Chef Rick heads to the Far West(ern)

July 1, 2011

Chef Rick Manson (R) with one of his many fans, musician Jackson Browne

Chef Rick’s, the upscale funky Orcutt restaurant that tempted more than a few foodies to make the trek south from San Luis Obispo County, has closed after 22 years. [Santa Maria Times]

The iconic eatery, tucked away in the corner of a nondescript shopping center officially served its last meal on June 25. Owner  Rick Manson, who has personally prepared meals for the likes of Oprah Winfrey, will assume new duties as the executive chef at the Far Western Tavern, another classic Central Coast establishment, currently in the process of relocating to Orcutt from Guadalupe.

Plans call for the new Far Western, which dates back to 1958, to open in Spring 2012 in Old Town Orcutt.

“I have a wonderful opportunity to do something I just feel is part of the evolution of my career, which is to be part of something bigger,” Manson said of his move.

Manson said he will not only take some of his Chef Rick’s staff to the Far Western with him, but also some of his recipes.

“We’ll keep the core (Far Western) menu, and I’ll bring in my touch with specials,” he said. “It’s a win-win for both of us.”

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Chef Rick’s was a must stop and eat place whenever I found myself near Orcutt.

The Far Western is damn lucky to be getting this guy, I just hope he gets free reign, The surf and turf cowboy theme there needs an update.

I loved his restaurant, not the best ambiance but such great food! I can’t believe it closed. I ofter wondered why a restaurant with such fine food was stuck in that strip mall. Although he must have done quite well to stay in business all those years he probably would have done better in a better location.