As a foodie, certainly one of my favourite annual festivals on the Monterey Peninsula is Pebble Seashore Meals & Wine. From stay cooking demos and grand tastings with movie star cooks to 250 of the world’s greatest wineries and spirits’ brands, to call this mega-fest anything but decadent can be an understatement.
Along with attending the glamorous Opening Night time Reception (held at The Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Seashore, California) and widespread Lexus Grand Tasting, for this yr’s coverage on Inspirations & Celebrations, I was inspired to discover entertaining ideas and party-planning recommendation from the pros.
From cooking and grilling recommendation to wine pairing ideas, right here’s a taste of what we discovered at the 2019 PBFW.
One of the notable specialists I caught up with through the 12th Annual Pebble Seashore Meals & Wine event was Hunter Lewis, the Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine magazine. As one of the long-standing title sponsors of the Four-day gourmand pageant, Meals & Wine has been an integral part of the occasion since its inception.
Hosted in Pebble Seashore Resorts, Hunter views this prestigious location as an idyllic place for the convergence of culinary excellence and top-notch wineries. He calls it “a magical area for the event because of the pure great thing about California’s shoreline and its uniquely situated position which makes it straightforward for winemakers and cooks to get to.”
Having participated in two of the newest festivals, Hunter says he was “pleased with the execution of this yr’s impressive event, the caliber of the chefs and wineries, and the sophistication of the shoppers there. Plus one of many highlights was the sheer quantity of caviar all over the place!”.
[Photo Credit: Mike Steelman Photography]
Assuming he’s seen it all, I was curious to study concerning the cooking tendencies he’s witnessed popping up over the past yr. Surprisingly, he stated that the counter-culture of “ugly meals” has been on the rise recently.
While we’re all conversant in these lovely “Instagrammable” photographs of meals, extra lately Hunter has observed the predominance of “soul and style trump(ing) beauty”.
In addition to which, he’s additionally observed tendencies like “giant format cocktails (like pre-bottled Martinis and Manhattans), the promotion and use of plant-based foods, and featuring meat as a seasoning” are shortly gaining reputation.
When he talked about plant-based meals, it impressed me to ask if and the way current meals developments (like keto, vegan, and gluten-free diets) have influenced how Food & Wine plans its editorial content material.
In response, he explained that whereas they’ll publish an article about one among these subjects, they principally give attention to “basic and sturdy” culinary types. While they “don’t need to get caught up in tendencies”, he recognizes that “it takes ingenuity to show raw greens into a bit of art”, which is “the mark of nice talent”.
One of the thrilling highlights of this yr’s Pebble Seashore Meals & Wine pageant was the stay cooking competition. In the course of the Opening Night time Reception, Barilla hosted the stay USA Qualifier for the Pasta World Championship.
Since Hunter was one of the judges for the competition (as pictured above), I inquired concerning the methods or expertise was he on the lookout for from the chefs that evening. In reply, he stated he evaluated them based mostly on “a mixture of method, experimentation, high quality, and soul”. He famous that the profitable chef created a Spring Pesto that “had an explosion of taste and spring colour”.
That will help you elevate your property entertaining expertise, Hunter shares the next ideas:
- “Hold things simple and don’t really feel you need to impress everyone.”
- Excessive/low pairings (like fried hen and Champagne)” are all the time successful as a result of “they’re sudden but snug”.
- “When entertaining, it’s all about prepping ahead – making dishes” earlier than the event.
- Don’t “get hung up on the menu and the trivia”. As an alternative, be “extra desirous about having a great time”.
- “Make a statement-making centerpiece dish, like smoked hen or fish.”
- For beverages, he recommends all the time having “chilly wines and bubbles” available.
- Plus, “an enormous tossed salad” and “roasted vegetables” are a few of his must-have aspect dishes.
Another spotlight of this yr’s Pebble Seashore Meals & Wine pageant was catching up with Colombian-born chef Andrés Dangond (pictured above), who’s the Director of Culinary Improvement & Government Chef for Lynx Grills – the preeminent luxury grill available on the market.
In the course of the Lexus Grand Tasting tent on Saturday, he served mouth-watering Tacos de Pork, a garlic braised pork taco with garlic crema and crispy plantains with some Smoked Mamey Punch. During his cooking demo, he confirmed us how he prepares perfectly-cooked meat with the brand new high-tech 36″ Lynx Skilled All Trident Grill (which features groundbreaking know-how).
To encourage you to turn out to be the last word Grillmaster this season, here’s Andrés’ entertaining advice:
- “Don’t be afraid of warmth and salt. A lot of people are conservative with their salt, however I feel that’s a mistake. I feel you must get snug with salt and study what a distinction is between one-pinch, two-pinches, three-pinches, and so on. Study and uncover that salt is your pal. Just start experimenting.”
- “Let your grill pre-heat correctly. When you’ve got a charcoal or wood-fired grill, you’ll in all probability want an hour. With Lynx, this shouldn’t take greater than 5-10 minutes.”
