Pompano Beach, Florida (PRWEB) – John Offerdahl’s Gridiron Grill-Off Food & Wine Festival presented by the University of Miami Health System, now in its eighth year, is off to an amazing start with the addition of several new restaurants, first-time participating Miami Dolphins legends and event sponsors. Tickets are now on sale for this all-inclusive culinary showcase set for Saturday, November 11, 2017 from 1 – 4 p.m. at the Pompano Beach Amphitheater.
“John Offerdahl’s Gridiron Grill-Off has established itself as one of the most significant food and wine festivals in South Florida,” said John Offerdahl, event founder and former Miami Dolphins All-Pro Linebacker. “Our unique brand succeeds by combining football, food and charity into one all-inclusive event that brings the community together to help those in need.”
The ever-popular festival evolves each year to deliver amazing food and fun and this year will be no different with participating new restaurants such as The Pompano Beach House, The Foundry, Sky Thai Sushi, JWB Prime Steak & Seafood at the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, The Rusty Hook Tavern, Atlantic Grill at the Atlantic Hotel & Spa and Naked Crab at the B Ocean Resort Fort Lauderdale.
First-time participating Miami Dolphins legends Woody Bennett, Lorenzo Hampton, Terry Kirby and Twan Russel will mix and mingle with nearly 3,000 event attendees while teaming up with an amazing lineup up of top chefs.
This continuously evolving event welcomes several new sponsors this year, including the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Macy’s, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and the University of Miami Health System (UHealth) as the 2017 presenting sponsor.
Event attendees will traverse the open-air festival grounds sampling mouthwatering dishes as they go tent to tent meeting and mingling with players and chefs. The delicious culinary creations take center field as each team offers one signature grilled entree paired with premium wines and spirits. The teams will vie for the 2017 Judge’s Choice and Fan Favorite awards. Past award-winning dishes include Crazy Duck Tacos, Coconut Chili Ceviche, Grilled Spanish Octopus, Espresso and Chocolate Crusted Filet Mignon and Bacon & Bleu Rib-eye.
In addition to the free-flowing food and drinks, Grill-Off guests will be immersed in live entertainment, a silent auction, the Tito’s Vodka Tailgate Zone and the cornhole competition in the Toyota Cornhole Stadium and Festival Stage.
“The University of Miami Health System is committed to providing quality healthcare for all and being fully engaged in our community. This event is a perfect tie to our advanced Sports Medicine Institute,” said Thinh Tran, M.D., M.B.A., chief clinical officer and chief operating officer of the University of Miami Health System. “Our team is ready to rally behind this South Florida tradition in support of John and Lynn Offerdahl and all that they do to help “Feed the Needs of Those in Crisis” in our community.”
One hundred percent of event net proceeds will benefit Offerdahl’s Hand-Off Foundation. VIP tickets grant guests early entry, special access to a full-pour open bar from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. and giveaways while all attendees get to enjoy the unlimited food and beverage samples. To see a complete list of chef and player team pairings and to purchase all-inclusive general admission and VIP admission tickets, visit http://www.gridirongrilloff.com.
Roanoke Island, NC (PRWEB) – On Roanoke Island where history, legends and grapes intertwine, The Lost Colony Wine and Culinary Festival’s Grand Tasting debuts on Saturday, September 30th. On the grounds of the famous outdoor drama, The Lost Colony, attendees will taste wines from around the world, discover local craft beer, sample savory local fare and enjoy live entertainment. Surrounded by breathtaking views of the Roanoke and Pamlico Sounds, there is no better way to spend a fall day on the Outer Banks. The Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival’s Grand Tasting event opens at 12 noon for VIP ticket holders ($75) and at 1 pm for General Admission ($50). The Family Coppola’s Virginia Dare Winery partners with the Roanoke Island Historical Association for this “don’t want to miss” festival in benefit of The Lost Colony.
Roanoke Island is the site of Queen Elizabeth I’s first attempt to establish a colony in the New World, and is the birthplace of America’s first English child, Virginia Dare. The Lost Colony, tells the story of the 1587 colony and has performed on this historic site since 1937. Roanoke Island is also home to the Mothervine, America’s oldest cultivated grapevine. The island’s history is imbedded with fabulous legends! The Virgin Queen and Sir Walter Raleigh’s dreams, the colony’s unsolved disappearance, and a love story that tells how the grapes of the Mothervine became stained red. The Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival celebrates Roanoke Island’s history, legends, and heritage with wine, handcrafted beer and sumptuous food.
Francis Ford Coppola is intrigued with the mystery and legends of the Lost Colony. When Virginia Dare Wines, a North Carolina winery during the 1800s, became available for purchase, The Family Coppola seized the opportunity to add its legendary wine to its portfolio of wineries and resorts. In 2015 The Family Coppola launched the revitalization of Virginia Dare Winery at its new home in Sonoma County, promoted as “American Wines Since 1835.” Crafted with grapes from the finest viticulture regions in California, Virginia Dare Winery wines are rich with characteristics befitting an American legend: Pure. Natural. Distinctive. The partnership with The Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival reflects The Family Coppola’s appreciation of history and storytelling, and celebrates the treasures, people and places that shaped this great country.
The Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival opens with a Vintner’s Dinner featuring Virginia Dare Wines at the Duck Woods Country Club in Southern Shores on Friday, September 29th. A multi-course meal will be fabulously paired with the wines by Chef Thomas. To purchase tickets or for more information on the Vintner’s Dinner and the Grand Tasting on Saturday, September 30th please visit our website, http://www.tlcwinefest.com, or call (252) 473-2127. Vintner’s Dinner tickets and VIP tickets for the Grand Tasting are very limited and early purchase is encouraged. The festival is generously funded by the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau and is sponsored by several local partners including First National Bank as the Noble Sponsor. For a full listing of the Festival’s supporters, please see our website.
A Thai flavored Food & Wine Festival hosted by Chef Stuart Skversky and his chef friends who will create dishes for the 4thannual Stu and the Kids Fundraiser on Sunday, July 30. Proceeds will fund scholarships for Hill Tribe kids in Chaing Mai, Thailand.
