The inaugural 2014 Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest brought a bounty of prestigious chefs, wineries and luxury brands from around the world to beautiful Carmel-by-the-Sea to celebrate Relais & Châteaux’s 60th birthday. For the 2015 GourmetFest we have created an even more exciting lineup of Relais & Châteaux Chefs from around-the-world paired with an impressive collection of wine estates and spirits. Over the course of four days guests can experience a range of events in one location, often only available to the seasoned food and wine traveler. From an ample gathering of local and international wineries and passionate chefs to intimate dinners featuring the best wines in the world and the cooking of Michelin starred chefs, guests will be given a unique experience that only the Relais & Châteaux brand can provide.
All of the proceeds from the Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest 2015 online auction goes to support the Carmel Chamber of Commerce, Rancho Cielo and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Kale Anderson’s passion is producing wines with a sense of place – balancing science and artistry. As Pahlmeyer’s Director of Winemaking – Napa Valley, he oversees the production of Pahlmeyer’s Napa Valley wines, including the iconic Bordeaux-style blend, Proprietary Red and the winery’s Waters Ranch Vineyard high above the Napa Valley.
With more than 10 years of winemaking experience working with luminaries such as Mark Aubert, Philippe Melka and David Abreu, Kale’s connection to the craft is deeply rooted . A California native reared in Santa Rosa, his interest in the wine industry led him to earn a B.S. in Viticulture and Enology from U.C. Davis in 2002. After graduation, Kale held an internship at Colgin Cellars’ Pritchard Hill Estate, and served as assistant winemaker at Terra Valentine where he also managed an extensive custom-crush program.
In 2005, Kale joined Cliff Lede Vineyards where he was promoted from assistant winemaker to winemaker for the winery’s Poetry and Cliff Lede labels.
"At Pahlmeyer, I’ll be following in the footsteps of such esteemed winemakers as Randy Dunn, Bob Levy, Helen Turley and Erin Green. It’s an honor and a challenge I’m thrilled to take on,” said Kale. “With Jayson's excitement and commitment, and the phenomenal team here, we’re primed to continue the winery’s incredible success. It's Pahlmeyer 6.0!"
"Since our very first days in Coombsville, we’ve been inspired by legendary Napa Valley names and meaningful winemaking. We identify with wines that are rooted in tradition, but made in the spirit of today. Our small vineyard has become synonymous with the quality the Coombsville AVA produces. We never looked back after we released our first commercial vintage in 2007— our 2003 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. About it, Master of Wine Peter Marks’ has said, "…consider yourself fortunate if you still have this in your cellar.
From the beginning, all of our actions in the vineyard have been purposeful. We began sustainable farming in 2004, and by 2009 we earned our California Certified Organic Farm (CCOF) label – a designation no other Coombsville winery has obtained. To us, it’s a testament to our patience, time and enthusiasm. Our wines—a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon with softer edges and lower alcohol levels—are contemporary expressions that reflect our evolving vineyard valley. As of today, we’ve made only one other wine; Alavigna Tosca, meaning "in the spirit of " Tuscany. It speaks to our love of approachable wine, down to earth food, sophisticated culture and special places. For us, it encapsulates “the sweet life.”
"Lauren started her career in the information technology field, working in various marketing and sales positions for entrepreneurial technology companies until starting her own firm, Wavelength Marketing, Inc. in 1982. Through Wavelength, she helped to set up national reseller channels for companies such as Toshiba, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, and others before selling the company to a U.K.-based firm in 1988. Lauren moved to the Bay Area from Southern California that same year and consulted with Philips Semiconductors, Motorola and PacificCare in national and international market channels and consumer database development.
Her non-profit career started in 1999 through her board involvement in Napa with Justin-Siena High School; Copia: The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts (she served as Chair for three years); Blue Oak School; The Napa Valley Community Foundation (serving as Chair for two years); the Napa Valley Arts Council; The Institute of International Education (IIE) and NapaLearns. Currently, Lauren is on the boards of Napa Valley Film Festival, di Rosa and SEE International. She also served on the Board of Vintage Bank (NorthBay Bancorp) before its purchase by Umpqua Bank in 2006.
Lauren has a BA Degree from the University of Southern California and her MBA degree from Pepperdine University. She is also an alumni of the Rockefeller Foundation; TPW program in 2003."
A Rhode Island culinary veteran, Chef Jennifer Backman joined the Weekapaug Inn as Executive Chef from nearby sister property, Ocean House. Chef Backman sharpened her skills as sous chef in Seasons restaurant at Ocean House during the resort’s opening in 2010, before stepping into the executive sous chef position in January 2012. Chef Backman was instrumental in guiding the direction of the cuisine throughout the resort, and incorporated local produce and the ethical use of the sea to create unique and unforgettable dining experiences. Prior to joining the Ocean House team, she spent five years as executive sous chef at Castle Hill Inn & Resort in Newport, R.I. Previously, she served as sous chef at the Rhode Island Country Club, and worked as a cook at the Gatehouse Restaurant in Providence, R.I. and Cinquanta in Karlsruhe, Germany. Chef Backman graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Culinary Arts from the Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I.
The Pointe Restaurant is the perfect location for Executive Chef Warren Barr to showcase his talent for creating memorable dining experiences for guests of the renowned Wickaninnish Inn.
Chef Barr has been a key member of the Inn’s culinary leadership team since 2010, starting as Sous Chef alongside Chef de Cuisine Nicholas Nutting
Chef Barr took the reins as Executive Chef in early 2013 coinciding with the departure of Nick Nutting. Warren is well-acquainted with being promoted from within. He entered the doors of Vancouver’s Four Diamond restaurant Le Crocodile as apprentice, quickly graduating to the role of Chef de Partie.
Chef Barr spent five seasons as the Executive Chef of Prince Edward Island’s The Inn at Bay Fortune, recognized as a pioneer of farm-to-table cuisine and of Canadian food culture.
Winters were spent in Montreal’s critically acclaimed eateries, including Café Ferreira and Restaurant XO at the stunning Hotel Saint-James. There, Barr honed his expertise in European preparation styles, a style he learned to love during his early career working in the French Alps.
At the Wickaninnish Inn, Chef Barr is successfully filling the very big shoes left behind by the Wick’s past greats in the kitchen, including Chefs Rod Butters, Andrew Springett and Nicholas Nutting. Following the legacy of his predecessors, Barr continues to dazzle diners with creative combinations and delectable plates, while injecting his love of all things Canadian into every meal.
Barr’s passion for locally sourced, sustainable and high-quality ingredients is evident in all aspects of the Inn’s culinary program. Much of the fresh seafood served in The Pointe is fished from the very waters overlooked by restaurant. The kitchen team delights in using produce dropped at the doorstep straight from independent farmers from across Vancouver Island. Everything, absolutely everything, served at the Inn is made from scratch, and whenever possible, includes only locally sourced ingredients.
In May 2014 The Pointe Restaurant placed 24th in the listing of top Canadian 50 Restaurants announced in the third-annual Vacay.ca Dining Guide of 2014.
Chuck Bancroft was a Ranger at Point Lobos from 1981 until his retirement in 2011. He is a naturalist, an avid birder, photographer, cook and wine enthusiast. Chuck became associated with The Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz in 1985 and has been working with Phil Carpenter since that time doing joint presentations and leading hunts.
