Category Archives: Charity

Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest 2017 – March 16-19

GourmetFest Relais Chateaux Food Fashionista

It’s approaching that time of year again when a group of highly-celebrated chefs, winemakers and guests from around the globe gather together in the serene, picturesque town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California for a joyous weekend celebrating the best of gastronomy and wine.

Relais Chateaux GourmetFest

2017 marks the fourth year of the Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest culinary festival, and this year’s event will include more than 18 renowned Relais & Châteaux Chefs from across the globe including Daniel Boulud (Daniel), Michael Tusk (Quince), Justin Cogley (Aubergine), Chris Kajioka (Senia), Shin Takagi (Zeniya), Nathan Rich (Twin Farms), Cassidee Dabney (Blackberry Farm), Per Hallundbaek (Falsely Kro) and more. From the opening night Welcome Party, to the Grand Finale Dinner, and everything in between, the R&C GourmetFest events always provide a unique, high-level experience for their guests. There are many food events and festivals in existence now, and having  been to many of them, I can assure you that GourmetFest is definitely quality and substance over quantity and hype.

Relais Chateaux GourmetFest Wine

In addition to food, there’s an impressive list of Winemakers scheduled to attend include Dominique Lafon (Domaine des Comte Lafon), Aurélien Valance (Château Margaux), Thierry Gasco (Chef de Cave at Champagne Pommery), Philippe Prost (Bouchard Pere & Fils), Dominique Lafon (Domaine des Comte Lafon) and Cyril Chappellet for a special tribute to the late Donn Chappellet and tasting to celebrate 50 years of Chappellet, which includes the ultra-rare and iconic 1969 Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon. Sommeliers Larry Stone, Raj Parr and Jeff Kellogg will lead tasting panels supported by over 30 of the nation’s top Sommeliers in attendance.

Myconian Korali

The four-day festival also includes an online auction which features many luxurious getaways and dining experiences benefitting the Carmel Chamber of Commerce, CSU Monterey Bay hospitality program, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Rancho Cielo. You can check out the auction here,

GourmetFest Carmel..

 For more information and to Purchase Tickets, visit: Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest.

 

 

 

VIMMIA Activewear – Wear Good and Do Good

Mika Takeuchi VIMMIA Lifestyle Blog

On a recent afternoon in cities across the U.S. – New York, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, Boston and Washington, D.C., stylish activewear brand VIMMIA partnered with Maria Shriver’s A Woman’s Nation, a non-profit organization created by Shriver, on their initiative, The Women’s Alzheimer’s Challenge, which recognizes that women are the epicenter of the global Alzheimer’s epidemic and challenges organizations to do cutting-edge research on women’s brains to defeat this mind-blowing disease. On this health-focused afternoon, people of all shapes and sizes gathered at their local Equinox for a half day of yoga, cardio boxing and meditation along with seminars on nutrition, sleep, and Alzheimer’s education.

MariaShriver - VIMMIA - Food Fashionista

The Women’s Alzheimer’s Challenge partners with leading researchers, scientists and major non-profit organizations to create landmark Alzheimer’s research funds to finance gender-specific research on women’s brains and challenges women and men to get educated, engaged and empowered to defeat this mind-blowing disease. Through the partnership, one dollar from every legging sold through May 30, 2017 will go directly to The Women’s Alzheimer’s Challenge.

“At VIMMIA, we have been dedicated to health, fitness and philanthropy since our founding.” says Ardy Raminfar, VIMMIA Founder and Creative Director. “The physical and mental wellbeing of women is at the core of our business and philanthropy model, and we are proud to partner with Maria Shriver and A Woman’s Nation to help fund research for this devastating disease.”

Mika Takeuchi Food Fashionista VIMMIA

I love my luxe VIMMIA activewear including the VIMMIA Wind Jacket. It’s so versatile, that I could and do wear it in and out of the yoga studio. I wore it above on a recent summer day in Paris’ Le Marais district. It’s also lightweight enough to throw into a small purse and proved to be quite weatherproof on a recent afternoon when it shielded me from the sudden pouring rain on the Champs Élysées.

