Foodie seems like such a dated term, yet I see many food lovers like me regularly using it online. And we’re all much alike in the fact that we’re constantly looking for the next epicurean experience. Unfortunately, such dining isn’t usually found at charity events where the food served is nothing worth writing home about (whereas great meals have always been an integral component of the upcoming Central Coast Wine Classic in July). That said, during the annual event Wine, Waves & Beyond (WW&B), guests can experience an amazing nine-course meal during the winemakers’ dinner at Marisol at the Cliffs Resort on Saturday, June 1. Imagine the fun of indulging in a nine-course gourmet dinner with two choices in wine pairings. I did it and found it an excellent experience.
While I’m not easily impressed by every dish during any multi-course meal, I enjoyed most of it during the media lunch for local food and wine writers. I must say that the six chefs who prepared it impressed all of us. WW&B is sponsored by the Boutique Hotel Collection, so it’s focused on the talented chefs from each of their hotels: Gregg Wangard and Hannah Ingham at the Cliffs, Robert Trester at Sycamore Mineral Springs, Casey Walcott at Sea Venture, and Steven Smeets and Willie Vey at Apple Farm. This excellent dinner is amazingly priced at $75, all inclusive, for nine courses paired with an array of wines from three excellent brands: Chronic Cellars, Cypher Winery, and Barton Family Wines.
In past years, Chronic Cellars, well known even by amateur wine drinkers for its Sofa King Bueno Rhone red blend, joined Firestone Walker to provide outstanding adult beverages for the winemakers’ multi-course dinner. But this year the Beckett brothers, who own Chronic Cellars, were joined by their fellow Paso winemakers, Joe Barton of Barton Family Wines (and Grey Wolf Cellars) and Christian Tietje of Cypher Winery in Paso Robles. Their unique pairings were delicious and interesting with each course. The dinner and the barrel-to-barrel grand tasting always take place at the Cliffs Resort. Advance reservations for the winemakers’ dinner are urged (contact details are in the info box).
Multi-course meals, surfing heats, winemakers, brew masters, chefs, musicians, and classic cars make this quite the pleasurable affair, but we must not forget the main reason for supporting WW&B: All proceeds benefit the Association of Amputee Surfers, aka AmpSurf. Over the last three years, WW&B has raised more than $45,000 to help this outstanding organization that helps Wounded Warriors and anyone else with disabilities, as well as their families. A nonprofit organization, AmpSurf works with clinics to provide feedback to the medical staff, therapists, and manufacturers of prosthetic devices. They help enhance the design and performance of prosthetic equipment in sports and everyday life. AmpSurf’s mission is to promote, inspire, educate, and rehabilitate all people with disabilities.
- PHOTOS COURTESY OF KAMIL KONRAD FOR WINES, WAVES & BEYOND
- BOUTIQUE CHEFS : Chefs Casey Walcott of Sea Venture and Robert Trester of Sycamore Mineral Springs will be serving us some tasty treats.
What fun to be able to join these great American heroes in the longboard surf competitions, which feature surf heats for men, women, challenged athletes, and winemakers vs. brew masters. The contest takes place next to Pismo Beach Pier on Sunday, June 2, from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. Two thousand dollars in cash prizes will go to winners thanks to sponsorship by the city of Pismo Beach. The entry fee is $30 per contestant. The 805 Classic, taking place in front of Sea Venture Resort, will have a vintage Volkswagen display, live music by Soul Sauce and the Crisptones, barbecued treats by Sea Venture chef Casey Wolcott, and Firestone Walker brews beginning at 11:30 a.m.
- MOUTHWATERING : Apple Farm chef Willie Vey’s brandied cherry tartlet will have you begging for more.
The winemakers’ dinner features two desserts, including Vey’s chocolate tartlet paired with Chronic Cellars Tranquilo. To keep this interesting for foodies who love to cook, I asked pastry chef Willie Vey to provide part of the recipe for the delightful dessert she created for the winemakers’ dinner. She served the Tranquilo-brandied cherries with dark chocolate ganache in a walnut pastry tartlet with strawberries and cream, which was paired with Chronic Cellars Tranquilo late harvest syrah. You can substitute any late harvest wine you have on hand, including port in her recipe. Chef Willie suggested: “This recipe can also be used for pouring over ice cream, yum!”
- DELICIOUS : Apple Farm Chef Steven Smeets creates lamb loin with polenta, pork belly, peas, and tomato gastrique.
Contact Cuisine columnist Kathy Marcks Hardesty at email@example.com.