Archive for the ‘Food & Wine’ Category

Big Sur Food & Wine

Friday, November 2nd, 2012
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 Photo © Big Sur Food & Wine

Big Sur has been the location of movies and commercials and an inspiration to beatniks and metaphysical practitioners. It is beautiful, rugged and has been called the “greatest meeting of land and sea” by poet, Robinson Jeffers. And, while several thousand people call it home, interestingly, there is no actual city or town of Big Sur. What better way to properly celebrate this wonderful mish-mash of quintessentially Californian attributes, than to have a food and wine festival in its honor!

The Big Sur Food & Wine Festival runs Thursday, November 1st through the 4th and features a bevy of out of the box food and wine centric events, just like the region itself. Friday’s offerings feature the beginning of the Hiking with Stemware series with allows participants to take in the beauty of Big Sur on foot along with the beautiful taste of some of the area’s best wines. The events feature meals al fresco from local chef’s and are often paired with an inside look at artisan producers from around the state.

Evenings embrace the wild mystery of the area with events like the Wine & Swine and a series of Winemaker’s Dinners. These limited seating events feature small batch wineries paired with the creations of local chefs. The nighttime activities conclude with the After Parties at the Henry Miller Library. This venue has played host to a Who’s Who of American creative genius from Jack Kerouac to The Red Hot Chili Peppers and this weekend features music, wine, food and fun.

There is a wonderful mix of events throughout the weekend so you can choose to try a taste or go whole hog. The event organizers have graciously provided shuttle transportation for some of the events so be sure to check the Big Sur Food & Wine website for more details. As food and wine festivals go, this one may give you a little more than you bargained for; and that’s a good thing!

Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival

Friday, October 19th, 2012
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The Salinas Valley is widely known as the “Salad Bowl of the World”. From strawberries and lettuce to artichokes and broccoli, much of our nation’s produce comes from this fertile region. So it should come as no surprise that one of the fastest growing events in Monterey County is the Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival. The fun begins on Saturday October 20th at noon and runs until 5pm. Featuring world class wine and gourmet food, the event highlights the culture of the Salinas Valley and takes over six square blocks of Oldtown Salinas. The event is free to the public and those wishing to taste wine and beer can purchase a wristband.

In addition to the gourmet highlights of the day, a variety of art and activities are also available including musical acts performing throughout the day and a classic car show. The National Steinbeck Center also plays host to a VIP Pavilion starring an additional 150 vendors. In addition to food exhibitors the VIP Pavilion an additional 50 wineries and 30 breweries will be on site. The Portola Hotel & Spa’s very own Peter B’s Brewpub will be on site, pouring some of their famous craft beers. So come experience the bounty and the rich culture of the Salinas Valley at the Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival!

Portola Burger; the best burger in town

Thursday, July 5th, 2012
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Burger & Beer @ Peter B’s Brewpub

Since the 18th century, the humble hamburger has graced the plates of commoners and kings throughout Europe and the United States. Originally a “food fit for a king” (literally as it was only the wealthy aristocracy that could afford it) it was brought to America by German immigrants who had adapted the dish to fit their station, shredding low-grade beef and mixing it with regional spices and serving it both cooked and raw. As the dish caught on, it began to be served on bread during the late 1800′s and soon made its way onto the menus of restaurants across the country. As its popularity grew, so did the styles of burger as well as the types of establishments serving it. Synonymous with fast food, the hamburger stood pat for many years and different chains competed to see who could serve the most, not the best.

That trend began to change in the late 1980′s as chefs in high end restaurants began to experiment with prime cuts of beef and expensive condiments. From Kobe to Angus and everything in between, the hamburger now is served alongside the most extravagant dishes in the most exclusive restaurants in America.

That is why Portola Hotel & Spa’s Executive Chef extraordinaire Jason Giles is proud to introduce The Portola Burger, quickly becoming known as “The Best Burger In Town”. The burger features 1/2 pound of hand formed certified Angus ground chuck grilled to perfection and served on a toasted Brioche bun. It comes with locally grown red leaf lettuce, shaved white onion and the Chef Giles’ very own special B&B sauce. As an extra treat the dish is also served with homemade pickles!

Served at Jacks Restaurant & Lounge for lunch and at Peter B’s Brewpub, The Portola Burger a “must-indulge” on your burger bucket list!

 

Wine Trolley Package for Two

Monday, June 25th, 2012
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Wine is the most ancient of libations and one that through the ages has been enjoyed by princes and paupers alike. There are many ways to experience wine. It could be over a fine dinner or at home with friends, but nothing beats experiencing wine at the source; the tasting room. And nothing complements the tasting room like an expertly guided tour of several of the region’s best aboard an open air Wine Trolley. According to the Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association, more grapes are grown in the Monterey County region than in any other area in California and Monterey County wines are quickly becoming some of the most sought after varietals in the country.

Experience a five hour guided wine tour with the Portola’s Wine Trolley Package for Two. Each Wine Trolley tour stops at five of the area’s finest boutique wineries while taking in the sites along the way. The package also includes a stay in one of the Portola Hotel & Spa’s newly renovated, elegantly appointed guest rooms, a warm chocolate chip cookie upon arrival and breakfast buffet for two at Jacks Restaurant. In addition you’ll also receive complimentary corkage fees at Jacks Restaurant & Lounge and access to the outdoor heated pool, relaxing cabanas, Jacuzzi and state of the art fitness center.

Fine wine, a journey of discovery that awakens the pallet, comfortable lodging and more. Salud!

Monterey Wine Festival

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
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Who doesn’t love wine? There are many different varieties, tastes and flavors. It’s been around for centuries, fits almost any occasion and has been the central character in countless movies. We serve it at our most important occasions and are a part of cultures worldwide. Most importantly, they have entire festivals dedicated to the mighty grape. In the foodie centric times we are in, the wine festival of old has become more than just a few local vintners getting together for some fun. Multiple wineries and culinary vendors are now the norm and the Monterey Wine Festival is no different (and that is a good thing)!

In its 36th year, the Monterey Wine Festival boasts wineries and a host of other participants over two days, June 8th – 9th 2012, at Monterey’s Custom House Plaza. Want more? Then how about the Bartender’s Fedora Cocktail Throw Down, June 9th at 2pm and from Noon to 3pm the return of the West Coast Chowder Competition? The Portola Hotel & Spa’s very own Executive Chef, Jason Giles will be touting his unique take of the American staple in the Seafood Chowder category. The festival will also feature an evening of indulgence at the Night to Celebrate Reds June 8th from 5pm to 9pm and the blind taste competition where Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be awarded. For more information log onto www.montereywine.com

Salud!