It’s All Good
Thursday, April 12, 2007
OUT AND ABOUT…I’ve got writer’s block today. Had it yesterday and the day before (yeah, and every other day too, right Martha?). Things were easier when I was angry all the time. I am losing my edge. I’m nowhere near as inclined to launch into a diatribe about all the horrible things in the world; now I’m just mister mellow, seeing only beauty. I think the Dalai Lama is credited with saying: “Be the change you want to see in the world,” or something like that. I know what he means.
This weekend I’ll be up at the Sonoma Film Festival. A few weeks ago I mentioned that SCOTT BROWN was starting the Carmel Film Festival next year. The folks who run the Sonoma festival are going to be involved with Scott so he’s there doing his thing. I’m going because, well, because I love film, and there have to be some good parties going on, don’t you think? Stay tuned for updates on the Carmel Film Festival.
SWEET THING and I hit the CASA Monterey special fundraising event at Hyatt Regency last week—what a beautiful affair. The Hyatt folks transformed the ballroom into a replica of the Cotton Club, and Dennis Murphy tore up the stratosphere with his 17-piece big band. The food was really exceptional, the auctions raised a bunch of money and, lo and behold, DAVID BERNAHL was there—and with a microphone in his hand. I swear that Pacific Tweeder gets out more than a referee’s flag at a Raiders game.
SMALLTOWN CITY…Stop into the Covey at Quail Lodge around happy hour and try the Five at Five deal. Great apps, various wine and drink deals, TOM FICHERA in a snappy sport coat, lovely LYNDA behind the bar…you’ll not regret it…had a fun little lunch at the Tap Room the other day with beverage director “DIAMOND” JOHN WINFIELD and Pebble Beach Market Wine Czaress WENDY “BOOTS” HEILMAN. When John’s iced tea arrived, it came with a little carafe of clear liquid. It was simple syrup, basically diluted sugar in water, because regular sugar doesn’t dissolve well in cold liquid—very cool, very cool. Needless to say, I was not drinking iced tea…ANDREW T. JACKSON, my favorite artist/raconteur (no idea what that means) had a great showing last week at Oya, a sleek, airy salon on Lighthouse in New Monterey. We stopped by after the CASA event and thoroughly enjoyed his paintings, along with the colorful cast of locals, the music, and the vibe. I felt like I was living in the city again…another reason to hang out at Trailside Café, on the bike trail in New Monterey, just shy of Cannery Row, other than the great food, ambiance and wonderful people, is the adjacent Body Suite Day Spa. NELL COUNSELL has created a Shangri-La of tranquility with individually designed rooms, each providing a magical transformative vibe to the many available spa treatments. Get down there for a day of pampering, 375-4375.
Ran into BERT CUTINO the other day. He’s so damn skinny now, having lost almost 50 pounds, that it was tough to spot him under his old way-too-big kitchen whites. He was beginning to set up a fundraiser for a local guy, SAL SARDENA, who recently suffered a serious accident leaving him with possible permanent paralysis. On Sunday, April 29, local group I Giovanotti will be putting on a benefit to help raise money for Sal’s various bills and other needs. Of course Bert was all over it, helping to organize it. Give him a call at 649-2610 to find out how you can help. I’m sure there’s a need.
TWO BIG EVENTS…KERRY LOUTAS, the talented, mildly cantankerous chef/owner of L’Escargot in Carmel, is doing a Moroccan feast on Tuesday, May 1. As he puts it: “I’ve chosen my favorite regional dishes for this five-course celebration of the often ignored exotic cuisine of North Africa, France’s culinary cousin. I’ve selected three wines to compliment this menu and they will be included in the price of the meal. It is an event not to be missed by curious foodies, cookbook jockies, or those who are acquainted with the sweet-spicy-savory delicacies of the Maghreb.”
The price is $75 per person, tax and tip not included, with the first seating at 5:30pm and a second seating at 7:30pm. Call 620-1942 to reserve now. I know this will be great. Kerry is one of the most talented chefs around. Sweet Thing and I have our reservations set already. The Web site is escargotcarmel.com to see the menu.
It’s almost time again for the Chef of the Year Dinner and President’s Ball, honoring this year’s recipient in the Monterey Bay Chapter of the American Culinary Federation. This 33rd annual event brings out all the local luminaries—heck (did I just use the word heck?), just seeing Bert Cutino with that beaming smile and soulful warmth towards all the Toques is worth the price of admission. This year it’s at the Marriott and the winner of the award is Chef PAUL LEE. Oh yeah, it’s happening on Sunday, May 6 at 6pm so get on the horn to Chef COLIN MOODY at 917-4412 to reserve or get info.
WINE MASTERS KNIGHTED…Spanish Bay recently hosted the Level One Master Sommelier Certificate Course. Local legend FRED DAME was down to administer, John Winfield and TOM HLASNY were overseeing and many locals were taking the course and the exam. The following employees of the Pebble Beach Company passed the exam and are now certified: From Spanish Bay: BRYAN ANTHONY, CHAD BUTLER, KRISTIN FINN, MARCIA MOSELEY, MARK LOTZ, MAURO VALDIVIA, MURILLO ARLE, PAIGE BINDEl and SILVANA SILVA. From The Lodge: ANDREW TITMUS, ANTHONY VELASCO, BERTRAND DEPREZ, DAVID NICOLAI, DON LATIMER, GEORGE FLETES, JEN BROWNE, JOHN HANKARD, JOSHUA NAGLE, MARC TAKAHASHI, MARK CRISCITIELLO, MATTHEW DAVIS, PETER PAGE, RAY BERTOLINO AND RESSUL RASSALLAT…congratulations, I’ll stop by for a glass of wine. Cheers.