Three Great Events, One Day and 25,000 Big Macs
May 24, 2011
Every day, a 59-year-old former prison guard named Don Gorske eats a Big Mac.
OK—not every day. He didn't have one on eight different days in the last 39 years. But perhaps to make up for those off-days, he often has two daily (and had nine the first day he tried one).
Suddenly petri dish meat—as spotlighted in a recent New Yorker magazine—is wildly more appetizing. (Actually, meat grown from animal cells is a compelling idea, with some real ramifications for health, sustainability and energy policy. I recommend giving it a peek.)
It comes as no revelation, then, that Gorske is different than most folks. He's just a touch different than this slow fooder, and not just because he's had more Big Macs in a week—by Wednesday—than I've had in my lifetime. He's different because he knows what he's going to eat and drink every day.
Not me—though I often have some clue. The weekend after Memorial Day, not so much.
That's because three big-time festivals all collide on one calendar date—Saturday, June 11—which makes for a day that won't likely be repeated around Monterey County often, let alone 25,000 times.
June 11-12 is Monterey Wine Festival, where the 35th annual edition of the longest continuous wine festival in the vineyard presents more than four digits of styling wines to the palate with a range of accessible events, including a Friday evening grand tasting ($75) double-venue dip with champagne shuttles between the gorgeous digs at MMA-La Mirada (where a fascinating lineup of photography, contemporary California works and murals are up) and the Hyatt Regency, and a rather quickly expanding Saturday West Coast Chowder Competition for the coveted Copper Pot (a steal at $20 given the wine and beer or $10 for the 20 chowder entries) that’s helping boost overall festival draw rather rapidly.
“It’s gone viral on us,” spokesman Chris Cannard says, “We got 2,000 friends on Facebook this morning." 1-800-422-0251, www.montereywine.com.
At the same time on the same Saturday as the chowder showdown (chowdown?), the seventh annual Carmel Valley Art & Wine Celebration spills several blocks worth of impressive arts on its streets, opens up a range of local bottles for a $15 tasting fee, and generally lavishes live music and the spirit of the valley on everybody under the village sun from 11am-5pm. Admission is free, 659-4000.
And—ah yes—it’s a big weekend for beer, too: The Monterey Bay Beer Festival ($35) is also Saturday, June 11, at the Monterey County Fairgrounds.
I think I’m supposed to be sipping al fresco in Carmel Valley, judging chowder and lounging in the new VIP tent at MBBF ($55) at the same time.