Participating chefs for this year’s event include Hosts Neal and Amy Fraser, Vibiana; Brooke Willamson and Nick Roberts, Playa Provisions; Walter Manzke, République; Eric Klein and Connor Shanahan, Wolfgang Puck Catering; Shirley Chung, Steamer’s Co. Raw Bar & Bowl of Hug; Gilberto Cetina, Chicken Itza; Matt Lee, Restaurant 917; Kris Yenbamroong, Night+Market; Jason Neroni from The Rose Café; Akasha Richmond, AKASHA and AR cucina; Sherry Yard, The Tuck Room; Warren and Rose Schwartz, Magpies Softserve; Jason Fullilove, Barbara Jean’s; Tetsu Yahagi,Spago Beverly Hills; Roxana Jullapat, Friends & Family; Gavin Mills, Miro; Joel Miller, The Wallace; Carlos Enriquez;Bakers Kneaded; Matt Dixon, Division 3; Gilberto Cetina, Chichen Itza; Food Network Celebrity Chef Jet Tila and special guest Rocco Whalen of Fahrenheit who will be flying in from Cleveland, Ohio with his team. Other chefs to be announced.
Other participating restaurants include 71 Above; Bar Alma; Chadaka Thai; and Jitlada (complete list of participating chefs and restaurants below).
Beverages will be plentiful, featuring the Stu and The Kids popular fresh Coconut Bar and Herb + Orchard water infusions. The Bodega Wine Bar will offer Santa Monica Brew Works beer and a great selection of beverages for a summer afternoon. Wines will be provided by Youngs Market, including sparkling wine and cider. Thanks to a generous donation from Tito’s Handmade Vodka, the festival will showcase a Thai-inspired cocktail mixed with Austin’s favorite spirit.
In 2009, Stuart Skversky, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a rising- star chef, made a dramatic life change by giving up a promising chef career in Los Angeles to move to Chiang Mai, becoming a full-time volunteer at the Wat Dan Chan (a local Buddhist temple), teaching local children English, cooking and baking. Recognizing a need to help prepare these high-risk Hill Tribe kids following their graduation, he founded Stu and the Kids to better prepare them for adulthood, helping them get into a university or technical college and giving them the tools for an independent future. Proceeds from this event go directly to the children’s education, school uniforms, supplies, housing, food and tuition for higher education. Now in their ninth year of fundraising throughout the world, Stu and the Kids has raised over $300,000 for the charity, including last year’s astounding record of $110,000 accumulated from the LA festival, fundraising on the east coast and online donations during 2016. Stu and the Kids supervise seventeen kids, including fifteen who have earned four-year scholarships to university and a seven and fourteen-year-old that is supported with rent and food due to family hardship. The charity hopes to increase the awards to twelve four-year university scholarships in the coming year.
During the evening there will be an educational presentation and activities for all ages, including a vivid display of Northern Thai umbrellas and lanterns from the Tourism Authority of Thailand and performances of Thai music and dancing. The silent auction benefiting Stu and the Kids will include photos of locations in Chiang Mai, Thailand, hand-made Hill Tribe bags and silver jewelry, gift certificates, gift baskets, autographed cookbooks and a month of yoga classes.
The incomparable Billy Harris, celebrity charity auctioneer and host of Hanging with Harris will lead the live auction with several spectacular experiences:
- An exclusive 4 night, 5 day trip to Thailand to meet the kids and enjoy the beauty and flavors of Chiang Mai.
- 2 tickets to the two hour finale and live reunion show for Survivor: Heroes v Healers v Hustlers.This also includes an exclusive, fun luncheon with the Survivor players where the winner can meet, chat and take photos. Winner of the auction will also participate in some Survivor challenges that will be set up on the CBS lot. This once in a lifetime afternoon for the diehard Survivor fan is tentatively scheduled for Dec 20th, 2018 at CBS in Los Angeles. Dates might fluctuate slightly.
- Dinner for eight guests at The Rogue Experience, Wolfgang Puck’s experimental Test Kitchen at the Pacific Design Center. A one-of-a-kind full dining experience valued at $5000.
- Dinner for four at Vespertine by Jordan Kahn, valued at $1000.
Hours are 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $125 General Admission, $195 for VIP Admission and $25 for children 6-12. To purchase tickets, visit StuandtheKidsTickets
Sunday, July 30, 2017, 4 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. for VIP tickets
General Admission: $125
VIP Admission: $195; early admission at 3:30 p.m. including a meet and greet with Chef Jet Tila, the Culinary Ambassador to Thailand and of the Food Network fame. Includes a personalized autographed copy of Chef Tila’s new cookbook, “101 Asian Dishes You Need To Cook Before You Die.”
Kids tickets: $25 for kids 6-12
Tickets for general admission, VIP admission and kids may be purchased online: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/stu-and-his-friends-a-thai-style-food-festival-to-support-stu-and-the-kids-tickets-33984327037
Vibiana, 214 South Main Street | Los Angeles, California 90012
ABOUT STU AND THE KIDS:
Stu and The Kids is a 501c3, tax-exempt nonprofit organization that provides scholarships for orphaned and underserved Hill Tribe children for continuing their education in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
For further information on Stu and the Kids, visit www.stuandthekids.org
Become a fan on Facebook: www.facebook.com/stuandthekids
Follow Stu and the Kids on Twitter and Instagram at @stuandthekids
Presenting Chef and Culinary Ambassador to Thailand – Chef Jet Tila
Neal and Amy Fraser
Eric Klein and Connor Shanahan
Warren and Rose Schwartz
Brooke Willamson and Nick Roberts
Fahrenheit (Cleveland, Ohio)
Friends & Family
Redbird and Vibiana
Restaurant 917 at the Porches Experience
Sinners & Saints
Spago Beverly Hills
Steamer’s Company, Raw Bar and Bowl of Hug
The Ensaymada Project
The Olive Pit
The Rose Café
The Tuck Room
Wolfgang Puck Catering
6 Degrees LA
Behind the DJ Booth
Chefs to End Hunger
Erik Fisher Photography
LA & SF Specialty
Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Wolfgang Puck Catering
Young’s Market Company
Yountville, Calif. – New for 2017, Yountville Chamber of Commerce has retained the creatives behind the wildly successful Yountville Live (and Live in the Vineyard) to produce its highly anticipated annual wine and food festival – Taste of Yountville. This annual walkabout tasting festival features renowned food and wines that make Yountville a world-class destination for all things refined and gastronomic in pleasure.