For more info on VIMMIA, visit vimmia.com

For more info on Maria Shriver’s Women’s Alzheimer’s Challenge, visit thewomensalzheimerschallenge.org

 

Eat and Drink Charitably this Holiday Season

Mika Takeuchi, Food Fashionista GEV Magazine Cover

Thank you to GEV Magazine for featuring Liam Mayclem (CBS), Leslie Sbrocco (Check Please! Bay Area), Joel Riddell (Dining Around), Marybeth LaMotte (Red Carpet Bay Area), and I in this month’s holiday issue focusing on charitable giving. We all share a passion for dining, but we also believe in the importance of giving back to the community.

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 Love the comfy, casual vibe and cashmere-blended fabric of Kit & Ace

The photoshoot took place in San Jose’s Santana Row and it was a festive time filled with lots of laughter, stylish threads, and the ultimate glam squad from Atelier Salon.  Photographer Vinnie Gotti did a fabulous job of making the day as comfortable and fun in front of the camera as well as off.

Mika Takeuchi Food Fashionista GEV Magazine

Ted Baker Dress and extra big hair…it’s all mine though! 

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When you’re a child, it’s so exciting to see what presents Santa Claus is going to deliver down that chimney and if he’s going to indulge in those cookies you baked and left out for him. As you grow up and fast forward to life as an adult, the holidays have a whole different meaning and become much more about what you can give rather than what you will receive. The end of the year is a time when the weather is crisp, leaves are shedding and you naturally become more reflective. Like the changing seasons and foliage, I find myself looking back at life and the past year and seeing how much change and growth has occurred. The holidays are a reminder that another year is coming to a close and while we’re here, life is about giving, loving, sharing and having tons of gratitude for all the blessings surrounding us. Being grateful for the special people in our lives and all that we’ve been blessed with is so key. The holidays come so quickly every year, and in this day and age of cell phones, social media and the internet, everything happens so quickly, but it’s so essential to slow down and remember what’s truly important. The holidays are a reminder that giving isn’t an exclusive once a year, end of year kind of thing. It’s a necessary and contagious habit that we can easily incorporate into our lives all year round.

Read more about what the holidays mean to me and why I’m so passionate about giving back to the community in this issue of GEV Magazine.

 

Ultimate Culinary Clash Competition at Intercontinental Hotels

Johnny-Jump Ups

Johnny-Jump Ups from Magdalis Galzara’s dish

It’s typical that most want to experience a chef’s cuisine when they’ve become a public success, but what about when they’re a relatively unknown at the start of their careers? We must remember that all cooks and chefs began sans the shining accolades, and through thick, thin, and a whole lot more thick aka the journey, that is where their real story took place. And this is why it was so fun to experience the dishes of the aspiring chefs and cooking students at Intercontinental Hotel and Resort’s Ultimate Culinary Clash competition.

Adding finishing touches to NYC’s seared Pacific Branzino with fava bean puree, and ramp butter

The second annual Ultimate Culinary Clash at the InterContinental San Francisco was part culinary student cooking competition and part scholarship fundraiser. Cooking student finalists from four InterContinental hotel regions battled against each other for a $5,000 scholarship to further their culinary careers. The personally-developed dishes were judged by a group of media, chefs and hotel executives and were based on taste, creativity and presentation. This year’s student chefs and their mentors – established chefs from four local InterContinental properties came to compete from New York, Mexico City, Cleveland and San Francisco – where one-star Michelin restaurant Luce is located.

InterContinental San Francisco

InterContinental San Francisco, SOMA

After a lively night of sampling various dishes, the winner was announced and it was Ana Paula Oviedo Gómez, a culinary student at Anahuac University who impressed judges and wowed the crowd creating a 20-plus line deep of people throughout the evening. She was recognized for her “Tacos de Lechon” dish accented with cilantro, garlic, habanero guava foam and a red dried ant sauce on the side.  She was assisted by InterContinental Mexico City’s Chapulín restaurant Chef de Cuisine Alejandro Fuentes.

