Erik Sandven Joins Alisal Ranch as Executive Chef

USA, Solvang, California. March 28, 2024

Alisal Ranch-the award-winning luxury dude ranch spanning 10,500 acres in the Santa Ynez Valley-has appointed Erik Sandven to Executive Chef, overseeing the resort's culinary program across its onsite dining destinations, including The Ranch Room and Creekside, The Ranch Course Grill & Golf Lounge, The Grill at Alisal River Course, and Chuckwagon Grill. With more than a decade of experience, Sandven has worked and led the kitchens of hotels and resorts throughout Southern California.

"Located in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley, we have close access to some of the freshest ingredients in the country," shares Sandven. "With the climate in this region being so conducive to growing vegetables and grapes, we are neighbors to several farms and producers that we love to serve to our guests. I'm excited to bring and introduce these local ingredients to the culinary program at Alisal Ranch, creating a sense of place for guests-not just through the scenery, but also through the food on the plate."

Sandven began his culinary career in 2011 as a line cook at RAYA at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, quickly climbing the ranks to become the hotel's saucier and then sous chef. Six years later, he went to another iconic Orange County luxury hotel, The Resort at Pelican Hill, as the sous chef in their restaurants Pelican Grill and Andrea, before being promoted to chef de cuisine at the Coliseum restaurant. In 2021, Sandven was recruited by The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara to be their banquet chef, during which he oversaw all banquet culinary functions and operations, the Club Lounge, and the Obar Kitchen.

In addition to managing each of Alisal Ranch's restaurants, Sandven embraces the ranch's rich culinary history through an array of dining experiences, including the Summer Rodeos that feature a full cowboy BBQ spread, the multi-day BBQ Bootcamp experience, the several California Ranch Cookouts held throughout the year, weddings, and more. In his new role as Executive Chef, Sandven will be celebrating the land on which Alisal sits, taking advantage of the region's bounty and working with local farmers to bring local, seasonal ingredients to the various culinary experiences offered on the property.

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