Thursday, March 6, 2003
MEA CULPA...You know me. I'd really like to be spitting some vinegar about this mixed up world right now-and chances are that before we're through I might-but there are a lot of interesting things to write about around here. Firstly, I would like to set the record straight about something I wrote a few weeks back when I mentioned MER SOLEIL'S CHUCK WAGNER as being deceased. Phyllis Turner, Communications Director for Mer Soleil was kind enough and extremely understanding enough to send me the word about the Wagners.
When I mentioned "the late Chuck Wagner" I should have written Charlie, who passed away a year ago. He, along with son Chuck, founded CAYMUS VINEYARDS in 1972. Meanwhile, Young Charlie, Chuck's son, Charlie's Grandson, works alongside Dad and became winemaker at 21, making him the fourth generation in the Wagner family to join in the wine business. He is also the fifth Charles Wagner in the family, going back to their roots in Alsace. Thank you Phyllis for setting the record straight.
YOU-A CULPA...Around the same time, maybe even in the same article, I inadvertently referred to UC DAVIS as both "Cal State Davis" and "Davis (Cal State)." One Marlys Maher from Salinas was nice enough to send The Weekly a letter saying the article was "badly flawed and lost credibility." She went on to write that she was "sure you (I) have assaulted and insulted (italics mine) many local UC Davis alumni. Be more careful about gross things like this, please."
To Ms. Maher I would just like to suggest that she please try to be a bit more forgiving both to simpletons like myself, as well as those poor unfortunates who actually had to attend Cal State Anywhere, who are more than likely wasting their days in squalor and decrepitude while whining about their misfortune at not having been ordained as students at UC Davis. I would apologize for the assault upon you and your fellow alumni, but I'm sure my own paltry status would only render it irrelevant.
HANGIN' AT THE BATHS...I was hanging out with my friend and cohort DOROTHY ILDIZ-MARAS, or Maras-Ildiz, or whatever her name is, from the OLD BATH HOUSE. She invited me down for a feed so CHEF BORIS could try out a few of the new menu items. After an appetizer and four straight entrees, many of which were accompanied by a stunning PUMARI PINOT NOIR (made by TALBOTT and real affordable), I asked if I could move into Boris's house and be his private valet.
The guy has put together some amazingly complex yet balanced dishes that showcase his fabulous flair with sauces. As usual, the Bath House staff, MARK, RYAN, ANTHONY, the lot of them, were professional without being stuffy and attentive without being cloying. Thanks Dorothy. By the way, she told me that my man MAX MURAMATSU is opening his own joint in PG up by the Grove Market somewhere. I'm sure she'll keep everyone informed in her column in the PACIFIC GROVE GAZETTE. If you haven't caught her stuff in print, check it out.
MUCH HULLABALLOO...I also had a pretty thrilling evening at HULLABALLOO in Salinas. CHEF TODD "please don't make me stay in the kitchen" FISHER rocked 105, that's right 105 diners in conjunction with the HAHN/SMITH & HOOK ESTATES latest release wines. I've been to a lot of wine dinners but I don't recall any that matched this one for sheer exuberance, energy and fun from the attendees and, especially, the hosts.
ADAM LAZARRE, winemaker, traded intros with Todd before each course while Hullaballoo partners BILL CASIO AND WIL REYNOLDS worked the room like Shecky Green at the Sands (before it was imploded). I was at a table with the King and Queen of the wine, spirits and hospitality business, CHERYL AND DAN WARNER, and everybody's favorite wine guru GEORGE EDWARDS, along with his wife CHARM.
The food and wines were outstanding and I was extremely impressed with the overall feel in the restaurant. I had arrived early so I went to the bar to have a pop while waiting and noticed the level of comfortable interaction between everyone. The Three Amigos have really done a nice job down in old downtown.
MONEY TO LEARN...Come on students. If you are a high school senior considering a career in food service and have applied to a vocational, two-year or four-year institution you can apply for the JOHN CHADWELL SCHOLARSHIP. It was established by the Monterey Chapter of the California Restaurant Association to honor the late John Chadwell, former Executive Director of THE PEBBLE BEACH COMPANY. The scholarship award ranges from $500 to $2,000. Applications are currently available so contact Becky Warren at 647-1474 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline is April 1. Don't be a fool, stay cool.
-CONSOLE RAY AT RAY@COASTWEEKLY.COM