Mexico City’s Ana Paula Oviedo Gómez plating her winning Lechon dish

Ana Paula Oviedo Gómez Presidente InterContinental Mexico City Dish: Taco de Lechon

Ana Paula Oviedo Gómez Presidente InterContinental Mexico City Dish: Taco de Lechon

“With Michelin-starred chefs and celebrity restaurateurs to help develop our innovative culinary creations, the InterContinental brand’s world-class food and beverage program features signature bars and restaurants with exceptional menus that pair local flavors with global inspiration. It gives us great pride to introduce the next generation of culinary talent to our brand’s affinity for haute cuisine and support their progression as a student in a meaningful way.” –  Jean-Pierre Etcheberrigaray, VP of F&B, The Americas, IHG

Grilled Skirt Steak

Magdalis Galzara InterContinental Cleveland Dish: Grilled Skirt Steak with Belgian endive + orange-cumin marmalade, potato-cauliflower fritter, horseradish aioli foam

Chloe Sackett InterContinental New York Times SquareDish: Seared Pacific Branzino with fava bean puree, and ramp butter

Chloe Sackett InterContinental New York Times SquareDish: Seared Pacific Branzino with fava bean puree, and ramp butter

Christopher Wan InterContinental San Francisco Dish: Ballotine of Young Chicken with Red Miso, DePuy lentils and grain mustard

Christopher Wan InterContinental San Francisco Dish: Ballotine of Young Chicken with Red Miso, DePuy lentils and grain mustard

InterContinental Hotel San Francisco Desserts

These fruit gelee tarts were pretty in pink!

Chapulín restaurant Chef de Cuisine Alejandro Fuentes, Luce Executive Chef Daniel Corey, Ultimate Clash winner Ana Paula Oviedo Gómez

Chapulín restaurant Chef de Cuisine Alejandro Fuentes, Luce Executive Chef Daniel Corey, Ultimate Clash winner Ana Paula Oviedo Gómez

The Ultimate Culinary Clash serves as an opportunity for the InterContinental brand to showcase its commitment to culinary excellence. It began four years ago as a local annual cooking competition at the InterContinental San Francisco hotel’s Luce restaurant. The competition invited students from a local culinary school to compete for a chance to work with the restaurant’s Michelin-star Chef Daniel Corey and showcase their own menu for one night in Luce. The competition was expanded for the second year in a row to include other InterContinental hotels from the U.S. and Mexico.

Although only one ultimate winner could be chosen, all of the students from the various Culinary Clash stages did a tremendous job putting out some pretty impressive plates. Kudos to all and excited to see what the future holds for all of you!

 

Eat Drink SF 365 – Join the Club

Eat Drink SF

In this work hard, work-harder culture of San Francisco, it’s nice to be able to enjoy some well-deserved play once in a while (or more often than that!). In addition to being surrounded by tech, tech and more tech in this neck of the woods, we are blessed to have the vastness of California farms and vineyards providing us with a high-quality level of local food and wine to satiate our appetites and days year round. Non-stop restaurant visits, trips to the farmers’ market, and informative classes and lectures centered around a culinary aspect are always available here in the Bay Area.

Offering a year-round extension of San Francisco proper’s biggest food and wine event of the year: Eat Drink SF is a new Eat Drink SF 365 club that will host fun and flavorful events throughout the year. With this membership, you’ll also gain invites and discounts to festivities including exclusive Wine Spectator magazine wine class(es), CUESA’s Cocktails of the Farmers Markets , Summer Celebration  plus a whole lot more.

If you want to be a part of the local food community and meet other like-minded diners and imbibers, this club may be for you. I’m not only a member, but happy to be on the advisory board as well.

Eat Drink SFAnd best of all, proceeds from Eat Drink SF support two local Bay Area food-related charities: the Center for Education About Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA) and the Golden Gate Restaurant Association’s own Scholarship Foundation.

Learn more and sign up for club Eat Drink SF 365 HERE 

 

Michelin InTIREnational Art Contest – Vote Now!

