Wednesday, August 12, 2015

1MB Travels: Pebble Beach: Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival Day 1

If you looked up the definition of "destination food fest," it would probably simply read: Pebble Beach Food & Wine.

Held at the ultra exclusive Pebble Beach Resort within the raw-power-of-nature-flush-against-manicured-lush-luxury landscape of 18-mile drive, the event beckons food and wine enthusiasts from all over the country, and the majority of those who make the trek bunkers down for the four day marathon.

We were excited to arrive in time for a gorgeous sunset over the lawn / cliffs, and for the Opening Reception!

First things first: wine is the best form of welcome after travelling, and we made a beeline for the roses being showcased.  With all the choices of wine being featured, one of my favorites as a wine noob was actually Miraval (yes, that winery, owned by Brangelina): ripe with gorgeous color, and unexpectedly lovely (celebrity produced can be sophisticated yet accessible too :)).

With booths set up over three giant rooms of the resort hotel, it was our foodie / wino playground to explore.

For more on wine, check out Please the Palate's blog, but as for food...Roy's set a high bar in terms of tastings from the start: their Monterey Bay Abalone Raviolo, with abalone mousse and lomi lomi watermelon was divine.  The raviolo skin had a nice char and was crisp yet yieldy at the same time - reminding me of gyoza skin.

Chef Anita Lo travelled from NYC to personally serve up, at the Annisa station, beautiful Razor Clam Ceviche, pistachio, heart of palm and spring garlic.

The Plumed Horse wins for one of the best plating station displays, with what looks like handcarved wood bowls of puffed tendon, chanterelles and preserved black truffles to serve as toppings for their Italian Barley Risotto. 

Hudson Valley made me an offer I can never resist: foie gras terrine.  Yes, please.

Next stall over, was a creative dessert mixing savory, tart and sweet: Roasted Strawberries, with ricotta mousse and candied celery from The Absinthe Group.  I may have had 2 or 6 of these.

Puur Chocolate had a very popular station, with a half dozen chocolate truffles for sampling, plus some dramatic confectionary wizardry happening on the side, with liquid nitrogen clouds streaming where a chef was creating frozen chocolate pebbles infused with tea.  The texture was a bit like astronaut ice cream - fun!

All in all, a fantastic, delicious, fun first night teasing of what's to come at what I liked to call Luxe Summer Camp for Foodies.

Check out my recaps of Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4 soon!

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