Another Big Weekend
Thursday, February 8, 2007
DON’T WORRY ABOUT ME… So here I am, at the time of this writing just one lousy week away from the opening salvo of the AT&T International Pro Golfers Commune with Amateur Celebrities, Corporate Honchos and Friends, Golf and Socializing Extravaganza, and I’m sitting here, all alone, a two-day-old scone feeding my face, my spit-shined clubs standing at attention in the corner of dried out hopes and broken dreams. The MONTEREY PENINSULA FOUNDATION, or Association, or Federation, or whatever ation they are, somehow passed me by again.
In an age of artificial reality TV, when personality-free clones litter the airwaves, waving their lack of substance like hankies in the audience of their own cancelled plays, one would hope that an institution as solid as the MPF would realize the benefit of including a persona as richly contoured and nuanced as myself in this weekend. Alas, the masses and mass media, huddled around our annual clamless clambake, will once again be denied my intuitively interactive ebullience, innate existential inclusiveness, radiant heart and occasionally respectable (OK, acceptable) game.
Granted, it is possible (likely) that no one outside of my own family circle (they’ll deny) actually knows who I am; that I might, at any moment, seemingly without provocation, perform an act of such sophomority (don’t look that one up) as to make Alice Cooper’s fans head for the cold cream; that I couldn’t come up with the entrance fee; that I’d wear down after a day of walking around those hilly courses; that I’d drink too much, curse out loud and possibly say something so grossly politically incorrect that apologies would become useless…whew. But it would certainly breathe a bit of fresh (well, different) air into the festivities. Oh well, like Cubbies’ fans and homely debutantes (what?), there’s always next year.
Meanwhile I’ll just have to comfort my battered ego by eating and drinking my way through town and soaking up the injection of adrenaline we all feel whenever one of our world-class events takes place on the Peninsula. It’s just as well (here comes the rationalization, followed by self-flagellation) that they have the players list chosen way in advance, with hundreds of celebrities dying to get in. Plus I probably don’t deserve to have that kind of happiness in my wretched life (how’s that, just cut right to the chase). I guess I’ll just go play nine holes at Old Navy and call it a day.
WILD FRUITS… SWEET THING and I spent a day last week tooling around in Big Sur. If that’s not one of the greatest activities you can engage in, what is? It was great running into old friends and making a few new ones—there’s no better time to hang out down there than during the slower winter months.
Had dinner at Big Sur Bakery, a spot that consistently wows everyone who enters. In its quiet unassuming way, BSB has affixed itself to our culinary bulletin board and will remain there as long as the three principals, MICHAEL GILSON, MICHELLE RIZZOLO and PHILLIP WOJTOWICZ, decide they can keep it up.
While there we ran into our good friend CHERYL “BUTTERFLY” WARNER, who has metamorphosed into Le Grande Dame of local restaurant/wine culture and is always just a hoot to hang out with. Also on hand was DOMINIQUE DA CRUZ, wine guru for Sierra Mar at Post Ranch, as well as the two other magical properties owned by whoever it is that owns that cliffside hideway.
Aside from the great meal (using only the best ingredients) by Chef Wojo, professionally served up by delightful BREE HARLAN (no relation), there was a lot of talk about the upcoming First Annual Big Sur Chanterelle Cook-Off. It is being organized by Michelle to highlight the chefs of Big Sur, as well as local chanterelles, and will include only Big Sur restaurants and residents vying for acclaim for their chanterelle creations. The real point is to help raise funds for the Workforce Housing Task Force, hoping to bring some affordable housing to Big Sur folks. The festival is happening on Feb. 23, 24 and 25 and will no doubt include lots of fun and interesting Big Sur activities. Call Michelle at 667-0520 or pelicannetwork.net/chanterelle.htm to find out all about it.
Meanwhile, that same weekend, the final chapter in a 21-year gastronomic grand odyssey comes to an end. The Masters of Food and Wine, one of the most prestigious events we have, runs its final victory lap. In addition to unbelievable lunches, dinners and the always festive opening night affair, this year’s event features some of the more breathtaking daily vertical tastings ever lined up at The Masters.
Kicking off is ROMANO DAL FORNO, the world’s greatest expert winemaker/grower of Amarone, who’ll be showing his other-worldly Amarones going back to ’88. Then, the madness continues with Chateau Haut-Brion Blanc (a must for Bordeaux-philes and all white wine lovers); Chateau Palmer/Alter Ego (10 vintages of Palmer, plus the Alter Egos); Opus One (along with the winemaker, MICHAEL SILACCI); Penfolds Elite Vertical featuring Grange and the St. Henri Shiraz along with very rare and expensive bins 90A and 920 from the 1990 vintage; oh yeah, La Tache back to 1964 (‘nuff said); then a nice little Sunday Champagne Showdown between Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicquot Le Grande Dame and Krug all showing multiple vintages back to the 70’s…are you kidding me? Get your credit card out, call 1-800-401-1009 and buy tickets to every event that is not sold out—you’ll kick yourself for years to come if you blow your last chance at being there, believe me you will. Check out all the info at mfandw.com…meanwhile, hit em straight, laugh a lot (related), drink good wine, eat good food, think good thoughts. Adios for now.