Taste of Yountville, March 17-18, has now commingled with the Yountville Live weekend happening March 16-19. The coalescence of these events will provide attendees with several ticket options to experience a music, food and wine sensory experience over four jam-packed days.
Yountville Live Schedule, March 16-19:
Here is a look at what will be happening throughout the weekend (schedule subject to change):
Thursday, March 16:
VIP Welcome Reception, 3-5 p.m. at Brix Restaurant
A beautiful, Yountville welcome in the Brix Restaurant gardens, featuring French inspired California cuisine, 10 Yountville appellation wineries, and an intimate performance by multi-Platinum and GRAMMY Award nominated singer-songwriter Five For Fighting.
Welcome Gala, 6-9 p.m.
A four-course wine dinner prepared by world renowned chefs and winemakers featuring Graham Elliot and Thomas Keller Group’s – Team USA.
Thursday Night Concert, 9-10 p.m.
An exclusive, up-close-and-personal performance by internationally acclaimed Mexican acoustic rock guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela.
Late Night VIP Events, 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Late night bites, artisan cocktails, beers and wines located at Ottimo! In the heart of Yountville.
Friday, March 17:
Friday Taste of Yountville, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Ticketholders will enjoy customized programs and activations from event partners at the V Market Pavilion, some of Yountville and Napa Valley’s most revered wineries at the Taste of Yountville Pavilion, an exclusive beer garden and live chef demonstrations at the Culinary Pavilion, and live musical performances at the North Yountville Pavilion (NOYO), making this the must see center of attention during Yountville Live. A grand crew tasting room featuring cult and highest end wine.
Master Classes, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Exclusive epicurean experiences hosted by world-renowned chefs, winemakers and artisans, offering insight into the creative genesis that makes them the masters of their craft.
Music, Food & Wine Dinner, 8-11 p.m.
Intimate food & wine dinners featuring local chefs, winemakers, and private performances by up-and-coming artists.
Late Night VIP Events, 11 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Late night bites, artisan cocktails, beers and wines located at Hurley’s featuring The Rua
Saturday, March 18:
Saturday Taste of Yountville, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Ticketholders will enjoy customized programs and activations from event partners at the V Market Pavilion, some of Napa Valley’s most revered wineries at the Wine Pavilion, an exclusive beer garden and live chef demonstrations at the Culinary Pavilion, and live musical performances at the North Yountville Pavilion, making this the must see center of attention during Yountville Live.
Master Classes, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Exclusive epicurean experiences hosted by local chefs, winemakers, and artisans offering insight into the creative genesis that makes them the masters of their craft.
Music, Food & Wine Dinners, 8-11 p.m.
Intimate food & wine dinners featuring renowned chefs, winemakers, and private performances by up-and-coming artists.
Late Night VIP Events, 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Late night bites and craft cocktail competition located at Bottega Restaurant featuring a special performance with Spencer Ludwig and DJ set by Mayer Hawthorne
Sunday, March 19:
Bubble Brunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Wind down the weekend with a southern inspired, open-fire brunch featuring chef Morgan Robinson from SMOKE, a sparkling wine and mimosa bar and an intimate performance by American folk, soul, pop music duo JOHNNYSWIM.
Tickets for all Yountville Live Events can be purchased at https://yountvillelive.com/tickets.
Tickets for Taste of Yountville at Yountville Live:
Single day or weekend long admission tickets are available for the Taste of Yountville attraction at Yountville Live. Tickets range from $125 per person for a single day admission or $225 per person for both Friday and Saturday. Tickets include one tasting with each vendor and unlimited access to all four event tasting pavilions: V Market Pavilion – food, wine and more, Wine Pavilion – wine tastings, Culinary Pavilion – cooking demos, tastings and a beer garden, and the North Yountville Pavilion – live music, food and wine.
ABOUT YOUNTVILLE LIVE
The third annual Yountville Live, the ultimate, luxury getaway event, featuring exquisite cuisines from world-class restaurants and Award-winning rock star chefs, exclusive intimate performances from some of today’s hottest recording artists and a unique variety of some of Napa Valley’s most celebrated wineries and finest beers and spirits available, is set to take place in Yountville, California from March 16th to the 19th. Tickets are on sale now for the four day event in the culinary capital of Napa Valley that will feature performances by multi-Platinum selling Five for Fighting, internationally acclaimed Mexican acoustic rock guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela, duo JOHNNYSWIM, well-known singer-songwriter Emerson Hart, up and coming trumpet sensation Spencer Ludwig, a DJ set by the talented Mayer Hawthorne, rising sibling trios JOSEPH and The Rua, singer-songwriters LOLO, Jillette Johnson, Brendan James, Jon McLaughlin, Zach Heckendorf, Paul Loren, Keaton Simons and more.
World renowned and celebrated chefs set to take part in Yountville Live are Graham Elliot, Gale Gand, Victor Scargle, Thomas Keller Group – Team USA, Michael Chiarello, Art Cohtino, Bob Hurley, Carey Delbridge, Nate Lindsay, Chris Cosentino, Chris Kollar, Chris Patrick, Claudia Sansone, David Roberts, Dean James Max, Ernesto Martinez and more. There will be pourings by some of the most revered vintners including Aaron Pott, Benoit Touquette, and Julien Fayard and high end wineries including Jessup Cellars, Trinchero, Robert Mondavi Winery, Franciscan Estate Winery, Campana Ranch Winery, Azur, Miner Family Winery, Nickel & Nickel Winery, Silver Trident Winery, Priest Ranch Winery and more. Yountville marries a breath-taking setting and small-town ambiance with a sophisticated Wine Country lifestyle.
Yountville Live is the next generation of food and wine events with a vast array of events for attendees to choose between from Master Classes that are a true epicurean experience hosted by world-renowned chefs, winemakers and artisans, offering insight into the creative genesis that makes them the masters of their craft to intimate dinners, performances and of course the “Taste of Yountville” experience. Yountville Live has something for everyone that will not only compliment and highlight all the best that Yountville and the Napa Valley have to offer in the culinary and winemaking world with truly incredible music infused, but also the best across the country has to offer in all three. This four day event is an up close and personal experience while being on a larger scale.