I discovered a love for making wine at a very young age. I grew up at the Beauregard Ranch (the original vineyard purchased by my great-grandfather in 1949) and played as a child among the vines. Different places in the vineyards have different soil types and different smells-sandy loam topsoils with underlaying limestone surrounded by redwood tress on one end and chaparral at the other-and those smells are ingrained into my earliest memories. To this day I can smell a wine in the cellar and know specifically where it came from on the home ranch. Later in life, I had opportunities to travel to Europe and see how the French make wine. I was instantly ready to put modern style winemaking by the wayside and employ old world techniques in my own cellar practices.
Colin Bedford is the executive chef of The Fearrington House Restaurant, one of the most venerable farm-to-fork restaurants in the South, where his cuisine is an interplay of the legendary culinary traditions of the American South, local ingredients, and his own English roots.
Anyone who has chatted with 34-year-old Bedford might quickly guess he grew up in England. Bedford’s culinary interests started at an early age, he says, enamored by his mother’s home baking and helping his father water the vegetable garden. After graduating from Yeovil College in Somerset with a Diploma in Hospitality, he took on his first full-time job in 1996.He became an apprentice at The Castle Hotel, a Norman fortress built in the 12th century, where he worked under esteemed British chef Phil Vickery. The Castle, like Fearrington, is a family-run property, known for fostering up-and-coming chefs.
Bedford joined The Fearrington House in 2005 and was promoted to Executive Chef in 2008. Since then, his exceptional menus have won critical acclaim. The Fearrington House earned a national ranking as one of the top hotel food destinations in the world (Condé Nast Traveler). It is also one of only two inn and restaurant combinations in the U.S. to have the Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond award for both, totaling 10 stars and 10 diamonds. In 2012, Bedford was named a Grand Chef by Relais & Châteaux, the international culinary world’s highest honor.
Fearrington House is the only AAA Five Diamond restaurant in the country to be Green Certified by the not-for-profit Green Restaurant Association.
In the early 1930’s my great-grandfather William Hawley Bowlus began launching his one of a kind “Albatross” sailplanes off the ridges of Carmel Valley. Today our family carries on his avant-garde legacy farming Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on a steep Carmel Valley ridge overlooking the Carmel-By-The-Sea and the Pacific Ocean only seven miles in the distance.
The Albatross Ridge Estate vineyard contains twenty-five acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay rooted upon a steep and rocky Carmel Valley ridge rising over 1250 feet in elevation overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Our vineyard elevation and close proximity to the ocean create a unique micro-climate that keeps temperatures mild throughout the summer allowing the fruit to ripen very slowly and extend our growing season into late October. Our cumulative “Growing Degree Days” from our site are between 1750-1950 Degree Days, making our vineyard location one of the coolest sites to ripen Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The low vigor soils of the vineyard site consist of fossilized diatomaceous marine shale, clay loam and rock.
Our philosophy is simple, to express the terroir of the vineyard and preserve the unique story of each vintage. We thoughtfully farm our vineyard using a combination of sustainable and organic practices. Our goal is to handle our wines as minimally as possible in order to preserve and display the unique flavors that result from our hard work in the vineyard. We choose to use native yeasts and allow fermentation to occur naturally, and our wines are unfined and unfiltered. We are passionate about producing balanced, age-worthy and most importantly food friendly wines that reflect their place of origin.
Visit our Tasting Room
The Albatross Ridge wine tasting room is located just across from Carmel Plaza and inside the Court of the Fountains on Mission St. between Ocean Ave. and Seventh in downtown Carmel-By-The-Sea.
Bradley’s interest in wine was initially inspired by his father, Glenn, who was an avid home winemaker and lover of German wines. His interest grew exponentially after he reached legal drinking age and was further fueled by a Francophile brother who spent seven years in Paris and the Rhone Valley culminating in a harvest working for Emanual Raynaud at Chateau Rayas. Upon moving to California after college, Bradley quickly made friends with local winemakers and took advantage of opportunities to taste wines and participate in the winemaking process.
When it came time for a career change that would be compatible with his passions in life, grape growing and winemaking were the obvious choices. He was introduced to Rhone Ranger John Alban who agreed to consult for Bradley. First came the planting of the Rattlesnake Rock Estate vineyard in 2000 followed by his foray into winemaking with the first vintage in 2002. Bradley built a winery in 2003 using redwoods sustainably harvested from the Estate and has grown the portfolio from one wine to over sixteen wines including five different single vineyard Pinot noirs. Being a farmer himself he understands the importance of vineyard site and viticultural practices and has made it his mission to seek out the very best sites throughout the Santa Cruz and Gabilan Mountains. He committed to organic farming as a way to improve the expression of site and had the entire Estate vineyard Certified Organic by CCOF.
Big Basin Vineyards has had an extensive number of reviews published by major wine critics including Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Rhone Report, Wine and Spirits, Burghound, Prince of Pinot and others. Antonio Galloni writing for the Wine Advocate recently had this to say about Bradley, "Proprietor Bradley Brown crafts some of the most compelling, small-production artisan wines in California’s Central Coast. With each passing year, the wines are more refined and polished, making Big Basin one of the most dynamic up and coming wineries in the state.” Passionately driven to produce authentic and compelling wines, Bradley has continued to evolve his minimal intervention winemaking with the use of more whole clusters and less new Oak. Recently, Big Basin Vineyards was selected to join 32 of California’s top Pinot Noir and Chardonnay producers to be represented at In Pursuit of Balance - one of the only wine tasting organizations in the US today that carefully selects it’s members through juried blind tastings by respected professionals. In Pursuit of Balance seeks to promote dialogue around the meaning and relevance of balance in California pinot noir and chardonnay. Bradley is presently serving on the Board of Directors for the Santa Cruz Mountain Winegrowers Association. His wife Samantha is a highly respected yoga teacher and the second floor of the winery is a yoga studio where Bradley and the other employees take advantage of the weekly yoga classes. Bradley and Samantha have two young sons, Kiran and Lakota, both of whom love grapes and tractors.
Chef Michel Bras’ biography is deceptively short and for one good reason: this master of “la cuisine du terroir” never left his territory. Unlike so many other chefs of his caliber, influence, and generation, Bras never found a good enough reason to leave his beloved Aubrac. There are no apprenticeships, no stages, no other restaurants to list under his name. He is a self–taught and self–made man.
Bras was born to a blacksmith–father and chef–mother in Gabriac in 1946. He schooled in a nearby town and from an early age started helping his mother, a Cordon Bleu–trained chef, tend her pots at the family’s hotel/restaurant Lou Mazuc. Bras credits his mother with introducing him to the cuisine of Aubrac—a region in central southern France that he describes as lacking any “specific gastronomical virtue unlike other regions.” His childhood was filled with delicious memories of his mother’s cooking, making simple ingredients taste extraordinary, and a deep respect for Aubrac.
Though Bras never left the Lou Mazuc kitchen to train elsewhere, he studied culinary literature, philosophy, and photography with zeal. He cooked and created from his intuition, as he does to this day. When Bras was 33 years old, he took over the inn from his parents. His innovative cooking caught the attention of famed French restaurant guide Gault et Millau; Lou Mazuc was awarded two Michelin stars under his guise.
Bras’ passionate pursuit to connect his cuisine to nature—thus to “create a restaurant in the middle of nature”—led him to open hotel/restaurant Michel Bras in 1992. The ultra–modern structure is built of nearly all glass with slate and granite, and sits on a plateau overlooking the landscape of Aubrac. Bras was awarded with three Michelin stars in 1999. Bras, now joined by his son, who is gradually taking the helm of the kitchen, renamed his restaurant Bras Michel & Sébastien in 2003.
