CHEF RICK MANSON
“LITTLE IN LIFE IS CERTAIN, BUT THREE THINGS ARE GUARANTEED-
DEATH, TAXES, AND A GREAT MEAL AT CHEF RICK’S ULTIMATELY FINE FOODS.
LIKE A CHOSEN FEW BEFORE HIM, CHEF RICK IS THAT RARE BREED OF CHEF
THAT ALWAYS MAKES MIND-BENDING, ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS FOOD ON THEIR OWN TERMS WHILE STILL APPEALING TO A WIDE AUDIENCE.”
THE UP-TEMPO AMERICAN COOKING PREPARED BY ONE OF THE CENTRAL COAST’S PREMIER CHEFS, RICK MANSON, IS A BLEND OF SOUTHERN LOUISIANA, SOUTHWEST, AND SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA INFLUENCES, SEASONED WITH A HINT OF RHYTHM AND BLUES, A SPLASH OF COLOR, AND A TOUCH OF IRREVERENCE.
RICK, THE SON OF THE TRUEST FOOD AMERICA EVER PRODUCED, AFRICAN- AMERICAN FUNK, SPANISH-MEXICAN SIZZLE AND THE BOUILLABAISSE THAT IS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA-WHIPPED IT ALL TOGETHER INTO A STYLISH SOUL SOUFFLÉ AND PLACED IT IN A SETTING LIKE NO OTHER. EVEN THOUGH HE WAS DOING IT IN A STRIP MALL IN ORCUTT, CALIFORNIA, RICK WAS BEING ONE OF THE QUINTESSENTIAL AMERICAN CHEF’S OF HIS GENERATION.
CHEF RICK BEGAN EARNING CRITICAL ACCLAIM AS EXECUTIVE CHEF FOR 10 YEARS OF THE KING AND PRINCE HOTEL ON HISTORIC ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GEORGIA. CHEF RICK’S CONSISTENTLY EARNS “BEST RESTAURANT IN SANTA MARIA” AWARD IN THE SANTA MARIA SUN. CENTRAL COAST MAGAZINE SAYS “THANK GOODNESS FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT AND INTRIGUING.” RICK HAS BEEN NAMED THE 2007 CENTRAL COAST WINE CLASSIC CULINARY HONOREE BY FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN ARCHIE MCLAREN. SELECTED FOR HIS INDEFATIGABLE SUPPORT AND ENTHUSIASM IN FURTHERING CULINARY EXCELLENCE ON THE CENTRAL COAST, ARCHIE HAS SAID OF RICK, “THE GUY IS A PRINCE.”
CHEF RICK’S ULTIMATELY FINE FOODS
4869 SOUTH BRADLEY ROAD
SANTA MARIA, CALIFORNIA 93455
SERVING LUNCH 11AM-5PM
AND DINNER 5PM-9PM
MONDAY THRU SATURDAY
“…PARIS WITH A PARKING LOT”
FOX NEWS ENTERTAINMENT AND GOSSIP COLUMNIST ROGER FRIEDMAN VISITED THE CENTRAL COAST AND FILED THIS REPORT.
There are lots of restaurants in the general vicinity of Santa Maria that we came to patronize on a regular basis.
The Hitching Post in Casmalia, the extremely David Lynch-esque Far Western in Guadalupe, and the Cracked Crab in Pismo Beach come to mind as highlights.
The little known Spyglass Inn, discovered by court artist Vickie Behringer, had the most magnificent sunset views. All of these people were good-natured enough to accept dinner reservations for 10 without flinching, even when the total number came to twice that.
But hats off to the area's one eatery that actually deserves a James Beard citation. That would be Chef Rick's, an oasis of sumptuous dining in the town of Orcutt.
Yes, Rick Manson's creation is in a strip mall, but you mustn't dwell on that. When the sun is setting and the mall is closed, Rick's front porch is transformed into a little outdoor café that suggests Paris with a parking lot. Inside, Rick's has a lively, bright décor with Latin overtones. And the food is to die for.
We have to thank FOX News legal analyst Jim Hammer for realizing Rick was amongst us. Once he did, our lives changed. With an exceptional and well-chosen list of local wines (this is "Sideways" country, after all), you often get to meet the owners of local wineries like Lane Tanner or Costa de Oro.
The unusual and inventive menu is one-of-a-kind tantalizing, with favorites like catfish and chorizo gumbo, rich roasted garlic soup, shrimp-crusted sea bass and coconut beer shrimp "with really good sauce."