It just occurred to me (this is Julian writing) that we have never, really, made it quite clear to you all what Barbareño will be. For a while, that made sense as we were still trying to answer that question for ourselves. But now we do have a pretty clear vision for where we’re heading. So here it is:
To begin with, we will be opening Barbareño just for lunch, serving craft sandwiches and burgers. This sounds pretty standard, I know. But these will be some killer sandwiches, I promise you. The vast majority of things we make will be prepared from scratch. And by that, I mean truly from scratch–we’re culturing our own cream, which will be transformed into tangy butter, buttermilk, and creme fraiche; our bread will be baked from a starter that I’ve been caring for as if it’s my first child; Jesse is apprenticing with a butcher down in Ventura so we can butcher whole pigs ourselves; the vinegar we use will be made from leftover high-quality Central Coast wines; meat for burgers will be ground in-house; and produce will be sourced fresh from our favorite farmers in the area every day. Those ingredients that we don’t make from scratch will come from local artisans whose products are better what we can possibly make ourselves. We will use all of these ingredients to create the highest-quality and most delicious sandwiches that we know how to make.
Why go to all of this trouble just for sandwiches? A few reasons. 1) A sandwich is no less worthy of a chef’s full attention than any other food, and can be just as mind-blowing as something served at a high-end restaurant. 2) Barbareño is all about fostering a sense of place. Cooking and working in this way is a great way to connect to ebbs and flows of the weather, to the locals around us, to the seasons, and to the food we’re carefully preparing. 3) We’re cheap and don’t want to pay for products that are worse than what we can make ourselves. 4) Our menu will be small, thus allowing us to really focus on doing a small number of things exceptionally well. 5) All of this will be done so as to put systems in place for our dinner service. Jesse has warned me that people won’t read the blog posts if they’re too long, so I’ll talk about what’s in store for dinner in a few days. Stay tuned!
mom makes a water glass from an old wine bottle…yes, we’ll even make our own water glasses