Jonathan Cartwright was appointed Group Chef de Cuisine for Grace Hotels in 2011. He has global responsibility for defining and managing the dining experience across all Grace properties, respecting local gastronomic traditions and making use of local ingredients while applying the creativity and attention to detail that has won him numerous plaudits throughout his international career.
Chef Cartwright also holds the position of Executive Chef at the White Barn Inn, which will be officially rebranded as The White Barn Grace upon joining the Grace Hotels portfolio in 2014. The hotel’s restaurant offers a combined AAA Five Star Diamond and Forbes Five Star dining experience, and is acknowledged as one of the finest restaurants in northeast USA. Chef Cartwright’s talents are recognized worldwide, where he has earned the distinctive title of Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux, and has cooked at the prestigious James Beard House and the Versailles Palace in France.
Chef Cartwright’s first task in his role of Group Chef de Cuisine was the transformation of the main restaurant at The Vanderbilt Grace in Newport, Rhode Island (at the time, the latest addition to the Grace Hotels portfolio). The restaurant, Muse by Jonathan Cartwright, opened to vast critical acclaim, receiving the title of ‘Best Hotel Restaurant’ by Rhode Island Monthly in 2011 and securing the prestigious AAA 4 diamond award in 2012.
Applying the same principles, he opened the second Muse by Jonathan Cartwright in November 2013, which forms part of Grace Cafayate in northwest Argentina. This fine dining restaurant showcases modern European cuisine whilst paying homage to local Argentinian traditions and using the best local ingredients including beef, goat and llama.
Most recently he oversaw the opening of the third ‘Muse by Jonathan Cartwright’ at the newly refurbished Mayflower Grace situated in the idyllic town of Washington in Connecticut. The restaurant offers modern European cuisine, incorporating the best of local and seasonal produce for the ultimate gastronomic experience.
Originally from Yorkshire, England, Cartwright has been at home in the kitchen since age 15. He brings to New England an international sensibility and mastery of cuisine gained while serving some of the world’s finest Relais & Châteaux properties including Blantyre in Lenox, Mass., the Horned Dorset Primavera in Puerto Rico and the Hotel Bareiss in the Black Forest region of Germany. “I believe that my menu creations are influenced by a love of European-style cooking acquired from my experiences,” says Cartwright. “This is fused with the many culinary and cultural inspirations of my present home, coastal Maine.”
Before joining the White Barn Inn in 1994, Cartwright was Executive Chef of the Relais & Châteaux Horned Dorset Primavera in Puerto Rico. After his training apprenticeships, he continued to study under Anton Edelmann, Maitre Chef de Cuisine at The Savoy Hotel, London. In 1989, while still at the Savoy, he accompanied Edelmann to New York’s Pierre Hotel and to the Four Seasons, Beverly Hills to help with celebrations honoring the Savoy Hotel's 100th anniversary.
Beaucastel's terroir is marked by the Rhone violence. It is made with a layer of marine molasses (sandstone) of the Miocene period, covered by alpine alluvium. The presence of a great number of rounded stones, know as galets, bear evidence of the time when the Rhone, a torrent at this time, tore fragments of rocks from the Alps and deposited them along its course.
The meso-climate plays an important rôle with a low rainfall, beautiful sunshine and spectacular temperature difference. Here the galets make an essential contribution in the qulaity of the vintage: they retain heat of hte day adn radiate it to the vines during the night. The Mistral wind that goes into the very old vines, with gnarled feet, dries and clean the vines planted in the traditional style called "gobelet".
The happiness of sharing lightens the journey for perfection, the most pleasant companion ever.
After 4 years in Foreign Literatures in the National Taiwan University, Lanshu decided to follow her craftsmanship passion and left for Paris. It took her another 4 years there to explore the world of gastronomy, receiving pastry diploma of Le Cordon Bleu and the complete culinary training in school Ferrandi. Later on she obtained the CAP certificate of cuisine in 2006.
She then worked in several grand restaurants as Les Ambassadeurs with Chef Jean-‐François Piège and Jérôme Chaucesse, Relais d’Auteuil with Chef Patrick Pignol, and also in the pastry atelier of legendary Pâtissier Pierre Hermé. Outside of France, Lanshu’s experience at The French Laundry in Napa Valley opened to her another world and inspired her with their devoted pursuit of perfection in this temple of gastronomy.
In 2008, Lanshu came back to Taiwan. Out of her passion about food and the eagerness to share the happiness to cook, she opened the restaurant Le Moût in Taichung City. After years of efforts, Le Moût has achieved the most renowned French restaurant in the country. Lanshu was entitled as Grand Chef of Relais & Châteaux in 2011 and became the first female Grand Chef in Asia. With classic French ambiance, Lanshu creates her own "Cuisine de Terroir" by fusing local specialties with best ingredients from all over the world. She interprets her memories and emotions toward different cultures as a gastronomic language. People may easily perceive the unique naïveté from the balance and fineness of her dishes. Nevertheless, the preciseness to every detail completes the true spirit of Haute Cuisine. And she never ceases to surpass herself…
Cogley comes to Carmel by way of Chicago, Illinois, where he was instrumental in opening the Elysian Hotel’s new kitchen as executive sous chef. He previously worked at Charlie Trotter’s critically acclaimed restaurant for four years, claiming the position of chef de cuisine for the last two. As such, he was responsible for menu creation, special events, and extensive instruction and management of the culinary staff.
With delicate interplay between creativity, tradition, and respect for his ingredients, Cogley’s food is deeply unique. His style is a sophisticated balance between innovation and unwavering deference for the finest ingredients he procures. “If I had to describe my food,” Cogley says, “I would say each plate has a purpose.” Cogley’s goal is to inspire guests to enjoy a broad combination of flavors and textures. He may present a diner with a vegetable prepared three ways on his plate but, Cogley says, “each of the flavors will be unique and pure.”
Under the direction of Chef Cogley and his team Aubergine has enjoyed substantial acclaim. In December 2013, Cogley was awarded the prestigious title of Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux, joining an esteemed list of internationally celebrated chefs. In early 2014 Aubergine received Forbes Travel Guide’s highest Five-Star rating recognizing excellence in restaurants. Food & Wine magazine named Justin Cogley "Best New Chef" in 2013.
Gary Danko is widely recognized as one of America's most talented and respected chefs. His achievements include a James Beard Foundation "Best Chef - California" award and reflect his lifelong pursuit of excellence in the culinary arts. Danko's successes can be attributed to his many years of study and hard work, combined with an innate ability to create dishes of both elegance and depth that evoke the simple pleasures and warmth of home cooking.
Danko combines classical training with focuses on French, Mediterranean, and regional American cooking. He incorporates influential culinary traditions from around the world into his own work, adding seasonings and techniques drawn from Asia and India. He infuses precise technique with creative flair and adventuresome spirit to create a cuisine of great finesse and balanced flavors. Danko is dedicated to using seasonal, locally grown and raised foods. He forged close relationships with artisan cheese, meat, and produce suppliers long before other chefs discovered the virtues of this approach.
Danko was reared in the small town of Massena in upstate New York. He credits his parents for his strong work ethic. Cooking was learned at his mother's knee. A Louisiana native, she deftly balanced flavors through the judicious use of simple seasonings, and focused on farm-fresh ingredients. Those lessons guide him to this day. His father, an architect and builder, launched Danko's interest in restaurants when he undertook the remodeling of The Village Inn, a local eatery. Danko, then only fourteen years old, worked his way through high school at that restaurant, and had worked in all facets of the restaurant business by the time he graduated in 1975.
