Our new F&B Manager

We have some great news to share!

Meet Monique Mattox, who has joined our Team as Food & Beverage Manager.

Monique Mattox

Monique comes to us with 11 years of experience in the F&B industry.

We are grateful to have her leadership to cultivate hardworking teams.

Monique is driven to consistently provide excellent service to all of our guests.

Give her a warm hello the next time you are dining at Julia’s.

Cheers!

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A career opportunity

Are you looking for a great food & beverage opportunity working at a historic venue, in the heart of downtown Berkeley?

Great news, job seekers, you are in luck!

Look no further than these doors.

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We are looking for a candidate that will excel as our Food & Beverage Manager.

The candidate must have 5 years of supervisory experience in a Fine Dining restaurant, Member Club or 4-5 star hotel, resort or event venue with strong leadership, communication and supervisory skills

This position is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of food & beverage perform to the highest caliber of Member and guest satisfaction while delivering an experience with great food, service and experience.

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Does this sound like something you would be passionate about?

If yes, we invite you to apply!

More details are available on our HCareers posting or we invite you to apply by sending you resume to jobs@berkeleycityclub.com.

Chef Alaun returns

If you have been a follower of Julia’s for a while, the name Alaun may ring a familiar bell.  If not, we would like to introduce you!

Meet Julia’s Executive Chef, Alaun Grimaud.

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This talented Chef creates dishes that are beautifully executed & equally delicious.

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Using fresh, seasonal ingredients, our dishes are full of flavor to enjoy.

And, psst….the perfect opportunity to try his cuisine is coming up this week!

Berkeley Restaurant Week features Prix Fixe Lunch ($20) and Dinner ($35) menus from January 21 thru 31, 2016.

Pricing excludes beverages, tax & gratuity and member discount does not apply. 

Make a reservation to join us on Open Table and see what our fans are beaming about.

A Year in Review

2015 was a fun year – a new Chef, stunning creations and always something happening in Food & Beverage.

Come and see what our top three posts of 2015 were.

Topping the list in popular posts, we extended a warm welcome to Chef Wolfgang!

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Lunch, Dinner and special event menus are scrumptious thanks to his expertise.

Next up, a Terrace Lunch post.

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Terrace Lunches are a long-time Club tradition and many enjoyed the fresh take this year with freshly grilled meats and options changing weekly.

Rounding things out, a look in the Kitchen.

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Our Team Members are hard at work making your meals beautiful.  We love what we do (and you loved reading about it!)

We so enjoyed having you as part of the blogging community in 2015.

Cheers to a bright 2016!

A time to be thankful

November brings thankful into our hearts and warmth and love to our bellies.

In today’s post we will be exploring things we are thankful for around Julia’s.

Fresh produce tops the list and brings a new level of delicious  into our dishes.

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Stunning floral arrangements adorn each table for a beautiful pop of color

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And, our Team Members make experiences great from start to finish.

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What are you most thankful for?  Share with us in the comments below.

Cheers!

Meet our new Chef!

It has been a busy few weeks, but the time has come to reveal some exciting news!

We have a new Chef behind the delicious cuisine prepared for our diners.

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Meet Executive Chef, Wolfgang Weber.

Born in Scheidegg, Germany, Wolfgang worked for several Michelin star restaurants in both Germany,  Switzerland and Swiss Italy before coming to the United States in 2000.

Driven to learn English, his first stop was Pebble Beach where he learned a lot about American culture.  Most recently, Wolfgang was the Executive Chef at Green Hills Country Club.

We are truly proud to welcome Wolfgang to our Team! It is his desire to continue the modern American cuisine many love at Julia’s.

Please come in and treat yourself to some of his amazing creations.

Water Conservation

In the times of California’s water crisis, we are doing all we can to conserve a precious resource.

Upon being seated, you will notice a notation on our menu that we comply with the State of California’s law to only serve water by request.

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Not only is it a great way to conserve water that may not be consumed, but less water will be used to wash unnecessary glasses in the dishwasher.

