Eric William Braun (Rick) | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Eric William Braun (Rick)

Eric William Braun (Rick) was born August 27, 1949 in Los Angeles, California. He passed away in his sleep September 11, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California. He was married on the lam in Texas to Peggy Siler, June 25, 1985. They divorced six years later.

Rick lived his eclectic life to the fullest. He started out without proper attire at Makena Beach while avoiding the issue of Vietnam. Upon returning to the mainland, he went to work as a roadie for Little Feat, becoming the road manager and living by The Dixie Chicken album cover mantra “if it runs amok call the duck.” After dabbling in the import/export and antiques business, he took a stress-free vacation at Lompoc.

Rick could take leftovers and make an epicurean delight. He pursued his passion for fine food by embracing a culinary career. He started as a sous chef at Oysters restaurant, Santa Barbara, in 1990. He went on to cook at and manage fine dining establishments including Edgewood Tahoe, TPC Sawgrass, Flamingo Hilton Reno, Montreaux Golf and Country Club Reno, Dargan’s Santa Barbara and Ventura and the last 12 years as Executive Chef at Joe’s and the personal chef to owner Gene Montesano. He was happy developing Joe’s Café into a culinary staple of Santa Barbara.

Rick was a brilliant chef who impressed his patrons with unusual and delicious food pairings. He used unconventional flavors together to tease the palate from a base of the fundamental ingredients of butter, cream and salt. His favorite chef experience was preparing a gourmet meal for friends at home. He organized the entire evening: purchasing the freshest ingredients, pairing the beverages, planning the courses and timing, including a spectacular desert and a McCallan 12 finish. It was an evening of friends, food, experiences, and conversation as Rick explained what was served, how the ingredients and sauces were prepared, where it was caught, ranched, farmed and what it was doing on your palate.

Rick loved sports. He easily mixed his love for golf with the country club restaurants he worked at. He also liked surfing and couch surfing football and basketball.

Rick took friends and relatives around the world under the guise of studying food. Rick, family, and friends had the times of their lives traveling and eating in Costa Rica, Thailand, Ecuador, Panama, Ireland and his latest favorite Cuba. The recipes he created with these flavors for his menus are delicious.

He is survived by his mother Virginia (Dittmar) Braun, brother Andy Braun (Charlene), sisters Carlyn Moreno (David), and Kim Flora (Jim) and his spoiled nieces and nephews Ben Curley, Reggie Braun (Sorrel), Tess Braun, Ricky Braun, Shannon and Jesse Flora, Matt Gallagher and a large extended family.

Gone too soon. He will be missed by family and friends who will attempt to carry on his way in his memory.

Celebration of Life October 24, 5:00, Joe’s Café, Santa Barbara, Ca. RSVP (Andy) 530.307.7777.




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