Always convinced of his calling, Danko enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. His classmates included Bradley Ogden and Susan Feniger. A top student, he mastered the techniques of professional cooking.
It was as a student at the CIA that Danko discovered Madeleine Kamman's The Making of a Cook. Her visionary and creative approach to cooking deeply inspired Danko, who continued to learn more from this accomplished chef.
After he graduated in 1977, Danko moved to San Francisco and spent the next three years working as a lunch chef at a small bookstore/bistro and as an expediter/waiter at the Waterfront Restaurant in the evening. He enjoyed this opportunity to explore the Bay Area, but eventually returned east to the traditional roots of his evolving style. Moving to Vermont, he became the chef at the highly regarded Tucker Hill Inn, where his creativity and distinctive style flourished. Exhilarated by the profusion of fresh and flavorful local products such as butter, cheeses, poultry, and produce, Danko began to change his menu nightly, an uncommon practice at the time.
Avidly following Madeleine Kamman's career, Danko enrolled in her class at Peter Kump's New York Cooking School in 1983 and finally introduced himself to the person whose writing had so inspired him. A year later he enrolled in her cooking school in New Hampshire. He distinguished himself at the school and at its adjacent restaurant, and this marked the beginning of a close friendship. Although Danko received his formal training at the CIA, he credits his study under Madeleine Kamman with refining his skills and developing the approach that embodies his personal cooking style today.
Madeleine Kamman subsequently appointed Danko to Beringer Vineyards' food and wine externship. Impressed with Danko's talents, Beringer hired him as executive chef in 1985, and in this position he helped build Beringer's culinary center into a successful, respected educational program that garnered considerable recognition and respect. A year later, Kamman established her School for American Chefs at Beringer Vineyards in the Napa Valley. When Beringer purchased Chateau Souverain in Sonoma County, Danko took the helm of its restaurant as executive chef. It was there that Danko's achievements first attracted national acclaim. In 1989, Food & Wine magazine selected him as one of the ten best new chefs in America, and the Wine Spectator featured him on the cover of its issue focusing on wine country fine dining.
After four years at Chateau Souverain, Danko left to become the chef of the Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, which then attained well-deserved status as one of the country's finest restaurants and earned a rare San Francisco Chronicle four-star rating. In 1995, Danko won the James Beard Foundation's "Best Chef - California" award.
While at The Ritz-Carlton, Danko appeared as a featured chef on the TV Food Network and on the PBS Great Chefs series. He also worked with Jacques Pepin on the Cooking with Claudine series. In addition, he taught extensively and earned the respect of food editors and writers as a source of exceptional information and recipes.
He left The Ritz-Carlton in 1996 to begin work on a cookbook and to continue laying the groundwork for his own restaurant. In the interim he took on the challenge of launching Viognier, the restaurant at the new Draeger's Market Place in San Mateo, California. He had been a frequent and popular instructor at Draeger's Cooking School, which offers cooking classes taught by this country's foremost chefs. During his two-year tenure as a consultant at Viognier, he fashioned a successful restaurant that was featured and lauded in respected local and national publications. Columnist John Mariani recognized these achievements by bestowing Esquire Magazine's coveted "Best New Restaurant" award on Viognier. This was the second time Danko had received the award, the first being at the Dining Room of the Ritz-Carlton in 1993.
With Viognier thriving, a phone call from Michel Elkaim, the owner of Chez Michel restaurant in San Francisco, brought Danko's plan for his own restaurant to life. Chez Michel, which closed in the spring of 1999, was the precise location that Danko had determined was ideal years before. This phone call led to the creation of GARY DANKO, the restaurant.
Paul Draper grew up on an eighty-acre farm near the Chicago suburb of Barrington. After attending the Choate School and receiving a degree in philosophy from Stanford University, he lived for two years in northern Italy. He went on to attend the University of Paris and traveled extensively in France. In both Italy and France he sought out and studied traditional winemaking practices. In the mid-sixties, with a close friend, he set up a small winery in the coast range of Chile and produced several vintages of old vine cabernet sauvignon. He joined Ridge Vineyards in 1969 and resides atop Monte Bello Ridge with his wife, pianist and author Maureen McCarthy Draper. He is known for the fine cabernets and chardonnays of the Monte Bello estate vineyards, and as a pioneer in the production of long-lived, complex zinfandels.
Advanced Sommelier Elizabeth Huettinger is responsible for the maintenance of Addison’s 37,000-bottle wine collection. She supervises the highly trained and credentialed sommelier team, as well as contributes to the outstanding wine dinners, tastings and educational seminars for which Addison is known. Working closely with Executive Chef/Director William Bradley, she considers herself a curator of wine and other beverages and continues to hone her skills at successfully breaking convention within the art of fine food and wine pairing. In addition, Huettinger serves as the wine director of Addison’s sister restaurant in La Jolla, Bijou French Bistro. Previously, Huettinger, with her mantra of making wine experiences approachable to the guest, served as the assistant wine director at world-famed Spago in Beverly Hills, working closely with wine director and Master Sommelier Christopher Miller. Previous to that, she was a sommelier/manager at the former Cavaillon in San Diego. In addition, she worked as a sommelier at Carmel, California’s Aubergine at L’Auberge, where she managed the bar and cocktail program.
Gaia Gaja had a wine named in her honour (GAIA & REY Chardonnay) even before she took her first steps. Born in Barbaresco, in Italy’s renowned Piedmont region, Gaia Gaja is the fifth generation of her family to work at the Gaja Winery. In addition to her responsibilities in Barbaresco, she has represented the Winery throughout Asia, Europe and the United States.
The eldest of three children of Angelo and Lucia Gaja, Gaia and her sister, Rossana, and brother, Giovanni, live in Barbaresco.
At Galante Vineyards our philosophy is simple: grow the finest grapes possible and let the fruit express itself in the wine. Since all of our grapes are estate grown, each bottle of wine we produce embodies the characteristics of our unique region, exhibiting the natural flavors that are born from the land.
The Galante Family has a long history in the Monterey area. Owner Jack Galante's great grandfather, J.F. Devendorf, was the founder of the town of Carmel. He later built the Pine Inn and the prestigious Highlands Inn.
In 1969, Jack's parents purchased a 700-acre cattle ranch in rustic Carmel Valley. While still maintaining a working cattle ranch, the Galantes, in 1983, began growing premium grapes on their property, specializing in Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1994, Jack Galante decided to build a winery and use some of his grapes to produce ultra-premium estate bottled wines. Today Galante is recognized as one of the premier Cabernet Sauvignon producers in Monterey County and all of California.
We also participate in and hold many events throughout the year. Please refer to our calendar of events. For a one on one approach, tours and tasting, by appointment only, offer a personal look into our winemaking process. We can also arrange a private tasting/party for small groups or large corporations.
Black River Caviar is the first and only caviar brand farmed in the Southern Hemisphere. Based on decades of research and a strong tradition of epicurean delight, Black River Caviar is the result of a true combination of Science and Art.
