After Holidays Blues?

 With the holidays over and entirely too much good food consumed, most of us find ourselves feeling constantly full and even a little sluggish. How does one compensate and get back on track?  My recommendation is to go with a high vegetable diet.  Incorporate in good proteins and alternative carbs. 

Braised winter greens, quinoa or farro and organic poultry is a good place to start.  Leave the heavy sauces behind and opt for extra virgin olive oil and balsamic reduction to garnish.  Think in terms of anti oxidants, cleansing foods and immune boosters.  Garlic, beets, dark green vegetables are always a good way to go throughout the winter.  Lighter, fresher, and cleaner foods will have you back in the saddle, feeling 100% in no time.  

It’s the Holidays. Keep it Simple

It’s the Holidays.  Keep it Simple


As the Holidays approach, we begin to plan our special meals for those very special days and nights with family and friends.  All too often the desire to impress our guests takes over and far too much time is spent in the kitchen and no enough time is spent with our guests themselves. The risk and time dedicated to trying a new recipe (out of one of those foodie magazines with the pretty pictures) can sometimes end in disaster. Or at the very least, working in the kitchen can consume so much of our time that we loose sight of the purpose of our meal, which for me is to enjoy time with friends and family.  My simple but important advice: KEEP IT SIMPLE. 

To spend more time with your guests and less time in the kitchen, the menu should be simple.  Cooking is based on methodology, technique, watching, tasting and adjusting.  Pay attention to the ingredients before you and give them the respect they deserve.  At some level, it took another individual’s passion to grow, raise or prepare them; now is your cancel to take his or her patience in the field and use them at the table.

 As a professional chef I am constantly asked how to make just about everything imaginable.  Truth is, I have almost no recipes, certainly very few recipes to memory. Unless it pertains to pastry treats, which is an area I have spent much of my culinary career perfecting, I go to the tried & true: the back of the can.    When asked how to make the perfect pumpkin pie, for example, I turn to the best all-American recipe on the back of the can of Libby’s brand pumpkin puree.  Follow it to the T and do not substitute even “pumpkin pie spice” for the individual ingredients and you’ll be more than impressed.  Sound too simple or not authentic? Think again. 

Let this hold true for all your preparations this Holiday season.  Use quality ingredients.  Dairy fresh butter and cream.  Fresh butchered fowl or roasts.  Farm fresh produce and don’t forget the Organic Eggnog.  The bottom line: if you start with quality, prepare the classics that almost every family member and friend love, you will spend more time with them and less in the kitchen.  And I guarantee you will still get rave reviews. 

 Save the cooking magazine recipes for a night with a few friends.  If they are a hit, you look like a champ, if the recipe bombs, well, pop the cork on another bottle of wine.

Wishing you all a very happy holiday season.

Cheers, Chris (aka Chef Ritchie)

Fundraiser Dinner done in Style


Studio Velo and MCBC Benefit Dinner 2011

The star-studded evening at Cibo was spearheaded by StudioVelo founder Scott Penzarella, as an entertaining way to increase awareness and funding for Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC).

With 20 guests on hand, wines donated by the Spanish Table in Strawberry, MIll Valley, and cuisine provided by Chef Chris Dressick of SV:Gourmet, the stage was set for a fun-filled evening.  Great food, great wine, great people and a great cause only added to the occasion.  Chef Tera of Cibo in Sausalito graciously hosted the event and prepared a delicious dessert! 


Our menu sampling!



Amuse Bouche

Salt Cod Brandade Crostini, Heirloom Teardrop Tomato, Cilantro,

Chive and Chipotle Oil 


Semi Pearled Farro, Roasted Beets, Winter Leeks, Baby Turnips,

Caramelized Fennel, Fresh Red Mint and Lemon Verbena Vinaigrette


Strozzapreti Pasta, Pancetta, Roasted Garlic, Braised Red Chard, Local Organic Tomatoes, Chilis and Pecorino Romano served Amatraciana Style


Seared #1 Ahi Tuna, Shrimp and Seppia Risotto

Saffron-Piquillo Pepper Nage and Grilled Baby Asparagus 


Organic Baby Arugula, First Crop Nectarines, Midnight Moon Aged Goat Cheese by Cypress Grove, Toasted Oregon Hazelnuts and Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette


Dessert Course by Chef Tera of Cibo Sausalito


Pistachio Pana Cotta, Strawberry Coulis and a crispy Anise Tuile

What is SV:Gourmet?

What is SV:Gourmet?

SV:Gourmet incorporates the skills and passion of a professional chef and the travel pursuits and expertise of SV:Travel. In a unique and personalized environment, SV:Gourmet pushes the envelop of the travel & gourmet food business.  By creating a private, personalized environment in which our guests enjoy some of the best road cycling California has to offer, along with a professionally-prepared gourmet meal, SV:Gourmet delivers the most unique combination of food and cycling.

This 100% mobile, roadside event is an all-inclusive culinary experience, including coffee and wine service.  Each ride has a full-time, on-the-road guide, coupled with a full-time SAG driver.

To learn more about customizing your cycling adventure, please call 415.380.1882 or email Chris Dressick at

SV:Travel's Italian Cycling Adventure with a French twist

Precision - Performance for all things cycling. Enjoy!
Thursday, July 7, 2011
SV:Travel's Italian Cycling Adventure with a French twist

Cyfac | Studio Velo

Cyfac and Studio Velo have once again come together to offer a truly exceptional riding experience. This time, as many of you have read in previous posts, we are riding in the Italian Alps and the famous Dolomites. Taking a storied cycling locale, adding a dose of amazing service and support, some fantastic après-cycling Italian fare, and a pinch of Cyfac bicycle excellence, SV:Travel's Italian cycling adventure is truly something to remember.

One detail we never want to overlook are the bikes we ride here. Like last year in Spain, seven lucky clients get a chance to ride some world-class bikes from our partners at Cyfac, who through hard work and commitment, send complete bikes to our hotels here in Italy for us to use over the course of two cycling sessions.

What makes this partnership unique? For us, it is as much about the authentic experience riding a handcrafted bike, made in France and ridden in Italy, as it is the smiles on our clients faces day in and day out.

For us here at Studio Velo, cycling is an aspirational sport on many levels. Watching the pros race, imagining oneself flying down a descent, and dreaming of an effortless climb inspire us all. But, it is the authentic experience that spurs us to swing a leg over the top tube and put in the miles to make us better riders. When it all comes together, the mix of equipment, fitness, camaraderie, support, and landscape create an experience that transcends the sport itself.

Studio Velo has taken a step towards making a dream reality with their Italian adventure. The partnership with Cyfac underscores the shared commitment to authenticity and quality, and ignores hype. Studio Velo clients chose from Cyfac Absolu and Gothica CS models outfitted with a mix of product groups and wheelsets designed to deliver an exceptional riding experience with the passionate team from Studio Velo.


Perhaps a French trip is in the cards next year so that we may all be able to ride Cyfacs here! Stay tuned.