For further information about Yountville Live, journalists are asked to contact Denise Carberry, dcarberry(at)pfamedia(dot)net, or visit the event website at yountvillelive.com. Follow the event on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
ABOUT LIVE IN THE VINEYARD
Live in the Vineyard is a private music-food-wine festival that marries peoples’ access to recording artists, top tier wine makers, and world- renowned chefs amongst the lush scenery of the legendary Napa Valley. Tickets for LITV, taking place again in November 2017, are only available through special radio station promotions featured on http://www.liveinthevineyard.com that include Sirius/XM The Pulse, On-Air with Ryan Seacrest, On with Mario Lopez, and Premium Choice Hot AC. Tickets are also available through exclusive sweepstakes and offerings from LITV’s partnerships with Aloft Hotels, National Car Rental Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Sutter Home, Southwest Airlines, Stella Artois, UPS, Sacramento International Airport and a few others. Live In The Vineyard assures that attendees have total immersion in music, wine and food. LITV was created by Bobbii Jacobs and Claire Parr, who together share over 40 years of experience in the music industry, and has since grown into a well-known and sought-after ticket. Jacobs and Parr are the producers of Yountville Live.
ABOUT YOUNTVILLE, TASTE LIFE HERE
Considered the culinary heart of Napa Valley, Yountville is the ultimate luxury get-away. With its world-class restaurants and accommodations, and many of the Valley’s most celebrated wineries, Yountville marries a breath-taking setting and small-town ambiance with a sophisticated Wine Country lifestyle.
The small town of Yountville was the site of Napa Valley’s first planted grapevines. The walkable village amid the vines with gorgeous mountain views offers luxe lodging from cozy to indulgent, the only hot air ballooning launch in Napa Valley, five sites on the National Register of Historic Places, unique shopping, golf, art galleries and performing arts, plus a constellation of Michelin stars and renowned restaurants. An ideal base for wine lovers, Yountville’s microclimate pedigree has its own American Viticultural Area (AVA) and offers unparalleled wineries and producers.
For further information about Yountville, visit http://www.yountville.com.
Tickets are on sale now for South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival, taking place April 27 – April 30, 2017, with another prestigious lineup of celebrity winemaker appearances. Among the headliners are renowned winemaker and CEO of Jackson Family Wines, Don Hartford, and Glenn C. Salva, longtime Napa winemaker with Antica Napa Valley. Salva also works with other Antinori and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates joint wine ventures in the Red Mountain region of Washington State, as well as the iconic Stag’s Leap Winery Cellars.
The festival weekend takes place in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin, located within the beach communities of idyllic South Walton in Northwest Florida.
Tickets can be purchased at http://www.sowalwine.com.
“This festival celebrates diversity and we will have something for everyone,” said Chan Cox, festival founder and owner of Wine World. “The best wines, an amazing culinary village, celebrity winemakers and chefs, craft beer and spirits, not to mention many experts in their field will join us at a beautiful location in Grand Boulevard.”
The festival offers more than 800 wines, on-going wine tastings with dozens of celebrity winemakers on hand to talk about their wines, food tastings, tasting seminars, live entertainment and special features including Spirits Row and a Champagne Lane tasting.
“For those who appreciate a fine and fun wine experience, South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival and Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation join forces to create The Northwest Florida Beaches Ultimate Wine Week, a wine lover’s dream, the last weekend in April every year,” said Festival Executive Director, Stacey Brady.
Destin Charity Wine Auction takes place on Saturday during the festival with more than 500 patrons bidding on luxury travel packages, collectable wines and other fine living lots. Monies raised at the auction as well as proceeds from the festival go to support more than a dozen children’s charities in Northwest Florida.
Presented by Visit South Walton and Wine Enthusiast Media, the festival offers the ideal backdrop for a beach getaway. South Walton beaches are consistently named among the best beaches in the country.
South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival is made possible by the generous support of the following Founding Partners: Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, Visit South Walton Tourist Development Council, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, Wine World of Northwest Florida and Grand Boulevard at Sandestin®. Resortquest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals is the Official Lodging Partner.
About South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival
South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival is an annual charity event held the last weekend of April. The festival features a stunning showcase of the best wines the world has to offer. Celebrity wine producers and chefs present fine wine and food pairings from the world’s most famous appellations. The Savor South Walton Culinary Village offers a sumptuous array of foods to taste, wines to pair, as well as wine and food tasting seminars and live entertainment. The event is a major fundraiser for Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, which benefits children in need in Northwest Florida. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.SoWalWine.com.
BIG SUR, Calif. — The Big Sur Foragers Festival announces its Grand Chef Dinner at Ventana Big Sur. The “Foragers Dinner” at the Restaurant at Ventana will be held Saturday, January 16th, 2016 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 (as of December 1st). Early bird tickets are on sale now through November 30th for $150.00.
Guest Chefs have been announced! Suzette Gresham, Acquerello’s co-owner and Executive Chef along with Paul Corsentino from Ventana Big Sur.
Suzette Gresham, Acquerello’s co-owner and Executive Chef, has had a profound impact on the culinary world over the course of her over 35 years in the kitchen. Her career is one that has been punctuated by numerous awards and accolades from both local and international institutions. In 1980, she was the first female apprentice to be on the U.S. Culinary Olympic team, returning as an individual competitor 4 years later, and taking home the bronze metal. She holds the coveted Antonin Careme award, and was honored to become the first Junior Member of the ACF, later being voted to the Board of Directors for three terms. Acquerello has held a spot every year on Michael Bauer’s Top 100 Bay Area Restaurant List since it’s inception 19 years ago. The restaurant has received a Michelin star every year since 2007 until 2014 when it was awarded a second star. Gresham is only the third woman in the U.S. to hold that title. While these prestigious achievements are a source of pride for Gresham, they are not the driving force behind her career, food –above all else is what keeps her in the kitchen. Gresham produces more than just meals at Acquerello, she and her team provide experiences for the diner that are emblematic of what they could expect in high-end dining in Italy.
