A chef who has had a multidecade-long career serving up gourmet food in the Santa Maria Valley area is re-establishing an Orcutt restaurant.

Rick Manson, owner of Chef Rick’s Ultimately Fine Foods, is gearing up for a reopening of his restaurant at the former location of The Jetty, 135 E. Foster Road in Orcutt.

After closing the original Chef Rick’s in 2011, Manson had a stint as the executive chef at the Far Western Tavern and has also ran a catering business.

On Thursday, Manson said his restaurant kicked off a “very, very soft opening” for an indeterminate number of days from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in an effort to “learn how to dance again.”

The goal is to iron out any issues with the abbreviated lunch menu that features offerings with Southwestern and Creole influences like jambalaya pasta, Yucatan chicken tortilla soup and a New Mexican grilled cheese made with smoked chiles, grilled onions, tomato and cilantro.

When the restaurant is ready, it will move forward with it’s formal opening and expand to dinner service, Manson said.

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