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David Varley

gullo scholium davis familly vineyards
Bridges Restaurant & Bar
44 Church Street
Danville, CA 94526

March 12, 2014

6:30 PM

PRICE: $160 per person inclusive

Exclusive Price for Williams-Sonoma
Visa Signature® Cardholders:

$75 per person inclusive

HOST VENUE Bridges Restaurant & Bar

Relaxed Atmosphere. Incredible Cuisine. Great People.
In the heart of downtown Danville, Bridges Restaurant and Bar invites guests to enjoy great food and drinks in a comfortable, urban-casual setting. Our signature menu of irresistible favorites, relaxing ambiance, and warm hospitality blend together to make Bridges the perfect spot for any occasion. Whether meeting friends for cocktails in the lounge, celebrating a special event with a gourmet dinner, or enjoying a casual lunch on the patio, we look forward to welcoming you for a fun, delicious dining experience.

RESTAURANT Zazu Restaurant & Farm, Sebastopol CA

Husband and wife team Duskie Estes and John Stewart has created the perfect restaurant-garden partnership with their Santa Rosa, CA, eatery, Zazu Restaurant & Farm. Serving innovative New American-Northern Italian classics, Estes and Stewart supply their recipes with produce from the restaurant’s own sustainable organic garden. Both chefs place a heavy emphasis on using fresh-picked ingredients—much of the produce they serve to clients is same-day picked and never refrigerated—and they would sooner run out and harvest an ingredient in the middle of service than take an item off the menu. The couple’s second restaurant, Bovolo, is located in Healdsburg, CA.

A lover of all things Italian, Stewart is an avid gardener and budding chicken farmer whose eggs can be found in the pasta he makes daily at Zazu. Also a dedicated salumist, Stewart is responsible for the couple’s line of Black Pig Salumi—bacon, salumi and fresh sausage made from antibiotic- and hormone-free pork, boar, and lamb. In 2005, both Duskie and Stewart released their first wine, Holdredge Schiopettino, MacBryde Vineyard.

Prior to Zazu, both Estes and Stewart lived and worked in Seattle, leaving their marks on the kitchens at Etta’s Seafood and Palace Kitchen, where Estes was executive chef. In addition to working as sous chef at Café Lago, Stewart also studied cured meat alongside Chef Mario Batali and attended courses at Iowa State University’s Meat Lab.

RESTAURANT Alma, Los Angeles CA

Ari Taymor, the chef-owner of Alma, has been in Martha's Vineyard this week, the same week he learned that the downtown L.A. restaurant topped Bon Appetit magazine's list of 10 Best New Restaurants in America.

The 27-year-old worked at Flour + Water and Bar Tartine in San Francisco before eventually launching Alma.

Plenty of critics have homed in on Taymor's cooking, which he describes as "personal cooking, based on memories, emotions or experiences that turn into something delicious." That might be his seaweed and tofu beignets with yuzu kosho and lime, tuna conserva with pole beans and gypsy peppers, or lavender roasted duck with corn, miso, chanterelles and blackberries -- the menu changes daily.

With a very small budget of less than fifty thousand dollars, Taymor opened up Alma Restaurant in one of his former pop-up locations that once housed a kabob spot. Most of the infrastructure was already in place.

The restaurant’s frequently changing menu though isn’t due to its pop-up root origins, rather this frequency is a product of Ari’s produce driven cooking philosophy, a philosophy born in part from his prior experiences in other kitchens that has made him adamant about freshness, sourcing and utilizing the whole animal. Thus the menu (which is also almost updated immediately online) depends on what’s the best available and most in season meat, herb or vegetable as well as maximum utilization to minimize waste.

Taymor’s high goals don’t only pertain to his kitchen; they also pertain to his community. His team’s general manager Ashleigh Parsons (with her master in education from Harvard University) is developing an outreach program to the community via its schools.

Chef Ari Taymor has won some of the most prestigious awards;Food and Wine Best New Chef and Bon Appetit's best new restaurant.

RESTAURANT Mina Corporate Executive Chef

When you grow up having a breakfast of blueberries lovingly plucked from your back garden by mom, food has a completely different meaning. As a teen in Sussex, New Jersey, David Varley worked as a dishwasher in a local restaurant. By pure chance, he went from scrubbing floors to baking biscuits one day when a cook called in sick. Something clicked, and he made it his aim to work at the best restaurant in town.

Varley expanded this goal to the county, then the state, and soon was working in the New York kitchen of Lespinasse—all before attending culinary school at The Culinary Institute of America. He honed his skills at Boston restaurant Clio, and Parcel 104 in Santa Clara. In 2005, Varley accepted a position as chef de cuisine for Bradley Ogden in Las Vegas. Still in Las Vegas, Varley helped launch the Company American Bistro brand before moving to the Trump International Hotel and Tower as opening chef de cuisine.

