Cold Spring Tavern – Hwy 154 – Lake Cachuma

I forgot I wrote this. A must do . . . yes, I am due!

Let’s talk for a moment about history and finding a moment of solace… OK, done!

Now let’s talk about Cold Spring Tavern. A very quaint hideout in the hills above Lake Cachuma along the 154 in Santa Barbara. We originally found this place when reading a Rachel Ray $40-dollars-a-day review. We have since been back a couple of times for the breakfast menu and the very deserved, mid-travel Bloody Mary.

IMPORTANT NOTE: A very important note… This quick review is based on winter-time (or early spring/late fall) crowds. From what we’ve been told, this is a serious biker destination that will frequent 400 bikes on a summer Saturday or Sunday.

What you’ll find is a very old set of buildings off of a very twisted road. You’ll suddenly happen upon a dirt parking area slightly tucked aside a hill just atop the property. What you’ll find inside the restaurant is…

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Michelle Malone, another “House Concert”. AWESOME ! ! !

malone4If I can just say one word, “Wow!” These house concerts promoted and put on my Two Worlds Connect  and Cattle Call L.L.C. Events are just amazing.

What a privilege it is to sit amongst 25 guests rioting (yeah, 25 folks rioting . . . LOL) and raging (yes, we were definitely raging) for this great national recording artist, Michele Malone; with her characteristic slide guitar licks reminiscent of Derek Trucks (Allman Brothers, Derek Trucks Band and Tedeschi Trucks Band). two worldsShe was definitely throwin’ down. Tonight, Michelle was partnered up with her good friend Trish Land on her percussional-istically (word?) exhausting beats of the tambourine and other hand instruments; and vocals supporting Michelle’s renditions of her older and newer recordings. This duo tore up the sounds as they intermixed songs with ridiculous and sometimes awkward humor. We were entertained for hours. malone1

Michelle comes to us from Atlanta, GA. I had a few small-talking moments with her by the pond and along the event lawns at the beautiful Two Worlds venue in Valley Center, CA. She and I talked about the music scene briefly and the photographic opportunities on that wonderful property, just before she had to get ready for her performance. Wow, just she and I. YES!

Once inside the private secluded venue, adorned with furnishings dating it into past decades, all of the guests were enjoying carefully prepared (Catering By Gina of Valley Center, CA)  platters of Stuffed Mushrooms, Fresh Garden Tomatoes (awesome), Figs, Nuts and other accoutrements enabling us to enjoy the provided wines and Stone Brewery beers the event provided. This was just the perfect ambiance for a chance to talk with the locals and artists just before the big show. Well, it wasn’t a big show; but what it was . . . , was an absolutely engaging performance of two collaborative artists really connecting in their moments of musical embellishments. Wow . . . I felt myself transformed into Michelle’s world as she enlightened us into the enigma of her music, beliefs, culture and deepest moments of life. Her lyrics, mixed with her seemingly effortless ability to scribe the neck of that guitar as if were fretless; and her awesome crescendo’d licks placing her amongst some of the most eclectic guitarists in modern history. I’m telling you; if you weren’t there, you missed quite a performance. trish

Well, I know one thing is for sure . . . I’m going back to these events. To be able to see great artists, walk with them, exchange words and connect with them personally is one of the greatest feelings available. The feeling of the moment was inspiring, careless, free-spirited and jubilant . . . a must do! See these concerts by going to Two Worlds Connect and Cattle Call L.L.C. Events. cattle call


Wine – Health Benefits? Well . . . , the mice are having a great time!

