BIG SUR, CA – The Big Sur Foragers Festival announces its Grand Celebrity Chef Dinner at Ventana Inn & Spa. The “Foragers Dinner” at the Restaurant at Ventana will be held Saturday, January 17th, 2015 beginning at 6:00 pm. The multi-course dinner, destined to be a memorable feast paired with an incredible wine selection, costs $175.00 per person.
Celebrity Guest Chefs have been announced! Guest Chefs include Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, Chef Proprietors from State Bird Provisions in San Francisco, California along with Paul Corsentino from Ventana Inn & Spa. Tickets are now on sale at www.eventbrite.com/e/big-sur-forager-festival-2015-tickets-12739388855.
Stuart attended of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park New York, where he graduated with top honors. He then began his cooking career in the 1990’s working for Chef John Hogan in Chicago at the acclaimed Savarin restaurant. Nicole’s pastry and baking skills were first nurtured at the Red Hen Bakery in Chicago under Chef Nancy Carey.
In the spring of 2000, Stuart and Nicole were hired to be the Executive Chef and Pastry Chef at the legendary Tapawingo in Ellsworth, Michigan, a hamlet of a town with a population of 400. It was there that they developed their own unique style of cooking using seasonal and local foods.
In 2003, Stuart was named one of Food & Wine Magazine’s ‘10 Best New Chefs’ of America for his technique and commitment to using the best local ingredients.
In 2004, Stuart and Nicole were recruited by Restaurateur Drew Nieporent and Master Sommelier Larry Stone to take over the kitchen at the famed San Francisco restaurant: Rubicon. In less than a year, their cooking reestablished the decade-old restaurant as one of the top dining destinations in San Francisco, garnering numerous local and international accolades.
On December 31st, 2011, after a few years of travel, exploration, and starting a family, Stuart and Nicole opened the award-wining State Bird Provisions, which has introduced a new way of thinking about dining and service. Aside from earning legions more fans, they have received the following recognition and accolades: Bon Appetit Magazine’s Best New Restaurant of 2012; Food + Wine Magazine’s Best Chef All- Stars 2013; James Beard Award: Best New Restaurant 2013; Tasting Table Best Pastry Chefs of 2013; San Francisco Magazine’s Best Chefs 2013; Zagat: The 10 Hottest Restaurants in the W World; San Francisco Chronicle: Top 100 Restaurants 2012-2014; San Francisco Business Journal Forty Under 40, Class of 2013; 7×7 Magazine: Eat + Drink Awards 2013 & 2014; One Michelin Star, 2014 Michelin Guide.
Paul Corsentino Executive Chef, The Restaurant at Ventana Inn
The Restaurant at Ventana Inn Executive Chef Paul Corsentino and his award-winning team serve fresh, sustainable, locally sourced Central Coast fare in a sophisticated and serene setting with panoramic ocean views.Paul Corsentino’s diverse experience under renowned and respected mentors has enabled him to become a versatile chef, well-versed in myriad techniques in the kitchen. He reunited with one of his most influential teachers, Geoffrey Zakarian, when Corsentino assumed the title of Executive Chef at The National.
A native of Illinois and a graduate of the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Corsentino’s first foray into the kitchen led him to mk The Restaurant in Chicago in 2002, where he worked as Chef de Partie. In 2004, Corsentino started at Bouley where he served as Chef Tourant, allowing him to work closely with Cesar Ramirez, the imaginative chef whose emphasis on French technique helped Corsentino cultivate his own style.
Corsentino first met Zakarian when he became Sous Chef at Country in 2005, where he was a member of the opening team and responsible for assisting with menu development for both the café and fine dining room. The opportunity to work with Zakarian turned out to be a great culinary match, as Corsentino related to the classic style of cooking that is Zakarian’s signature.
