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The Gaucho Gridiron
The Gaucho GridironEmployee Highlight – James Capangpangan, General Manager at El Gaucho Tacoma
"No one can pronounce my last name on first try, but once they hear it, they never forget it," says James Capangpangan (Cuh-pang-pang-in), General Manager at El Gaucho Tacoma. In case you can't say it, James thankfully also answers to "PangPang." James was born in San Francisco, which helps explain why he's such a huge 49ers fan. "Yes, even when we were on an eight year losing streak," he explains. "I was so confident in my Niners that I had placed a bet with my staff the year the Seahawks played the Niners to go to the Super Bowl... View ≫

The Gaucho GridironEmployee Highlight – Joseph Romero, "The Silent Storm"
"Although I have a soft approach, I annihilate any obstacles in my way," which is how, Joseph Romero explains, he earned his nickname "The Silent Storm" along his abundant and productive career path. And he's not about to stop working through any challenge: since starting with the company as a server at El Gaucho Seattle in 2010, as of this Monday, when he begins a new role as Captain at AQUA by El Gaucho.... View ≫

The Gaucho GridironEl Gaucho Bellevue Proudly Offers Glenmorangie's "Pride 1978″ – the only bottle in the state
"If you happen to be looking for some great "medicine," look no further than El Gaucho Bellevue. The only bottle of Glenmorangie Pride 1978 in the state just arrived and is beautifully resting on the glass shelf in the bar, waiting to be sampled. This 34-year old single malt is the oldest and longest extra matured Glenmorangie: it's aged for 19 years in American White Oak ex-bourbon barrels before maturing an additional 15 years in casks, formerly containing the legendary Bordeaux Premiere Cru Classe wine. A rare and exclusive release, the 100 Baccarat crystal decanter is.... View ≫

The Gaucho GridironWine Feature of the Month –
Spring Valley Vineyard

"The more I have learned about wine ... the more I have realized that it weaves in with human history from its very beginning, as few, if any, other products do. Textiles, pottery, bread ... there are other elements of daily use that we can also trace back to the Stone Age. Yet wine alone is charged with sacramental meaning, with healing powers; indeed with a life of its own." ~Hugh Johnson.... View ≫

The Gaucho GridironCulinary Feature – El Gaucho Seattle Executive Chef Matt Brandsey
"From a very young age, I've always associated food with togetherness," Matt says. "Both my mom and dad were really good cooks. My mom experimented a lot in the kitchen, and my dad was always manning the grill. He was also an avid hunter, so we always had some sort of wild game hanging around. When they cooked, the smells spread throughout the house. Although this was a huge influence in my culinary upbringing, I was never as excited about the food as I was about just being together."... View ≫

The Gaucho GridironEmployee Highlight – Cooper Mills, El Gaucho Seattle General Manager
"If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life," is a slogan that El Gaucho Seattle General Manager Cooper Mills likes to quote. "That is true for me – I haven't worked a day in eight years," he chides, and quickly follows up with, "I'm living the dream!" (Another phrase he frequently exclaims). To know Cooper is to love his razor-sharp wit and sense of humor."... View ≫

The Gaucho GridironCulinary Feature – AQUA by El Gaucho Executive Chef Wes Hood
"No matter how much one learns about food…there is always so much more to learn," says Wes, Executive Chef at AQUA. "I have been continually inspired by the people, the chaotic-urgency of the dinner rush, the sights and smells of fresh ingredients, and the ways that cuisine can be artfully displayed."... View ≫

The Gaucho Gridiron Employee Highlight – Sivi Mennen, General Manager at AQUA by El Gaucho
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit." Aristotle's poignant observation is Sivi's favorite quote. Known for her drive, as well as being a fair and honest person, anyone who knows Sivi would not be surprised that this is how she approaches work and life every day."... View ≫

The Gaucho GridironSupplier Highlight – Taylor Shellfish
What does it take to produce the fattest, juiciest bivalves around? We asked the best in the business, Taylor Shellfish, who has been farming oysters for five generations, to explain. Chad Mackay, El Gaucho Hospitality President, is committed to sourcing the best products in the world for guests to enjoy. When it comes to seafood, he turns to locally owned Taylor Shellfish Farms... View ≫

The Gaucho GridironWine Feature of the Month –
Argyle Winery

What image comes to mind when you hear "Argyle?" Socks, maybe a sweater? The various colored, diamond pattern is quite discernable, and can be traced back to the tartan of a Scottish clan. Without a doubt, the classic pattern has withstood the test of time. Blog Argyle Label close upWhen famed Australian winemaker Brian Croser and Texan Rollin Soles joined forces in 1987 to build a winery in the Willamette Valley, they had numerous, yet a couple of requirements, for a name: "They wanted a name that was reflective of quality," says Cathy Martin, spokesman for Argyle Winery. View ≫

The Gaucho GridironMeet Sarah Scott, Executive Chef at El Gaucho Bellevue
"I live to eat!" Sarah exclaims. "Half the fun is being hungry enough to try new things."