Does not a day go by that we don’t hear something about the positive or negative effects of wine or alcohol? I began to research the health effects of wine, weather it be red or white. What I found was an abundance of information that almost anyone looking to find “their” answer would be successful. As I began this study, I became increasingly interested in the research of those studies. In other words I became less interested in the health effects of the wine itself, but more interested in the studies conducted. Wine itself cannot be entirely at fault, nor considered to be the “cure all” in modern day. As I journeyed through some of this research, the only thing I can really say for sure is, “the mice must be having a great time”!mice1

Although the consumption of wine dates back a couple years ago when it was (well, it still is) used for a variety of reasons including celebration, as a replacement for poor drinkable water, as a sedative or medicinal reasons, just to name a few. Although it’s been around a long time, health effects of wine have only been researched for about 20 years; however, the health effects of wine have not been completely separated from the health effects of some of the components of the wine (e.g. alcohol, grapes, grape skin, resveratrol etc). As scientists and researchers move further into studying the various health effects of the certain components, more evidence is released indicating additional studies and breakthroughs in one of the subcomponents of the wine (e.g. resveratrol) These breakthroughs will continue well into the future as more studies are conducted and research methodologies and equipment become better and more refined.

mice2So far, the only qualified documented research of any of the wine’s components has only been documented in mice. Mice are given dosages far beyond the capacities that can be tolerated by humans. In order to conduct a scientific study on humans would take 45-75 years until each member of the study group dies. Then as each component is broken down into subcomponents, each of those subcomponents would need to be broken down further into sufficient studies all of their own. Let’s use this analogy: If a qualified pool of study candidates is used; say one-thousand 21-year-old males; the study of the health effects would have to take into account variables like age, weight, weight loss/gain, diet, heredity, regional living conditions two-drinks per day, etc.). Mice are much better candidates for reasons only scientists will really know, but I have my assumptions. If you ask me . . . mice don’t talk back, the variable living conditions can be more accurately controlled, they react to stimuli (alcohol, wine or one of the subcomponents) during daylight hours when they can be studied by sober scientists; and when they throw-up from drinking too much, it makes a much smaller mess to clean up.

Wikipedia offers the best analogy: “This changing view of wine can be seen in the evolution of the language used in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Dietary Guidelines. The 1990 edition of the guidelines contained the blanket statement that “wine has no net health benefit”. By 1995, the wording had been changed to allow moderate consumption with meals providing the individual had no other alcohol-related health risk. From a research perspective, scientists began differentiating alcohol consumption among the various classes of beverages – wine, beer and spirits. This distinction allowed studies to highlight the positive medical benefits of wine apart from the mere presence of alcohol. However wine drinkers tend to share similar lifestyle habits – better diets, regular exercise, non-smoking – that may in themselves be a factor in the supposed positive health benefits compared to drinkers of beer and spirits or those who abstain completely”.

mice3Through my research I have found so many dissimilarities of these benefits. I have also found disparaging dissimilarities for the use of the word “moderation”. It seems the use of the word “moderation” is used to protect humans, scientists and producers involved in these studies against legal actions should future developments in the scientific research break new ground. Due to the wine’s component of alcohol; the use of the word “moderation” makes sense. Too much alcohol can kill you. We know that! Does research indicate that there are health benefits to humans with the consumption of wine? That has not yet been discerned from the health benefits of the alcohol, or the health benefits with the subcomponents of the wine like resveratrol. These studies that are available for our review have only been performed with mice, in concentrates that would prove lethal to humans if they were to be consumed using the amounts found in wine. In other words, you have to drink a lot of wine to get the same dosages studied in mice. I think I’m beginning to envy mice. Hey, I wanna party with those guys!

LOOK OUT ! ! !


Works Cited

“23 New Molecules Discovered In Red Wine | Asian Scientist Magazine |  Science, Technology and Medicine News Updates From Asia.” Asian Scientist Magazine |  Science, Technology and Medicine News Updates From Asia. N.p., 14 Aug. 2013. Web. 18 Aug. 2013. <;.

Castillo, Michelle. “Red wine compound resveratrol may negate health benefits of exercise – CBS News.” Breaking News Headlines: Business, Entertainment & World News – CBS News. N.p., 23 July 2013. Web. 18 Aug. 2013. <;.

“Harvard School of Public Health » The Nutrition Source » Alcohol: Balancing Risks and Benefits.” Harvard School of Public Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Aug. 2013. <;.

“Health effects of wine – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Aug. 2013. <;.

Quinlan, Cristine. “8 Health Benefits of Drinking Wine | Food & Wine.” Food & Wine Magazine | Recipes, Menus, Chefs, Wine, Cooking, Holidays, Entertaining. N.p., 1 Oct. 2007. Web. 18 Aug. 2013. <;.

