The foodie element of the festival traverses the planet’s palate.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Decades ago, local celeb-chef Wendy Brodie’s father Howard, an accomplished sketch artist, had contacts who brokered an expedition with Steinbeck.
“John would do the writing,” she says, “and dad would do the sketches.”
Only Steinbeck got sick and died, and the expedition never unfolded.
Now Brodie is scheming her own journey. She sees it as a way of honoring the long-ago agreement.
“Unfinished business,” she says. “That’s the perfect way to describe it.”
Since Brodie’s business is excellent eats – she hosts her own cooking TV show, earns breathless praise for her kitchen classes and caters some of the most exclusive events the Central Coast knows – this trek will be fueled by flavor.
“Circumnavigating the Globe Through the Art of Food,” fitting with a worldlier-than-ever 30th annual festival that includes synchronized events from France to Japan, will deliver representative hors d’oeuvres from famous Steinbeck destinations, Mexico, Russia, Paris and Berlin among them.
“And of course,” Brodie says, “we can’t forget Cannery Row-Monterey-Salinas.”
Diners can anticipate craftmanship the old Pulitzer Prize winner could appreciate (think borscht shooters, French cheeses and white sardines with lemon and chive sauce) at Tom Joad-friendly prices ($10 for museum members; $18 for nonmembers). King City’s Poppy Wines, meanwhile, will pour the grapes (without wrath).
Some Steinbeckian food for thought even offers an appropriate appetizer for the mini epicurean epic: “We do not take a trip,” Salinas’ number-one son once said. “A trip takes us.”