She does this through her dedication to elevated hospitality, the execution of soulful and thoughtful dishes, and a mission to educate and inspire all those who come through the door. “Materia prima”, or quality ingredients, along with seasonality, tradition, and philosophy are the driving forces behind Gresham’s style. She believes that Italian cuisine has a timelessness that doesn’t rely on trends. She remains current, however, by listening to diners, maintaining an awareness of her marketplace, and revitalizing forgotten classics through interpretive applications. Just as ingredients have been a pillar in her cooking, education has been a hallmark in her legacy. Gresham strives to make Acquerello all about opportunity. Her tenacious attitude, sincerity, undeniable skill, and constant appetite for knowledge are what helped her rise through the ranks. She didn’t realize she was a pioneer at the time; she just wanted to learn and progress in her career. Gresham has made her mark in the industry by highlighting the importance of culinary fundamentals in her team, stressing the importance of where you begin as a chef. It is with this philosophy in mind that Gresham has successfully passed 63 interns through her kitchen in the 26 years of Acquerello’s existence. It is her belief that without a strong foundation, in the long run you will short change yourself because of what you don’t know. It becomes exponentially harder to create new, bold flavor profiles or interpret the classics if you don’t first understand why techniques came to be, how traditions were started, and what role ingredients play in the regions from which they hail. “If you love your craft, it is your duty to learn all you can and then share that knowledge with the next generation. I relate to other chefs young and old – at the end of the day we are all just cooks.”
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. In 2004, Corsentino moved to New York where he worked at acclaimed restaurants such as Bouley, Country, Alta and Rouge Tomate prior to his career defining position as the Executive Chef at the National Bar & Dining Room.
Corsentino met Zakarian when he became Sous Chef at Country in 2005, where he was a member of the opening team. In 2010, Corsentino reunited with Zakarian as the Executive Chef at The National Bar & Dining Room. During the 3 years at the National, 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.
The move to California in 2014 was inspired by the dream to cook in the seasons, the quest for fresh local ingredients and, of course, sunny winters. Corsentino joined Commune Hotels and Resorts as the Executive Chef at Ventana Inn & Spa in Big Sur. The food is representative of the location featuring ingredients such as local foraged mushrooms and wild caught fresh yellowfin tuna. In his first year at Ventana, Corsentino has put the restaurant on the map as a food destination in its own right.
Save the dates of January 15th through 17th, 2016. 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 Chef Dinner, the event schedule includes:
New events for 2016 include:
Friday, January 15th:
-5:30 Friday evening – Cocktail reception and fungus presentation by Louie Schwartzberg followed by 5 course tasting menu prepared by Chef John Cox with wine pairings selected by Sierra Mar wine director Dominique DaCruz. $500 per person. Limited to 22 tickets. Reservations to be made thru Post Ranch Reservations at 800-527-2200.
Sunday, January 17th:
-11 a.m. Sunday morning – Property forage hike and lunch with Chef John Cox. Guest will enjoy an exclusive property wide tour of Post Ranch Led by Executive Chef John Cox followed by a 3 course lunch with wine pairing featuring items foraged on property and local wines. Limited to 16 people at $200 per person. Reservations made at 800-527-2200.This hike is weather permitting.
Back by Popular Demand:
Saturday, January 16th:
-Saturday, January 16th: 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). Cost per hike $35.00. (Saturday, January 16th 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)
-Saturday, January 16th “Fungus Face-Off” on the deck at Ventana Big Sur. “Fungus Face-Off” on the deck at Ventana Big Sur! “Fungus Face-Off” at Ventana Big Sur 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. Attendees also have an opportunity to cast their vote for “People’s Choice”. (Saturday, January 16th 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
-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.
Sunday, January 17th:
-Forager’s Kitchen: Master Class in Cooking – Foraged Foods at Home at the Big Sur Lodge: A fun, fast-paced panel of some of Big Sur and Carmel’s best chefs known for cooking with such foraged foods as chanterelles, sorrel, nettles and natural sea salt. Participants will get to taste the foods demonstrated by the chefs and take new recipes home. Chefs to be announced. (Sunday, January 17 – 2 to 4 pm) – Tickets will be on sale December 1st. Only 50 spaces available.
Cardamom is welcoming in the New Year in a BIG way, with an elaborate four-course New Year’s Eve menu for only $50.00 per person. Start the evening with a complimentary Glass of Champagne and the traditional Indian bite, Pani Puri thatwill be waiting to greet you when you walk through the door. Once you take your seat, you will be offered the option of ordering a Tandoori Platter with Chicken Tikka, Sheekh Kabob, Onion Piazza and Vegetable Pakora, or a Vegetable Platter that includes Sigara, Onion Piazza and a Vegetable Pakora. For the main course select from the Murgh Tikka Masala, diced chicken tikka tossed in Hyderabadi spices cooked in lusciously, creamy tomato sauce, Jhinga Patia, tiger prawns cooked in a zesty, hot and sour sauce, or Aloo Palak, potatoes and baby spinach tossed with turmeric. Main dishes will also be accompanied by Zafrani Rice, made from Chef Manju’s special recipe and fresh baked Naan with house-made Raita for the table to share. We hope you saved room, because dessert promises Gulab Jamun, a lovely cheese dumpling immersed in a saffron-infused syrup, along with traditional Indian-spiced Chai Tea or fresh brewed Coffee. Cardamom will offer two seating’s on New Year’s Eve, one at 5:30 pm and the other at 8:00 pm. Cardamom will be open on Wednesday, December 31st from 5:00 pm to 10:30 pm; 7233 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036; 323.936.1000; www.CardamomLA.com
CELESTINO RISTORANTE & BAR:
Let your last meal of 2014 be prepared by a Drago! Executive Chef Calogero Drago invites you to join him at Celestino Ristorante & Bar for a special Four-Course New Year’s Eve Menu in celebration of 2015. Start the evening off with an appetizing Antipasto course, offering a choice of Veal Tortellini or Steamed Lobster over sweet pea purée, followed by a Second Course of delicate Smoked Salmon Crepes with mascarpone and caviar or luxurious Arborio Rice with Sea Urchin and champagne sauce. For the Main Course, guests can select from an elegant Chilean Sea Bass with vegetables timball and Filet of Guinea Fowl generously stuffed with sausage and porcini mushrooms, bathed in a decadent black truffle sauce. We hope you saved room, as the crown jewel of this New Year’s Eve feast is a Flourless Chocolate Truffle Cake that can be described in just one word – sinful. For daintier diners, all dishes from the New Year’s Eve menu will be available à la carte, in addition to Celestino’s Annual Holiday Menu for guests to enjoy as well. Because, as Chef Calogero likes to say, “Life is beautiful!” Celestino Ristorante will be open on Wednesday, December 31st from 5:30 pm to 12:00 am. 141 South Lake Avenue, Pasadena, CA, 91101; 626.795.4006; www.CelestinoPasadena.com
