Alisal Ranch Announces Guest Chef Lineup for “BBQ Bootcamp: From the Vine”

To Be Held March 5-6, 2023
Published on Feb 2, 2023

Back by popular demand, the 10,500-acre Alisal Ranch announces the return of its beloved BBQ Bootcamp experience, which will now be hosted three times a year. The first iteration for the year, held March 5-8, 2023, will be MC’d by Chef Valerie Gordon and offers a “From the Vine” theme, featuring local California wineries pouring their favorite vintages and teaching guests how to pair and incorporate into grilling recipes, in addition to a private tasting excursion. The BBQ Bootcamp experience brings some of the nation’s top chefs and grill masters to the ranch, where they will prepare indulgent barbecue feasts, demonstrate their unique approach to grilling (even desserts!), and share their barbecue secrets, tips, and tricks.

“It has been exciting to see guests fall in love with our BBQ Bootcamp experience, and return year-after-year to learn from the very best in the industry of food and wine,” shares Alisal Ranch General Manager Kathleen Cochran. “We are starting 2023 with an incredible lineup of talented chefs, who each bring something unique to barbecue, a cuisine that has always been celebrated as part of our ranch’s unique and timeless history.”

For spring’s BBQ Bootcamp: From the Vine, Alisal Ranch’s Executive Chef Craig Riker will be offering a hands-on, interactive steak grilling demonstration. In addition, the ranch welcomes:

  • Valerie Gordon (Valerie Confections) – The celebrated Los Angeles chocolatier and James Beard finalist cookbook author for 2013’s Sweet, founded Valerie Confections in 2004, and eventually guided the confectionery to become one of the nation’s most highly acclaimed boutique chocolatiers. In addition to MCing the bootcamp, Valerie will also be conducting two of her own cooking demonstrations, sharing recipes and tips to grilling desserts.
  • Frank Ostini (Hitching Post II) – Legendary local restaurant owner, chef, and winemaker Frank Ostini—most recognized for his Sidways-famous restaurant in Buellton—returns to the BBQ Bootcamp lineup with a wine tasting and burger lunch.
  • Govind Armstrong (The Lobster) – Raised on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, Armstrong’s seasonal approach to cooking and sustainability has resulted in a slate of celebrated restaurants in Los Angeles, Miami and New York (Chadwick, Table 8, 8oz Burger Bar, Willie Jane, Post & Beam). Armstrong is often recognized for his appearances on “Top Chef” and “Iron Chef America,” and is also the author of Small Bites, Big Nights: Seductive Little Plates for Intimate Occasions and Lavish Parties. Returning to the ranch after participating in a California Ranch Cookout last year, Govind will demonstrate and pair grilled seafood with wine – a first for BBQ Bootcamp!
  • Helen Johannesen (Helen’s Wines) – With four locations in Los Angeles, Sommelier Helen Johannesen’s beloved wine shops focus on naturally-driven and organically farmed labels, small production vineyards, wine makers with integrity, lower intervention élevage, and dynamic thoughtful wines. Also celebrated for her “WineFace” podcast, Johannesen will pair up with Gordon for a wine, cheese, and chocolate tasting experience at BBQ Bootcamp.

In addition to the guest chef experiences, participants of BBQ Bootcamp will also be taken to the nearby Folded Hills winery for a private, expert-led tasting.

Starting at $945++/night for double occupancy, the adults-only, multi-day package experience includes:

  • Western-themed accommodations for three nights
  • All meals and specialty dinners
  • A selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Demonstrations on grilling methods, equipment, BBQ, spice blending, and more
  • Special event keepsakes
  • Hay wagon ride to the historic adobe for breakfast

Future iterations of the experience this year include “BBQ Bootcamp: Spring Classic” in May and “BBQ Bootcamp: World BBQ” in October, dates and guest chef lineups to be announced. For more information, please visit or contact guest services at (800) 425-4725. Photo highlights from BBQ Bootcamp Fall 2022 can be viewed via this Dropbox link.

About Alisal Ranch:

Hidden in the golden hills of California’s Santa Ynez Valley—just 36 miles northeast of Santa Barbara—sits the legendary Alisal Ranch. Surrounded by mountains, meandering across 10,500 sweeping acres, this timeless, family-owned property has embraced the spirit and nature of the American West for nearly a century. As stewards of the land, the ranch honors its rich heritage by providing authentic western hospitality and luxury ranch living, in an experience exclusively suited for today’s most savvy travelers. This is a rare opportunity to immerse in California’s abundant, wild nature; to stargaze free of light pollution; to learn the secrets of barbecue from the country’s top chefs; to fly fish, canoe, or kayak on a 100-acre, spring-fed lake; to share stories with family around a crackling fire pit; or enjoy a massage after a long day on horseback. The ranch cares for more than 100 horses, all trained to ride with experts as well as beginners with timeless ranch experiences, ranging from trail rides and corral lessons to breakfast rides and rodeos. Alisal is both intimate and expansive, with just 73 guest cottages—including a Nathan Turner-designed Turner House of suites—two 18-hole championship golf courses, six tennis courts, pickleball courts, and more. The ranch is consistently ranked among the top destinations in California and beyond by media (Conde Nast Traveler “Top 15 Southern California Resorts,” USA Today’s “Best Destination Resort”, etc.) and it’s been a favorite of the celebrity set—from Clark Gable and Doris Day to contemporary artists of today. For more information, visit, /AlisalRanch on Facebook, @AlisalRanch on Instagram, /AlisalRanch on Pinterest and @AlisalRanch on TikTok.

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