“Red wine, antioxidants and resveratrol: Good for your heart? –” Mayo Clinic. N.p., 17 May 2011. Web. 18 Aug. 2013. <;.

Scutti, Suzan. “Cell Phones And Cancer: 2 Studies Provide New Evidence Of A Possible Link.” Medical Daily. N.p., 16 Apr. 2013. Web. 18 Aug. 2013. <;.

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Who Yelps? A TripAdvisor.

Why anyone can be a critic . . . and most have no idea! See Having read this article and some of the rage it has caused allowed me to look back at what I do . . . and what others do.

cropped-critdicks.jpgA couple of years ago I began with maybe one or two rants that I posted on Yelp. I thought that’s what I was supposed to do if I had a compliment or criticism about a restaurant, food service establishment or even any service establishment or product. Well, by the looks of things, that’s exactly what’s going on here. TripAdvisor’s statistical data gathered is all about numbers. Obviously the numbers in this article about the nation’s best pizza, are from San Diegans rating the pizza in this town better (based on numbers), than cities that actually created the American pizza. I mean really, how many of you have ever heard of “San Diego style” pizza? NONE!

Chicago Style and New York Style are two names that are literally everywhere in San Diego, but how many places back east boast “San Diego style” on the side of the building or on the marquee? NONE! Perhaps there’s a place for the San Diego pizza I don’t yet know about. . . you know the one that has avocado, quinoa and tofu. Is San Diego qualified to make such claim to the best pizza; or is it just because more people feel as though their ability to post tirades on Yelp and Trip Advisor are worthy of rating such pizzas at the top of the food chain? Would they even understand what a 4, or a 5 is compared to a 2 or a 3 on the rating scale. Look at Yelp or TripAdvisor. See how many perfect scores there are. My best guess is that more times than not, the people rating these establishments so highly and in such quantity, are the same persons that wouldn’t realize their own finger just pushed through their toilet paper.urbn

San Diego has some good Pizza places, none of which made the top slots on the list that TripAdvisor writes, but places like La Jolla’s Regent’s Pizza, Vista’s Urbn, or even Oceanside’s Pizza Port. These are among some of the best pizzas in the area, yet TripAdvisor fails to make mention of their contribution to the ratings. I’m sure there are plenty other good pizza places . . . my family enjoys switching between several. It’s a sheer numbers game. TripAdvisor offers this statement about the information provided by their reviewers, “TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers”. “Trusted” advice . . . just what the hell is that supposed to mean? Who is trusted? What advice is trusted? Who is trusting what? . . . I don’t think I trust that statement . . .!

Pizza is very personal. Everyone likes certain things on their pizza and a certain type of crust, but how many residents of San Diego have ever had pizza from The Windy City or the Bronx? I have never, but anticipate the awesomeness should I get the chance. I mean that’s where American pizza was born . . . born from ancestry of the motherland. My son just returned from Italy where pizza is considered, by many, to be its birthplace. But what is pizza? Pizza is a peasant food designed to fill the belly of the poverty families in third-world countries. It’s a slab of dough with whatever the market or the field happen to yield that day. San Diego doesn’t yield Tofu, quinoa . . . ok, yes . . . we do yield shitloads of avocados, . . . but is that what makes a killer pizza? This whole thing has me disturbed. It’s like saying San Diego has better Philly Cheese Steak than Philly, or a better meatball sandwich than Eastside in Los Angeles or just about any Italian eatery east of the Mississippi. Really?

What really has me disturbed is that everyone reads Yelp and Trip Advisor so carefully, and takes it all for gospel. Yes, I look at the ratings and I look at the scores, then I Iook at other information and conclude my own interpretation of data that is available to me. I know that any goofball jackwagon can write on those sites and obviously they do . . . and in large numbers; large enough to sway the best pizza vote to a city made up of looser professional sports teams, “some tasty waves and a cool buzz” . . .  “You dick”! (Spicoli)spicoli Hey, maybe I just figured this out. San Diego religiously has poor attendance for its professional sport teams, because everyone has their hometown team from back east to root for (e.g. “Da  Bears!”). The same fans living here now, rate the pizza in San Diego as being better than the east . . . , because they are from back east. Hell, . . . maybe they do know a thing or two about the pie!


