Thursday, April 23, 2009

Me and Thomas Keller

Taken a week ago today. The celebrity chef golf tournament at Pebble Beach kicked off the Food and Wine Festival. Things got started with a Cristal champagne breakfast. Thomas Keller of The French Laundry was there. Ming Tsai wasn't there and Colicchio sat out because of surgery. There were other chefs including Rory Herrmann of Per Se (and soon be to Bouchon of Beverly Hills) and David Kinch of Manresa. Aside from golfing, the chefs and invitees enjoyed mojitos, champagne, Patron margaritas and such snacks as Kobe beef burgers, lobster sandwiches, and pulled pork sandwiches along the 18 holes. Pas mal.

Kobe and wagyu burgers for the tired and weary.

Patron, anyone?

From left, Ed Kelly, president and CEO of American Express Publishing Corporation, Rory Herrmann, Per Se and Bouchon Beverly Hills, and Thomas Keller.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The First of Many Pebble Beach F&W Pics

Having a hard time fall asleep tonight. Love the the warm temps, unfortunately hate the sore throat that came with it. I have a jug of lemon water on my nightstand, hopefully that will help me.

Going through my Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival pictures. Have a lot, but half of the pictures I took didn't come out because I had a bad SD card (fail). But what I have, is good. So instead of inundating my blog with pics, I've decided to create an album on Facebook as well as Flickr. I will still post some pics on my blog and through Twitpic. The first batch of photos will be from Thursday (opening night reception at Spanish Bay). Unfortunately, many of the food and wine pics I took on Thursday disappeared. I have pics from the celebrity golf tournament saved on my work computer, and will post those tomorrow. (Darn, forgot to write down which restaurants made these dishes. And I lost the pictures of Daniel Humm's sturgeon sabayon as well as Roy Yamaguchi's spicy tuna roll and fish and braised beef ragout. I didn't photograph one of my favs of the night: Cyrus's oxtail consomme with umeboshi -- Oishii!!!!!)

Homemade marshmallow smore with chocolate ganache and avocado sauce.

One of my favorites of the night: buttermilk poached trout with trout roe -- unbelievable!

Tequila marinated shrimp. I think it was Patron. Need I say more?

The light was really nice. Unfortunately the person taking the photo had shaky hands. This was in Spanish Bay.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Some Pics from Pebble Beach F&W

Omigosh, I have a new favorite toy. It's the Mark van S. digital photobooth. Discovered it at the Patron after-party at the Pebble Beach Food and Wine. Parties or events can rent this booths, and people take self-portraits. It's like those picture booths in malls and amusement parks, only this one takes REALLY nice portraits. Once the photo is taken, it's displayed on monitors across the room. Really cool. You get a print of your pics, and then you can go online to download your pictures and see who else had their pics taken. Here are some with me. The people in the photos with my are my camera guy, Andrew, and a film crew hired to document the festival.
Andrew, Craig, me and Craig's friend.

Craig and me

Haha, funny photo. The third guy is the owner of the photography/film company who was shooting the event.

Found some cool candids from Iron Chef Morimoto and Hubert Keller.

I promise to blog about the festival and upload my pics of the event soon. Stay tuned! Today was rest and run day even though my run this afternoon was brutal! Got home, drank a gallon of water and passed out. Need to go back to gym for some more.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pebble Beach Food & Wine Grand Tasting

A report on Saturday's Grand Tasting. 60,000-sq ft tent of amazing food and wine...and interesting folks! Enjoy. Check back soon for pics and more posts.

***See below for clip on Cristal Dinner on Friday night.***

Cristal Dinner at Pebble Beach Food & Wine

Am putting together my final piece for the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival. I've been on a whirlwind running from Spanish Bay to Pebble to Monterey. Promise will post pictures and full in-depth blogs on Cristal Dinner, Keller-Coliccho Dinner, Grand Tastings/Grand Finale Dinner and the Patron after-parties (which my feet are still hurting from after dancing in four-inch heels.)

Meantime, here's a piece a I did on the Cristal Dinner including an interview with Chef Eric Ripert -- and apologies to Chef Portay for butchering his name.

Friday, April 17, 2009

From Beer to Bubbly

Touched a vintage jeroboam of Cristal today. Had a great interview with Champagne Louis Roederer president, Frederic Rouzaud. Also covered the Belgian Beer and Food lunch at Pebble Beach Food and Wine Fest. Wrapping up my package, do a live shot, then will cover the Cristal dinner tonight. Eric Ripert of Le Bernandin will be there, he's cooking the fifth course. Met and hung out with Stefan Richter today, great guy.