In 2006, a chance to work as the Executive Sous Chef led Corsentino to Alta, the West Village Spanish tapas restaurant where he worked alongside Chef Harrison Mosher. Mosher taught Corsentino the importance of having comprehensive knowledge of the kitchen, a valuable trait that Corsentino brought when he returned to Country as Executive Sous Chef in 2007, this time working more closely on development of the fine dining menu.
Subsequent endeavors as Executive Sous Chef at the Upper East Side haute healthy Rouge Tomate taught Corsentino the importance of local product and seasonal fare. In 2009, Corsentino assumed the Chef de Cuisine position at the Williamsburg staple Dumont, which enabled him to create American style comfort food, an approach Corsentino and Zakarian, plan to explore in the menu at The National.
In February 2012, Corsentino landed runner up for Eater.com’s “Sexiest New York Chef.” He then assisted Zakarian in winning the 4th Season of Food Network’s “The Next Iron Chef, Super Chefs” in December 2011. Corsentino frequently appears on “Iron Chef America,” to support his mentor as he faces challengers.
Save the Date For Big Sur Foragers Festival 2015:
Save the dates of January 16th through 18th, 2015. Big Sur area restaurants will host the culinary expertise of notable chefs preparing unique fare from rustic to elegant, paired with the region’s amazing selection of wines and beers.
The event also serves as a fundraiser for the Big Sur Health Center. The community’s non-profit health center will receive the proceeds from the foraging events to support the continued presence of local health care services.
In addition to the Grand Celebrity dinner, the event schedule includes:
This year there will be two “Wild Foraging Walk and Talk” – one at Pfeiffer State Park (level beginner) and one through the Big Sur Wilderness (level intermediate), both led by expert foragers. The intermediate hike through the Bug Sur Wilderness will be led by Stephen Copeland of Big Sur Guides and Hiking. Cost per hike $35.00. (Saturday, January 17th 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)
“Fungus Face-Off” on the deck at Ventana Inn & Spa. “Fungus Face-Off” on the deck at Ventana Inn & Spa! “Fungus Face-Off” at Ventana Inn & Spa from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Cost per person is $60. A friendly competition among some of the area’s notable chefs featuring chanterelles and other fabulous fungi. Celebrity judges include Jim Dodge and Wendy Brodie. Attendees also have an opportunity to cast their vote for “People’s Choice”. (Saturday, January 17th 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
o A silent auction full of culinary delights, hotel stays, tickets to explore the area, art and so much more will take place during the food and wine sampling. There will be more than 60 items this year! Purchase raffle tickets for $5 per ticket of $25 for 6 tickets. Enter to win your choice of 7 culinary delights or hotel packages! Raffle package values begin at $200 to $700! Tickets available for purchase at the event.
Fungus Face Off Chef Partners Announced:
o The Restaurant at Ventana Inn Executive Chef Paul Corsentino
o Chef Sean Garrett, Fernwood
o Chef Johnny DeVivo, Porters in the Forest at Poppy Hills
o Chef Phillip Burrus, Esalen
o Chef Tim Wood, Carmel Valley Ranch
o Kim Solano, Haute Enchilada and Social Club
o Alvarado Street Brewery
o The Quail and Olive
o Tudor Wines
o Holman Ranch
o Morgan Winery
o Mesa Del Sol Winery
o Comanche Cellars
o Ventana Wines
o McIntyre Vineyards
o Bernardus Lodge
o Dawn’s Dream
o Joullian Vineyards
“The Forager’s Kitchen” A dynamic, not-to-be-missed Sunday afternoon master cooking class on how to prepare your foraged bounty in your own home kitchen, given by a group of the region’s best chefs.
Big Sur Foragers Festival Media Partner:
About Edible Monterey Bay
Founded in 2011, Edible Monterey Bay produces an award-winning quarterly magazine, a weekly e-newsletter and occasional events that celebrate the local food cultures of Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties, season by season.
Follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/bigsurforagersfestival for this year’s new event venues or at www.bigsurforagersfestival.org. The Big Sur Foragers Festival Media Partner is Edible Magazine Monterey Bay.