In 2008 Varley accepted the executive chef position at Bourbon Steak in Washington, DC’s Four Seasons Hotel. He proceeded to do the last thing anyone would expect at a restaurant with the word “steak” in the name: plant a garden. Sixty-five varieties of herb and 25 types of vegetables mean that very few dishes are free of produce from the garden in season. He continues to step outside the Washingtonian comfort zone—with fabulous results.

RESTAURANT Pican, Oakland CA

A native of Cambodia, Sophie Uong is a self-taught culinary master. With over 15 years of experience at some of the most notable restaurants in the Bay Area, Sophie has developed a well-rounded knowledge of the kitchen. With a background including positions as server, bartender, cook, owner and executive chef, Sophie has learned the operational process involved in leading a restaurant. Known for creating passionate and daring dishes, Sophie brings her exciting energy to the kitchen at Picán.

A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, Sophie started her culinary career as a server for Zare, lulu and Antica Trattoria, learning the ins and outs of the dining room. Following her years of serving at these renowned San Francisco eateries, Sophie became the bartender at Absinthe Brasserie & Bar in Hayes Valley. While bartending Sophie perfected her hand-eye coordination to work efficiently and quickly is such a busy environment.

In 2006, she opened 900 Grayson with three business partners, the restaurant was awarded Best Burger by San Francisco Magazine and quickly became a West Berkeley hotspot for those searching for delicious and flavorful dishes. She then went on to become Executive Chef de Cuisine for Betty Zlatchin Catering in San Francisco, where she focused on using local sustainable food practices for all of her events. It was there, working alongside one of her mentors, Tom Rippey, that she learned the intricacies and technicalities of the palate.

As the new Executive Chef at Picán, Sophie has been learning Southern culinary traditions from owner, Michael LeBlanc. Her hard work ethic and raw talent around the kitchen has helped Picán reach a new level of success. “My whole life has been focused around creativity and good food,” says Sophie “being in the kitchen provides an avenue of expression for me.”

Outside of the kitchen, Sophie enjoys spending time with her nine year old daughter and continuing to discover new ways to embody the feelings, emotions, sounds and flavors of Southern food.

RESTAURANT Bridges Restaurant & Bar, Danville CA

Executive Chef / Partner Kevin Gin

We welcome back Executive Chef Kevin Gin to the "New" Bridges Restaurant and Bar. Kevin was the Executive Chef of Bridges from 1993 - 2000. A graduate of the Hotel and Restaurant Management program at City College of San Francisco, he then furthered his education and refined his skills with extra curricular study of Japanese and French cuisine. Kevin did a California state recognized formal apprenticeship under Executive Chef Otto Sommerhalder at the World Trade Club of San Francisco, where he was taught and trained in classical French cooking. Kevin toured Japan, in and around the area of Osaka and Kyoto where he further studied the Kaiseki style cuisine. Now with over 20 years experience as an executive chef, Chef Kevin proudly brings his interpretation of California-American cuisine with influences of Europe and Asia to the table.

My Style:
My food style is based on a combination of creativity, discipline and structure because I want to create a delicate balance between what I would enjoy and that of our guests. I put a lot of thought into the composition of each dish starting with the ingredients, the aroma, the taste, and then I put a creative twist into the presentation. I am constantly striving for perfection because that is what keeps my passion alive, after all, if it's not perfect; then I have not done my job. It's when you take that first bite and feel like it's the most incredible thing you've ever tasted and you can't wait for the next; that is when I know we as a team achieved our goal.

I never did and never will believe that it's a one man show in the kitchen and I like to give credit where credit is due. As the team leader, it is my job to paint my vision on these highly impressionable and eager individuals who want to learn. My staff members are taught to be individuals who offer their opinions and to be creative with a sensible and efficient approach. The staff is outstanding and their hard work often goes unnoticed, to me, they are the ones creating your experience and to be able to say to them that this is "our" kitchen, and "we" did a great job, is the highest compliment I can give.

I want Bridges to be the place where you can escape to just relax and enjoy yourself on any given night with the combination of great food, drinks and service. When you're at our restaurant, we want you to be pampered; that is our goal.

From our family to yours, we say thank you and see you soon.


Manny Hinojosa is a national award winning mixologist who creates his own syrups, juices and garnishes, and pours as if each drop were liquid gold. When Manny pours a drink, you can feel the passion. Manny grew up and was educated in Mexico City, and is fluent in both English and Spanish. He is extremely charismatic and enthusiastic about his craft and comes with years of experience in the business (he was responsible for running a profitable white tablecloth bar in San Francisco Bay Area for 11 years.). Manny is an amazing addition to the BACARDI team because his spirit, coupled with his magical mixology abilities and his practical insights will help you build the right cocktail program for your account leading to high spirits sales.