Perlis Picks: The Collins College of Hospitality Management’s Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch

The Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona has been around an incredible 75 years. Per their website, it “is the oldest and largest hospitality management program in California”. They recently held a dinner to celebrate this achievement at their on-campus restaurant – The Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch.

In attendance were alumni of the school, as well as distinguished guests and supporters of the program. The menu was presided over by chefs who had graduated from the school, and the wines poured were made by winemakers who had attended the college — and in some cases from grapes grown on the college owned property – Horsehill Vineyards.

20140123_212353Here is the menu, including the wine pairings: 


Hors d ’Oeuvres 

Duck Tartar with Sumac Crispy Skin

Chef Ray Bishop, Class of 2010

N.V. Horsehill Vineyards Rossana Brut Rosé, Los Angeles, California

Master Winemaker John McPherson


Salmon Roe, Potatoes, Horseradish and Fennel

Chef Sheree Cheng, Class of 2008

2012 Waters Edge Winery 65 Degrees Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand

Winemaker Matthew Wentworth, Class of 2004


Smoked Almond, Black Bean and Apricot

Chef Sheree Cheng, Class of 2008

2012 Waters Edge Winery Cascade Riesling, Columbia Valley, Washington

Winemaker Matthew Wentworth, Class of 2004


First Course

Onion, Potato and Bacon Tart

Chef Mark Peel, Class of 1978/2010

2010 Workman Ayer Ipso Facto Viognier, Central Coast, California

Winemaker Michel Ayer, Class of 1999


Second Course

Mushroom Stuffed Quail and Polenta

Chef Ernest Briones, Class of 1992

2011 Beekeeper Cellars, Madrone Spring Vineyard Zinfandel, Rockpile, California

Winemaker Ian Blackburn, Class of 1991



Dr. Bob’s Handcrafted Lemon Sorbet

Dr. Bob Small, Founding Dean of The Collins College of Hospitality Management


Third Course

Winter Braised Short Ribs

Chef Shelley Doonan, Class of 1994

2009 Gentleman Farmer Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California

Winemakers Jeff Durham, Class of 1989 and Joey Wolosz, Class of 1993

2011 Horsehill Vineyards Kellogg Cuvée Limited Edition, California

Master Winemaker Jon McPherson


20140123_212310Fourth Course

Chocolate Torte

The Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch, HRT 383 Winter 2014 Dinner Class

Klatch Coffee Natural Kochere, Ethiopia Heirloom, Grade 1

Holly Perry, Class of 2012


Highlights for me…

While I often am more concerned about the wine than the food I am pairing it with, it was an amazing experience having the various chefs showcase each course with a wine they felt accompanied it perfectly.

I had not known that Chef Mark Peel of Campanile had attended the Collins College and I really appreciated the opportunity to taste his food along with all the others.

In addition, I had not been aware that Ian Blackburn of Learn About Wine was an alumnus of the college. His Beekeeper Cellars Zinfandel was a perfect pairing with the quail dish and was a huge hit at our table, with multiple pours requested (and received).

But as a certified beef lover, my favorite dish had to be the short ribs. Full of rich beefy flavor. The Horsehill Cuvée made a great pairing, and I was even more impressed with the Gentleman Farmer Cabernet, more people who I had not realized had attended the Collins School.

I’ve written about Cal Poly Pomona before and knew about their onsite vineyard, but I hadn’t had the opportunity to taste wine from the property.  I was really impressed, particularly with the sparkling wine that was served with the appetizers. The cuvee, a blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Touriga Nacional and Mataro was also drinking very well.  The vineyard shows a lot of promise, and it was exciting to hear that they are going to soon be adding additional varietals to the existing Zinfandel plantings. The original cuttings came from the Galleano family vineyard in Rancho Cucamonga and will soon be joined by the likes of Petit Verdot, Carignane, Cabernet Franc and Alicante Bouschet.

The future looks bright for the Collins College and, based on my conversations with some of the student servers, the hospitality industry is in very good hands.

Michael Perlis has been pursuing his passion for wine for more than 25 years. He has had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show him the way, as well as a wonderful wife who encourages him and shares his interest. After a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as he possibly could, he had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Now, as Contributing Editor for Eve’s Wine 101, he does his best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers. (2013 Update: Eve and Michael announced Eve Wine 101 Consulting. Info is here: Michael can be contacted at

CORRECTION 2/13/14: Cal Poly Pomona turned 75, but The Collins College formed in 1973.  The only college that can claim to be 75 is the College of Agriculture because CPP started as an ag school.  (SOURCE: Lisa McPheron, Director of Communications & External Relations, The Collins College of Hospitality Management, Cal Poly Pomona.