This last weekend I went to the Carmel Food and Wine Harvest in Carmel, CA.
What's everyone else drinking with?
First and foremost, let me just say I’m blessed to live in Northern California where I can easily and affordably mingle with foodies and winos of just amazing quality and talent. Okay, now that that’s out there, let me tell you what I ate and drank…this will be picture intensive and probably cover a couple of posts.
Wine and food tasting around the edges with a farmer's market in the middle!
This food and wine event is a chance to discover that rising chef and/or restaurant while sipping crazy-good wine from mostly independent and upstart wineries. This is an extremely friendly and approachable event — no snooty-tooty AT ALL. Every single chef and wine maker seemed to enjoy chatting about their wine and sharing their vision for their creations.
Chef Todd talking me into some Pork Innards
Taking things waaay too seriously.
Even though the weather (while gorgeous) was a little warm for cooking, the chefs really pulled out all the stops. From Pig Innards (Pork Belly Confit with Espresso Pink Peppercorn Brodo – was actually what it was) to cupcakes, this place was one treat to the tastebuds after another.
Lavender cupcakes with orange mist creme and a little wafer thing
Beef Tenderloin en crote with pepper sauce.
I should explain that this event is a bit of a play-off or qualifying round for the ‘Big Event’ next Spring at Pebble Beach. I was lucky enough to attend PBFW earlier this year and I’ll be hard-pressed to miss any future events.So, let’s get back to the eats and drinks!
This is not your Mom's green jello with pineapple and carrots - that's all I can say about that.
There was a bounty of still life provided by a local farm — i still think they should freelance for fall/holiday decorating!
Simple but so elegant tablescapes that are instant still life.
Great hay bale walls staggered to create shadow boxes for pumpkins.
Now before I reveal the must-have favorites of the day, let’s talk about the ‘contendahs’
These were way up there on the delish-list
These are Wild Mushroom Macaroons. Think savory wild mushroom marscapone cheese swirled onto a chewy sweet little cookie. I could eat a dozen of these! Especially with a glass of this:
Get it? Grapes of.....
I originally was drawn to this winery because of the name — I love a great Steinbeck reference and then one as clever as just using the word Wrath, well that was priceless. I was not disappointed. My eyes first fell upon a bottle of pink wine that said “Pinot Noir” on it…never having seen a pink pinot ( maybe a rose’, yes) I had to start there. The lovely server explained that this was a Pinot Saigne’e
a method that involves reducing the exposure of the juice with the skins and creating what we commonly refer to as a rose. Silly me, I didn’t know!
Asian Pulled Duck Tacos
The Wrath chef was serving pulled duck tacos to go with their lovely wines, another delightful tidbit. I think I’ll save our favorites for tomorrow; this posting takes a long time and I’m trying to get a written recipe for our absolute favorite of the whole festival. To close out, I’ll just post some of the fun pictures!
Posts to come: Modern Wine Marketing: Not Just for Looks!
Vegetables as still life, Bananas for squash
Look at this arrangement, can't you see it as a gorgeous centerpiece? I don't think it would be too hard to re-create.
The makers of the Beef Tenderloin en crote, clearly hating the tasters
Exhibition kitchen stage -- we saw Iron Chef Peter Armellino; we briefly chatted and I'll tell you more about that later
Leaning in for a kiss -- I envision this to be Max Riedel -- Okay, I'm a little weird.