Events | Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2012

When I first experienced the epicurean delights that abound at Pebble Beach Food & Wine, all I could think of as I sipped and sampled my way through the day was, I wish my husband could taste this! Oh, I had a wonderful time with friends, but I wished that he could experience the deliciousness too.

I got my wish.

Last year, I dipped a toe into the spectacular that is Pebble Beach, and this year, I feel very blessed to have been able to jump into the experience with my husband by my side. It was the ultimate date night (Nights! Three of them!) for us, and one that we will never forget. Yes, there were memorable tastes. And there was a dazzling array of chefs and fine wines. But there was something else that was quite different this year. After three days of indulgence, there were also new friendships, encounters with old friends, and meaningful conversations with the generous chefs, winemakers, sommeliers, and event organizers who make Pebble Beach Food & Wine so unique and very special.

We tasted bites that will be forever seared into our tongues’ memories – those life altering moments that change the way you think about food. I will never forget Chef Morimoto’s Bacon Marmalade Mochi with Toasted Hazelnuts, the tender pillows, warm in my hand and melting in my mouth, the sweet dough punctuated by the salty filling within. Michael Symon’s Dates with Pancetta – so unusual but made incredible sense. Johnny Iuzzini’s genius with flavors and his kind smile. Perfectly balanced macarons from Francois Payard. The freshness Michelle Bernstein brought to the protein-rich Opening Reception. Meeting the talent behind our favorite wines and discovering liquid gold. The Iron Chef Dinner and Geoffrey Zakarian finally gave me a soft-shell crab I could adore, through and through. An Italian Love Affair dinner brought us Nancy Silverton and Matt Molina’s vibrant Burrata with Beets, slippery, sassy, and oh so beautiful. And perhaps the shining dish for us both – Michael White’s superb Agnolotti Cacciagione Ripeno – a dish that brought tears to my eyes when I came to my last bite – sadness that it was gone but happiness that I had the chance to taste such divine richness.

I have for you today a very photo-heavy post. I could talk and talk and talk about each one, but I hope that the captions will transport you to our culinary adventure. And you get to “meet” my husband for the first time. I try to keep the focus on the food, but thought you might enjoy seeing us, too. And I know you will be wondering so I’ll just say it now – yes, that’s a shiner. Leave it to my husband to work out on Friday morning and come home from the gym with a black eye. Yet another reason to never forget this weekend! I still thought he looked quite handsome though.


Opening Night Reception

Opening Night Reception

The Inn at Spanish Bay, Opening Night Reception

The Iron Chef Dinner

Chefs Masaharu Morimoto, Geoffrey Zakarian, Michael Symon

The gorgeous view from the Lodge at Pebble Beach

Champagne Henriot, "Blanc de Blancs" to start the Iron Chef Dinner cocktail hour.

Masaharu Morimoto at The Iron Chef Dinner cocktail hour.

I had to tell Chef Morimoto how much I enjoyed his Bacon Marmalade Mochi from the prior evening's Opening Night Reception. He was so genuine and kind. (Blame hubby for the camera blur!)

The Iron Chef Dinner Menu

At the Iron Chef Dinner, The Pebble Beach Room

Saturday Lexus Grand Tasting

Grand Tasting Tent

Volunteers check tickets to enter the Grand Tasting Tent


One of the many tastes at the Saturday Lexus Grand Tasting

Chefs hard at work during the Saturday Grand Tasting

Vietnamese Style Pork Belly by David Lefevre of Manhattan Beach Post

Strawberry Gorgonzola Flatbread from Driscoll's Berries

Chef Josiah Citrin

By Chef Citrin

Cookies on a Stick by Sherry Yard

Sherry Yard

Desserts by the Yard by Sherry Yard

Pork Belly Bruschetta from US Foodservice

Chef Jourdan DeSanctis of US Foodservice San Francisco

Johnny Iuzzini Cookbook

The very talented Johnny Iuzzini

Chicken Spring Rolls with Sweet Chili Sauce by Chef Tomas Bagood

Running into our friends from Ridge Vineyards: Christopher Watkins & Eric Baugher

Bouchon by Thomas Keller

Bouchon's decadent seafood bar

Wagyu Beef

A photo with Chef Anne Burrell

Farro Risotto with Rock Shrimp by Chef Anne Burrell

Chris Cosentino

Radishes & Sea Urchin Butter by Chris Cosentino

Radishes & Sea Urchin Butter by Chris Cosentino

It's not just about the food & wine. A remarkable reproduction, in chalk.

