Category Archives: Events

BottleRock Napa Valley to feature Major Culinary Stage with Star Chefs & More

BottleRock Napa Fried Chicken

BottleRock Napa Valley has announced its star-studded culinary lineup and the addition of a fifth stage – the Williams-Sonoma Culinary Stage. BottleRock Napa Valley will deliver a lineup of chefs, restaurateurs, winemakers, sommeliers, and craft brewers that is unparalleled in the music festival world. Michelin stars fly among the musical stars at the 3-day festival, May 29 through 31, in downtown Napa, California.

BottleRock Napa

One of the stages at BottleRock 2014 (Photo: BottleRock)

 “BottleRock Napa Valley is all about blending great music, food and wine,” – David Graham, CEO of Latitude 38. 

President of Williams-Sonoma, Janet Hayes adds, “Williams-Sonoma’s Culinary Stage will showcase some of the country’s top chefs and sommeliers with musicians and celebrities. We are excited to create unique culinary experiences for festival attendees that will differentiate BottleRock from all other food and music festivals.”

Ca Momi Pizza

Centrally located in the Whole Foods Restaurant Garden of the festival, the Williams-Sonoma Culinary Stage will be hosted by the Bay Area’s “Foodie Chap,” Liam Mayclem of KCBS, and will feature celebrated chefs, vintners, actors, professional athletes and sommeliers participating in entertaining demos, performances, and other hi-jinx. The chef lineup includes Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Michael Mina of the Mina Group, Iron Chef Marc Forgione, two Michelin-starred chef Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn, Top Chef Michael Voltaggio, Larry Forgione of the Culinary Institute of America, Top Chef Mei Lin, Michelin-starred chefs Brandon Sharp of Solbar, Ken Frank of La Toque, and Robert Curry of Auberge du Soleil, 11-time World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani, Bryan Forgione of Buddy V’s, Rick Moonen of rm Seafood, Oenotri’s Tyler Rodde, and Dario De Conti of Ca’Momi. Joining the fun will be the Williams-Sonoma Chef Collective featuring Sarah Simmons of Birds & Bubbles, Matt Jennings of Townsman, the Bon Vivants of Trick Dog, and Jason French of Ned Ludd.

The Cure BottleRock Napa

The Cure – one of my favorite bands at BottleRock 2014 (Photo: Kara Murphy)

Many of the region’s best chefs, vintners, and breweries will also showcase their talents in the VIP areas and Platinum Lounge. Noted Napa Valley restaurants including REDD and Redd Wood, Goose & Gander, and Atlas Social will provide exclusive offerings for Platinum guests, paired with rare and cult wines presented by Master Sommeliers and wine experts including Ian Cauble, Sur Lucero, Jay James, Gilles de Chambure, Mark de Vere, Jimmy Hayes, Robert Bath, DLynn Proctor, Willi Sherrer, Chris Blanchard, and Desi Echavarrie.

Food Fashionista Mika Takeuchi BottleRock Napa

We are rocking the shades at BottleRock

 All festival guests will enjoy a global tour of culinary offerings, featuring Japanese, Indian, Italian, Spanish, Mexican, American, Mediterranean, and Vietnamese cuisines. Mouthwatering dishes include Morimoto Sticky Ribs, wood-fired pizzas, pork belly sandwiches, Vietnamese shrimp rolls, barbecue, fried chicken, vegetarian, vegan and more. Culinary hotspots to be showcased include Morimoto Napa, Ca’Momi, The Thomas at Fagiani’s, Whole Foods, La Condesa, Tarla Grill, Taqueria Rosita, Eiko’s, Fume Bistro, Il Posto Trattoria, Eight Noodle Shop, Ristorante Allegria, The Q Restaurant and Bar, Bui Bistro, Napa Palisades Saloon, Smoke Open Fire, Jax White Mule Diner and food trucks like Bacon Bacon, Curry Up Now, Kara’s Cupcakes, Mark’s The Spot, MeSoHungry, Drewski’s, and Napa Valley Crust, among others.

 

Many of the regions finest wineries will be sharing their finest vintages, including Miner Family Winery, Robert Mondavi Winery, Silver Oak Cellars, Del Dotto Family Vineyards, Schramsberg Vineyards, Rombauer Vineyards, Clos Du Val, Gia by Gia Coppola, Goosecross Cellars, Round Pond Estate, Aviary Vineyards, Hill Family Estate, Jamieson Ranch Vineyards, JaM Cellars, JW Thomas Group, NakedWines.com, JCB by Jean Charles Boisset, Ca’Momi Wines, ONEHOPE Winery, Piazza Del Dotto, Starmont Wines, Twomey Cellars, and Vezer Family Vineyards.