For the past two decades, Black River Caviar has been breeding sturgeons of Russian origin in the pristine waters of the Rio Negro under strict control in order to make high-quality caviar to please the most discriminating palates throughout the world. Black River Caviar’s facility is designed in such a way that it mimics the habitat in which these fish grow in the wild. Harvesting of the fish is done individually and not seasonally or as a school. “As we like to say, Our fish never swim in the same water twice.” Apart from respecting the animal's quality of life and its environment, the combination of the wild and the controlled allows sturgeons to grow in a natural way, creating a more consistently flavorful product.
The worldwide acceptance of our products and recognition of our sustainable efforts includes selection of Black River Caviar as the exclusive purveyor to Seabourn Cruise Lines, and the achievement of the top “Green” rating from the Marine Conservation Institute.
Bibiana González Rave’s adventurous spirit and inexorable passion are evident in both her past pursuit to learn winemaking and her ongoing quest to perfect it. Studying and working in the vineyards and cellars of Burgundy, Côte-Rôtie, Bordeaux, Alsace and Cognac, she earned a Technician of Viticulture and Oenology diploma in Angoulême, followed by a Diploma of Oenology, with honors, from the University of Bordeaux. Her academic and field work awarded her an extraordinary opportunity at Château Haut-Brion where she gained a palpable understanding of the winemaker as the artist: “I used to think that by learning the most minuscule details about winemaking, I would create amazing wines. I came to understand that it is much more: the experience, the vineyards, the place and who you are as a winemaker…this is what gives wine its soul.”
Her appetite to learn winemaking styles in regions around the world led her to harvests in California and South Africa. Still, she found that the fundamental approach to viticulture in France resonated truest for her – especially the Burgundian method where vineyards tend to be quite small and are ardently managed by a single winegrower. Bibiana gained 14 years of insight and experience working in several esteemed California wineries before becoming winemaker at Lynmar Estate in 2009 where she oversaw the entire winegrowing and winemaking process.
Recognizing Bibiana’s fiery dedication and talent, Jayson Pahlmeyer invited her to join the Pahlmeyer team as consulting winemaker in 2012 to grow and make Wayfarer Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Bibiana immediately fell in love with the vineyard’s outstanding characteristics, exciting block composition and manageable size – reminiscent of Burgundy. Bibiana now knows each vineyard block intimately and attends to them obsessively. “With preparation and understanding, you know how to respond to each block,” she explains. “It goes beyond data and details, there is a feeling – a relationship a winemaker develops with the vineyard that produces the magical result of exceptional wines.”
Committed to promoting Ocean House's legacy of unforgettable farm-to-table cuisine, Executive Sous Chef Jacob Jasinski joined the Ocean House team in 2014. Chef Jacob, who has previously held positions at noted properties as Atlanta's Ritz-Carlton Buckhead, Kennebunkport's White Barn Inn and, most recently, Newport's Castle Hill Inn, brings to the Ocean House kitchens more than a decade's worth of information and inspiration. A graduate of the International Institute of Culinary Arts in Fall River, Massachusetts, Chef Jacob got his start as a sous chef at the White Horse Tavern in Newport, Rhode Island, where he stayed until 2005. After a year-long stint as a personal chef in Tuscon, Arizona, he took the money he had and traveled abroad. Working as a stagiaire, Chef Jacob was exposed to the artful cuisine of Osteria da Fiore, one of only two Michelin-star restaurants in Venice, Italy, and France's Domaine de Clairefontaine, also a Michelin-star-rated restaurant. Upon his return to the states, Chef Jacob continued to build his portfolio at Le Bernardin in New York City, The Salt Exchange in Portland, Maine and The Mansion in Las Vegas, under the guidance of Joël Robuchon, before returning to his New England roots.
A native of the Detroit area, Maximilian Kast’s passion for food and history led him to the world of wine. Previous to starting at the Fearrington House, Max was Food and Wine Director of Triple Creek Ranch in Montana, one of the United States’ most highly rated luxury resorts. Max joined The Fearrington House in North Carolina in 2007 as Sommelier, and within a year was promoted to Wine Director with responsibilities for the beverage program for the entire property. Since starting at the Fearrington House, Max has helped the restaurant attain Grand Chef Relais & Chateaux and Forbes Five Stars. Max is an Advanced Sommelier currently holding the Theory portion of the MS Exam, he was nominated as a rising star Sommelier by StarChefs.com in 2013 and was first runner-up in the TopSomm 2014 National Finals.
A Boston native, Alex owes his adventure in wine to years spent as a student in Provence . Though he mainly drank beers in the park, he was fortunate to live with a Frenchman who had photographed the classic wine- making text, Emile Peynaud’s Knowing and Making Wine, and exposed him to Vieux Télégraphes from the 1970s with Mamie’s traditional daubes Provençales. Alex moved west, worked a year in the financial sector in San Francisco before following a dream by writing Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard in whose cellars he met his business partner John Locke. For 5 years, Alex learned to clean tanks, barrels, floors, do punch- downs and pumpovers into the wee hours, drive forklifts & trucks. Eventually, he realized how wet the cellar was, and for more than a decade went over to the Dark Side (Sales) before the desire to make his own wine resurfaced in 2008.
John, a Michigan native, had arrived in 1990 at Randall’s doorstep after a career working as a consultant to a law firm in Washington DC. John was willing to work for free, and did for a time. John must be the only winemaker whose first harvest in the Northern hemisphere started in February with the first vintages of the Vin de Glacière. John had left Bonny Doon Vineyard in 2007, but was called out of winemaking retirement to launch Birichino with Alex in 2008. Over 17 years, John also had acquired some serious winemaking chops having spent years as winemaker for Randall, and also with Andre Ostertag of Domaine Ostertag in Alsace, all across the south of France, in Northern and Southern Italy and even Maharashtra, India for a time.
Fundamentally, Alex & John make wines they like to drink; wines lower in alcohol, higher-toned in terms of aromatics and brightness, produced with minimal intervention often via native yeasts, and cellared in stain- less or neutral barrels. Thanks to long standing relationships with 3rd generation growers with old vines on land they could never afford to buy, they are fortunate to make what they love, and doubly fortunate that folks around the globe have taken a liking to what they produce, because they would have a hard time drinking it all themselves, thought that remains the backup plan.
Ernst Loosen was born into a great tradition of German winemaking. The Dr. Loosen estate on the Mosel River has been in his family for over 200 years, so you’d think it only natural for him to take up the family legacy as a profession. The truth is, though, that as a youngster Ernst was more fascinated by the numerous Roman ruins in the area than by the family vineyards. So he went off to college to study archaeology.
In the mid-1980s, however, Ernst was faced with a decision. His father fell ill and was ready to turn the estate over to the next generation, but none of his brothers or sisters was old enough or interested enough to take it on. Happily, as it turns out, Ernst agreed to take on the estate and finally found his true calling among the broken slate of his family’s vineyards rather than the hewn stones of an old Roman ruin.
Having made the decision, Ernst dove into winemaking with his customary fervor. He had already completed studies at Geisenheim, Germany’s renowned winemaking school, and now he embarked on a self-directed review of the great wines of the world. He traveled to Austria, to Burgundy and Alsace, even to California and Australia. He went wherever great wine was being made, seeking out the best winemakers to find out what they had in common. What he discovered was that they all share a dedication to producing intense, concentrated wines that boldly proclaim their heritage. And they all ascribed to the philosophy that a great wine begins in your head — that is, you must have a clear vision of what you are striving for, before you pick a single grape.
