The first annual Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival took place over the weekend, attracting over 3,000 attendees paying up to $5k a ticket. Among the 133 chefs and sommeliers making appearances were Thomas Keller, Tom Colicchio, Jacques Pepin, Masarahu Morimoto, and, natch, a whole slew of Top Chef contestants. The wine flowed, the chefs were treated like gods/rock stars, and great food and weather was had by all. Of course, Eater LA was there to get the first hand account. They've got the full recap, a look at the wine room, and some insights on Gail Simmons, Iron Chef Morimoto, and ex-Top Cheffer Tre Wilcox. Here are some highlights:
On Thomas Keller: "Thomas Keller cooking demo was a packed house. Queen's 'Under Pressure' and Van Halen's 'Jump' kicked things off...He asked his sous for temps and times while he discussed sous vide, molecular gastronomy, Grant Aschatz, critics, and artisanal ingredients, including the woman who supplies the French Laundry and Per Se with butter (Animal Farm from Orwell, VT) and why her divorce is the reason dinner prices went up."
On Todd English: "The famous ones congregate together, like a walled garden to keep the plebes out. As soon as one broke away, adoring fans were quick on the attack for pictures and 'love your restaurant and/or show.' Todd English ignored one woman's greeting, but she wouldn't leave until he acknowledged her (his friend finally said, 'Just say hello.').
On Ted Allen: The Top Chef judge admitted that he and Tom Colicchio commented on this Eater LA conspiracy theory post trying to shoot it down.
On Iron Chef Morimoto: "Iron Chef Masarahu Morimoto knows his way around the links. We're told he was the best on the course today; Ming Tsai, not so much. Tom Colicchio was also out there"