There will be A LOT of wine at BottleRock 2015 (Photo: BottleRock)

There will be A LOT of wine at BottleRock 2015 (Photo: BottleRock)

Wine cabanas and beverage bars will be conveniently located throughout the festival grounds. All bars will be stocked with delicious pours from title wine sponsor Miner Family Winery and other premium Napa Valley vintners, dozens of craft beers, along with artisanal cocktails made with premium spirits. The craft brew garden will feature 20 brews from premium brewers and distillers such as Lagunitas, Crispin Cider, Boston Beer, 21st Amendment, Pyramid Brewing, New Belgium Brewing, Green Flash, Ninkasi, Heretic, and local favorite Napa Smith brewery. Fan favorites including Coors and Blue Moon Brewing round out the brew selections.

For more info on BottleRock Napa Valley, including a full lineup of 90+ music and culinary artists on five stages over three days, visit www.bottlerocknapavalley.com.

(Photos: BottleRock, Mika Takeuchi, and Kara Murphy http://bit.ly/1DzG2wr)

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 

 

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.

Hall Winery Cabernet Cookoff Raises Thousands for Charity

Ca' Momi Pizza at Hall Winery Cabernet Cookoff

Ca’ Momi Pizza at Hall Winery Cabernet Cookoff

Is there anything better than indulging in good food and wine out in the fresh open air under the warm California sun? I can’t think of too many things, but one situation that could definitely top that off would be if all of the above were going to benefit those in need. So, that’s exactly what happened on a recent luminous Sunday afternoon in the picturesque Napa Valley wine country when tens of thousands of dollars were raised to help local charities. It was a well-deserved reason for 600 attendees to clink their wine glasses.

Hall Winery Cabernet Cookoff

The fifth annual HALL Cabernet Cookoff featured 15 All-Star San Francisco and Napa Valley-based Chef teams who were presented a task to create a personal dish to pair with 2011 HALL Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and compete for a local charity of their choice. Although it was a “competition”, the wine and food-filled affair was fun, friendly and indeed festive.

Hall Winery Tasting Room

This year’s event marked the first at HALL St. Helena’s new tasting room. The bright, naturally-lit, contemporary space was open throughout the Cabernet Cookoff, allowing guests to taste the entire portfolio of HALL Wines. Four recently released vintages were served including 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, and 2011 “Jack’s Masterpiece” Cabernet Sauvignon. Proceeds from wine sales as well as HALL merchandise benefitted the Cabernet Cookoff as well.

Hall is more than a winery, it's an art gallery.

Hall is more than a winery, it’s an art gallery.

Since inception, the Cabernet Cookoff has raised $75,000 for charities in and around the Bay Area. The 2013 HALL Cabernet Cookoff drew more than 480 culinary and wine lovers and raised $30,000 for the top four winning team’s sponsored charities.

Hall Winery Cookoff - One Market

Team One Market at Hall Cabernet Cookoff

San Francisco Chef Mark Dommen from One Market restaurant took the coveted ‘Judge’s Choice’ first place for his charity, Napa Hospice & Adult Day Service, with his Potato Gnocchi dish. The ‘People’s Choice’ winner was a dish of Crispy Oxtail Tacos by Chef Daniel Capra of Paula Le Duc Catering. Their charity partner was the St. Helena Hospital Foundation.

Hall Winery Cabernet Cookoff

Judges and Winners at Hall Cabernet Cookoff

“The Cabernet Cookoff is a fun way to help our community. Everyone involved with this event – including our generous sponsors,  the incredible Bay Area chef teams, enthusiastic non-profit organizations and the entire HALL staff – all donated their time, joining forces to create a spectacular day full of opportunities learn about various philanthropic missions. Today, everyone came out a winner.” –  Kathryn Hall 

Thirsty at Hall Winery

Come Thirsty to Hall Winery

See all who participated by visiting the Chefs teams’ page on the Cabernet Cookoff website for a complete list of winners, participants, and featured non-profit organizations.

Learn more about HALL Winery and the HALL Cabernet Cookoff at hallwines.com

Brooklyn Chef Carlo Mirarchi is Lexus’ Newest Culinary Master

Lexus Culinary Master Carlo Mirarchi poses at Cooking with Friends: Lexus Culinary Masters event in Brooklyn, May 27.

Lexus Culinary Master Carlo Mirarchi poses at Cooking with Friends in Brooklyn

Chef Carlo Mirarchi of of Roberta’s and Michelin-starred Blanca is the newest Lexus Culinary Master. Nearly 200 attendees gathered last night at Roberta’s restaurant in Brooklyn for the latest installation of “Cooking with Friends: Lexus Culinary Masters,” a unique dinner series that launched in September 2013 at Animal restaurant in Los Angeles. Visiting Lexus Culinary Masters Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (L.A.’s Animal and Son of a Gun) helped celebrate Mirarchi’s addition to the lineup and worked alongside their good friend to create the menu for this urban garden party.