They also have a worldly outlook that allows them to maintain respect for tradition while allowing judicious use of improved viticultural practices and modern winemaking techniques when they will improve quality. It is a philosophy that balances the old with the new. It is a way of thinking that has allowed him to move beyond the easy and familiar, the tried and not necessarily so true, to make wines that stand out as truly distinctive and world-class.
When Ernst Loosen assumed control of the Dr. Loosen estate in 1988, he recognized a lot of potential that was going unused. His father and grandfather had both been more involved in politics than winemaking, so nothing much had been done to maintain the vineyards or update the cellar. Because his predecessors had been unwilling to invest in new vines for what was essentially a family hobby, Ernst inherited a good number of ungrafted vines that were well over 100 years old — vines perfectly suited to the low-yield, highly concentrated style he wanted to produce.
His father’s neglect of the cellar also ended up working in Ernst’s favor. With no high-tech equipment to tempt them, Ernst and his cellarmaster had no choice but to make wines in a minimalist manner, with very little handling and long, slow fermentations.
Since Ernst took over, Dr. Loosen wines have received countless awards and glowing reviews in the press. The estate has become a member of the prestigious VDP, Germany’s association of top-rated wine estates, and has been named one of the 10 best estates in Germany by nearly every wine publication worldwide. Ernst was named Germany’s Winemaker of the Year in the 2001 edition of Gault Millau’s Weinguide Deutschland and Decanter magazine’s Man of the Year in 2005.
Ever restless for new adventures, in 1996 Ernst took over the historic J.L. Wolf estate, in the Pfalz region of Germany. Here he produces the more full-bodied style of Rhine valley Riesling, as well as the Pinot varieties that are traditional in that area.
Looking to the New World to rejuvenate the image of Riesling, in 1999 Ernst entered into a joint venture with Chateau Ste. Michelle in Washington state. Together they produce a Washington Riesling, called Eroica, which has set a new bar for expressive, top-quality Riesling in the United States. The wine is regularly praised as the finest example of American Riesling currently being produced.
In addition to his passion for Riesling, Ernst is a lifelong Pinot Noir fanatic, a variety that he has produced in the Pfalz since 1996. After numerous visits to Oregon over the years, he found a kindred spirit in winemaker Jay Somers, founder of J. Christopher Wines. They formed a partnership in 2010, built a new J. Christopher winery and are establishing a new vineyard in the northern Willamette Valley.
The Manzoni Estate Vineyard takes great pride in presenting you with wine from the finest quality grapes. They believe that their stewardship of the land, their purposefully small yields, and their detailed attention to every aspect of production results in a more flavorful, better tasting selection to grace your table.
"Since 1999, we have worked to become a wine name of discretion. We continue to grow grapes in the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County and work diligently to evolve our practices and to increase the quality of our wines.
"It is this dedication that gives us distinction in a rapidly expanding industry – dedication to standards of hard work, integrity, and uncompromising quality creates wines worthy of our customers tastes."
Fine winemaking is both an art and a passion, but also requires an understanding of the science of alchemy. The Manzoni family relies on the idea of terroir. This is the time-honored method of combining soil, slope, sun exposure, with a nod to the gods of weather that let the grape varieties show their unique characteristics.
They have chosen to grow grapes on California's cool coastal mountains, ridges, and hillsides and benchlands. Here, they strive to give you the richest, most intense flavors with a unique and memorable character.
"We believe that our family philosophy and our beliefs in vineyard methods, along with our dedication to perfecting our winemaking skills, result in amazing wines that you will find consistently intense, complex and palate pleasing."
Ron Mendoza is the Executive Pastry Chef for Aubergine and its sister properties Cantinetta Luca and Salumeria Luca. Formerly of Patina, Sona, and Boule in Los Angeles and the prestigious The French Laundry in Yountville, Chef Mendoza brings years of training and experience to his position; this is his third position at a Relais & Châteaux property.
Mendoza began his culinary career at the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, CA. Upon graduating he began working at Joachim Splichal’s Patina Restaurant, where he began rigorous pastry training under Michelle Myers. His successful relationship with both David and Michelle Myers continued when they asked him to help open their acclaimed restaurant, Sona. He helped them open Boule Patisserie in Los Angeles as the director of operations, overseeing the launch of one of the city’s most highly regarded specialty pastry shops. It was at this time that Mendoza was recognized as a “Rising Star” by StarChefs.com.
In 2006 he accepted the position of Pastry Sous Chef at the famed French Laundry in Yountville, California. While there he immersed himself in the Thomas Keller culture, where he cultivated a quest for perfection and a passionate respect for ingredients.
In the fall of 2007 Mendoza moved to Carmel to join the award-winning team at L’Auberge Carmel and Aubergine. Mendoza’s style is creative, using techniques both modern and classical and strives for balance in flavors and textures.
My cooking career started quitting from university in 1998, when I decided to leave Peru to Canada to start my cooking education, finished school in Paris 1st place on Le Grande Diplome at Le Cordon Bleu, after that start sailing with Silversea Cruises, then move to Australia where join the Palazzo Versace at the Gold Coast, went for a while to Mugaritz in the basque, and then sailing again with Silversea, where went all the way to Executive Sous Chef. 2006 Sous Chef at Bilson's, 2007 El Bulli, 2008 back to Bilson's returning to El Bulli for a bit more. 2009 first job in Peru Excecutive Chef at one of the Orient Express properties in Lima, 2011 back to Australia, Royal Mail Hotel in Victoria first then Bilson's as Head Chef, where had a really good year on 2011 recovering the 3rd hat in 4 month, nominated Chef of the year, restaurant of the year and best vegetarian restaurant.
In 2012 come back to Peru to run the new project of Astrid & Gaston Casa Moreyra changing all the kitchen philosophy and putting everything ready from the old house in Cantuarias Miraflores to the move to Casa Moreyra San Isidro, got 1st restaurant on the best 50 best restaurants Latin America on it’s first issue, this year 2nd, got 14th on the 50 Best restaurants in the world 2013 and 18th on 2014, taking the leadership of the restaurant after Gaston Acurio step aside of it in September 2014.
Nathaniel has been a steward of wine and service along California's Central Coast for nearly 15 years. He has captured the sense of hospitality and raw beauty that pervades these communities while cultivating promising relationships along the way.
Nathaniel approached finer service at Seagrass Restaurant in Santa Barbara, owned and operated by Mitchel Sjervin. He honed his palate under John Locke, Wine Director at Soif Wine Bar & Restaurant in Santa Cruz. Nathaniel also established a service focused culture with the esoteric wines of Randall Grahm at Le Cigare Volant.
Love for food and wine is shown in his unshakeable enthusiasm. Nathaniel loves being on the floor during service, interacting with his guests as he is always focused on the guests' needs.
In 2012, he earned his Introductory & Certified Sommelier certifications through the Court of Master Sommeliers. In 2013, Nathaniel joined the ranks as the Restaurant Director at Aubergine. His attention to detail and passion for wine has made him a wonderful candidate in creating the steps of service, crafting a coastal cuisine focused wine program and overseeing day-to-day operations here at Aubergine.
In 2014, Aubergine was awarded Forbes Travel Guide 5 Star Rating. Nathaniel was also appointed as Chef Sommelier of Relais & Chateaux GourmetFest 2014. Ultimately, Nathaniel aligns his passion for creating memorable guest experiences with having "The Heart of a Servant", the core value of David Fink, owner Mirabel Hotel & Restaurant Group.