An Italian Love Affair

Chefs Paul Bartolotta, Michael White, Nancy Silverton, Matt Molina, Fabio Viviani, Dahlia Narvaez

Ready for dinner.

Adami Prosecco, "Bosco di Gica"

Burrata with Beets, Spicy Horseradish Vinaigrette by Nancy Silverton & Matt Molina

Enjoying the view from The Lodge


Balsamic Lamb Meatball by Fabio Viviani


Multiple courses call for quite the table setting.

An Italian Love Affair Dinner Menu


Sometimes my words and photos can’t express things well enough. During Saturday’s Grand Tasting, while I was chatting with some of the winemakers, my husband was interviewed by KSBW’s May Chow. We chuckled about it later, but I do think he sums it pretty well, and their coverage does a great job conveying the celebration that is Pebble Beach Food & Wine.

KSBW Pebble Beach Food & Wine Coverage

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by Liren Baker on April 16, 2012

36 Responses to “Events | Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2012”

  1. Kiran @ April 16, 2012 @ 6:59 am (#

    What a great food event — I’ve always wanted to meet Iron Chef Morimoto :)

    • liren replied: — April 21st, 2012 @ 11:24 pm

      I hope you get a chance to meet him one day, Kiran :) I am always so impressed with how kind and genuine he is! Such a nice man! And amazing chef :)

  2. lea davenport April 16, 2012 @ 8:13 am (#

    You look gorgeous!!!

    • liren replied: — April 21st, 2012 @ 11:25 pm

      Thank you so much, Lea!

  3. Elizabeth @ Saffron Lane April 16, 2012 @ 8:43 am (#

    Even though I sadly had to sit it out this year, I thank you for transporting me to one of my favorite events! I also dream of taking my husband one of these years. The last couple times I was a working girl, so it would be so nice to actually relax, mingle and savor the event. You look absolutely stunning, too!

    • liren replied: — April 21st, 2012 @ 11:26 pm

      I can only imagine how fun (and challenging) it must have been to work the event, Elizabeth. Hopefully next year, you can get a much needed date day/night with your husband and enjoy it together! And thank you, so so much, it was fun to get dressed up – always a treat :)

  4. Monica April 16, 2012 @ 10:07 am (#

    Wow…what beautiful photos…it is just amazing how good everthing looked …and the presentation had the wow factor!! putting on my bucket list.

    • liren replied: — April 21st, 2012 @ 11:27 pm

      Thank you, Monica! I’m so glad you enjoyed the photos!

  5. Celina April 16, 2012 @ 10:33 am (#

    Looked like such a great time, Liren! I’m glad you had the chance to bring the hubby – I totally would want mine along with me at an event like this!

    By the way – I’m in LOVE with the blue dress you wore at the Iron Chef Dinner! Would you mind letting us know who made it? :)

    • liren replied: — April 21st, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

      That dress is so fun, isn’t it? Found it at Nordies, I believe it is by JS Boutique. Hope you are able to find it!

  6. Laura (Tutti Dolci) April 16, 2012 @ 11:31 am (#

    So fun to see your pictures of this fabulous event. I grew up on the Monterey Peninsula and Pebble Beach is one of my favorite spots. You look stunning, by the way!

    • liren replied: — April 21st, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

      Laura, you grew up in paradise! How wonderful!

      And thank you, so much :) It was nice to get dressed up for a change!

  7. Olga @ MangoTomato April 16, 2012 @ 12:24 pm (#

    You guys are such a good looking couple!! And I love that you blamed your husband for the blurry shot :)

    The food looks spectacular and so does the photo of an ochid.

    • liren replied: — April 21st, 2012 @ 11:30 pm

      Aw, thanks so much Olga! And ha ha, gotta blame someone for that shot :)

  8. Patty April 16, 2012 @ 2:19 pm (#

    Wonderful photos Liren! Looks like you had so much fun and the tastings all look delicious;-)

    • liren replied: — April 21st, 2012 @ 11:31 pm

      Thanks Patty! It was a memorable time, indeed.

