Moss Beach Memories: My Time At The Distillery

After my partners and I were forced to close our restaurant, Red Ginger Pan-Asian Kitchen, in January of ’07, I took a job at The Moss Beach Distillery, just up the road from Half Moon Bay in the adjacent town of Moss Beach. I am very grateful to the owner, John Barbour, for hiring me so quickly in what was a very challenging and confusing time. He was profoundly supportive and encouraging.

Damn, I was at least 20 pounds heavier then!

The Moss Beach Distillery has been in operation for many decades and has a rich and colorful history. The views are spectacular, making it a destination restaurant for those seeking a glorious vista and some Americana-inspired food. When I first took the job I rapidly changed the menu, dumping old, hackneyed dishes and injecting a few playful touches. I can’t say my tenure there was perfect; I never really nailed the expected food costs, I felt somewhat hamstrung by their pricing structure, and my personal life was a complete and utter train wreck. Despite the difficulties of that year, I remember my time at the Distillery with fondness.

I was lucky to have worked with some wonderful people in management; Bev, Susan, and Santiago were simply amazing. And I enjoyed working with so many of the floor staff, so many I can hardly name them all: John Butler, Melissa, Jesse, Courtney, Bobby, Peter, Erin, Josh, Matt, Kyle, Brook, Brian, Chris, Nick, Catrina, Linda, Jacqui, Frankie, Casey, Tara, Ryan, and the Edwards siblings. Good people, all of them. And I worked with some great kitchen guys too: Fernando, Jose, and Jorge were awesome.

I’ve posted a few pics from those days. Please have a look. These photos were taken by Mike and Deb Wong of Spring Mountain Gallery in Half Moon Bay. Lovely people indeed.

Panko-crusted roasted halibut over apricot-herb couscous.
Prawn cocktail with three dipping sauces.
If you look at the pan, you’ll see I’m flambe-ing for no reason at all!
A view from the back patio.

The Devil’s Sliders: A Trio of Mini-Burgers.
Ribeye steak with wilted spinach, horseradish mash, and O-rings.

Miniature iceberg lettuce head with applewood bacon, pickled onions, blue cheese dressing.
Grilled salmon sandwisch with avocado, watercress, bacon. And what looks like a HUGE Mai-Tai!
Me, being a dork.
A few sexy cocktails.

3 thoughts on “Moss Beach Memories: My Time At The Distillery

  1. Awww! The memories! I certainly loved your time at the Distil, and miss your dishes (THE LAMB!!! OH MY GOD THE LAMB!!!) not to mention playing sudoku at the bar. We were all lucky to have gotten to know you and your delicious dishes. :)– Missy ps- I have eaten every meal in this post. My belly's getting all happy just remembering. The fact that they are serving your banana marshmallow wontons again means I will be visiting Peter and Chris soon…

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