In 1987, Beth Novak Milliken joined her mother, Mary Novak, becoming the first second-generation family member to become actively involved in guiding Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery. In the more than quarter century since, Beth has played a key role in establishing the Spottswoode Estate Vineyard as one of the world’s great winegrowing sites, and Spottswoode as one of Napa Valley’s most iconic and respected wineries. She has also quietly built a reputation as a leader in the Napa Valley community, advocating on behalf of the wine industry, and the social and environmental causes she holds dear.
Moving to Napa Valley with her parents in 1972, Beth grew up surrounded by the vineyards. Like her four siblings, Beth’s chores included tasks like suckering the vines and cleaning out the emitters.While her youth in Napa Valley may have planted the seed for her future, ironically, it was a year spent studying abroad in Europe that made her begin thinking about a career in wine. After earning a degree in economics from UCLA, Beth joined a San Francisco-based wine brokerage representing clients like Caymus, Joseph Phelps and Pine Ridge.
When Mary asked Beth to help out “a little” at the winery, it didn’t take long for a few days a week to become a permanent way of life. “Back then, we were on our third release, and we were still in the red,” says Beth. “Two things became immediately obvious to me: this was a full time position, and I absolutely loved being a part of the winery!” One of Beth’s first major decisions was to acquire the historic adjacent Kraft property to expand the estate and establish a barrel room and offices in its beautiful buildings. Since then, Beth has played an integral role in the thoughtful evolution of Spottswoode. During her tenure, Beth has overseen the replanting of the estate in response to phylloxera, the vineyard’s CCOF organic certification in 1992, and the building of the Spottswoode Estate Winery in 1999.
In addition, Beth has been a strong and effective voice for the Napa Valley wine community. Reflecting the high regard she is held in by her peers, in 1998, Beth was elected the youngest president of the Napa Valley Vintners, becoming the first woman to hold the position. A believer in leading by example, Beth and Mary worked with four women winemakers in a row at Spottswoode, before promoting current winemaker Aron Weinkauf. Beth also spearheaded the restoration of Spring Creek, which defines the southern boundary of the estate vineyard. In 2010, Beth and Mary were honorary chairs of Auction Napa Valley, a hugely successful event that raised more than $8,500,000 for Napa Valley nonprofits, and in 2007, Spottswoode joined 1% for the Planet, donating 1% of Spottswoode’s gross revenues each year to nonprofits that support a healthier world.
Above all else, Beth sees herself as a steward of her family’s winegrowing estate. “Our family has a four-decade relationship with this land that now spans three generations. I grew up here, along with my four siblings, and now the third generation is enjoying the property.When you own a family winery like ours, the cellar is like a photo album, each vintage of our Spottswoode Estate Cabernet is a picture of a year in our family’s life.This is why it has always been so important to us that our wines reflect who we are, and what we believe in, both in terms of the way we farm our vineyard and the balanced style of our wines.”
A native Californian, Jeffrey Patterson graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 1975 with a degree in biology. While in Berkeley, he witnessed and participated in the emergence of northern California’s fine wine and food culture and in 1979 he enrolled at U.C. Davis enology program, where he studied for two years.
In 1981, Patterson became assistant winemaker at Mount Eden Vineyards. Jeffrey and his wife Ellie left Berkeley to begin a new life 2,000 feet above the Santa Clara Valley. A little over a year after his arrival, Patterson was promoted to head winemaker and general manager, and Ellie became the winery’s business manager. In 1986, they became significant shareholders in the company and in 2008 the Patterson’s acquired the majority of the ownership with their two children, Sophie and Reid.
Many domaines in Burgundy can trace their roots back over 100 years, but only a handful can claim more than 200 years of history. Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé can trace a line back over 550 years, to 1450 and the Chambolle vines of one Jean Moisson. Highly regarded as the greatest estate in Chambolle Musigny, today the domaine is headed by its 20th generation – Claire de Causans and Marie de Ladoucette, the granddaughters of the late Comte Georges de Vogüé.
The philosophy at de Vogüé is one which tries to blend tradition and modernity. Nothing is done systematically in either the vineyard or the cellar. There is a constant adaptation to both vineyard and vintage conditions. De Vogüé sees themselves as intermediaries: nature is the boss, and they then guide the wine.
Gary Pisoni exudes passion—for adventure, for family, for grape growing, for wine. He has managed to combine all of these by pouring his enthusiasm and energy into Pisoni Vineyards & Winery.
Described as “the new face of American Pinot Noir” and “Burgundian-crazy about his vines,” Gary grows grapes in the Santa Lucia Highlands using meticulous viticultural practices. Over the last 20 years, he has transformed the mountainous property where his parents once grazed a couple of horses and few head of cattle into one of California’s most renowned vineyards.
The Pisoni family has two goals: grow exceptional grapes for high-end wineries and to make wine under the family labels, Pisoni Estate and Lucia Vineyards. Gary and his two sons, Mark and Jeff, farm and produce Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah from their three vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands: Pisoni, Garys’ and Soberanes Vineyards. These vineyards and wines represent an extreme commitment to farming and classical winemaking.
Derek Poirier, Ecole du Grand Chocolat Pastry Chef Western USA and 2014 Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America, brings his experience and skills honed in the top hotels of the US and Canada in his work with the French chocolate maker. He teaches and conducts demonstrations in restaurants, hotels and culinary schools throughout the US and Canada.
He also develops recipes and teaches master classes attended by an international array of pastry chefs who travel to Valrhona’s famed L’Ecole du Grand Chocolat located in Tain l’Hermitage in the wine region of France’s Rhone Valley. He has represented the U.S. and Canada in world pastry competitions, including in 2003 and 2005, as a member of Team USA at the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie in Lyon, France which brings together the top pastry chefs from 22 countries. He advised the Team USA chefs who were training for the 2009 and 2011 competition.
In June 2014, Dessert Professional magazine, the nation's leading publication of pastry, ice cream and chocolate industries, inducted Chef Derek Poirier into the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America for 2014.
A native of Vancouver, BC, he currently makes his home in Arizona.
Château Richeux, a big 1920s villa, faces the Mont St-Michel in the middle of the countryside. The sea, the sky, the earth, infinite blues, greens, greys blend into each other - everything that has shaped us is here, in the crashing waves, the gusts of wind, the striking natural beauty. We wanted this place to be suspended between sky and earth, facing the sea which is visible from the eleven rooms and two apartments, through the big mullioned windows. Each room encourages rest, refreshment and meditation. The furniture comes from antique shops or belongs to the original house - the soft or bright colours complement the sea view, while all the comforts are there to carry you away.
Château Richeux also houses "le Restaurant le Coquillage", whose dining room with its soft light and dark wood is designed not to disturb your contemplation of the sea. Here, you will taste cooking that seeks healthy simplicity and elegance, several hot and cold shellfish and fish dishes served in a convivial atmosphere. There is also "dishes that change with the wind and the moon from O. Roellinger", specially conceived to allow you to taste some of our classic dishes and new creations : marine, vegetable and spice dishes, cheeses from Brittany and Normandy, the sweets trolley... all of this maintains a link with my spirit of culinary adventure !
Toby Rowland-Jones, Welsh-born bon-vivant and founder of the Big Sur Food and Wine Festival has a long history in event management and especially in wine festival work. Currently sommelier at Grasing’s of Carmel, working with one of the Peninsula’s largest wine lists, he has also organized the sommelier crew for the magical Central Coast Wine Classic, and also oversaw the wine teams for the Masters of Food and Wine for many years. Toby also organizes the wine panels and food service for the successful Auction Lunch for the Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta, an event he has helped with since 2001.