  9. Priscilla - She's Cookin' April 16, 2012 @ 4:54 pm (#

    Speechless – an epicurean delight for all the senses! Pebble Beach is beyond beautiful – how wonderful that you were able to experience these three delicious days with your hubby! Thank you for sharing your stunning photos with us :)

    • liren replied: — April 21st, 2012 @ 11:33 pm

      Yes, Pebble Beach is beyond beautiful! I hope to return every year (crossing fingers).

  10. Trish April 16, 2012 @ 4:55 pm (#

    Wow, forget the food, YOU look amazing. Love both dresses and the shoes. Really beautiful! Great re-cap. Seems like you had a fabulous weekend.

    • liren replied: — April 21st, 2012 @ 11:34 pm

      Oh, you are making me blush, Trish :) Thank you!!!!

  11. Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet } April 16, 2012 @ 6:57 pm (#

    WOW!!!! What a great post and looks like you and hubby had a wonderful time. You look stunning! {Love the glittery shoes}. The recap of photos was AMAZING! Might just have to drag my hubby there next year! ;-) I bet the dinners were out of this world – next time we get together I would love to hear all about them. :-)

    • liren replied: — April 21st, 2012 @ 11:35 pm

      Yes! Bring the hubs next year – we would love to meet up and enjoy it together!

  12. Holly April 17, 2012 @ 5:34 am (#

    First of all your dresses are beautiful and you look fabulous!

    Second this looks like an amazing event. Great venue and great chefs. I’m beyond jealous. :)

    • liren replied: — April 21st, 2012 @ 11:36 pm

      Aw, thank you so much, Holly! I am so very flattered!

  13. Jean April 17, 2012 @ 7:56 am (#

    Beautiful images, Liren–of you and your hubs, the scenery and of course the food! Thanks for taking us to PBFW with us on this post. Gorgeous, all of it!

    • liren replied: — April 21st, 2012 @ 11:37 pm

      Thanks Jean!! I was thinking of you as I was sampling my way around!

  14. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts April 17, 2012 @ 8:57 am (#

    What a great event! You look gorgeous!

    • liren replied: — April 21st, 2012 @ 11:38 pm

      Thank you so much, Erin!

  15. Jen Laceda @ Tartine and Apron Strings April 17, 2012 @ 10:45 am (#

    i’m so jealous in many different levels, Liren! All the star chefs – oh my!!! your food and wine events in the US is waaaay more exciting and star-studded than here in Toronto!! Yes, Chef Morimoto…i ‘rav’ him!!! And Chef Josiah Citrin? He was in the Robb Report in 2009/2010 for serving the most expensive mac and cheese with truffle!!! Thanks for sharing!

    • liren replied: — April 21st, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

      You will have to take a trip out here, Jen! It’s one to add to your list of travels for sure :) And yes, Chef Citrin’s dish was clean and impeccable – but now I’m craving mac and cheese with truffles :)

  16. Stacie D April 18, 2012 @ 6:29 am (#

    Wow! Gorgeous setting, fabulous food and wine and a triple threat date night. What more could you want?

    • liren replied: — April 21st, 2012 @ 11:40 pm

      Nothing more! It was a fairy tale (and I wish it didn’t end) :)

  17. Jennifer (Delicieux) April 18, 2012 @ 9:10 pm (#

    Wow, what an amazing event full of amazing chefs in an absolutely beautiful setting. The food looks divine too, especially the beet and buratta, something I would adore. You and your husband make such a cute couple too :D

    • liren replied: — April 21st, 2012 @ 11:42 pm

      Aw, thank you so much, Jennifer. My husband and I definitely had a great time together. And yes, the beet and burrata – so incredible!

  18. Gina April 30, 2012 @ 10:40 pm (#

    Had to get over here and see all the amazingness I missed. Now I’m bummed, but you and hubs are one hottie couple. I may have to drag Hot Dog Dude there for a date weekend next year. I’ve enjoyed living through your trip though. Hope all is well.

  19. small bites menu lakeland June 17, 2014 @ 1:59 am (#

    There is definately a lot to find out about this issue.

    I really like all the points you made.

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