When thinking of Pasadena and New Year’s, our minds automatically go to one thing: The Rose Parade. But this year, it’s not just the roses that will have you heading to Pasadena; it will be the new craft cocktail hot spot that is hosting the best bash in town… Welcome to Magnolia House! A $25.00 entry fee will grant you access into this sexy little craftsman bungalow on New Year’s Eve where tunes will be spun by a Live DJ and all Magnolia House guests welcoming in 2015 will receive a Complimentary Welcome Cocktail,Party Favors, Complimentary Champagne Toast at Midnight and a special Magnolia House Gift Bag filled with special commemorative goodies. After just one sip of your handcrafted ‘Welcome Cocktail’ from the masterful hands of Bar Manager Colin Shearn, you know it’s going to be a night to remember. The DJ’s beats will pump through the air and get your appetite grooving as you make your way through Magnolia Houses’ bespoke menu of shared plates and eclectic bar snacks courtesy of Executive Chef Kyu Yi. Make sure your final memories of 2014 are delicious ones by ordering an array of festive and easily shareable favorites like the Truffle Pistachios with shaved black truffle-infused sea salt, Shrimp Toasts with herb salad and a sesame ginger aioli, Ahi Sashimi with a ponzu, smoked-salt and wasabi vinaigrette, crushed wasabi peas and crispy fried kale, Korean Short Rib served atop a shiitake and baby kale risotto with pickled daikon and crushed sesame, and let us not forget the always-comforting, yet equally luxurious King Crab Mac & Cheese which combines three cheeses into a luscious sauce with roasted red pepper that is topped with a bacon and herb crumble. Then gather around the fireplace as the clock nears midnight, put on your party hats and get out your noisemakers as the ball prepares to drop and champagne kisses signal that 2015 is finally here. Don’t want the party to end? Neither does Magnolia House! Stay for a nightcap… literally, and sip on the Magnolia House Nightcap cocktail that shakes up coffee bean Cynar with blanc vermouth and fresh fig bitters. For table reservations and large parties, please contact Magnolia House directly for availability and pricing – seating is limited. Magnolia House will be open for regular service on Wednesday, December 31st from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The Magnolia House official New Year’s Eve Party will commence from 9:00 pm to 2:00 am; 492 South Lake Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101; 626.584.1126; www.TheMagHouse.com
Looking for a cool, casual spot to fuel your New Year’s Eve cravings in Sherman Oaks? Motor over to MURPH’S, for delicious down-home favorites like the finger lickin’ good Potato Puffs dusted with fresh parmesan and chives, Sweet Corn Soup with chili and bacon, Prince Edward Island Mussels served with smoked sausages and grilled baguette, or the Fried Chicken Sandwich piled high with spicy slaw, bacon, cheddar cheese and pickled jalapeños. The MURPH’S crew wishes everyone a sweet New Year by offering guestsA Complimentary Dessert along with Party Hats and Noisemakers so that you can feel as though you’re right in the middle of Time Square while watching the Ball Drop on one of the bar’s five TV’s and nine foot big screen. Receive A Complimentary Glass of Champagneto toast friends and loved ones once the clock strikes twelve. Staying past midnight? Make sure to sip on MURPH’S signature cocktail, the Oil Change, with bourbon, ginger, honey, lemon and you will be set to start your engines and rev up for a great 2015! MURPH’S will be open on Wednesday, December 31st from 4:00 pm to 2:00 am; 14649 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, CA, 91403; 818.986.9999;www.MurphsLA.com
SOLITA TACOS & MARGARITAS – VALENCIA:
solita Tacos & Margaritas, New Year’s Eve
No one should begin a New Year hungry, and after a New Year’s Eve dinner at solita Tacos & Margaritas in Valencia, you most certainly won’t be! For only $14.75, the El Primo Taco Taster Plate lets you mix and match four of their incredible tacos including Wood Grilled Ancho Chile Chicken, Oak-Roasted Chipotle Chicken, Pork Carnitas, Chorizo Bacon & Sweet Potato, Crispy Fried Fish, Chile-Garlic Tofu, Wood-Grilled Carne Asada, Red Chile Beef Borracho, Wood-Grilled Fish Mazatlan, Beer Battered Shrimp or Sautéed Mushroom and a choice of one side. We know what you’re thinking, “what more could I possibly want?” How about a sampling from solita’s 40+ unique tequilas, including the Casa Noble Single Barrel that is carefully blended exclusively for solita and their big sister, SOL. Don’t miss the Grande Casa Noble Margarita, shaken tableside, for a chance to experience this rare tequila at its finest. If you are able to keep your taco-induced food-coma at bay, stick around for a Complimentary Champagne Toast at midnight, along with Party Hats, Noisemakers and other festive Party Favors! solita Tacos & Margaritas Valencia will be open on Wednesday, December 31st from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm with the bar remaining open until Midnight; 24201 Valencia Boulevard, Suite 3470, Valencia, CA 91355; 661.291.1399; www.solitatacos.com
solita Tacos & Margaritas, New Year’s Day
For a skinny-licious start to 2015, join your friends at solita Tacos & Margaritas in Valencia for a Skinny Burrito stuffed with Ensalada Picada, your choice of protein, cotixa, avocado and crunchy tortilla strips inside of a red burrito wrap. Pair your Skinny Burrito with a solita Skinny Margarita that is a little less sweet and little more tart for a deliciously guilt-free New Year’s Day feast. Do your New Year’s resolutions begin on January, 2nd? Then you’ll want to order the Bulldog – a refreshing beer/margarita made with Agavales blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, agave nectar, Jarritos grapefruit soda and an upturned Coronita all in a monster-sized goblet. And you can’t order a Bulldog without it’s ultimate partner in crime, the El Panzón’ “Big Belly,” which is like a Mexican calzone – a single flour tortilla folded and super-stuffed with meat and cheese, butter-crisped on the comal, topped with guacamole, sour cream, lettuce and salsa fresca. If that doesn’t have you howling, we don’t know what will! solita Tacos & Margaritas will be open on Thursday, January 1st from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm with the bar remaining open until Midnight; 24201 Valencia Boulevard, Suite 3470, Valencia, CA 91355; 661.291.1399; www.solitatacos.com
THE RAYMOND 1886:
Spend the last night of 2014 drinking and dancing to the beats of DJ Heat Maxwell & WLDCT as we count down to 2015 at The Raymond & 1886 Bar’s Ultimate New Year’s Eve Bash! Make your way to the bar for a festive collection of celebratory libations including Barman Peter Llyod Jones’ favorite seasonal sipper, the Huckleberry Sour, a bourbon sour made with huckleberry jam, fresh lemon and singed rosemary. The Raymond’s Executive Chef Tim Guiltinan will be providing delicious shared plates to satisfy famished partygoers from 10:00 pm to 12:30 am. Ticket prices will include Live Entertainment a Champagne Toast at Midnight and classic Party Favors. Insider tip: purchase your party tickets ahead of time at www.EventBrite.com and score a “Friends & Family” discount of $20.00 when you enter the code “RAY86!”
