied cherry for $12.
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Odette Estate, PlumpJack Estate and CADE Estate Winery will donate a portion of their e-commerce sales, plus proceeds from all pink S’well bottles sold in the tasting rooms. These amazing water bottles are a must have, keeping your water cold for hours!
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Boon Fly Cafe‘s features their deliciously popular Bacon Bloody Mary ($1 from every bloody donated). No need to feel guilty about ordering your second at brunch.
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MatrixFillmore, they will be donating 20% of the door charge, so get dancing for the cause in October.
On October 19th, from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm Forgery will be hosting guest bartenders from Raven. Two dollars from every drink sold will go to UCSF’s Art for Recovery Fund. Charcuterie and cheese will be served, a new addition to the bars menu.

Sip, shop and enjoy light bites at both PlumpJackSport boutiques as they host events to raise money and awareness. PlumpJackSport, Napa Valley will host an accessories Trunk Show at Balboa Cafe Mill Valley during the Mill Valley Film Festival on Saturday October 10th from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.


Every Friday afternoon in October, PlumpJackSport in The Village at Squaw Valley will host a local artist from 3:00pm to 6:00pm. A portion of the sales will be donated to UCSF’s Art for Recovery.

Approximately one in eight U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. We’re proud to list our businesses that are making a difference and supporting the fight against cancer.

  www.distcalc.info

The People of PlumpJack: Chef Ben “Wyatt” Dufresne

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Get to know the People of PlumpJack! This week get a behind the scenes look at, Executive Chef of PlumpJack Cafe at the PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn, Wyatt Dufresne. Originally from New York, Chef Wyatt started in PlumpJack Cafe‘s pantry in 2002. He worked his way to sous chef, left and came back in 2010 as the executive chef for 5 years, this March. Dufresne’s cuisine draws off his love for sustainable, organic, and seasonal ingredients as well as his educational background in science. His knowledge of how things grow, the anatomy of animals and fish, and the environmental impact of sourcing sustainable products has great influence on his menu selections. Here is more to know about Chef Wyatt.nike air max one

1. What would your last meal be?
My last meal would be my Mother’s mac and cheese.  I used to help her make the pasta from scratch when I was a kid and I’m sure it helped to influence where I am today.  I have her make it for me every time I visit home!

2. What is the best advice you have ever received?
One of the most influential Chefs I’ve worked for (Larry Dunning at PlumpJack and West Shore Cafe) said, “Pay attention to the small things and you’ll be successful,” on our last day working together.

3. What is your top bucket list item?
Travel the world.air jordan all

4. If you could travel back to any one point in time what would it be?
The 60’s and 70’s.  It just seems like people were creating a lot of changes in the world while having tons of fun:)

5. If they made a film of your life what star would you like to play you?
Daniel Day Lewis with his “Gangs of New York” mustache.

6. What is your personal mantra?
No regrets!womens air jordan shoes

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7. If today was the last day of your life, how would you spend it?
With my wife, family and friends eating awesome food and drinking great wine.  I would never forget our dog, Winter, either!

8. What was the last thing you searched for on google?
“Mignonette,” because I wanted to make sure the spelling was correct on the menu I just wrote.

 “My favorite dish Wyatt has made is, Cervena Venison Cheek: Black Winter Truffles, Asian Pear, Five Spiced Butternut Squash – to me this dish encompassed it all – rustic, but elegant, simple yet refined.  I can still taste everything in my mind – great dish.”

 “Wyatt’s best characteristic in my mind is he’ll always rise to the challenge and do what it takes to get the job done.”  nike air max junior

“My favorite memory with Wyatt was watching him win the 2014 Blazing Pans competition at the Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival this past September.”

Steve Lamb, General Manager at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn

Sara’s Top Five: Falling in Love with Fall Fashion

The beginning of fall in Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful times of year.  The traffic has started to slow down, the beaches are less crowded, and the trails are quiet. I love taking my cruiser down the bike path along the West shore, while enjoying the arrival of fall – the aspen leaves are starting to turn yellow and the air is just a little more crisp. Pair the bike ride or hike with a light salad and a glass Sauvignon Blanc on the patio at PlumpJack Café, and I am in heaven.
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Here is a list of my closet staples for this fall in Tahoe:
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1.)  JBrand Retro Zip Skinny in clean rinse wash
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As it gets cooler in Tahoe, a good pair of jeans from JBrand is a must.  I recommend the JBrand Retro Zip Skinny in clean rinse. They don’t stretch out and lose their form, and the dark wash is versatile.