Need HELP with this recipe – Pirate’s (Caribbean) Taco

Attention all you foodies, chefs, cooks, home cooks, caterers and wannabes.

Captain Jack SparrowTonight I made what I’m calling “Pirates (Caribbean) Taco”. It was made with leftover Jerk Chicken, Red Beans and Rice, Chinese Cabbage, Cilantro, Indian (style) Fry Bread, Captain Jack Sparrow’s Belizean Habanero Salsa and a squeeze of Lime. It was good, but not perfect. It was missing something. My family and I think it was missing something sweet. I was able to obtain more sweetness from adding more salsa which is made with carrots (see previous posting), but it just got hotter. The Jerk seasoning on the chicken has a bit of a kick already, then add the mild boost of heat with the Belizean salsa, and it was perfect already . . . just missing something, perhaps the sweet element that is also characteristic with Caribbean cuisine.Pirate's Taco

I thought of adding fresh shredded carrots along with the shredded cabbage, but I think it will be too noticeably carrot. Looking for suggestions on this one.

Yeah I know, my plating kinda sucked! Splattered salsa! Whatever!!!


Near miss !

A near miss . . . is an incident!

near miss3Having studied safety, risk management and contingency planning extensively, I find much merit in the readings of my school’s lesson this evening for “Legal Issues and Ethics in Hospitality Management” the class I’m currently taking on line.  I had scanned (I really don’t read much of anything . . . never had, never will) several of the publishing’s/readings required by the lesson. It seems the lesson’s suggested website was reasonably inundated with writings by Karen Morris, a hospitality lawyer specializing in the food and beverage industry. I found the articles she has written to be quite “spot on”! She breaks down incidents and accidents identifying many root causes and presents an “in-your-face” approach to dealing with those incidents, their root causes and the proper preventative measures that could have . . . or should have, been taken by the operator of the establishment, or even the guest that happens to be visiting the establishment.

Comparatively speaking, the required text we were also expected to read, only outlines basic steps in dealing with an incident once it has already happened. Yes the book, throughout its contents, identifies ways to prevent accidents or incidents, but steers well clear of any type of comprehensive list of preventative measures. Doing so would take up the entire book (see 29 CFR 1910); because literally speaking, any one of most all possible scenarios could take place in a restaurant or hospitality organization (e.g. losing a finger tip to the Hobart, falling out of an unsecured railing on an ADA pathway, slipping on a wet bathroom floor). Limitless!near miss2

The book itself has an easy list for managers to follow if faced with an accident or incident. One thing the book, or Ms. Morris’ writings failed (or . . . at least I didn’t see them) to identify or mention, was identifying and documenting “incidents” or more specifically “near misses”.

A near miss can be identified as an incident in which nothing got broken or no one got injured. A near miss, if it weren’t classified a “near miss”, could have broken something or injured someone, but luck was on someone’s side because something (a link) in the “chain of events” was broken. A near miss, if properly documented, can lead to the identification of root causes and identification of links in the chain pointed at many things; defective or degrading equipment, lack of proper training, ineffective management, horse-play, procedural deficits or improper planning, just to name a few.

If I look for a moment at improper planning, I have to point to risk management and contingency planning. Many, if not all, of safety prevention techniques . . . and business management practices, can be effectively mitigated or losses minimized, if proper risk management techniques and effective contingency planning protocols are established at the earliest stages of a business’ setup.

Risk management, the precursor to contingency planning, is actually a process that every conceivable “risk” is identified and documented, then given a score of its “probability” (e.g. likely, not likely, highly likely, etc) of it happening, and the “severity” (no possible damage or injury, hospitalization, death, etc) if it does happen. Contingency planning takes every possible scenario and the “what ifs” and plans out the “what to dos” should the event happen. All of the possible scenarios are carefully written down and documented, for management to follow. No questions about what to do, and no second guessing judgments by management staff.