Lexus Culinary Masters Jon Shook, Vinny Dotolo and Carlo Mirarchi pose with the Lexus IS F SPORT at Cooking with Friends

Lexus Culinary Masters Jon Shook, Vinny Dotolo and Carlo Mirarchi

“Our team of Lexus Culinary Masters continually pursue perfection in their craft and exemplify the core values of the Lexus brand,” said Brian Smith, Lexus vice president of marketing. “Chef Mirarchi’s passion aligns with Lexus’ desire to innovate. He is willing to push the envelope to develop groundbreaking cuisine, and we’re excited to welcome him to the group.”

Chefs Jon Shook, Vinny Dotolo and Carlo Mirarchi

Lexus Culinary Masters Jon Shook, Vinny Dotolo and Carlo Mirarchi pose with the Lexus IS F SPORT

“As a fan of motor sports, I am excited for this opportunity to partner with Lexus,” said Mirarchi. “I look forward to working with this stand-out group of chefs, including Chefs Kostow, Dotolo, and Shook whom I already have great relationships with, and hopefully getting some time on the racetrack!”

Roberta's Pizza Brooklyn

Wood-Fired Pizzas at Roberta’s in Brooklyn

Finding success in both a casual pizzeria and a fine dining environment, Chef Mirarchi is the owner of Brooklyn hot spots Roberta’s and Michelin-starred Blanca. Self-taught, he continues to push gastronomic boundaries with cutting-edge menus. He became an early adopter of the urban farming movement in New York City with the launch of his restaurant rooftop garden, and he strives to preserve Brooklyn as one of the top food meccas in the country.

Spicy Beef Tendon Chip with Charred Onion Pho Dip

Spicy Beef Tendon Chip with Charred Onion Pho Dip

First unveiled in 2011, the Lexus Culinary Masters partner with Lexus on marketing initiatives and act as ambassadors for the brand. The roster of celebrated chefs includes: Michelle Bernstein, chef/owner at Michy’s and Crumb on Parchment; Daniel Boulud, chef/owner of The Dinex Group restaurants; Michael Chiarello, chef/owner of Bottega and Coqueta; Dean Fearing, chef/partner of Fearing’s Restaurant; Christopher Kostow, executive chef of The Restaurant at Meadowood; Masaharu Morimoto, chef/owner of Morimoto restaurants; Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, chefs/owners of Animal, Son of a Gun and Trois Mec; and Michael Symon, chef/owner of Lola Bistro. The team regularly creates memorable culinary experiences at Lexus events for their epicurean-loving fans.

Lexus Culinary Masters

Learn more about Lexus Culinary Masters HERE

Roberta’s Pizza – 261 Moore St, Brooklyn, NY 11206 website 

Blanca –  261 Moore St, Brooklyn, NY 11206 website

Pebble Beach Food and Wine Weekend April 10-13

Pebble Beach Food Wine - Food Fashionista

There are still some tickets left for this weekend’s Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival. PBFW is the premier epicurean lifestyle event on the West Coast, matching 250 acclaimed wineries and 75 celebrity chefs to create a hedonistic four-day destination on one of the most picturesque strips of coastline in the world. Throughout the weekend you’ll enjoy intimate access to the pinnacle of culinary and wine talent at wine tastings, cooking demos, and some of the most exclusive, unique dining opportunities available in the world.

Get tickets at: PBFW 2014

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company on the PCH

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company

Just a short jaunt from San Francisco is the picturesque coastal town of Half Moon Bay – the famed spot where surfers from around the globe gather to attend the annual Mavericks surf competition, and a relaxing spot along the Pacific Coast Highway where some lucky locals get to call home.

Half Moon Bay Brewing Co.- Food Fashionista

One thing residents and visitors have in common when they find themselves with a little free time in this coastal neck of the woods, is a visit to Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. Casual and inviting, this quintessential California surf shack was name one of America’s best beach bars by Travel + Leisure magazine. Beer lovers will appreciate the 1,200 square-foot Mavericks Beer Garden and on-site brewery, where hand-crafted, award-winning Mavericks® Beers & Ales are piped directly to the bar. The Mavericks Amber Ale won a bronze medal in the 2012 World Beer Cup, and the Ocho Barril Saison won Best in Show for session beers and the gold medal in the Wood/Smoke Ale category at the California State Fair in June 2013.

image

At a recent Beer vs. Wine dinner event, guests were treated to a four-course meal prepared by Half Moon Bay Brewing Company Chef Gaston Alfaro with select pairings of beer and wine from in-house brewmaster James Costa and Hatcher Winery’s Sewell Hatcher respectively.

