Now’s As Good As Ever
Thursday, February 17, 2005
IT'S ALL TOO MUCH… Today I am a butterfly (no wisecracks). Today I flutter around in my little butterfly home, preening my beautiful butterfly wings, polishing my cute little butterfly shoes, freshening my delicate butterfly senses. Tonight I am unleashed upon the most magnificent field of flowers where I dance from petal to petal immersing myself in the nectar, morphing into flower itself, becoming the very essence of the one and only Masters of Food and Wine opening night.
I breathe in my deepest, most life-enriching breaths, each scented by a thousand glorious aromas. My eyes focus like the Hubble Telescope upon every immaculate particle of perfect culinary and viticultural expression. My finely-honed instincts terrestrially guide me from morsel of this, to sip of that…I give myself completely to the infinite wisdom of the collective assembly. I am free.
At the risk of appearing too melodramatic—at this point, were I to really let loose in this forum, most readers would certainly force the remainder of the writing into the nearest shredding machine—I do so love the Masters of Food and Wine. Today it begins, Sunday it concludes. To not experience something of it is to miss the very best our hedonistically advanced wine and food world has to offer. I wish you all the opportunity to taste it.
SALINAS MEXICANO… If you don’t have tickets to Saturday night at the Masters, try a little jaunt to the Steinbeck Center for The Main Event: Cruisin’ The Sea of Cortez. It’s a fundraiser for the Steinbeck Center’s educational programs and features the Center’s transformation from museum to cruise liner. Like any good cruise, the Main Event includes great music and food, fantastic drinks, dancing plus silent and live auctions.
There’s a cruise raffle (for a sea-going vessel) for a seven-night cruise to the Mexican Riviera, plus a treasure chest and a $10,000 Reverse Draw (I’m sorry, but I don’t really know what that is). Whatever, I’m sure these folks know what they’re doing, because this party is like a big cruise—fun is the driving force.
There’ll be a family style banquet catered by One Main Street Café complete with Mexican/Tropical cuisine like Achiote Grilled Prawns, blackened Tilapia and fried plantains with tequila sauce. A Monterey County wines and margarita bar hosted by Hullaballoo will be complemented by a no-host full bar for those folks who enjoy libations of a different color.
The Shan Johnson Band, steel drums by Pan Ecstasy and exotic animals from Wild Things will add just the right atmosphere, so dress up in your cruise ship dining attire, head on down to the dock at One Main Street and shove off for a night of good times. Call 775-4721 or get online at steinbeckstore.org.
TASTER PLATE… Don’t forget the Sardine Factory’s February promotion for lovers. Write about your most romantic personal experience at the Sardine Factory, regarding the occasion and possibly win dinner along with a one-night stay for two at the Monterey Bay Inn. It just underwent a two-million-bean renovation and is looking just fine and dressed so pretty. For info call 373-3775, visit sardinefactory.com or go down there and see big Mike at the bar or the world’s sexiest sommelier, Marc Cutino (he’s gonna kill me for that).
Wednesday the 23rd, don’t forget the first International Flavors of Marina event. It takes place at the UCMBEST Center at Marina Airport (about two par-five’s across Reservation Road from Cuqui’s Cars, the nation’s friendliest and most honest auto dealership) and will feature the diverse cuisine of Marina’s restaurants, plus local wineries, breweries and other fun things to do.
The Marina Hospitality Association, a great group of local business owners sculpting the landscape of Marina’s dining, hospitality and all-around service scene, is behind the event, along with the Marina Chamber of Commerce and the City of Marina.
Dishes Bistro, Wild Thyme Deli/Michael’s Catering, Korean BBQ, AJ Spurs, El Palmar, Lockwood, Joullian, Paraiso, Scheid, Pavona, English Ales, Monterey Coast Brewing are just some of the many food, wine and beer companies represented at this inaugural affair.
Tickets are only $20 and include all the tasting for this event that runs from 5:30 until 8:30pm…that’s like a tip. You’ve got to be a fool to be so uncool as to not go to Marina to check out the scene-a (ouch). Call Andre at Dishes, 883-1207 and find out more.
On Sunday the 27th, in the Grand Ballroom at Embassy Suites in Seaside, the 14th annual Academy Awards Party With Oscar event takes place. It’s organized by MCAP, which, if you have read this collection of chaotic consonants even semi-regularly, you’ll recognize as the Monterey County AIDS Project. It’s a very important organization and the proceeds from this event will go to benefit HIV/AIDS education and prevention in Monterey County schools.
For a mere $45 in advance, $50 at the door, you’ll have a
blast at this fun, irreverent night of glamour and excitement.
There are drawings for prizes, a wonderful silent auction and
the highlight each year, choosing the best costume…this year’s
theme is Mae West, that immortal goddess of grand damery. So
dress up like your favorite star, dress up like Mae West, even
dress up like yourself and get down there for a fun night of
watching the big show on giant screens, eating delicious food
and drinking wine and other goodies. Call 394-4747, ext. 18
today to get tickets.
UP ON FOREST HILL… I told Calvin and Michele at Fifi’s about Dylan Sheldon’s great new wines. They got together and tasted…next thing you know, Fifi’s is bringing in Dylan’s Chardonnay, his Gigondas-style Syrah/Grenache blend and the amazing Petite Sirah. Not only that, but Sheldon Wines will be the featured wine at an upcoming wine dinner at Fifi’s in a few weeks. By the way, the red velvet curtains at Fifi’s have elevated the look of that place to magical status. Check it out. Also, add Fifi’s to the growing list of retail outlets for this wonderful new star on the wine scene. For more info, call Fifi’s at 372-5325 or Sheldon Wines at 235-2722. Have a Masterful weekend…live today like there’s no tomorrow.