If you’re planning to party the night away into the wee hours of 2015, chances are you will want some dinner to go with it. Kick off New Year’s Eve with Executive Chef Tim Guiltinan’s special Five-Course New Year’s Eve Menu for $115.00 per person, or $135.00 per person for the second seating, including access to 1886 Bar’s Ultimate New Year’s Eve Bash. The indulgences begin with a choice of Baked Potato Gelato & Smoked Wild Steelhead Roe with “all the fixins,” or the Micro-Farmed Massachusetts Oyster with vanilla bean and champagne. Next up you’ll select from a Wild Fijian Albacore with pear, chili, miso and kumquat or a buttery Roasted North Atlantic Scallop served atop black trumpets, winter squash and wild basil. For the Third Course enjoy either A Warm Soup of Potato & Parmesan garnished with shaved Oregon black truffles and freshly grated nutmeg, or the Whisper Farm’s Arugula & Winter Fruit, a salad of aged pecorino, golden beets and a honey-walnut vinaigrette. Main course offerings include a vegetarian Artichoke Ravioli, Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast, North Pacific Cod and a classic Dry Aged New York Steak. You’ll want to save room for Dessert to sample the delectable Manjari Chocolate Custard served with caramelized banana, sable chocolát and rum roasted banana-dulce de leche ice cream. But wait – there’s more… A Dulce Chocolate Truffle provides a final sweet bite and added caffeine jolt to keep your energy pumping until 1886 Bar’s countdown to 2015! Early Seating: Available in The Dining Room between 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm for $115.00 per person. Second Seating: Available between 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm for $135.00 per person (Includes access to 1886 Bar’s Ultimate New Year’s Eve Bash). A credit card is required to hold the reservation with a 48-hour cancellation policy. 1250 S. Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105; 626.441.3136; www.TheRaymond.com
TIPPLE & BRINE:
What better way to say goodbye 2014, than with Champagne & Oysters? Head over to Tipple & Brine in Sherman Oaks this New Year’s Eve for bivalves, bubbles and a delicious seafood feast! All guests will receive a surprise New Year’s Eve Amuse Bouche compliments of Tipple & Brine to start the evening, and then begin with favorites from the Raw Bar including Hamachi with lime curd, chili relish and peanuts, a Salmon Tartare with lemon aioli, pickled ginger and celery served with brioche, and of course a dozen or so of the day’s best Oysters. Make it a point to order the decadent Sea Urchin Toast with avocado mousse, radish and scallions, and the Fried Octopus with squid ink aioli, eggplant, shishitos and mojo to share. For Entrées, the Market Fish served atop black lentils with pancetta relish and a delicate herb salad is cooked to perfection, while the Seafood Stew with clams, mussels, gulf shrimp and rockfish in a tomato and fennel broth is the perfect wintertime fix. Though there will be a Complimentary Champagne Toast at Midnight (with Noise Makers and Party Favors too!) guests will also want to try either the New Year’s Sour crafted with whiskey, lemon, simple sugar, bitters and a cabernet float or the Grapefruit Twist with champagne, grapefruit liqueur, vodka, grapefruit twist, lemon, honey and a lemon twist. Hello, 2015! Tipple & Brine will be open on Wednesday, December 31st from 4:30 pm to 2:00 am; 14633 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, CA, 91403; 818.528.2580; www.TippleandBrine.com
Celebrate a Rockin’ New Year’s Eve at Tunnel Bar! The exclusive bar and lounge above Tipple & Brine will be open late this New Year’s Eve, serving up a pair of specialty cocktails all-night-long. The serious cocktail aficionado will appreciate the Candidate, made with rye whiskey, honey and grapefruit juice. Meanwhile those wanting something a bit lighter, but equally delicious to sip on should try the Countdown a sparkling mix of Appleton rum, Aperol, lime, honey and Prosecco. Those staying to watch the ceremonious ball drop on the big screen will receive Party Hats, Noise Makers and Complimentary Glass of Champagne when the countdown to 2015 begins. Access to Tunnel Bar is granted through Tipple & Brine. Tunnel Bar will be open on Wednesday, December 31st from 7:00 pm to 2:00 am; 14633 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403; 828.528.3434; www.TunnelBarLA.com
Venice Whaler, New Year’s Eve Dinner
Those looking for a delicious way to kick-off the evening can enjoy a special New Year’s Eve Prix-fixe Menu at the downstairs Crab Shell Bar before the party really gets going at 8:00 pm. Sit down to a three-course menu showcasing seasonal winter specialties curated by the Venice Whaler’s Executive Chef Nick Liberato. The First Course will offer a choice of Smoked Tomato Soup with fennel pollen, crème fraîche and chives or a dish of Roasted Beets with goat cheese, toasted pistachios and peppery wild arugula. For the Main Course, sample the traditional Grilled Branzino with macadamia nuts, olives and fresh oregano or Slow Braised Short Rib served atop creamy polenta with a zesty lemon-shiso gremolata (a vegetarian option will be available upon request). Dessert will be a light, sweet and savory Strawberry Basil Napoleon layered with fresh cream, lemon and celery. Dining at the Venice Whaler this New Year’s Eve doesn’t just promise a fantastic meal. Those indulging in the prix-fixe menu for $65.00 per person will also be able to choose from one of Bar Manager Anthony Settecase’s hand-crafted seasonal cocktails including a Hot Toddy made with brandy, honey, fresh cranberries and mint or a delicious homemade Egg Nog with brandy and fresh nutmeg, as well as gain free access to the evening’s Winter Wonderland bash beginning at 8:00 pm! For New Year’s Eve dinner reservations ($65.00 per person, including admission to Winter Wonderland), please contact the Venice Whaler directly. A credit card is required to hold the reservation with a 48-hour cancellation policy. The Venice Whaler will be open on Wednesday, December 31st from 11:00 am to 2:00 am; 10 West Washington Boulevard., Venice, CA 90292; 310.821.8737; www.venicewhaler.com
