Christopher Ranch’s California Garlic Blog

It’s no mystery that fresh garlic is one of the most popular, versatile ingredients ever. What remains relatively unknown, however, are the distinct flavor, quality and health differences associated with varying garlic varieties. Christopher Ranch, a family farm in Gilroy, Calif., grows a California heirloom garlic that is a leader in each category. All Garlic Is Not Created Equal. We’ll show you why.

Chef Michael Giletto Showcases Culinary Expertise & Christopher Ranch Love At James Beard Foundation

Give a warm welcome to guest blogger, Amber; my fellow cohort at the Ranch.

I’m playing hooky from the blog today. Trying to find a way to get myself to Vancouver or New Orleans this weekend…

Anywho, Amber’s full of great garlic insight, with newfound garlic tales, as she’s been working closely with Chef Michael Giletto. If you’re unfamiliar, Chef Giletto is the executive chef at Skillman, New Jersey’s esteemed Cherry Valley Country Club, as well as TV and radio culinary personality, including appearances on Chopped, Iron Chef America and the Ultimate Recipe Showdown.

Chef Giletto also is a big proponent of Christopher Ranch garlic. So much, in fact, that he recently incorporated California heirloom garlic in all stages – albeit dessert – of an exquisite, five-course dinner he was invited to prepare at the James Beard Foundation; an invitation not bestowed upon just any chef.

Here’s Amber to fill in the gaps…

The James Beard Foundation is an integral part of our culinary community, whose mission is “to celebrate, preserve and nurture America’s culinary heritage and diversity, in order to elevate the appreciation of our culinary excellence.”

Through its diverse educational programs, culinary student scholarships and prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards, the non-profit foundation, undoubtedly, wages a tremendous influence in the culinary world.

The James Beard House also invites chefs to participate in events, and recently, Chef Michael Giletto was asked to showcase his culinary expertise and prepare a fennel-themed dinner. Chef Alina Eisenhauer, executive pastry chef at Sweet in Worcester, Massachusetts, assisted Giletto in the process.

Like we said, Chef Giletto is a fan of Christopher Ranch’s California heirloom garlic, which he uses daily in his own kitchen, and applied to his James Beard Foundation menu. Likewise, we are a fan of Chef Giletto’s extraordinary culinary talents and the masterful ways he blends garlic in his cooking.

Fortunately, we got a peek at the mouth-watering menu…

Hors D’ Oeuvres:

“Tataki Style” Sterling Silver Strip Loin, Christopher Ranch Garlic Chips, Fennel Frond Aioli (pictured above)

 Salt-Crusted Scallop, Roasted Shallot Fennel, Tart Apple Slaw 

Fennel Aspic, Carmel Brioche, Fried Salsify, Tarragon Mayo

Brown Butter Fennel Dust, Hudson Valley Smoked Duck, Fennel~Carrot Crisp

Wine Pairing: Pierre Sparr Cremant d’Alsace, France Steele, Black Bubbles, California

Beer Pairing: Unibroue Green Apple; Chambly, Quebec

Course 1:

Avocado Fennel Puree, Black Truffle Crème Frache, Sterling Silver Pork Dust (pictured above)

Wine Pairing: 2005 Rovero Pinot Nero “LaJetto,” Piedmont, Italy

Beer Pairing: Allagash White: Portland, ME

Course 2:

Sous Vide Griggs Farm Chicken “Scallop,” Watercress Fennel Salad With Fermented Christopher Ranch Garlic Spread, Craft Beer Vinaigrette

Wine Pairing: 2007 Ca dei Frati Lugana, Lombardy, Italy

Beer Pairing: Avery Saison; Boulder, CO

Course 3:

Chowder Of Baby Heirloom Tomato And Fennel, Seafood Contour, White Truffle (pictured above)

Wine Pairing: 2004 Dievole Chianti Classico Reserva “Novacento,” Tuscany, Italy

Beer Pairing: Dogfish Head Chateau Jiahu; Milton DE

Course 4:

Fennel Pollen-Dusted Sterling Silver Skirt “Mock Filet,” Brioche “Crotta,” Casa de Lena Farm Olive Oil Fennel Sauce

Wine Pairing: Enzo Boglietti Langhe Rosso “Buio,” Piedmont, Italy

Beer Pairing: Lost Abbey Avant Garde; San Marcos, CA

Course 5:

Orange Blossom Genois, Fennel Semifredo, Candied Fennel, Fennel Pollen, Almond Florentine, Caramelized Blood Oranges

Wine Pairing: 2005 Valckenberg “Madonna,” Eiswein Rheinhessen

Beer Pairing: Pretty Things Jack D’or; Holyoke, MA

We are particularly intrigued by the garlic application Chef Giletto employed in the “Tataki-Style” Sterling Silver Strip Loin, Christopher Ranch Garlic Chips, Fennel Frond Aioli. We love how this recipe displays fresh garlic’s versatility, emphasizing one of many unique ways garlic can enhance a menu.

Thank you, Chef Giletto, Chef Eisenhauer and your fabulous staff (also pictured above), for including Christopher Ranch garlic in your masterpiece. And – a big thank you to photographer Scott Erb for taking such gorgeous pictures.

Next up – the American Culinary Federation’s Northeast Regional Conference, where Chef Giletto will conduct our cooking demonstration. Pretty excited, as we’ll finally get to indulge in his garlic delights! 

Stay tuned…


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