Stayed tuned for my post on tonight's dinner. Will cover Cristal/Michelin dinners.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Opening Night at Spanish Bay

How many hours and am I running on...lost count. I'm okay though, the adrenaline from Pebble Beach Food & Wine is keeping me going. I promise photos will be coming soon!

A quick wrap of the day. Celebrity chef golf tournament this morning. Thomas Keller and others were out on the fairway. Unfortunately, no Ming Tsai this year, or Tom Colicchio. Tom C is recovering from surgery. Met up with him at the kitchen inside Spanish Bay, and I like him even more after our interview. Oh, also met the CEO of Louis Roederer Champagne -- or Cristal. The Cristal dinner tomorrow tonight should be fabulous. The Rouzaud family will be sharing -- I believe -- 9 bottles of vintage Cristal. Pretty historic. It will be a vertical tasting paired with amazing food. David Kinch of Manresa will be cooking some of the food. Will be covering that as well as the Michelin Stars of San Francisco dinner.

Quick wardrobe change -- the opening night reception at Spanish Bay was like half Oscars, half Iron Chef, half Napa Valley Wine Tour. Seriously, 20 top chefs cooking amazing food paired with 200 wines. The food -- don't get me started. Some of my favorites of the night:
1. Cyrus - Oxtail consomme with a umeboshi
2. Buttermilk poached trout with trout roe
3. Spicy tuna handroll from Roy's

Wish I had time to sample more...but I was running around reporting. Met Dana Cowin from Food & Wine -- charming woman and wonderful editor. Got an invite to the very VIP chefs' party. Couldn't stay because needed to feed stories over to 10 and 11 shows, and needed to get some well-needed shut-eye. But it looked amazing...and on one corner, boxes of Patron piled to the ceiling. A fun night for all.

Wonder if I can squeeze in quick 10k tomorrow morning before work. Okay, be back tomorrow night with a wrap of the Cristal and Michelin dinners. Stay tuned!

How many magnums?

A short post before I pass out from a long day. Today is the start of the Pebble Beach Food & Wine. On Wednesday night, there was a very exclusive, private dinner for 20 wine collectors in an undisclosed location in Pebble Beach. Basically these folks were flown in from all over the world, and brought in with a motorcade to a home in Pebble. Why the security? Well, they were all carrying very expensive and rare magnums of wine (mainly French). I had to cover this. I arrived at this amazing mansion and...standing there in the front was none other than Chef Thomas Keller from French Laundry. I think I squealed -- while remaining professional.

This was the kick-off to Pebble Beach Food and Wine. The founders hosted the 9-course meal cooked by Chefs Thomas Keller, Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Mark and Sherry Yard of Spago. On the menu: truffles, caviar, frogs legs, kobe beef, Atlantic halibut, etc. I think one of the trio of desserts was chocolate cake with candied orange peel -- to go with an 1863 Madeira.

Need to go to bed now. Another long day ahead of me. Celebrity chef golf tournament is at 8:30a-2:00p at Pebble Beach. Then opening night reception at Spanish Bay 6pm. Will do several "wardrobe changes" as I go from the fairway to the dining room.

Stayed tuned for pictures and more blog posts!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pebble Beach Food and Wine

Am excited -- we're about a week away from the 2nd annual Pebble Beach Food and Wine. I need to brush up on wines, magnums. and the 30-plus chefs that will put their art to the burners. I have a full schedule on tap, since I'll be covering the whole event (April 16-19), and will have total, full, complete access to everything. Yay!

Last year, my station didn't really cover the event -- I think they didn't think they could get access. I was lucky to meet a woman who took me through the Pebble Beach golf course where I followed the Cristal chefs' golf tournament on opening day. It was pretty amazing to see Thomas Keller, Tom Colicchio, Ming Tsai, Masaharu Morimoto (aka "Iron Chef Japan"), et al hitting the green.

This year should be another exciting event. I'm so thrilled to meet Eric Ripert, Jaques Pepin, Michel Richard, Rick Tramonto, Hubert Keller, Michael Mina, Nancy Oakes -- and looking forward to seeing Thomas Keller and Tom Colicchio again. (Forget Hollywood, these top chefs are my idols). Some highlights this year: the "Tom-Tom" dinner (Keller vs. Colicchio) and The Cristal dinner presented by Champagne Louis Roederer, battle between San Francisco and Los Angeles chefs (Mayors Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa will there!) Also, Stefan Richter and Jamie Lauren will also be there doing a "Top Chef" cooking demo.

Whew, there's a lot more on my plate. Stay tuned for more PB Food and Wine coverage. I will be blogging about the event and will post pictures. Come back soon!