Venice Whaler,New Year’s Eve Winter Wonderland
A white Winter Wonderland on Venice Beach? Yep, you read that right! It’s going to be a New Year’s Eve to remember at the Venice Whaler, where guests will enter down a Red Carpet frosted with Snow into a mystical Winter Wonderland. Champagne will greet you at the door a Complimentary Glass of Bubbly before you make your way to the upper deck to dance to the tunes spun by a Live DJunder the fresh falling SNOW(alright, it’s from a machine – this is LA after all). Favor a Live Acoustic Band over a top 40 playlist? Then you’ll want to spend the night downstairs in the Crab Shell Bar, where you can also find the Winter-Themed Photo Booth, for perfect take-home souvenirs to remember the magical evening – even if you don’t! Presale tickets to the Venice Whaler’s Winter Wonderland New Year’s Eve Bash ($20.00 per person) will be available for purchase by contacting the Venice Whaler directly. Tickets will also be for sale at the door on New Year’s Eve for $30.00 per person. The Venice Whaler will be open on Wednesday, December 31st from 11:00 am to 2:00 am; 10 West Washington Boulevard., Venice, CA 90292; 310.821.8737; www.venicewhaler.com
Venice Whaler, New Year’s Day
If New Year’s Day at the beach sounds like the perfect way start-off 2015, then head right back to the Venice Whaler for a special New Year’s Day Brunch on the boardwalk! Ready to retox? The crowd-pleasing Crab Shell Bloody Mary provides a spicy kick and comes with your very own crab claw. Select your booze to pair with brunch time favorites such as Eggs Benedict, Short Rib Hash, or Fried Chicken & Waffles for ultimate satisfaction. Meanwhile, detoxers will be happy to see Groundworks Coffee, fresh squeezed juices and lighter options like a build-your-own Egg White Omelet and a healthy Kale Salad on the menu. Partied hard and looking to stay in your sweatpants all day? Grab some delicious grub from the Venice Whaler Take-Away window including the eye-opening Day Tripper, a specialty juice that blends lemon, ginger, tomato, cayenne and cucumber, or go for the ultimate hangover cure: a Spicy Street Dog. The Venice Whaler will be open on Thursday, January 1st from 9:00 am to 2:00 am; New Year’s Day brunch will be served from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm; 10 West Washington Boulevard., Venice, CA 90292; 310.821.8737; www.venicewhaler.com
The Big Sur Food & Wine Festival celebrates its sixth year November 6-9, 2014.
Possibly the “longest” food and wine festival in the country, this small but unique festival has recently been recognized by Trip Advisor as “One of the Top Ten Food and Wine Festivals in the U.S.” states founder and president, Toby Rowland Jones. “And longest, we mean in distance…from the Carmel Highlands to almost the county border some 60 miles away at TreeBones Resort, we cover a lot of ground!”
The Big Sur Food and Wine Festival promises an impressive line-up of chefs and wineries for an event that is again committed to donate a portion of its revenue for local Big Sur nonprofits. To date, the Festival has brought international recognition to Big Sur as a culinary destination, and raised over $100,000 for the community in the areas of Health, Safety, Education, and the Arts.
Thursday’s opening night “Gateway to Big Sur”, held at the iconic Hyatt Carmel Highlands, promises delectable preparations from 20+ chefs along with great selections from 40 top-flight wineries. Friday through Sunday events held in the “heart” of Big Sur, include Wine and Swine, Hiking with Stemware™, Magical Mystery Tours, and wine maker dinners at local eateries, and that’s not the half of it! Saturday’s Auction Lunch pairs chefs from Cachagua General Store, Hyatt Carmel Highlands, and Dosa, (to name a few) with wines from Louis Roederer, Gonet-Medeville, Copain, Crocker and Starr, and Chateau Les Justices. This is always a fun-filled event offering exquisite and sometimes rare, auction items. Sunday’s Grand Public Tasting, always an epic close to the festival, will be held at the tree- lined, Pfeiffer State Park under the Big Tent.
“Be sure to check our website for the entire schedule of events, as you will want to enjoy most with your closest friends!” encourages Rowland-Jones.
Joining the committee this year as General Event Coordinator “The Alchemist” Kelli Foy of Foy Events who has helped put together a schedule of events that will compliment everyone’s palette.
Aengus Wagner, Vice President of the Festival, along with Matt Peterson, Wine Coordinator, have been busy inviting select chefs and wineries for this special weekend: “As has been our tradition, we always invite our chef friends and winemakers we know, appreciate and love, and we promise to have another great list this year.” On the culinary roster this year are the likes of Jerry Regester of the Preserve in Carmel Valley, Brian Overhauser of Cuvaison, David Lawrence of 1300 on Fillmore and Dyon Foster of Hahn Estate Winery and the list goes on! Each participating chef will be highlighted on the Festival’s Facebook page.
Rowland Jones comments on the local and international draw of the Festival: “Big Sur has really become a culinary destination for food and wine aficionados. Last year we sold out in record time. Our guests become our friends and plan their visits to the majestic Big Sur coast to come to play with us again each year. We are always delighted to meet new international guests, who may have never visited California but plan their trip her just to attend the BSF&W Festival.”