Sarah Scott, or "Sarita" as her coworkers call her, is El Gaucho's newest – and youngest – Executive Chef. She was promoted last fall at just 27 years old, which makes her one of the few female chefs who has taken the reins of a prominent American steakhouse in the country. View ≫

The Gaucho GridironEmployee Highlight – Tony Capra, El Gaucho Bellevue General Manager
"The older I get, the less I think of accomplishments or steps in the ladder. Rather, I try to be a good person on a day-to-day basis, do right by people, and become a more fair and just person," Tony explains. "I'm a Libra – I thrive on balance," he says with a smile. Hailing from Minneapolis, Anthony James Capra fell in love with the hospitality industry when he was hired as a bellman at the Phoenician Resort his freshman year at Arizona State University. He returned home to finish his degree in German at University of Minnesota and worked at the Whitney Hotel, a small, high-end boutique hotel. In seven years, he worked his way from bellman to his first management job, all the while meeting many visiting celebrities, including Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon while filming "Grumpy Old Men." View ≫

The Gaucho GridironSupplier Highlight – Eydfinn Tausen with Olympic Seafoods
"Sourcing the very best ingredients is one of the hallmarks of our company and one of the most important aspects of our business. We place a priority on finding the best, and are always thrilled when we find exceptional natural sources in our own backyard. Here in the Pacific Northwest that means access to some of the best seafood in the world. One way we ensure that our guests are served the best is to build relationships with our key suppliers and track the source and quality of the products they provide. We are grateful to Corfini Gourmet, a local food distribution company, for introducing us to an individual we now source from, who is taking product sourcing and transparency to the next level..." View ≫

The Gaucho GridironGiving Back is Always in Season for El Gaucho Hospitality
"The holidays are always a time of giving, a special time of year we focus on giving to others who are less fortunate. "Building Community" is one of the pillars our company was founded upon and is a year-round focus for our family of restaurants. Not only do we provide a place of celebration, but we are also generous in our fundraising for local charities, by giving of our time, resources, and energy to help build better communities. This foundation was laid by our owner and founder, Paul Mackay, when he reopened El Gaucho in 1996. We estimate that through financial giving, time, and resources, we have proudly donated over $3.5 million to local organizations since our inception, and that number steadily climbs every year." View ≫

The Gaucho GridironEmployee Highlight – Meet David Shapland, Inn at El Gaucho Manager "David Shapland has always felt a calling to serving others. "After studying for the ministry, I worked as a front desk agent at the Courtyard Marriott Boston and was instantly hooked on hospitality," says David Shapland, Manager at the Inn at El Gaucho. His years of training and church work fit right into the hospitality field: both rely on a foundation of service and a deep love of people. Born in Yorba Linda, California, David was raised in Hartlepool, England, until he moved to California at five years old. After studying theology at LIFE Bible College in California, David's path took a different direction into hospitality." View ≫

The Gaucho GridironCulinary Feature – Meet El Gaucho Events Chef Steve Cain
"When you think of the quintessential chef, what image comes to mind? Beyond the white uniform with chef's toque, if you picture a-larger-than-life person with a gregarious nature, a man in love with life and the food he creates, then you have met Steve Cain, El Gaucho Events Executive Chef. Affectionately known simply as "Chef" or "Big Poppa," Steve came to the El Gaucho team in 2002 as a broiler cook, and quickly worked his way to Head Chef of AQUA (then known as the Waterfront). Transferred in 2008 to open El Gaucho Bellevue as Chef de Cuisine, he came "home" to AQUA in January 2012 as Executive Chef before being promoted to El Gaucho Events Executive Chef in August 2013." View ≫