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Our Team Members are hard at work to only run the dishwasher with full loads.

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Consider it a mission accomplished with our Food & Beverage Team hard at work.

Do you have any ideas for water conservation around Julia’s?

Feel free to comment below for any suggestions you may have.

5 Questions with Jan Zvaifler

If you have had the opportunity to meet Jan, you know she is a wealth of information of all things wine.

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If you have not, take a peek into her world and learn a bit!

She is the perfect mix of knowledgeable, friendly and approachable.

Without further adieu, Jan Zvaifler, Wine Buyer and Sommelier.

1.  What wines, by the bottle, are affordable and delicious? 

This is always a tricky question, because “affordable” is a relative term.  I define an affordable wine as one that is reasonably priced considering its “pedigree.”

That said, I love to trawl the markets looking for what I consider to be a truly tasty wine for under $14.  The thing about wine, which can be frustrating for some and exciting for others, is that everyone’s palate is different.  Just keep exploring and tasting to find the wine that suits your palate and your pocket book.

If you enjoy the $2 wine from Trader Joe’s, drink it unapologetically! 

If you like Rosé with your steak (which I often do, especially on a hot summer day), don’t feel you are required to drink Cabernet.

2.  What wines get a great “bang for their buck” at Julia’s?

We strive to find affordable wines from all around the world.

It could mean anything from the $27 Pinot Grigio to the $69 Lamborn Zinfandel (which, is a steal at that price – you won’t find it in another restaurant for less than $75 and it’s made by Heidi Barrett, who is considered to be “Napa’s best-known and most sought-after talent” according to Wine Spectator magazine).

3.  What are one or more of your favorite “off the beaten path” wines? 

I love the whites from Southern Italy; specifically the varietals Falanghina and Fiano; Gruner Veltliner and Riesling from Austria; the reds from the Montsant and Priorat districts of Spain; and Sauvignon Blanc from Chile…those are the ones you can find.

There are also some truly delicious wines being imported now from Turkey and Greece and many other regions that would surprise you.

What do you love most about your role?

My work requires that I seek out good food and wine – both separately and in combination.  What’s not to love?

What are some of your favorite food and wine combinations? 

 I am never comfortable with the term “favorite.”  I can’t name a favorite author or book, movie or actor, food or, well … anything.  Call me indecisive.  But I will throw out a few pairings I enjoy that come to mind at this moment:

Raw Oysters and Champagne (duh!)

Crab and Chablis

Mushroom Risotto and Pinot Noir

Burger and Côtes du Rhône

Lamb and Tempranillo (like a Rioja or Ribera del Duero from Spain)

…I could go on and on!

Julia’s gets raves for our great, varied wine list at reasonable prices.

Make a reservation to dine with us for Lunch or Dinner.

We would love to have you!

Wine Training Day

What goes with great food?  Well, great wine, of course!

Come take a peek with us on our trip to Trinchero Estates Winery, where our well-loved Trinity Oaks Merlot comes from.

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Team members from our Events, Food and Beverage, Kitchen and Administrative teams traveled to Napa Valley, CA to learn about how wine is made – from the beginnings of the grape on the branch all the way to the bottling process.

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The days were truly memorable for growth, team building and wine education.

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Team members had the opportunity to learn sensory training, taste wines and learn standards for table side wine service.

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The time spent there was not only memorable but beautiful!

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Next time you are at Julia’s, try the Trinity Oaks Merlot.  It is a stunning red perfect with many items on the menu!

5 questions with Executive Chef, Alaun Grimaud

Chef Alaun Grimaud

Friendly & approachable?  Check.  Educated & talented?  Double check.  A hard-working professional in and out of the Kitchen?  Triple check.

From my first phone interaction with Chef Alaun over 2 years ago, to each time I see him around the Club, it is a pleasure.  To see the work of this young talent in action is pretty amazing.

Do you want to learn a little more about what makes our talented Chef tick? I did. Without further adieu, Chef Alaun.

