FoodChain: Spring Is in the Air
Thursday, March 17, 2005
FIRST THINGS FIRST… It’s crab season, so stop acting crabby and go get some. Stillwater Bar & Grill, a far-too-underutilized (by locals) natural resource, is offering a mouth-watering selection of appetizer-sized dishes featuring the curmudgeonly crustacean. Come out of your shell and stop into Stillwater to remind yourself just how lucky we are to live this close to a place like that. Call 625-8524, make a reservation and do it right.
On March 25, Montrio Bistro, in downtown Monterey, is celebrating its 10th anniversary by bringing back a squadron of guest chefs, all former Montriolians, to bang out a grand multi-course meal. Current Chef Tony Baker will swing with Brian Whitmer, Neil Dunn, Todd Fisher, Boris Ilabaca, Jeff Jake and Gene Moana. Wines from Montrio’s cellar will be served alongside.
Believe me, that kitchen will be swingin’ with all those wackos back there and I don’t see how that party can possibly wrap up at any respectable hour. The evening starts with a 6:30pm champagne reception and passed appetizers, then gets into the course-by-course eating/drinking orgy (did he say orgy?). The price is $95 per person, plus you’ll have to pay the tax and you better fork over a nice gratuity—any servers having to put up with that many crazy chefs in one night are going to be earning their living. I guarantee it will be worth every dollar.
There won’t be many reservations still available when this hits the streets, but certainly get on the phone to 648-8880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org immediately to try to get in. Offer to come early and polish silverware or something.
REAL AUDIO… Check out the delightful new show on KRML radio weekdays from 5 to 6pm. It’s called “For Locals Only” with Gary Hamada, one of the driving forces behind all the happening new stuff at KRML. They’re broadcasting across the Internet at krmlradio.com and hitting fans across the whole world. Gary interviews local movers and shakers about all types of issues and events and does a great job at spreading the word about life in these here parts, although he must be having trouble landing decent guests…he’s actually had to resort to interviewing me a few times. Of course, there’s always great music to be heard—just check out George Fuller’s continuous onslaught of incredible tunes—he’s like a one-man music generating machine. KRML is going stronger than ever.
CRYSTAL BALL GAZING… Spring Festival at Roy’s is almost here. Join celebrated namesake Roy Yamaguchi at three exciting events: Thursday, March 31, Ohana-style cooking demo in the herb garden, followed by a four-course luncheon—oh yeah. That same Thursday evening, Roy, a four-course dinner and Testarossa Vineyards wines—double oh yeah. Friday, April 1, Roy, four-course dinner, Shafer Vineyards—game, set and match, baby. Call 647-7500 now.
April 2 is an exciting day (did I mention it’s my birthday?). Aside from that, there are more important things going on. Check out Talbott Vineyards’ tasting room for a really interesting evening of wine, appetizers and cool music. Richard DeVinck will be playing his unique brand of classic rock songs done in classical guitar style. Frankly, in many cases, his versions of the songs we all heard so often are superior to the originals. Oh yeah, there will also be a few flagons full of great wines, nice light appetizers to munch on…a feast for the senses. It runs from 6 to 8pm so call 659-3500 to reserve a spot. If you see me, wish me happy birthday—did I mention?
Earlier on that day, April 2 (my birthday), from 3 to 6pm, support the Sally Griffin Center’s Active Living Programs for our seniors with an afternoon of wine, food and Bocce Ball. Mike Marotta, Jr. will be running a ferocious tournament of Boccesteros (?) for the Big Salami first prize. Maestro Marotta, Sr. will be playing music with a few friends and everyone will have fun, guaranteed. It’s an important event for a great organization and takes place at Casa Pacheco. Tickets are $50, so call Linda Strohl at 375-4454 or email@example.com to buy them. If you see me there, wish me a…
Next evening, that’s April 3 for y’all with a hangover, is the American Culinary Federation Chef of the Year Banquet. I don’t know who is this year’s recipient yet, but I’m almost 100 percent sure that my name was not in the running. I will be there enjoying the festivities, however, which are being held at Spanish Bay. If you see me there, it is the day after my birthday, after all. Actually, the party is for a much bigger purpose than that and recognizes a local chef who has attained a level of professional excellence, supported community causes and is an all-around good guy. You should check this event out, it’s like going to a heads-of-state dinner, very elegant, very formal, yet very heartwarming—these chefs are a tight-knit bunch. Call 484-2599 to join the festivities.
April 27 is the annual wacko restaurant/wine industry golf outing by the California Restaurant Association. It’s at Bayonet and you all know what I’m talking about. Golf, food, drink, prizes, more food, more drink, more prizes…Contact Cindy Walter at 596-2869 or firstname.lastname@example.org to host a hole, sign up for golf, donate auction items, make a dinner reservation, whatever. If you get me on the phone when you call, wish me…actually, you dialed the wrong number.
Right around a few more corners comes the Monterey Wine Festival.
AND ETC.… So much more to write about…had a great barrel tasting with Dylan and Tobe Sheldon out at Steve Pessagno’s winery on River Road. You should go out and see how well Steve’s doing with his hot Pessagno label and taste his wines. He’s letting Dylan make his Sheldon Wines there (they’re old friends) and I must say, they’ve made an impressive debut. I’ll write more about them next time. For now, check out our old buddy from the local wine world, Kerry Winslow’s new website, grapelive.com. He writes about all types of wine-related stuff and gives very nice insight into the world of grape lovers. He was out tasting Sheldon Wines along with me, Sweet Thing, the Sheldons, Paul Fried and Gary Obligacion from Bernardus Lodge. We were all ultra-impressed. The wines are all around town but it’s a very small production so contact Dylan and Tobe at sheldonwines.com or 663-5432 for more info. Cheers y’all.