April 1, 2014 – From a Down-Under themed lunch overlooking the Pacific to a four-martini lunch in downtown Monterey, local chefs and vintners are preparing scores of mouthwatering offerings for the thousands of hungry and thirsty guests who will descend on Pebble Beach Food & Wine (PBF&W) from April 10–13.
Among the 100 or so chefs who will make an appearance at the seventh annual bacchanalia-by-the-sea are many of our own local treasures, like John Cox of Post Ranch Inn’s Sierra Mar. On Friday April 11, he’s teaming up with Jordan Toft from Los Angeles restaurant Eveleigh for “Restaurant Australia” at The Lodge at Pebble Beach. Cox’s dishes are slated to include free-range lamb tartare, green abalone, roast goat, and his version of Lamington, an Australian dessert of sponge cake and chocolate. Toft will contribute raw John Dory, a crab appetizer, and grass-fed beef with smoked oysters, alliums and wild leaves. Food will be paired with Australian wines.
At the event’s headquarters at the Inn at Spanish Bay, also on Friday, Angela Tamura of Peppoli will team up for with Jonathan Waxman of New York’s Barbuto, Antonia Lofaso of the Black Market Liquor Bar in Studio City, and Jenn Louis of Lincoln Restaurant and Sunshine Tavern in Oregon to present a lunch called “A Taste of Italy.”
Meanwhile PBF&W impresario Coastal Luxury Management (CLM) will lure guests to Monterey for Friday’s boozy Four-Martini Lunch at its Restaurant 1833. Scheduled to last from noon to 2:30 p.m., the event will feature Las Vegas mixologist Mariena Mercer and pair a different martini with each of four courses, starting with hors d’oeuvres.
Abby Burk, 1833’s new chef, will be serving speck Americano with cultured butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Her fellow Bernardus alum, Matt Bolton of Pacific’s Edge at Hyatt Carmel Highlands, will be doing Hawaiian kampachi tartare and Wesley Holton from CLM’s new Las Vegas restaurant, Rose. Rabbit. Lie., will offer abalone with fingerling potatoes and flying fish roe. Burk will also serve smoked Passmore Ranch trout with trout roe and a farçou, which she described as a “greens pancake.” Additionally, the lunch will feature Bolton’s Snake River Farms eye of ribeye, and Bernardus alum-CLM pastry chef extraordinaire Ben Spungin’s pistachio parfait.
Burk is excited about being part of the event; she knows that a lot of the visiting chefs will come by to dine at 1833 as they have in past years. “I’m bracing myself for that,” she said. “I’m planning stuff that I’d like to eat.” For Burk, that means simple, clean flavors and “braised things.”
A number of local chefs will get to welcome the out-of-towners as well as local foodies from the get-go, at PBF&S’s popular opening night on Thursday April 10.
Among the local culinary talent who will be cooking that night are Cal Stamenov (Bernardus), Pablo Mellin (Roy’s), Kent Torrey (The Cheese Shop) and Jeremy Tummel (Stillwater Bar and Grill). Colin Moody of Monterey Peninsula Country Club’s only appearance is at the sold-out after-party on Thursday evening.
Saturday’s Lexus Grand Tasting will include at least eight locals, including Brant Good and Owen Appelt (The Wharf Marketplace), Cy Yontz (Rio Grill), and Sierra Mar’s John Cox, for those who didn’t score tickets to Friday’s Australian experience. CLM’s Ben Spungin will be there, along with Pèppoli’s Angela Tamura and The Lodge’s Mario Perez. Kent Torrey’s bringing the cheese.
The Grand Tasting Sunday features Justin Cogley (Aubergine), Todd Fisher (Tarpy’s), Youssef Ghalaini (The Bench), Jeff Weiss (jeninni kitchen + wine bar), Tim Wood (Carmel Valley Ranch), Daniel Furey (Cannery Row Brewing Company) and adopted local, Roy Yamaguchi of Roy’s at Spanish Bay. Matt Bolton will be there, and Appelt and Good will reprise their Saturday appearance. Tony Baker of Montrio Bistro, Dory Ford of Aquaterra Culinary, Brad Briske of La Balena, Soerke Peters of Basil, Benjamin Brown of The Lodge at Pebble Beach, Rodney Uncangco and Anastasia Simpson of The Inn at Spanish Bay, John Hui of Pebble Beach Resorts, Levi Mezick, Michelle Lee and Mark Ayers of CLM and Matt Millea are some of the other local culinary stars set to shine at PBF&W.
When it comes to the 250-plus wineries pouring over the four-day period of the confab, Monterey County will be well-represented. Bernardus and Booekenoogen, Chalone, Hahn, Jekel, J. Lohr and Pisoni Vineyards are just of few of the local wineries that will be attending and many more labels from other regions of California will present wines made with Monterey County Grapes.
Indeed, PB&W is a terrific showcase for the fruits of our area’s incredibly fertile agriculture and thriving fisheries, and their fresh flavors are sure to shine through the event’s diverse offerings, no matter the chef or vintner who offers them.
For tickets, go to: www.pbfw.com
Elaine Hesser grew up in rural Pennsylvania and started cooking at age 6. By age 9, she’d made her first dinner and at midlife, is amazed when high school graduates can’t scramble eggs. After the U.S. Army paid for her B.A., it also moved her to Monterey County, where she served on active duty at Ft. Ord and Ft. Hunter Liggett. She has a wide variety of interests, but is most passionate about faith, writing, and food – and encourages everyone never to stop learning and looking for truth.