Flow charts are one of the best preventative measures that can be taken for any business. Another form of this can be a manager’s flip guide to help them through scenarios if and when they are encountered.

near miss4Risk management, once scores have been identified, takes each risk and eliminates the risk or reduces its probability and severity to minimums; this is done through three process steps. 1) Engineering controls. Designing out the risk (e.g. machine guarding, safety cutout switch, placing an ADA handle in the restroom). 2) Administrative controls (e.g. staff training on how to use the equipment or safety placards to warn guests “wet floor”). Finally once, and ONLY when the other two have been fully executed and exhausted, can you move to 3) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (e.g. use of a cut resistant glove while cutting meat). Although there is seemingly limited PPE that can be afforded a guest in a restaurant, there are endless possibilities that are deployed in the hospitality industry (e.g. floatation devices for water sports/events, protective eyewear and hearing protection for skeet shooting on a cruise-liner).near miss 5

Contingency planning takes the risk management model and also entails preparation for interruption of service/business. Should an event happen that leads to poor press or perhaps a loss of facility (e.g. food poisoning, a shooting,  a hurricane with devastating results or even a simple sewage leak), having a contingency plan is an aid in preventative measures designed at seamless operations that help sustaining business for short term and/or well into the future.

Are you ready to look at your business?

Call me!


 Works Cited

Morris, Karen. “Decorations can be dangerous | Hotel Management.” Hotel Management provides the top news, expertise and insights into the hotel and hospitality industry | Hotel Management. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Aug. 2013. <;.

Morris, Karen. “All accident remedies are not created equal | Hotel Management.” Hotel Management provides the top news, expertise and insights into the hotel and hospitality industry | Hotel Management. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Aug. 2013. <

Yeah, this was started as a school assignment! Just cleaned it up a bit for publishing!

ChefSteps – Learn something!

chefstepsRecently, we toured the Puget Sound and finally ended up at one of our planned destinations; Pike Place, a popular public marketplace known for the fresh seafood marketer’s throwing full-sized whole salmon over the counter for wrapping and shipping.  There are several levels to the marketplace; and as we made our way below the main street level promenade, we stumbled upon an open kitchen set of large windows with the word “delve”, engraved on the glass facing the kitchen. Wondering what that was all about, we further ventured around the corner and into the hallway to witness two, what appeared to be, editors or writers amongst several professional stage cameras and various lighting equipment. The workers appeared to be editing computer video segments of the kitchen studio that was on the other side of the wall. With only a limited amount of time, I quickly grabbed their business card and continued my walk through the lower level while putting the Android to use and searching for their website. Intrigued at what information I now acquired, I waited until I got home to investigate further.pike place

ChefSteps creates and produces cooking, culinary and informational video’s to the industry. I have viewed several of their videos and have found them to be very well produced, very informational and “spot on” the latest trends with food. They seem to have a very capable and professional kitchen staff that breaks down elements of the “how to”. Their website affords this explanation, “Yes, ChefSteps is entirely free-to-learn. Our goal is to collaborate with the global community of curious cooks to create original recipes, invent new techniques, and help us all become better cooks”. “ChefSteps is the place to turn to learn the why behind the how. Our recipes and techniques are supported by explanations of the underlying science of cooking. Our goal is to inform your intuition for how cooking really works, so that you become a more confident, resourceful, and creative cook”.

Although their website affords a wealth of information and really cool videos (they must have fun creating them), I have found my curiosity becomes satiated best through liking them and following their Facebook posts. This is where they post fresh information and share links to stories and videos that have always been very educational, interesting and informative. Whether it be “how to’s” on use the of Sous Vide, spherification, how a blender works or how to sharpen a knife; ChefSteps is an informational tool that all of you foodies, students, Chef’s, Chef instructors, home cooks and wanna-be’s can utilize.

I highly recommend following them on Facebook and visiting their website. Sign up and get all of your questions and curiosities satisfied. Best of all . . . it’s FREE!!!

I think now I know why the word “delve” is on the glass!delve


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