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Who We Are

Who We Are

 

Headed by award-winning Chef Julio J. Ramirez, Food Wranglers are a small, hand-selected team of experienced restaurant professionals, dedicated to finding the solutions to your restaurant business needs.

Julio J, Ramirez, C.E.C., A.A.C. Certified Executive Chef / President

Known for his successful and critically acclaimed restaurants, the Fishwife Seafood Restaurants and Turtle Bay Taquerias, Chef Ramirez has that unique combination of business acumen, knowledge of the market, teaching ability and exemplary culinary talent.

Credentials

  • Chef Ramirez has had more than 30 years in the restaurant business and more than 20 years as a successful owner operator of his own establishments in the Monterey Bay area. 

  • Certified as an Executive Chef by the American Culinary Federation, Chef Ramirez was inducted into the prestigious American Academy of Chefs in 2000. In 2001 he was awarded the ACF President’s Medallion and in 2005 he was awarded the Antonin Carême Medal by the Pacific Coast Chef’s Association for the excellence of his work and his humanitarian efforts in the community. 

  • Celebrated as a successful owner operator of five renowned restaurants, Julio Ramirez was inducted into Monterey County Restaurateur Hall of Fame in 2001. His businesses have been awarded business of the year by Monterey County Chambers of Commerce for excellence in business practices and contributions to the community. 

  • As a consultant, Chef Ramirez draws on his experience as a teacher, mentor, and coach for fellow restaurateurs, chefs and aspiring chefs. He holds a community college instructor's credential and has taught classes in culinary arts. 

  • Bilingual in Spanish and English, Chef Ramirez is a natural to work with kitchen crews composed of Spanish and English speaking individuals. 

  • Chef Ramirez is the co-author of three cookbooks: The Turtle Bay Cookbook: A Feast of Flavors from Latin America and the Caribbean, El Cocodrilo’s Cookbook: Bounty of the Americas, and The Fishwife’s Pearls: A Guide to Seafood Cookery

  • He has traveled extensively throughout the world and frequents local market places exploring the secrets of ethnic cuisines; he is known for using fresh fruits, herbs and spices to give flavorful twists to his cuisine. 

  • Always an innovator, his restaurants were some of the first in the United States to featureNuevo Latinocuisine, featuring Latin American grains, fruits, nuts and spices in innovative ways. 

  • Chef Ramirez’s specialty is seafood; his restaurants have always featured fish that he sought out for flavor and sustainability. He pioneered the use of tilapia on the West Coast in the early ‘90s, winningthe Northern California Seafood Challenge with his recipe for Tilapia Cancun with Green Cashew Sauce, and in 2003 he introduced barramundi, a sustainable fish from Australia, to the Central Coast at the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Sustainable Seafood Gala. Chef Ramirez was recognized for his work in promoting sustainable seafood: he was featured on the January 2006 cover of Saveur magazine and lauded as a “Seafood Hero”. 

  • Chef Ramirez served as the United States representative on the Royal Danish Seafood Council, traveling north of the Arctic Circle in Greenland to develop and prepare innovative recipes to help promote the Danish seafood industry.

 

Marie Perucca-Ramirez has been a successful restaurateur for more than 20 years. She wasresponsible for the development and directionof the critically acclaimed Fishwife at Asilomar Beach, Fishwife Seafood Café, El Cocodrillo Rostisserie and Seafood Grill, and the Turtle Bay Taquerias.

CredentialsMarie Perucca-Ramirez Restaurant Operations Analyst / CFO

•  Through the restaurants, Perucca has had extensive experience in public relations, advertising, conceptual development, and menu design. She was responsible for the writing and development of the employee handbook and staff training manuals; development and direction of corporate/employee support programs, as well as responsible for corporate financial management and cost analysis.

•  With a degree in History and Sociology and a Masters in Applied Linguistics, Perucca is awriter, traveler, and restaurateur. She has co-authored three cookbooks The Turtle Bay Cookbook: A Feast of Flavors from Latin America and the Caribbean, El Cocodrilo's Cookbook: Over 100 High-Flavor Recipes Fused with a Caribbean and Latin American Kick, and The Fishwife's Pearls: A Guide to Seafood Cookery. She has also written several artivles on traditional ethnic cuisines, including “Savoring Oaxaca,” and “Cocina Cubana,” which were recently published in the National Culinary Review.

•  Her interest in the history of food and its cultural and social significance has led Perucca to many distant lands. An avid traveler, Perucca has traveled extensively from Outer Mongolia to Timbuktu, from Italy to Peru, from Siberia to Thailand and has sampled the cuisines of the world in market places, back street restaurants, 5-star restaurants and village huts. She is particularly interested in discovering regional flavors and spices and in exploring ways in which these traditional seasonings can be used to create excitement in contemporary menus. She supports sustainable farming and fishing techniques and encourages restaurants to use organic produce and sustainably caught seafood whenever possible.

•  Her extensive knowledge of food history and cultures has led to her involvement with food photography: it has provided her with background when working in prop styling and food styling.

•  Perucca sits on the Executive Board of the Monterey County Restaurant Association, and on the Board of the Old Monterey Business Association; she is an advisor to the local high school culinary program and is on the Entrepreneur Institute advisory board of California State University at Monterey Bay

•  In November 2001, Perucca and Ramirez became the first inductees into the Monterey County Restaurateur Hall of Fame.