One Incredible Event
It is hard to believe that nine years have passed since Carmel entrepreneurs David Bernahl and then partner Rob Weakley decided to bring a first class food and wine event to Pebble Beach. At the inaugural event in 2008, there were 53 chefs and 230 wineries represented in 45 events - all of which took place at venues around the Inn at Spanish Bay over the course of four days.
By 2016, just eight years later, the Pebble Beach Food and Wine event has grown to include 117 chefs and 290 wineries from all over the world showing off their skills. Running from March 31st to April 3rd this year's event spanned over 50 events spread out from Pebble Beach to Monterey; though the Inn at Spanish Bay still remains home base.
Two Lexus Grand Tastings featuring 40,000 square feet of Wine Tasting & Culinary Indulgence
The Lexus Grand Tasting is the capstone event of Saturday and Sunday held under the massive 40,000 square foot Lexus Grand Tasting Tent erected just for the occasion at the Equestrian Center at Pebble Beach. Inside, guests were able to sample delicacies from 35 chef stations and 213 tasting tables (wine and spirits of all sorts).
This year Dorothy Maras, senior culinary event manager sourced eight tons of food for the Pebble Beach Food and Wine, including 1,200 pounds of octopus, 1,100 pounds of butter, 480 pounds of cheese and 22 cases of (yum) cauliflower.
Though we did our best over the course of the two days to sample them all (and our belts have had to be let out a notch to prove it) we can only hope to give you a sampling of some of the best we experienced.
Justin Robarge impressed us with his ice sculpture shaped in the letters CRBC which stand for Cannery Row Brewing Company where he serves as Executive Chef. Using a funnel he poured a secret mixture of Temperance Straight Bourbon Whiskey, and Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin or Sierra Harvest beer through the ice into shot classes, now chilled to perfection.
This was then paired with Chef Robarge's delicious 14 hour smoked pork with chipotle-rhubarb chutney served on a seeded brioche.
Deeply rooted in cooking farm to table, Chef Matthew Beaudin has worked around the globe, holding chef positions in the Caribbean, Hong Kong, West Indies, Rwanda, Colorado, and Florida - today he is Executive Chef at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
We enjoyed getting a close up as he prepared and plated is dish of kaffir lime and ginger crème brulée with West Coast oyster and spiced citrus pearls.
New York Chef Elizabeth Falkner loves culinary competition having competed on Next Iron Chef Redemption, Iron Chef America, and Next Iron Chef, Super Chefs - Saturday she wowed us with her salmon roe with browned butter cauliflower (yum) and meyer lemon.
Chef Perez of Puur Chocolates provided the perfect desert which you needed an ID to indulge - it was far more than chocolate.
When deciding on a beverage to pair with our food options, the choices were endless. Award winning wines,
Spread out over Seven Spectacular Venues
The Pebble Beach Food and Wine still takes place over four days, but has grown in number of events, now 54, with the number of event centers, in and around Pebble Beach and Monterey now at seven.
The Lodge at Pebble Beach Stillwater Bar & Grill has been around since the beginning of the Pebble Beach Food and Wine. Hosting two dinners this year, "The Quest for the Perfect Champagne", featuring the Champagnes of Maison Louis Roederer, and
"The Windy City Reunion" with featured chefs: Graham Elliot (Graham Elliot Bistro), Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia Bar Toma), Fabio Viviani (Cafe Firenze), and Rick Tramonto (R'evolution).
Down the street from the Lodge is Casa Palermo, a historic Mediterranean adobe home which has been turned into a 24 room secluded and private retreat and spa.
With tranquil gardens and formal sitting rooms, the Board Room was the perfect setting for a carnivores dinner delight - "The Mozzarella, Meat & More".
Chef Nancy Silverton (La Brea Bakery) and one of LA's newest rising stars of Italian cuisine, Chef Ryan Denicola (chi SPACCA) created a four course meal of charcuteries paired with wine (Allegrini and Buglioni) and Champagne (Champagne Billecart-Salmon).
According to our waitress, the house was built in 1833 (hence the name) and later sold to James Stokes. Stokes was an English sailor who jumped ship in Monterey in 1834 bringing ashore with him a medicine chest which proved to be his livelihood and downfall.
But we digress so back to the present - at the Booze & Bites Lunch entrees were paired with booze of course - first yellowfin tuna and quinoa tabouleh was paired with a coconut milk punch made from Ron Zacapa Centenario Rum, coconut water, and pineapple juice.
Husband and wife team, Chef's Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski (State Bird Provisions) also paired an incredible dish of Harissa lamb shoulder and octopus merguez
with Smokey & The Bandit, a Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Sombra Mezcal and grapefruit juice. And there was more - All of the cocktails for the lunch are created by Josh Perry of Restaurant 1833 poured and served with flair.
On Saturday night at the Intercontinental Hotel
on historic Cannery Row
chef and television celebrity, Guy Fieri hosted a "free-flowing, grilling and chilling party," on the expansive 2300 square foot Pacific View Courtyard of the Intercontinental Hotel.
The venue was set with
Jack Daniel's on the top shelf and
wine from Davis Family Vineyards and Guy's own Hunt & Ryde Wines named after his sons Hunter and Ryder. Guys winemaker, Guy Davis, whom we met Sunday at the Lexus Grand Tasting, said that Guy Fieri is 100% involved in the production of Hunt & Ryde.
The line formed early as diners waited to get in.
We had the opportunity to mingle with the chef's grilling at this event, including three time James Beard Best Southwest Chef semifinalist and Top Chef contestant Chef John Tesar (Knife at The Highland, Dallas).
Chef Tesar served up a delicious dish of braised beef cheeks over red oak potato puree with black truffle essence.
Chef Billy Ngo (Kru and Fish Face Poke Bar) has been seen on Glutton for Punishment, Fan Fire Food, and Cutthroat Kitchen. He was all smiles after he finished perfectly plating his charred pork tontoro.
Chef Andre Bienvenue (Joe's Stone Crab) waited to add the garnish to the lobster clam bake with grilled West Coast oysters and pepper bacon, grilled up by his son Tyler.
spirits were poured,
libations flowed freely,
and Guy presented his dish of pressed smoked pork shoulder with a crispy kumamoto and oyster sweet chili lime slaw and smoked pork aioli...
..and the party kept going...
...and going, on into the night.
There was so much more, but that will just have to wait until next time. Until then, Happy Adventures!!!!!
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