March 24, 2015 – It’s hard to believe that April 9-12 will mark the eighth year Coastal Luxury Management will dazzle us with their four day, over-the-top, food and wine extravaganza, Pebble Beach Food & Wine. This year, more than 70 chefs and close to 80 sommeliers will serve all kinds of dishes to accompany the offerings of some 200 wineries in a singular location. By sheer numbers alone, this is a hedonist’s dream.
Rubbing elbows with the likes of Daniel Boulud, Alex Guarnaschelli, Masaharu Morimoto and Jose Garces will be our own local culinary heroes. Some of them will represent new restaurants, as many of our favorite hot spots recently participated in what was perhaps the most mind-boggling chef shuffle in years. Matt Bolton, for example, is now at the helm of the C in the Intercontinental Clement. His food there is different than what he served at the Pacific’s Edge, but no less tasty. Jerry Regester—who used to be at the C—is coming from his new job at the Santa Lucia Preserve. Yousef Ghalaini, formerly of The Bench, should feel right at home representing FIG from Santa Monica. While Cal Stamenov, on behalf of his newly remodeled spot Lucia at Bernardus Lodge, will serve up delicious bites at the opening night reception.
Jason Franey is reaching into the past for a party in his new home at Restaurant 1833. He’s planning to bring the ghost of Gallatin’s—which attracted the likes of Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope to the 1833 adobe in the 50s and 60s—to a boozy luncheon featuring cocktails by Mariena Mercer, Chef Mixologist at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Michael Hung of Faith and Flower, John Cox of Sierra Mar, and sweet genius Ben Spungin of CLM will also prepare retro food based on Gallatin’s menu.
As always, the Lexus Grand Tastings pack the most bang for your buck in terms of sheer numbers of chefs and wineries. Saturday’s event will include local favorites Bolton, Brad Briske from La Balena, Justin Cogley from Aubergine and Kent Torrey from the Cheese Shop. Torrey will also be doing a Friday morning seminar on pairing pinot noir with cheese. Big Sur will be well represented by Paul Corsentino from The Restaurant at Ventana and Yulanda Santos and John Cox from Sierra Mar. Angela Tamura from Pèppoli, Tim Wood from Carmel Valley Ranch and the new chef at The Bench, Aaron Burns, will be strutting their stuff, too.
Sunday’s Grand Tasting will feature the offerings of Iron Chef Morimoto and the oh-so-easy-on-the-eyes Fabio Viviani of “Top Chef” fame. Roy Yamaguchi will be making an appearance as well. The talented trio from Downtown Dining – Tony Baker from Montrio, Todd Fisher of Tarpy’s, and Cy Yontz from the Rio Grill, will all be there, too. Yontz told EMB he’s going to serve up Foie Gras Filled Donuts with Apple Gastrique and Pork Powder—wow! Baker and Fisher recently showed up at the Salinas Rotary’s opening event for Pigs and Pinot for a rowdy “Chopped” style competition based on the Food Network series. They must have had fun working together because they’re presenting the sold out “Bacon and Bourbon: Matrimonial Bliss” on Friday afternoon.
Sunday is also the time to catch up with Gilberto Galves from the Inn at Spanish Bay and Aubergine pastry chef extraordinaire Ron Mendoza. Last but not least, Soerke Peters will be serving up fresh and local goodies from Basil Seasonal Dining. Maybe we’ll get to try some honey from his beehives in one of the dishes?
More information on the event and ticket purchases can be found at http://www.pbfw.com. Many events sell out, so purchase early. If Chef Yontz’s foie gras dish is any indication, you might want to book a personal trainer, too.