Once again, Pebble Beach Food and Wine has come and gone, leaving a swath of exhausted sommeliers, chefs and attendees in its wake. It's an unquestionably fun four day festival (as most events focused on high-end wines, caviar, and food from acclaimed chefs tend to be), lasting four days at Monterey's Inn at Spanish Bay This year marked the ninth year of the fete, which is put on by Coastal Luxury Management (which also owns restaurants like Restaurant 1833 in Monterey). Here, now, are the observations from Eater SF Editor Ellen Fort, and Eater LA Editor Matthew Kang.
— Day drinking galore: In the morning, Brian McClintic, who starred in the Somm film, hosted a 10 a.m. Burgundy tasting through Domaine Leflaive, one of the most regarded producers in the region. Needless to say, plenty of festival attendees were happy to taste through verticals of grand cru burgundy, despite the time of day.
— State Bird flew South: Chefs Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski of State Bird collaborated with Jason Franey of Restaurant 1833 for a boozey Friday luncheon. The cocktail pairings included options like the Green Zebra, made with gin, green heirloom tomato water, cucumber and lime.
- Daniel Boulud serves at the Ment'or Dinner
- Hedy Goldsmith
- Right: Steven Fretz of The Church Key
- Aaron Sanchez
- Right: David LeFevre of MB Post
- Right: Brian Malarkey of Herringbone
- Hedy Goldsmith
- Gabrielle Quiñónez-Denton and Greg Denton of Portland's Ox
- Daniel Boulud
- Drew Barrymore of Barrymore Wines
- Neal Fraser of Redbird
- Vartan Abgaryan of 71Above in Los Angeles
- Jason Neroni of The Rose in Venice
- Jonathan Waxman
- Rory Herrmann of Sprout Group
- David LeFevre of MB Post
- Fabio Viviani
- Vinny Dotolo, Brianne Chan, and Jon Shook
- Strawberry cheesecakes by Jon & Vinny's
- Elizabeth Falkner
- Ryan DeNicola of Chi Spacca
- Hugh Acheson
- Peter Armellino of Saratoga's Plumed Horse
- Markus Glocker of NYC's Batard
— The dynamic duo: Lunchtime on Friday yielded a massive turnout for Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, who essentially prepared a pitch perfect rendition of their namesake LA restaurant. Food & Wine's new editor in chief Nilou Motamed was in the house overseeing the luncheon.
— So hot right now: Co-founder of the festival, Dave Bernahl, was ever-present, outfitted in a dazzling array of dapper outfits. As always, his collection of lapel pins went above and beyond, including a huge sparkling octopus that mesmerized everyone he came in contact with.
— Chefs on a plane: A slew of LA chefs that came to town on a private jet were raving about the experience. Michael Voltaggio apparently was preparing uni-topped deviled eggs in the aisle of the plane, on his knees. He also (jokingly) threatened chef Rory Herrmann of Sprout Restaurant Group with a giant chef's knife (security isn't really as tight on private planes). The in-flight refreshments on that $5,000 per ticket flight included plenty of Krug champagne, caviar, and even Republique pastries.
—A new era of Food and Wine: Newly appointed Food and Wine Editor-in-Chief Nilou Motamed was everywhere at once, fulfilling her duties as the MC, dining at the South Australia dinner and Ment'or soiree.
— Kids are annoying: celebrity chef Cat Cora gave some wise parenting advice when asked by an audience member "how do you get your kids to eat dinner?" saying that if her kids don't eat their dinner, then "Breakfast is really delicious in the morning!" Then, she made some hummus.
— Goin' up in the morning: After ditching that tamer demo for the one in the next tent over, it was an early morning booze-fest with Daniel Boulud and Dean Fearing. The chefs were demoing "Boilermakers and Brats," but forgot to actually bring a sausage stuffer. The boilermakers were on point, however, pairing gin and a Belgian beer infused with chili peppers for a mid-morning treat.
—Rosé all day: Actress and newly minted winemaker Drew Barrymore was on hand for the release of her first-ever rosé (cuz you know she has wine, right?), causing a major paparazzi-style swarm in the tasting tents.
— SF, represent: Evan and Sarah Rich of Rich Table, serving up over 1,600 portions of their dish, while Aatxe chef Ryan Pollnow brought Spanish style and a crew of badass lady chefs to the Grand Tasting Tents, serving up trout crudo with green almond ajo blanco.
— Hardcore foie fans: chef Joey Elenterio of Cadence was seen shaving foie gras into the mouths of joyful guests.
— Eater is here to help: Eater LA Editor Matt Kang jumped behind the scenes to help Neal Fraser (Redbird LA) plate up his ricotta gnocchi dish
— They're kind of a big deal: Saturday evening's Ment'or dinner featured a powerhouse lineup of Daniel Boulud, BryceShuman (Betony), Jerome Bocuse, Joshua Skenes (Saison), Gavin Kaysen (Spoon and Stable), and Stephanie Prida (Manresa). One diner refused to eat Skenes' caviar course because he was picky. Luckily his fellow diners stepped up to the plate, and made sure it didn't go to waste. Boulud took command of the kitchen, barking stern orders and personally ensuring the piped potatoes were perfectly crisped for his buffalo rossini dish.
— Winning the popularity contest: Celebrity chef Guy Fieri was hamming it up at his Pig and Anchor barbecue event, to the delight of his many adoring fans.