Not Your Everyday Celeb Chef Pop Up: A Kim Weston-Hotel 1110 Invention
September 17, 2012
This was my kind of party—and not just because it was filled with a range of curious artist types like science illustrator Erin Hunter or rock-'n'-roll photog team Tom and Molly O'Neal, or irresistible winemaker-force of nature Joseph Kovacs (and some of his superb library Syrahs from Szalay Winery (659-2106). (Photos furnished by Moss Media.)
I liked the fact that the celebrity is the kitchen for the pop-up at Hotel 1110 (formerly Inn at Del Monte, 655-0515) is a photographer by trade.
Kim Weston, heir to the storied tradition of his grandfather, father and uncle traded his spacious dark room for 1110's cramped kitchen, conjuring a daring tribute to the Monterey Italian recipes his father-in-law taught him.
Guests gathered around the modest-but-beautifully-appointed lobby and dining room, slurping Morro Bay Oyster Company gems and sipping Kovacs' nice wines.
His five-course work on the plate was a pleasantly artful surprise, especially for those who balked at the presence of so much squid: marinated calamari salad with fig and cabbage, breaded and pan-seared calamari filets, succulent calamari tubes stuffed with Italian sausage over Sicilian meatballs and spaghetti…
and beautifully plated lemon-basil sorbet…
…with Weston's own limoncello.
After dinner the evening entered another artistic phase as Weston peers and friends Ryuijie and Jim Kasson, pioneering photogs both, presented head-shaking, how-did-they-do-that images. Ryuijie displayed both underwater black and whites on rare metal – jellies and kelp portraits made timeless, figuratively and literally – and ethereal pictures of sweet peas and poppies frozen in ice and shot with stunningly vivid detail (showing at Weston Gallery through Oct. 28). Kasson’s method of shooting 20 frames a second of colorful urban corners and shops, then somehow isolating a focal point to clarify, was every bit as arresting, though totally different, then Weston brought us full circle with iconic-but-atypical shots of nudes layered with shadow and ripe fruit. Cigars and delish detritus wines followed on the roof.
The next installment hits 3-7pm Saturday, Sept. 22, and includes wild boar cooked underground, wild Big Sur coast mussels, Salinas greens, an “outdoor special dessert” and wine from another friend-of-the-arts at…
…Cole Weston’s house in Garrapata. Cole's photos will also be part of the post-eats presentation.
The hotel’s booked up, but the dynamic lunch ($75) is not, and represents a fair value, particularly for those into photography and architecture, and especially because it's a fundraiser for the nonprofit Weston Scholarship, which supports high school and college students studying fine art photography in Monterey County, and specifically the conventional analogue processes in a wet darkroom.
Call 655-0515 to get on boar(d).