2.)   Jane Strappy Boots in dark brown from Frye ($398)
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I absolutely love my Jane Strappy Boots in dark brown paired with my skinny jeans or skirts.  The slight heel on the back dresses up the boot and the dark brown color is easy to pair with my light or dark wash jeans.
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3.)   Red 23 Belted cardigan in both white & black

With it getting cooler at night and during the days, I always bring along a lightweight cardigan.  I love Red 23’s belted cardigan in black or white paired with jeans or cutoff shorts.

4.)    Amesha Cotton Twill Vest ($139)


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Currently my favorite piece in my wardrobe is my Velvet twill cargo vest in forest – this vest ties all my outfits together.  It looks great over my Tart Collections Romy Top in charcoal.
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5.)   Tart Collections Romy Top in charcoal ($88)
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(Seen below in striped)
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This top is about the most comfortable and stylish top. The fit is perfect and the fabric is soft and cozy.

All of this and more can be found at PlumpJack Sport Squaw Valley.  Our inventory is changing from fashion to ski over the next few months to get ready for a BIG winter here at Squaw Valley, but stop in to shop and save on these fashions, summer clearance & left over winter ski apparel for men, women & kids from 2014 season.

 

Q&A with Vegan Chef Tal Ronnen

Vegan Crab Cakes

Chef Tal’s crabless cakes


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PlumpJack Cafe teams up with Wanderlust Festival and one 
of the most celebrated vegan 
chefs Tal Ronnen for the first ever “Vegan Farm To Table Dinner” presented by Gardein. Join us on the patio Thursday July 17th at Plumpjack Squaw Valley Inn. Diners will experience a delectable four-course vegan dinner featuring plant-based proteins and locally sourced organic fruits and vegetables. The menu will also include a delectable assortment of artisanal nut milk-based cheeses from Kite Hill. Tal is a partner in the company, whose cheese was the first non-dairy cheese sold in Whole Foods’ esteemed cheese department, as opposed to the processed cheese or vegan cheese section, where all non-dairy cheese had lived prior to Kite Hill’s arrival. Pretty impressive! We caught up with Tal for a quick Q&A before he graces the PlumpJack patio next week. Hey, we’re not Ellen, but we are so excited to host such a renowned culinary figure and learn more about being vegan. Bon appétit!
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What’s your go-to vegan comfort food/dish?
Peanut butter and jelly.
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What are some of your pantry staples?

  • nutritional yeast flakes are great for texture and have a rich, nutty flavor. They’re good on anything from pasta to popcorn.
  • black garlic is available everywhere now and it has a great soft, sweet taste. I toss it with broccoli or make a vinaigrette with it.
  • white balsamic vinegar is light and makes nice light vinaigrettes.

What kind of advice do you have for someone who is thinking about transitioning to a vegan diet?
Take it slow – start with a day or two a week and progress from there. Check out ethnic restaurants that inherently have vegan cuisine like Indian, Thai, Chinese, or convert your favorite recipes using non-animal alternatives.
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What are your favorite seasonal ingredients?
Summer: stonefruitcranberry beans
Fall: applesbeetsartichokes
Winter: root vegetables
Spring: english peasfava beans
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Was there a defining moment when you decided to become a chef? Were you always a vegan chef?
Yes – when I crossed over to becoming a vegetarian, I was frustrated by being served the side dishes as main plates at restaurants I used to go to.
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What’s your favorite vegan-friendly travel destination?
San Francisco has a lot of wonderful restaurants. Even the non-vegan restaurants have great vegan food.
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How did you get involved with Wanderlust? Tell us about the vegan dinner you’re presenting on July 17th with PlumpJack Café?
My good friend Yves, the founder of Gardein, asked me to be a part of it.
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What do you love most about living in Los Angeles?
Sunny weather! I love waking up to sunshine.
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Tal Ronnen CookbookIncluded in Thursday’s dinner ticket price are two glasses of wine and a complimentary copy of Chef Tal’s award-winning cookbook The Conscious Cook. Busting notorious vegan myths including “You won’t get enough protein” and “It’s boring to eat vegan,” this cookbook encourages all to sample a taste of healthy, ethical, environmentally-friendly eating, without pushing an agenda. “It’s easy to be convincing when the food is delicious,” Chef Tal states, backed by his success at opening minds and menus to vegan options. “It doesn’t feel like a sacrifice—it feels like a step up.”