Twice a year, The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort hosts the BBQ Bootcamp that aims to teach couples and individuals the secrets of Santa Maria-style barbecue, which grew out of California’s Santa Maria Valley back in the mid-eighteen hundreds. The BBQ Bootcamp is a three day event packed with exciting workshops, outdoor activities, and excellent dining.
Featured Celebrity Chefs + TV Host/Author
A Santa Ynez native, Chef Anthony Endy has joined The Alisal as our Executive Chef. From casual meals by the pool to fine dining in the Ranch Room, Chef Endy focuses on timeless food made from seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. Chef Endy is also in charge of barbecues at The Alisal, he says “cooking with a live fire is a special passion of mine,” and he is more than ready for the BBQ Bootcamp.
The owner of The Hitching Post II and legendary grill master, Frank Ostini is a well known and tenured BBQ Bootcamp Instructor. From the kitchen of Santa Maria Style BBQ, to the owner of The Hitching Post II, Frank is an excellent source of information on grilling, smoking, and all things bbq. Frank Ostini is also one of owners and winemakers of Heartly-Ostini Hitching Post Winery and Wines and Wine Tasting Room in Buellton. The Hitching Post II was featured in the award winning film Sideways.
Author, journalist, lecturer, and TV host, Steven Raichlen is an expert on modern barbecue. He has written 31 books, including The Barbecue Bible and How To Grill, and New York Times bestsellers Planet Barbecue and Project Smoke. While Project Smoke focuses on popular and innovative smoking techniques, his new book, Project Fire, focuses on contemporary grilling techniques from all over the globe. In 2015 Steven Raichlen was inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame. He continues to host popular TV shows such as Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire, Project Smoke, and Primal Grill.
Valerie Gordon is a well know chocolatier who has been recognized in Food & Wine, The Wall Street Journal, and more. Valerie has previously spend time in San Francisco and is very well versed in farm-to-table dining. Chef Gordon is also responsible for the founding of Valerie Confections in LA with her partner Stan. Valerie Confections has been recognized by many popular media outlets such as Vogue, The Cooking Channel, and Food Network. This recognition has placed Valerie Confections on top as one of the best chocolatiers in the country. Valerie will serve as the “Sweets” Specialist during the BBQ Bootcamp and will demonstrate multiple grilled deserts.
The BBQ Bootcamp’s workshop and seminars will offer you the chance to learn from in-house and guest experts about all things barbecue. We start with the basics, Lighting the Fire, Introduction to BBQ, hosted by Chefs Anthony Endy, Frank Ostini and celebrity guest Steve Raichlen.
This is an excellent chance to learn recommended techniques and tips as you dive into your grilling adventure. After you cover the basics, we offer workshops on spice blending, wood fired pizza, flatbread, and vegetables, and BBQ Desserts. The spice blending presentation will leave you with the tips and techniques to mix flavorful and unique spices and rubs for your dishes.
The Wood Fired Pizza, Flatbread, and Vegetables seminar will be hosted by Clark Staub, Chef and Owner of Full of Life Flatbread in Los Alamos, and will be followed by BBQ Desserts with Chef Valerie Gordon. The last major workshop will be the Ring of Fire, Grand BBQ, where our guest chefs will be grilling dinner on the Creekside Lawn.
BBQ Bootcamp guests will have the chance to enjoy exciting outdoor activities during their stay. Guests will have the time to explore miles of horseback riding trails among rolling hills and shaded canyons. Our wranglers are happy to host any level of rider, and they are always around for any questions about the trails, property, and equipment.
If golf’s your game, The Alisal has two beautiful courses for you! Enjoy your time at the River Course next to the Santa Ynez River, or at the private Ranch Course, open to Ranch guests and club members only.
You will see it during the breakfast horseback ride, but we highly recommend visiting The Alisal’s private lake. This 100-acre lake is tucked away, making it the perfect location for fishing, boating, and more.
All meals are included during the BBQ Bootcamp. Upon arrival, The Alisal is hosting a welcome reception along with wine, beer, and cocktail tastings from Hitching Post Wine, Firestone Walker Brewery, and The Alisal Guest Ranch. This reception will lead to a barbecue dinner from Chefs Anthony Endy and Frank Ostini. Desserts will be provided by Chef Valerie Gordon.
The next morning guests will have the chance to enjoy a casual western breakfast in The Alisal Dining Room at their leisure. Lunch will include a seminar, hosted by Clark Staub, chef and owner of Full of Life Flatbread. This seminar will focus on wood fired pizza, flatbread, and vegetables.
Our second hosted dinner will be grilled on the Creekside Lawn and will showcase an exciting look at our celebrity guest chefs and their different grilling techniques. Be sure to arrive early to get close to the action! Finally, before we sent you off, experience The Alisal Guest Ranch’s popular private breakfast horseback ride, a 2 hour event that brings guests to the remote Adobe, surrounded by sycamore trees. This hearty breakfast of flapjacks and strawberry jam will be hosted by Chef Valerie Gordon.
Guests of the BBQ Bootcamp will have the chance to relax in our Studio Rooms, including a king bed, outdoor seating, and a wood burning fireplace. These studio rooms are close to many of the workshop and dining locations, and allow easy access to The Alisal’s hiking trails, and the private lake.