Deals & Events

GourmetFest Hits Carmel With World-Famous Chefs & Rare Wines

By Virginia Miller  |  February 18, 2015
Credit: Gina Taro

It's year number two for Relais & Châteaux's Gourmetfest in Carmel, a food and drink extravaganza of famed chefs from restaurants from around the world, rare wines and spirits, dinners, events and tasting. The lineup is impressive over a long weekend (Thursday, March 5-Sunday, March 8) featuring Relais & Châteaux chefs and international winemakers (think Dom Pérignon, Dr. Loosen, Gaja, Ridge and Comte Georges de Vogüé). Lunches and dinners are cooked by world-renowned chefs and restaurants like Diego Muñoz from Astrid & Gastón in Lima, Peru, or Michel Bras of Bras - Sébastien et Michel in France, alongside California chefs such as SF's Gary Danko and Justin Cogley of Aubergine at L’Auberge in Carmel.

Here are just a few event highlights over the weekend, which you can attend individually (some pretty splurge-worthy, others under $200) — full schedule and details here.

Thursday, March 5

Opening Night Welcome Party (6-9 PM) at La Playa Carmel

The opening party is a strolling dinner party among stations of guest chefs/restaurants, foods, wines, beer and spirits producers.

Friday, March 6

Grand Women Chefs & Winemakers Luncheon (11 AM) at La Playa Carmel

A cooking demo with Annie Féolde from Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence, Italy, is followed by a four-course lunch from Féolde, Lanshu Chen of Le Moût in Taiwan, Jennifer Backman from The Weekapaug Inn in Rhode Island and pastry chef Liz Williams from Blackberry Farm in Tennessee with lovely wines from the winemakers at Gaja and Spottswoode.

Rarities Dinner (6:30 PM) at Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel

A 10-course dinner cooked by Michel Bras of Bras, Justin Cogley of Aubergine, Olivier Roellinger of Les Maisons de Bricourt in France, Tetsuya of Tetsuya in Sydney and Aubergine pastry chef Ron Mendoza. The Black River Caviar and rare wine pairings will be from Richard Geoffroy of Dom Pérignon, Jean-Luc Pepin of Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé and Paul Draper from Ridge Vineyards. Sounds like food- and wine-lover heaven.


At last year's inaugural GourmetFest, chef Patrick O'Connell from Virginia's The Inn at Little Washington [Photo Source: Gina Taro]

Saturday, March 7

Wild Mushroom Hunt & Lunch (9:30 AM) at Santa Lucia Preserve

Former Point Lobos Ranger Chuck Bancroft and his team of mycologists (those who study funghi) lead 80 people on a wild mushroom hunt through the gorgeous, 20,000-acre Santa Lucia Preserve. Of course, a meal is involved: in this case, a wild mushroom lunch feast (with wine pairings) post-hunt by the Preserve’s host chef Jerry Regester and chef Jacob Jasinski from Ocean House in Rhode Island.

Relais & Chateaux Grand Chef Dinner (6:30 PM) at Seventh & Dolores

A major dinner paired with Dom Pérignon and a range of global wines. The chefs cooking include Annie Féolde from Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence, Justin Cogley of Aubergine, Colin Bedford from Fearrington House in Pittsboro, NC, Diego Muñoz of Astrid & Gastón and Lanshu Chen of Le Moût.

Sunday, March 8

The Plenitude of Dom Perignon (10:30 AM-12 PM) at Seventh & Dolores

Champagne lovers will delight to a taste through the Dom Pérignon cellars with winemaker Richard Geoffrey, including rare Pérignon vintages all the way back to 1975, '73 and '66.