Ever since my first visit to the Glen Ellen Star in June of 2015 I fell in love with this incredibly charming yet sophisticated restaurant. Plus when you learn the extent of their owner and Chef Ari’s background and talent you’ll understand why it’s such a culinary gem. After returning back a few times and running into Ari at various industry events I thought it would be fun to interview him and learn more about him and share some of his history with you. After finishing this interview, read more about The Glen Ellen Star on my full Glen Ellen Star post here.
What was your first memory of cooking and what did you cook?
Linguini and clams with my mother when I was 10.
What is a knife you cannot live without?
Masanobu petty knife.
What is one ingredient you can not cook without?
What is one dish you cannot live without?
Roasted chicken, tahini, zataar and fingerling potatoes.
What was one of the biggest mistakes you made your first year out of school?
Made “veal stock” from Korean-style short ribs at the Belevedere Inn, Rhinebeck, NY in 2000. Chef Frank was pissed!
When did you know you wanted to become a chef?
What was your first role as a chef?
Garde manger Aldar Lebanese restaurant in Bala Cynwyd, PA
Who has been the most influential mentor/chef in your career?
Daniel Boulud, Paul Liebrandt, Thomas Keller.
What gave you the idea/inspiration for the menu and concept at The Glen Ellen Star?
Francis Mallmann’s seven-fires cookbook in combination with active defiance for fine dining.
What is your favorite after-work drink?
Wine of course….
What is your favorite local spot?
Il Mulino Central.
Tell us something that would surprise people about you?
I have a deep appreciation and fascination with well-executed buffets in Las Vegas casinos.
What do you think?