Moving from the UK in 1978 to California, Toby’s love of wine and overall good living has permeated his life. He is a board member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs as a Conseil Gastronomique, and a board member of the local chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food as Business Development Director.
Our mission is to sustainably farm quality shellfish from larvae to table while being responsible community citizens and active stewards for our marine environment.
We are the largest producer of farmed shellfish in the United States. Under the leadership of the Taylor family of Shelton, WA, our business has grown to nearly 500 employees and 11,000 acres of tidelands along the Washington coast and British Columbia. We also operate additional hatchery and nursery facilities in Hawaii and California, a shellfish distribution business in Hong Kong, and are partners growing Fiji Pearls with J. Hunter Pearls Fiji, Ltd.
It all started with our great grandfather, who tried his hand at everything from ranching with Wyatt Earp in Arizona to searching for gold in Alaska, but knew he’d found true gold when he began farming the tiny Olympia oyster in the pristine waters of Puget Sound in the 1890s. Since then, every generation of Taylors has grown up with a deep and abiding love for shellfish and for the close-knit communities and rugged landscapes of western Washington.
Tetsuya Wakuda grew up in the Japanese town of Hamamatsu in the Shizuoka Prefecture. With a limited knowledge of English, and of the country which would become his home, Tetsuya arrived in Australia at the age of twenty-two, never imagining he would one day be embraced as one of the nation's favourite chefs. Landing in Sydney in 1982 with nothing more than a small suitcase and a love of food, Tetsuya found his very first job as a kitchen hand at Fishwives in Surry Hills. A year later he was introduced to Sydney chef Tony Bilson, who was looking for a Japanese cook to make sushi at Kinsela's. It was at Kinsela's that Tetsuya learned classical French techniques, thus forming the beginnings of his own style of cooking, marrying the French technique with the Japanese philosophy of using natural, seasonal flavours.
"I made a lot of things up along the way and, luckily for me, people liked the way it tasted." Tetsuya Wakuda
Tetsuya left Kinsela's in 1983 and, in partnership with the head waiter, opened Ultimo's. Six years later, in 1989, he went on to open his own restaurant, Tetsuya's, on a small site in the Sydney suburb of Rozelle. Relocating to the CBD in November 2000, Tetsuya refurbished the heritage-listed site at 529 Kent St to create his dream restaurant, complete with dining rooms overlooking an exquisite Japanese garden.
Tetsuya is proud to promote the traditions and cuisine of Japan, and was honoured to be selected as the Japanese sake industry's first overseas Sake Samurai (or ambassador) in 2006.
In addition to the restaurant, Tetsuya has introduced some of his most loved and admired recipes to kitchen and book shelves across the globe, with his cookbook Tetsuya, and expanding range of gourmet products.
Over the course of his career, Tetsuya has won acclaim not only in Australia, but also internationally. Tetsuya's featured in Restaurant Magazine (London) World's 50 Best Restaurants from the list's inception in 2002 through to 2012, and Tetsuya has earned international recognition as one of the world's great chefs, acknowledged by his peers, the media, and diners around the globe. Tetsuya was proud to be awarded the inaugural Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide People's Choice Award for 2011 and 2013, thus cementing his reputation as one of the most respected and beloved chefs in the industry today.
2010 saw Tetsuya embark upon an exciting culinary venture in Singapore. His new restaurant, Waku Ghin, is located in the spectacular Marina Bay Sands, and has received the same exceptional reviews as Tetsuya continues to enjoy for his eponymous restaurant in Sydney.
Cultivation and trading wines has been a family business since the early 18th century. The establishments C.Marey and Comte Liger-Belair, created in 1720 at Nuits Saint-Georges, later quoted on the Lyon Stock Exchange in 1923, counted amongst the most important wine merchant houses in Burgundy. Building on the quality of harvests and that wines, the family endeavoured to enlarge the domaine and to distribute the best wines of Burgundy, both in France and around the world.
After six years of study of vine growing and oenology, Thibault starts his career in a company specialized in the communication around the wine business, located in Paris. He works with and tastes the greatest wines of the world. After two years, he launches ‘Wine and Co’ an internet wine merchant. Since 2001 Thibault Liger Belair acts as chairman of Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair and is fully involved in the production of wines.
Inspired by southern cuisine and her upbringing in Pennsylvania, Liz Miller leads Blackberry Farm’s pastry team in creating new and inspiring pastry dishes. A graduate of both the DCT Swiss Hotel & Business Management School and IUP Academy of Culinary Arts, Liz came to Blackberry Farm in 2011 from The Inn at Little Washington. As the pastry chef, Liz is responsible for managing the pastry team as well as menu planning, new dessert creation and chocolates.
“Since 1999, Jim Schultze and his family have been building a reputation for ethereal pinot noir from the little-known Corralitos area. As Corralitos’ profile grows, Windy Oaks is a standard-bearer.” Jon Bonné, San Francisco Chronicle.
On a ridge overlooking the Monterey Bay, Windy Oaks estate pinot noir vineyards enjoy the moderating influence of the Bay with one of the longest growing seasons of any pinot noir vineyard in California. From 26 acres of vineyard, Jim Schultze, the owner, winemaker, and vineyard manager produces small lots of pinot noir, using whole cluster and native yeast fermentation. The estate pinot noir is aged in French oak barrels for a minimum of 18 months. All these factors combine to produce an elegant and complex wine, age-worthy, but always drinkable upon release.
Ackerman Family Vineyards, Addison at the Grand Del Mar, Albatross Ridge, Astrid & Gastón Casa Moreyra, Auberge Saint-Antoine, Aubergine at L'Auberge Carmel, The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Beauregard Vineyards, Big Basin Vineyards, Birichino, Bragard, Inc., Bras, Chappellet, Château de Beaucastel, Chateau de Codignat, Chateau de la Treyne, Crocker & Starr, Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé, Dr. Loosen, Elounda Mare Hotel, Enoteca Pinchiorri, The Fearrington House, Gaja, Galante Vineyards, Gary Danko, Hotel Neri, I. Brand Family Wines, The Inn at Little Washington, La Playa Carmel, Le Moût Restaurant, Les Maison de Bricourt, Liquid Farm, Lucia Vineyards, Manzoni Cellars, Mount Eden Vineyards, Muse by Jonathan Cartwright, Pahlmeyer, Pisoni Vineyards, The Pitcher Inn, The Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnsih Inn, Ridge Vineyards, Roar Wines, Santa Lucia Preserve, Shared Notes, Seasons Restaurant at Ocean House, Seventh & Dolores, Shared Notes, Spottswoode, Taylor Shellfish Farms, Tetsuya's, Thibault Liger-Belair, Wayfarer, Weekapaug Inn, Windy Oaks Estate
Relais & Châteaux is an exclusive collection of 500 of the finest charming hotels and gourmet restaurants in 60 countries. From the vineyards in Napa valley to the beaches in Bali, from the olive trees in Provence to the lodges in South Africa, Relais & Châteaux offers all the stops on the finest route for discovering each special place and country.
Founded in France in 1954, Relais & Châteaux (www.relaischateaux.com) represents the highest benchmark in hotel accommodations and fine dining, with a select group of privately owned hotels and restaurants worldwide. The concept grew from the vacationing traditions of well-heeled French society, who traveled to a variety of "relais" (lodges) and "châteaux" (castles) which, while different in architecture, scenery and cuisine, presented consistently high standards.