Michelin Inspired Tires

In its second year, the Michelin InTIREnational Art Contest challenges participants from South Carolina Upstate schools, businesses, non-profit organizations and the art community to create a unique piece of art with an international theme using up to four scrap tires donated by Michelin. This year, two winning works of art will be selected out of the 26 participants.  Each of the winning entries will receive a $5,000 donation to a charity, school, or non-profit of choice. One winner, the People’s Choice, will be awarded to the entry that receives the most votes on the contest’s website that is open to all members of the public. The second winner will be selected by a panel of judges based on these four criteria:

Overall design and execution

How creative is the overall design? How well did the participant(s) execute the concept?

Tire usage

How well did the participant(s) use and incorporate scrap tires into the overall design?

International theme

How well did the participant(s) communicate an international theme through the artwork?

Upstate connections 

How well did the participant incorporate a connection to the rich international diversity in the Upstate?

Michelin Inspired Tires

The InTIREnational Art Contest is part of Upstate International 2015 (upstateinternational.org), a month-long series of community events and activities that celebrate the cultural diversity of South Carolina’s Upstate. Michelin’s U.S. headquarters are based in Greenville, South Carolina.

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Voting is open to the public through March 27, 2015 and the winners will be announced at an event at Michelin’s corporate headquarters on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. See the creative and inspiring Michelin tire artwork and be sure to cast your vote for your favorite at InspiredTires.com 

 

 

Second Annual Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest March 5-8, 2015

Relaix & Chateau GourmetFest

Coming soon to Northern California’s picturesque Carmel-by-the-Sea is an intimate gastronomic festival that you won’t want to miss. Headlining the  second  annual  Relais   &  Châteaux  GourmetFest will be domestic and globally renowned Chefs Michel  Bras  (Bras  -­‐  Sébastien  et  Michel), Olivier   Roellinger   (Les   Maisons   de   Bricourt,   France)  Féolde  (Ristorante  Enoteca  Pinchiorri,  Italy),  Tetsuya Wakuda (Tetsuya’s), Colin   Bedford   (The   Fearrington   House   Inn,   Restaurant   & Spa,   North   Carolina),   Diego   Muñoz  (Astrid & Gastón,   Perú),   Gary   Danko   (Gary   Danko,   California),   Justin   Cogley   (Aubergine   at   L’Auberge  Carmel,  California) and Lanshu  Chen  (Le  Moût  Restaurant,  Taiwan).

Relaix & Chateau GourmetFest

A sampling of the eighteen featured  events during the 2015 GourmetFest include:

Welcome  Party   -­‐  March  5,  2015:  Watch  the  talented  Relais  & Châteaux  Chefs   in  action.  Chefs  will  be  paired  with  wine  estates  to  welcome  and  kick-­‐off  the  festival

Grand   Women   Chefs  & Winemakers   -­‐   March   6,   2015:   Discover   dishes   and   wine   pairings  prepared  by  an  all  star  team  of  renowned  international  female  chefs  and  winemakers

Rarities   Dinner   -­‐   March   6,   2014:   Experience   one-­‐of-­‐a-­‐kind   dinner   with   Michel   Bras,   Olivier  Roellinger,   Tetsuya,   and   Justin   Cogley   while   exploring   rare   wines   and   champagnes   from   the  around  the  world

Aubergine Chef Justin Cogley

Wild   Mushroom   Hunt   &   Lunch   -­‐   March   7,   2015:   Partake   in   the   ultimate   hunt   for   wild  mushrooms   with   Ranger   Chuck   Bancroft   amidst   2o,000   acres   of   the   beautiful   Santa   Lucia  Preserve

Dom  Pérignon  &  Black  River   Caviar   Lunch  –  March   7,   2015:   Dine   in   an   intimate   setting  with  winemaker  Richard  Geoffroy  and  Black  River  Caviar’s  Graham  Gaspard

Relaix & Chateau GourmetFest

For more information and full schedule of events, visit GourmetFestCarmel.com

See photos from last year’s Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest HERE.