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Monday, January 19, 2015

2014 Foodie Moments Around Monterey Bay

I ran into this guy at the Monterey Peninsula  College Farmers Market on Friday Am last Spring (2014) and he had this Porcini from Pebble Beach which looks great but I am told could be filled with  worms???  Last year we had a fair mushroom season on the Monterey Peninsula but 2015 will be epic I'm told and so far I've seen some awesome mushrooms both on my hiking trails in Pebble and PG and in Big Sur Forests.  My word of caution, please do not eat mushrooms you pick unless you have someone 100% verify that they are edible.  

Forge in the Forest small bites at the Carmel By the Glass event in September.   This annual event benefits the Carmel Mission and is sponsored by local wineries and restaurants who host strolling guests at downtown Devendorf Park.  Just a note for the history books;  Jack Galante's (of Galante Wines) grandfather was the Devendorf of Carmel that this park is named in his honor.  He and his partner formed the Carmel Development Company to sell seaside lots to the professors and academics from Stanford University and SF socialites.  Seems like that he was somewhat successful as Carmel can boast both thinkers, drinkers and social types alike.  

The master chef of La Balena in Carmel showed off his rustic bruschetta on wooden planks to the crowd's pleasure at Carmel by the Glass.

I picked 70 pounds of Serendipity Tomatoes out on Carmel Valley Road in August 2014 and made fresh bruschetta and, tomato sauce for the winter months ahead.  We  had fresh tomatoe mozzarella basil salads every week for the whole month of August into September this year due to our seasonally warm summer with endless days of 80 and 90 degree temperatures.  Not a normal summer along the California Coast of Monterey but we'll take it.

The last sit down dinner at the Independent Marketplace hosted by Happy Girl Kitchens, Fresh Catch and Serendipity Farms providing their amazing tomatoes.

Heart shaped beets and hummus appetizers were provided by Rancho Cielo youth kitchen staff who served and were greatly appreciated with praise and applause at the end of this communal meal of supporters for the Independent Marketplace.

La Balena's bruschettas on plank at the Carmel By the Glass.  

Photographer Patrice Ward appreciates a good meatball when he smells it at Carmel by the Glass.

Flashback 2014 Big Sur Food and Wine Festival - November 8th, 2014

King of festivities and fun, Mr. Toby Rowland and his seemingly effortless hosting of the day.
The king of Red Wine, Mr. Pisoni in the flesh and always a smile that kills you with joy and intoxication of his passion for wine and food.    

My favorite wine experience with Tercero Wines and Larry Schaffler and his home-made breads and Artisan Rhone Wine and Red Wines.  What great flavors of both he shared with us that day.  Thanks Larry, you are a wine maker from the heart.

Alvarado Street Brewery served up their small bites of duck ham and micrograms in a pomegranite vinaigrette

Shrock Dairy with their 3rd generation of cheese and fine milk producers located on their hill above the 101 in Salinas Valley, CA   You can tell they use happy cows ... they really have something to smile about.  

The Solano's of Haute Enchilada in Moss Landing and their amazing dish of plantains with a mole sauce & creme and pumpkin seeds roasted sprinkled on top.  This was my favorite of the day of small tastings that took place in the magnificent redwood forest of Big Sur Pfeiffer State Park (under a tent) and with a small and more intimate selection of fine wines, foods and foodies of course.  Thanks to Toby Rowland who is always the ultimate host of the event.
Shades of Big Sur Food and Wine with this past year's (2014)  favorite moments of chefs, foods, wines and celebrations of all things edible.  This great four day event has occurred in Big Sur for the past six years with a wide variety of locations from Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park "The Big Sur Lodge" to "Ventana" and "Post Ranch" for the main tastings and a fine selection of restaurants for the specialty dinners and afternoon festivities;  Big Sur Lodge, Big Sur Bakery, Ventana, Redwood Grill, Big Sur Roadhouse, Sierra Mar and Pacific's Edge, to name a few.   I must say, I miss the wine walk at Post Ranch no longer offered and would love to do a hiking with stemware one year if I could get to the website before it sells out, but I can dream of another year in the Redwoods with the smell of porcini roasting on the grill, the smell of a crisp white wine and laughter and smiles echoing down the Sur.  Good memories, good food, good wine and a great event for a great purpose and community.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pebble Beach Food and Wine is right around the corner and in my backyard.  Another year of fantastic food and wine events that rival any other events in the USA now.  I've been a supporter, a volunteer, a dish washer and a food enthusiast for Rob and Dave's first year's event to present and believe that food is the way to our hearts and minds.  Wine helps support this philosophy and presents the flavors and tastings to a degree of excellence that makes this a spiritual mecca of sorts to the Pebble Beach tents popping up along the greens and fields of Pebble Beach Company.