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1.  What does fine dining mean to you? 

Fine dining to me is an experience.  For a restaurant to be considered fine dining, I feel it has to have not only great food, but also exceptional service, an elegant ambiance and an interesting wine list.

In regards to food, fine dining must be the story and inspiration of the Chef.  You cannot mass produce fine dining or create chain restaurants that are fine dining.  The menu and dishes should tell the story of the Chef’s background, experience and inspiration.  The menus I create at Julia’s are a direct representation of who I am as a Chef.  I am of French and Spanish descent, and I was born and raised in the Bay Area.

I also gained most of my professional cooking experience here in the Bay Area. With that said, my menus have to represent the season we are in to the day.  I call it hyper-seasonal.  I completely change the menu at Julia’s every week and make changes throughout the week based on what is seasonal right now.  Once I know what the best produce available is, that is when I put my personal slant on how we prepare those products to come up with our dishes.  Sometimes the inspiration is more Spanish, sometimes French.  But it is always my take on it.

2.  What is your hope for guests to take away from a meal at Julia’s? 

My hope is that they want to come back and eat at Julia’s again the next day.

3.  Do you have a recipe for success in and out of the Kitchen? 

  • Have fun.  There’s a lot of work that goes into running a fine dining restaurant, but that doesn’t mean that you have to feel stressed out all day long.  I want my cooks and servers to enjoy themselves and have a good time while they work and learn their craft.  I feel the food tastes better when the cooks are enjoying themselves practicing their craft.
  • Keep a clean and organized kitchen.  It can get a bit hectic running a restaurant and banquets out of one small kitchen, so staying organized and clean is imperative.
  • You better really love doing this.  To me there is no balance in the life of a Chef.  You live, breathe and eat food. Though I take days off physically from the kitchen, on my days off I’m reading cookbooks, checking out food blogs, writing menus, trying new dishes out at home.  It is a 7 day a week profession, but to me it never feels like work (except inventory).
  • Never stop learning.  There is so much to learn in the food world, that no matter how much experience you have, you will always come across something new.  It can be an ingredient, a new cooking technique, either way I am always trying to learn new things and sometimes I even change the way I prepare something based on a new way I discover that’s better.
  • Be open to criticism and feedback.  I’ve had dishes on the menu that I thought were great, but they didn’t resonate with my guests.  I encourage my servers to be honest with me if they feel a dish is not going over well with guests.  If it is obvious that a dish is not a winner in my guests eyes then I’ll change it.

4.  What is one of your favorite fall foods to prepare and eat? 

With any season, what’s really important is what’s good today.  I’ve been working with an Organic farm up in the Delta called Sundoggie Farms, which sends me a list of what they have that week.  This week they are offering some beautiful fall squashes and pumpkins.  I am planning on making a soup from a varietal called Queensland Blue Squash and I am going to roast some Sucrine de Berry Squash to serve with burratta cheese and grilled bread.

At home I enjoy eating pears during the fall.  I also have a dessert on our menu which features French Butter Pears, which we poach in red wine, than serve as a baked crumble with house made brown butter ice cream.

5.  What does it mean for you to mentor to your team in the Kitchen? 

It means a lot to me to be a mentor to my staff.  Without Chef mentors, I would not be where I am today.  Every Chef I have worked for has mentored and taught me in some way or another.  Some I learned a lot about food and cooking, others I learned about managing a staff and organization.  It is important for me to teach my cooks and Sous Chefs the same lessons I learned coming up in this craft.  I want everyone of my cooks to run their own kitchens one day and become better Chefs than I am.

Inspired to learn more about Chef Alaun?  View his biography on our website at http://www.berkeleycityclub.com/meet-the-chef/

Julia’s is open for Lunch, Tuesday through Friday, 11:30am – 2pm and Dinner Tuesday through Saturday, 5pm – 8:30pm.

If we can assist you in anyway, give us a call at 510.280.1547 or email us at julias@berkeleycityclub.com