Friday, April 18, 2014

Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2014 Grand Tasting

This past weekend we wrapped up at the 7th annual Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival.  Thanks to Coastal Luxury Management for hosting such a fun event!

This year our theme was the “Great Kitchen Disaster of 1963”  “Burnt Toast and Spam”.  Our booth was decked out with tons of vintage wares, including an antique toaster and lots of Spam paraphernalia.  The idea was that our charming host, Simone, was throwing a little dinner party and everything went wrong - from broken jello molds to an authentic vintage hedgehog recipe made from bar olives and cream cheese.   All that was left to serve was burnt toast and spam.

Our wonderful kitchen crew,  Amber, Maya and Yulanda were all decked out in vintage aprons –

The actual dish: Smoked Goose Terrine with Wild Onion Blossom, Caramelized Shallot Jam and Australian Black Truffle on Ink Toast was a huge hit….. though some of the guests who had a few too many glasses of wine left thinking they had actually just eaten burnt toast and spam (hopefully they don’t try to replicate at home!).
while Obdiel opted for something a bit more serious.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


The last few weeks there has been an abundance of sole being caught in Monterey Bay.  We are featuring it with red grapes, wild rice and smoked crab nage.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pebble Beach Food & Wine

The annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine event kicks off tonight up Highway 1 in Carmel.  I'll be participating in two events this year.  The first is the "Restaurant Australia" lunch tomorrow, an event in which I'm honored to particpate.  I'll be collaborating with Australian chef Jordan Toft of Everleigh in Los Angeles to bring attendees a lunch consisting of ingredients and flavors that showcase the very best of Australian cuisine.  There are still a few tickets remaining and they can be purchased by clicking here

The second event is the Lexus Grand Tasting Tent on Saturday where I'll be joined by 30 other chefs where we'll be serving small tastings of signature dishes.  There are over 300 wines being poured as well so it should be a fantastic event for food and wine fans.  Tickets can be purchased by clicking here

I hope to see you in Carmel this weekend!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Seaweed Champagne


The Concept - Delicate pieces of seaweed caught up in the effervescent tide of champagne with oysters to begin a meal.  I like the visual of seaweed churning in the surf and bubbles. Dominique and I are working on finding a champagne with minerals and perhaps even a touch of ancient sea floor.  This is the proof of concept- now we just need to work on the overall flavor composition.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Artists & Craftsman

We are well on our way to exclusively using hand-made custom plates from local artists.    It has been inspiring to see what Fiona Bond, Shelby Hawthorne and Eefje Theeuws have created based on their Big Sur experience.  Each design is completely different, yet share a common theme.

Seeing all of these plates together made me think about how many artisans it takes to run Sierra Mar.  Every product we feature is the result of meticulous craftsmanship and a passion for perfection.  The work of quite literally hundreds, even thousands of artists and craftsman, if you consider the wine list, are on display at Sierra Mar on a daily basis.  From the plates on the tables to the local artisan cheese maker, citrus farmer, leather worker, apron designer, olive oil producer, salt harvester, letter press designer etc, etc.   The dining room is quite literally an interactive gallery, simultaneously engaging all of your senses.

When I look at the incredible group of people who have come together to make Sierra Mar what it is, I am incredibly grateful for each of their unique talents.  Whether they work at Sierra Mar every day, or produce wine in a remote corner of Italy, we are honored to have them as part of our restaurant.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Miner's Lettuce

Miner's Lettuce has started popping up along the hillside trail just beyond our garden gate.  Long dainty stems suspend a single asymmetrical leaf and tiny central blossom.  For as long as humans have inhabited the Central Coast, miner's lettuce has played an important part of their diets.  The name, miner's lettuce, reflects back on a time when miners and pioneers depended on the leafy greens for vitamins after the winter months when edible vegetation was scarce.  Early explorers were so taken with the striking wild greens that they brought seeds back to Europe, where they are still considered a delicacy.

Along with triangle leeks, miner's lettuce is a true harbinger of spring; a subtle reminder that months of cooking hard squash and winter radishes will soon be behind us.