Grills and Wraps
about us
Marc and son, Avram, first place
winners of “pie across america”
a local, sustainable food movement

Check out Marc's other project

Marc ~
They say that eyes are the window to the soul. I believe a fabulous meal is the bridge to get there, one that connects us to each other, the environment and (using distant ingredients) the world as a whole.
My obsession with food began as a teen when, living in New York, I got my first job washing dishes and bussing tables. It didn't take long to realize that the action came from the back of the house. Scouring the local supermarket for distinctive spices like saffron and fenugreek, I turned my mom's kitchen into my own laboratory where I diligently worked to perfect gastronomic art.
Culinary school, various restaurant jobs, moving across the country, opening Pangea, marriage and three children have changed me but never diluted my zest for cooking. From marinating combinations in my mind to the sound of a searing sauté, from the aroma of toasting spices and onions browning in a pan to the sight of a beautifully presented meal, its tastes and textures working together, creating renaissance experiences for the palate is my passion.

A garden engagement

Our Story ~
Starting our own restaurant seemed obvious to us. Now we just needed the a place to do it so we put our posessions in storage, packed up a van and set off across the country to find the perfect place to open a restaurant and start a family.

our home for the summer

Starting in Florida, we waived goodbye to the Atlantic Ocean, traveling up to New Orleans then West. As we drove, we brainstormed ideas for our restaurant. Cooking out of our van, recipe testing was never simple but our environment was truly inspiring.

Recipe testing for our future menu

We looked extensivly through Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona fully enjoying our trip but not finding “home.” Heading north, through the enormous Redwoods and breathtaking coast, we sensed we were getting closer. Driving down the hill into the plaza of Ashland Oregon, we turned to each other and, in unison, said: “this is it.” We found our home on the other side of the country, almost as far as we could possibly get from where we started.

Armed with a detailed yet green business plan, we approached multiple banks and traditional lenders who, noting the lack of business experience, money and collateral refused to give us a loan. Undeterred, we maxed out credit cards, borrowed from family and forged ahead.

In the spring of 1998, counting on an “easy open” with no advertising or fanfare, we opened the doors. Word spread quickly, customers piling in from who knows where. With two employees (each other) we did it all. Working unbelievably long hours with no days off, we quickly learned some of the basics we had been unprepared for, like hiring employees, systemizing and bookkeeping.

In the beginning, we didn’t advertise our “natural” menu. Nobody else in town was doing it. The natural restaruants we had visited across the country seemed bland and lacking in business. We were afraid people would equate “natural” with flavorless. So we simply didn’t mention our meats were free-range or our salt was from the sea. Those in the know thought us crazy to waste the expense on people who didn’t care. From a logical point, they were probably right. But our purchasing standards have always been based on what is important to us. We simply refuse to support commercial meat practices. Now organics are all the rage and natural has become a buzzword with little credibility. Of course it feels great to have our beliefs validated but we will still court and are incredibly proud of the numerous customers who, not caring about quality, come in because the food tastes fabulous.

Roanna ~
My earliest cooking memory was of spilling a single grain of rice. My mom, James Beard and Julia Childs award’s winner, Rebecca Wood picked it up and asked: "What do you think would happen if we planted this grain of rice?" I did not know.

“It would grow and become two handfuls of rice, and we plant those, each of them would grow into two more handfuls! In time, there is enough life and energy in this one little grain of rice to feed the whole world. Thanks to mom’s wisdom, I grew up understanding that how we grow and raise our food affects not just our own bodies, but also the wellbeing of the entire planet.

When I first met Marc (1995) it was food at first sight. Despite his culinary education, Marc wasn’t familiar with many of the unique foods (sea vegetables, teff, lotus seeds, free-range meats) in my kitchen. He was surprised that despite all of my exotic ingredients, I didn't know the “right” way to hold a knife or basic cooking techniques to best bring out flavors. As we cooked together, each learning from the other, my ingredients and philosophy simmering in Marc’s training and skill, it became perfectly obvious that we were meant to be together, both in and out of the kitchen.