- “Prep as much as you possibly can earlier than your friends arrive, so you could have time to take pleasure in your friends. Depart the little issues to do whereas your friends are there. Perhaps your meat is already brined or marinated, all you need to do is just grill it for a few minutes and you’ll be fantastic.”
- “Don’t attempt a new recipe for the primary time if you’re internet hosting, because you won’t understand the recipe, or you may uncover a number of things when you’re making the recipe. All the time make it a couple of occasions earlier than you invite visitors over.”
- “Typically issues don’t go as deliberate with a recipe or with meals. But, most occasions, your friends gained’t notice. So don’t apologize for the meals or don’t point it out to them. They in all probability gained’t discover; they’ll simply take pleasure in your get together and be grateful that you simply’re serving them.”
- “Depart as much time as you’ll be able to to benefit from the social gathering together with your friends.”
Another notable chef we caught up with at PBFW was Government Chef Jason Prendergast (pictured above) of FIG Restaurant Santa Monica (situated within the Fairmont Miramar Lodge & Bungalows). He wowed friends together with his scrumptious Baja Kanpachi with strawberries, Fresno chiles, and fennel at the Lexus Grand Tasting.
Through the occasion, we chatted concerning the dish he was making, the type of meals ready at FIG (which is a farm-to-table restaurant that serves recent, seasonal cuisine), and even his favorite entertaining and party-planning ideas.
Listed here are Jason’s entertaining ideas that will help you create a profitable soirée:
- “For me, entertaining may be very irritating as visitors expect a wow issue when coming over to a Chef’s house. Do as a lot prep as attainable the day earlier than… ensure you clean your kitchen as you go so you by no means get overwhelmed within the celebration planning process.”
- “Plan your menu to be small bites and simple appetizers since having plenty of individuals over there’s never enough room to take a seat right down to take pleasure in a full meal.”
- “Give your self a prep listing and a timeline so you possibly can maintain monitor and ensure you’re seeing the celebration to success, all the time permitting your self time to prepare & tidy up a bit more before visitors arrive, together with tasting the beverages to make sure they’re visitor worthy.”
- “Finger food is all the time my go as to if that may be a crudités all merely prepped with the market bounty or a simple crudo from your local fisherman or seafood market, olive oil, citrus, and salt go an extended approach to making one thing easy into superb.”
At one other station, we met up with movie star chef Antonia Lofaso (proven above), who has appeared on hit TV exhibits like Prime Chef, Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen and Restaurant Startup, and more. She owns Black Market Liquor Bar, Antonia Lofaso Catering, The Local Peasant, Dama, and Scopa Italian Roots in Los Angeles, California. Plus she’s also the writer of The Busy Mother’s Cookbook: 100 Recipes for Quick, Delicious, Residence-cooked Meal.
One of the highlights of PBFW for her was “The setting! The Pebble Seashore space is among the most lovely places that both compliments and enhances the variety of meals and experiences which are provided all weekend at PBFW!”. She continued by explaining that she “served a Smoked Ocean Trout Escabeche with Brazilian scorching vinegar aioli, pickled carrots & celery leaves and Churros with cinnamon sugar, which have been each impressed by my new restaurant, DAMA in Los Angeles and my travels Mexico, South America, and Colombia.”
Once we requested her recommendation on the best way to elevate our residence entertaining efforts, she stated, “Serve your dishes household type and select dishes that can be served room temperature (i.e. smoked fish dips, Brussels sprouts salad, grilled meats) to be able to take pleasure in life together with your visitors!”.
Relating to wine tastings at PBFW, there’s no shortage of great wineries pouring, ranging from Napa Valley and Monterey County to France and past. A number of of my favourite wines available have been Dolce (otherwise generally known as “Liquid Gold”) and their sister model, Far Niente.
Throughout this yr’s pageant, we caught up with Terrie Bancroft, who’s the Northern California Regional Manager for Far Niente. She sums up the extravaganza by saying “Pebble Seashore Meals & Wine is bringing together the most effective of meals and wine in probably the most lovely places on the earth. I really like assembly new individuals and seeing pals of the winery all whereas displaying off our (elegant) wines.”
When entertaining at house, one of the issues to consider is your food and wine pairings. In case you plan to serve Chardonnay (which is all the time a well-liked varietal), Far Niente recommends pairing their Napa Valley Property Bottled Chardonnay with dishes like Wild Mushroom Crostini with Herbed Goat Cheese, Butternut Squash & Parmesan Risotto, or even Grilled Sea Scallops with Saffron Cream Sauce, to name a number of.
As you possibly can see, Pebble Seashore Meals & Wine is among the most exquisite and thrilling locations to satisfy superstar cooks, study their inspiring entertaining ideas, and bask in the perfect meals and wine pairings you possibly can think about. In case you’re hungry to discover extra, take a look at past years’ protection of PBFW on Inspirations & Celebrations.
Make sure you visit the Particular Occasions section on I&C to study different fabulous occasions.
[Photo and video credits: Inspirations & Celebrations and James Michael N°3.]