The evening’s dishes spotlighted local farms in every course and although ballots were taken at the end of the meal to determine a winner, it was no doubt a friendly competition where diners, and all those tinvolved were asking themselves…why isn’t beer and wine simultaneously paired with every meal.

Half Moon Bay Brewing Co.- Food Fashionista

Here are some more photos from the event, and a schedule of some upcoming beer and cheese (yup, you heard it right) dinners taking place at the brewery:

CHEESE & BEER MENU 2014

March 1-8
Chicken with Cilantro Lime Vodka Cream Sauce, Red Hawk Cheese and Sundried Tomatoes
Paired with Princeton-by-the-Sea IPA

March 9-15
Savory Spinach and Cheesy Artichoke Bread Pudding
Paired with Bootlegger Brown Ale

March 16-22
Gourmet Grilled Cheese Panini with Housemade Beer Bread
Paired with Big Break Ale 

March 23-31
Queso Blanco with Cochinita, topped with Housemade Beer Bread Crumbs
Served with Crispy Pita Chips
Paired with Mavericks Amber Ale

For more info, visit Half Moon Bay Brewing Company

 

MICHELIN Guides San Francisco 2014 Star Gala

Bibendum Michelin Guide - Food Fashionista

‘Tis the season for Michelin Guide releases! It’s the time of the year that the most highly-regarded chefs around the globe wait in anticipation for THAT phone call, and then breathe a sigh of relief (or not), for about a week until they warrior back in their kitchens until next year’s announcements.

Michelin Guide Gala 2014

With lovely ladies Martina Kostow, Dominique Crenn, Heidi Brown, Amanda Lam. Where’s #DaisyLainu?

MICHELIN Gala - San Francisco                                          It isn’t a party without never ending bubbly

On a recent, crisp, fall evening in San Francisco, I attended the San Francisco MICHELIN gala at the opulent Bently Reserve to celebrate the launch of the MICHELIN Guide San Francisco, Bay Area and Wine Country 2014 Guide. Gastronomy-loving guests mingled with their favorite local culinary stars  while enjoying a champagne reception, and a walk-around tasting featuring cuisine from select Michelin-starred chefs/restaurants including Mourad Lahlou (Aziza), Mark Sullivan (Spruce), Lissa Doumani and Hiro Sone (Ame’), Teague Moriarty and Matt McNamara (Sons and Daughters).

Michelin Chefs - Food Fashionista

Chefs Alexa Atala, David Kinch, Dominique Crenn, Corey Lee, Josh Skenes, Daniel Patterson

Spotted in the well-heeled crowd enjoying an extremely rare Tuesday night off were chefs Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood), David Breeden (French Laundry), Josh Skenes (Saison), Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn), Daniel Patterson (Coi), Corey Lee (Benu), David Kinch (Manresa), James Syhabout (Commis), and powerhouse Brazilian chef Alex Atala of restaurant D.O.M. in São Paulo who was in town for the release of his new cookbook.

Mourad Lahlou, Michael Ellis, Teague Moriary62427                  Michelin’s Michael Ellis with Chefs Mourad Lahlou and Teague Moriarty

Truffle                                 This truffle fit perfectly into my purse ;D

Michelin Guide Director Michael Ellis flew in from Paris for the special event, and was delighted to enjoy a reunion with Le Toque Executive Chef Ken Frank, who Ellis had worked with many years back. Isn’t it funny how food always brings people back together.

Quince Chef Michael Tusk MichelinBibendum flexing with Bay Area’s newest MICHELIN two-star chef, Michael Tusk (Quince)

Mika Takeuchi - Michelin Guide Sons and Daughters                            Plating with the chefs from Sons and Daughters

Michelin Guide Restaurants and Chefs San Francisco Bay Area                                                   Striking a well-deserved pose

Christopher Kostow, Joshua Skenes

Michelin Guide Gala 2014                                             Team French Laundry in the House!!!

Michelin Guide Gala Desserts

Michelin Guide San Francisco 2014           Saison SF Caneles Michelin Guide                    Concluding the night in style with Shawn Gawle’s Canelés at Saison

Along with stellar food recommendations, Michelin is the go-to guide for all things travel. Whether it’s road trippin’ in Arizona, or livin’ it up in the French Riviera, Michelin has you covered. As a MICHELIN Brand Ambassador, I’m excited to offer you a discount on the guides that accompany me on my travel journeys. Just click on the widget below. They make fab holiday gifts for food lovers, travel junkies, and future explorers as well!

This article is part of my Brand Ambassador features for MICHELIN.