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
The Iron Chef Dinner
Chefs Masaharu Morimoto, Geoffrey Zakarian, Michael Symon
Saturday Lexus Grand Tasting
An Italian Love Affair
Chefs Paul Bartolotta, Michael White, Nancy Silverton, Matt Molina, Fabio Viviani, Dahlia Narvaez
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.