The Gaucho GridironEmployee Highlight – Robbie Berger, El Gaucho Events Director
"The devil is in the details," is something Robbie Berger, El Gaucho Events Director, knows a few things about. It's no surprise that Robbie actually enjoys putting all of the pieces together, which is important for a role like hers. After spending seven years as the Private Dining Director at AQUA by El Gaucho, Robbie, who is also lovingly referred to as "Berger," was promoted and tasked with helping grow the off-site events business for El Gaucho Hospitality." View ≫

The Gaucho GridironPartner Profile: Niman Ranch
"Our mission is simply to find the best for our patrons and guests to enjoy – no excuses and no compromise. The relationships we have built with our suppliers enable us to bring you the best products in the world. We are proud to highlight our valued partners, and to share their passion and commitment in producing the highest quality products available. There's a science to producing a high-quality steak. Start with a strong genetic Angus cattle profile, and add stringent record-keeping, specific nutritional inputs, exacting cleanliness standards, and many more detailed protocols. There's also an art to producing a high quality steak. That's what sets a great steak apart from the sublime. John Tarpoff Niman Ranch beefAt Niman Ranch, John Tarpoff, Director of Beef Operations, employs both art and science to create all-natural, impeccably pedigreed beef that El Gaucho proudly serves its customers. It's this attention to detail and unstinting search for perfection that makes Niman Ranch a trusted El Gaucho partner." View ≫

The Gaucho GridironArtist Feature of the Month –
Meet Masud Tahmassbi, Guitarist at El Gaucho Portland

"One would think with Masud's incredible talent, good looks, and warm personality, he'd be center stage in the Portland – if not a broader – music scene, but he actually prefers otherwise. With the addition of his daughter, Mia Rose, born just 7 months ago, Masud's family takes center stage. "I'm blessed I can come in to work, and go home. I get a steady paycheck – I can take care of my family. That trumps any financial gain," Masud explains." View ≫

The Gaucho GridironFive 'Wine'derful Days Through Washington State
"Each year, a select group of wine professionals are invited on a Washington Wine Commission sponsored trip to learn all about Washington State wine. The packed itinerary includes focus seminars, group tastings, and small group exercises in the vineyards and wineries, stretching from Seattle to Walla Walla. Attendees also enjoy delicious dining experiences and some serious fun with leaders in the Washington wine industry during the most exciting time of the year – harvest! It is an intense, demanding five days which requires lots of positive energy and a desire to "get purple." El Gaucho Portland's Wine Captain Corey Hightower was one of the chosen few invited on this year's trip." View ≫

The Gaucho GridironSupplier Highlight – Oregon's Anderson Ranch Lamb
Experience our Special October Menu and Celebrate American Lamb with us!
by Chris S. Nishiwaki
Farm-to-Table dining has evolved from a fad to a way of life for many American lamb ranchers because it heightens the locavore experience, going from feed, to farm, to fork. Reed Anderson of Oregon's Anderson Ranch grows the grass on which his sheep graze, raises the animals, processes them on-site, and carefully selects his customers based on his stringent demands for quality. "You can taste the care and quality of Anderson Ranch lamb – they are great El Gaucho partners," said Chad Mackay, El Gaucho President and COO."
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The Gaucho GridironThe ABCs of Bourbon
"Did you know that bourbon was declared the national spirit by Congress in 1964? Fifty years later, whiskey is the fastest growing category in spirits, and millenials consume more spirits than any other generation while drinking less beer and wine. Based on current growth rate, it's predicted that in just six short years, by 2020, bourbon consumption will double." View ≫

The Gaucho GridironEl Gaucho Employees Visit Northstar Winery for a Wine Blending Experience
"Walla Walla, Washington – the place so nice, they named it twice!" locals like to say.

A select group of 30 employees from El Gaucho Hospitality boarded a bus last week for a picturesque road trip across the state to Washington's pioneering wine region. As we neared our destination at Northstar Winery, the increased anticipation was apparent, as one of us would call out familiar winery names as we passed their vineyards: Amavi, Va Piano, Sleight of Hand… just to name a few..." View ≫

The Gaucho GridironArtist Feature of the Month – Meet Josephine Howell, Vocalist at El Gaucho Seattle "You were born to help others live," Josephine's mother wrote to her. It was exactly what she needed to hear to help her, and her children, get out of homelessness.She had moved to Seattle from Chicago to find a better life. Recently widowed and with four children still at home, her two grown children encouraged her to move closer to them in the Pacific Northwest. Through a series of events, including suffering through domestic violence, Josephine found herself in and out of shelters and half-way houses, on and off for five years, with four children in tow." View ≫
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