What events will you be attending this year is always a hard choice which is the interesting thing about this event.  Everyone has their own tastes and with a selection of this magnitude, it can only be a wonderful surprise for your body, mind and soul.

I hope to be blogging from the tents and events - with fork in hand and glass primed for another trip to an exotic and tantalizing flavor from some of the best chefs in the world.  Celebrate - live - enjoy !

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Mucky Duck Brings it On!!!

Caught up with the Mucky Duck last Friday night to 'test the waters' with their new ownership and menu and what a great surprise.  Not only has the service become a big deal here but the food has gone off the charts!     I purposely came at a busy time to see how they were handling a Friday night before Halloween and they were prepping a costume party as well.  The teens ordered their Grilled Chicken sandwich, fries and a seafood pasta that was amazingly good with all fresh seafooda rich tomatoe sauce with a light sweetness to really let you taste the seafood piled on top of this BIG dish.   My order of mussels came and I couldn't believe the size and plumpness and grit-free with a hint of oregano and garlic.  The mussel sauce was soaked up with their fresh sourdough bread and this will really be one of my spots for mussels now.   I even tested a few of their draft brews which were very diverse in flavors and settled on the owner's choice (You'll have to ask Anthony the name!) which was a rich, creamy golden with a lovely aftertaste and not too hoppy.      The bone-in rib eye steak finally came (it was alittle on the well side) and was as tasty as the rest of the meal though.  The dinner was a good selection of what is on their menu and offered daily, plus the kids even liked it now and thought it was a great place to dine as a family.

All in all, knowing the fine dining at Tadich Grill has now come to Monterey via the Mucky Duck - I will be coming back for more of their fresh seafood, great grilled sandwiches and fine brews.  Can't wait for the brew dinner they are planning this month!  I see great success for this newly revived Monterey tavern and eatery.  Don't forget the "hangtown fry" one of the best from Tadich's menu now here in Monterey.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011


C Restaurant at the Intercontinental Hotel on Cannery Row (  has a great 3-course menu to enjoy.  I thought  I'd try something new and what a surprise their new organic "Air dryed" chicken with Truffle au jus from Mary's in Santa Cruz Mtns.  A plump flavor with lots of juice and just the right consistency of crisp skin.  Served with the starter, Tuna Tonato which is one of my favorites (can't get enough) with kale and calamari lightly fried with fresh lemon slices to accent the flavoring and a spicy chipolte sauce for dipping.  I selected the "New World Flight" of sparkling wines that really bring up the flavor of all the dishes we tried, including the swordfish with seaweed salad and wasabi cream.  Dessert was a chocolate praline crunch bar that hit the spot and of course, their presentation from Jerry Register's kitchen staff and General Manager, Sonny Peterson was first class all the way.  This restaurant wins my best for a civilized and inviting menu to enjoy with the backdrop of the peaceful waves on the Monterey Bay.  Thanks for a great Monterey Bay Restaurant Week 3-course experience!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Old Fisherman's Grotto really has the 3-course menu down.  Their starters begin with their famous calamari with the lightest of coating and the tenderest of fish cooked to perfection.  The macadamian crusted Halibut with sweet potatoes coated in maple syrup was so balanced in flavors, you can't help but finish the dish.  Scallops were lightly seared with a beurre blanc with a light citrus flavor.  The desserts included pumpkin cheesecake and tapioca pudding with mango and strawberries and the wine was even 25% off.  The ambiance is QEII as you float along on the wharfside location with the finest of service and quality of food.  Chris Shake sure delivers the best of the best for MBRW.
New York City's Food and Wine blog has some great pumpkin receipes for upcoming season.  Pumpkin mashed potatoes and pumpkin stuffing are my suggestions.

Check out their site;