It was long overdue to catch up with Ari Weisswasser, Chef and co-owner of the Glen Ellen Star with his wife Erinn Benziger in Glen Ellen. As Sondra’s restaurant neighbor in Glen Ellen, we started the conversation about how Ari proceeded during the lockdown and how after a quick peek on email en route to Paris, the family vacation took a u-turn to come back to see what the situation was all about. Returning to Glen Ellen, Ari and a minimal team began serving it up for both lunch and dinner. He has been grateful and pleasantly pleased with the support from the neighborhood, his regulars and his ability to roll into another disaster focusing on the task at hand. We didn’t go back into Ari’s culinary training which has included some stints with some important names in the restaurant world including Thomas Keller at the French Laundry. He has culminated what he has learned and created his personal style by concentrating on simplicity and sourcing the absolute best products he can find. About 25% of the Glen Ellen Star’s restaurant comes from the family farm, Glentucky farm also in Glen Ellen. The menu is heavy on farm fresh vegetables with good reason. We converse about some of the inner workings and challenges that restaurants are having in maintaining reasonable margins, PPP, attracting staff and tipping, balanced life and guest perception. To be noted, not long before the whiff of Covid, Ari and his wife Erinn purchased a partnership in a local catering company only to deal with the fact that 2020 in the event world has moved to 2021 with hope. Learning a new side of the business during this time will clearly be an asset when it is time to reopen. Read more about Ari and the Glen Ellen Star at