Pebble Beach, World Class Chefs and The Lexus Effect

Pebble Beach Food and Wine's Featured Chefs: Stephanie Izard of Girl & The Goat with Carlo Mirarchi of Blanca NYC

The interview, with Drew Barrymore and her winemaker, Kris Kato was more than enough to entice me.

Superb food at Lexus USA Pebble Beach Food and Wine
Sunday Grand Tasting Bites

Coasting down Highway 101 south to Pebble Beach. The road is smooth. The curves, tight. I’m in a 2017 Lexus GS 200t that hugs the road like a boa embraces its prey. It’s the 10 year anniversary of Lexus USA’s Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival. A landmark year with a partnership pairing top chefs with world-class winemakers.  First-time attendees and returnees flock to Monterey and Pebble Beach for the food and wine experience of the year.

Pebble Beach Food & Wine it is an assault on the senses. Classy. Sumptuous. Indulgent.

This unexpected adventure was a quest of the edible sort. Seizing an opportunity of an interview with someone I had long admired. This trip would become a hodgepodge of circumstance, good luck, and initiative.  The interview, with Drew Barrymore and her winemaker, Kris Kato was more than enough to entice me. I worked with Lexus USA and the Food and Wine PR people to pull it all together. Now settled in a brand new car, the wind in my hair, I am hustling down to cover four days of events.

We caught up with Carlo Mirarchi Michelin Star Chef of the famed NYC restaurant, Blanca and Stephanie Izard of Girl And The Goat and Bravo’s Top Chef winner.  Both are Lexus Culinary Masters.

Pebble Beach Food & Wine it is an assault on the senses.  Classy. Sumptuous. Indulgent. Three words that

Pebble Beach Food and Wine After Party Fun
Music, food and wine shine at Pebble Beach.

I’m inspired by foods from other cultures.

Superstar Chefs are a fixture at this event. Bestowing memorable dining experiences is their gift. What they do at PBFW is impressive. The pace is fervent. Extensive prep goes into getting stations ready. Ultra fresh edibles, the best ingredients, and unique garnishes are ready to plate. The biggest challenge for them is keeping pace with consumption.  Dishes plated to perfection, the wide array of offerings tantalizes the most particular palate.

Stacked near the front door, hundreds of glasses are ready for tasting. Chilled to perfection the bottles are snug in their ice buckets glistening with condensation as they await their destiny. The tables soon to be flowing with first-class wine and champagne.

This is the event of the year for food & wine.  From culinary demonstrations, and incredible tastings to seminars on Barolo, Beaujolais, and Rosé all Day this landmark event has a dish and a glass for all. We caught up with Lexus Culinary Masters, Carlo Mirarchi Michelin Star Chef of the famed NYC restaurant, Blanca and Stephanie Izard of The Girl And The Goat and Bravo’s Top Chef winner.

Pebble Beach, World Class Chefs and The Lexus Effect
Carlos Mirarchi of Blanca in NYC

TWS: What is the biggest thrill you get out of creating a dish for Pebble Beach Food and Wine?

Stephanie Izard:  We like bringing dishes that we have already created from one of the restaurants since folks on the west coast may not get the chance to come see us in Chicago very often.

Carlo Mirarchi: Getting to the beautiful coast of NorCal and getting to see some old friends and make some new ones.

TWS: What criteria and process do you use when determining the menu?

Izard: Creating dishes that are full of flavor, fun and that are memorable!

Carlo Mirarchi: We try and work with what ingredients are best wherever we are and try to focus on keeping things simple and flavorful.

TWS: What is the biggest challenge you encounter regularly in your business and how do you stay on top of it?

Izard: Staffing.  Every kitchen has the same struggle.  We just make sure to hold out for the best, even if it means being short staffed from time to time.  It’s better to not settle! Mirarchi:  The cooking is easy…’s the managing of humans that is difficult!

Bravo's Top Chef Winner Stephanie Izard of girl and the goat in Chicago
Stephanie Izard, Top Chef Winner and Owner, girl and the Goat

TWS: You likely have driven a few now. What is your favorite Lexus of 2017?

Izard:  The LC 500h is hard to beat.

Mirarchi:  Definitely the LC 500.

TWS: How do you get inspired? 

Izard: I’m inspired by foods from other cultures.  There are so many amazing flavors around the world and I love continuing to learn about them!

Mirarchi:  I try and find inspiration in everything.

TWS: When you are not eating at your restaurant what dish can we find in front of you?

Izard:  If I’m smiling really big, I probably have a lot of sashimi in front of me.

Mirarchi:  Most likely lamb dumplings.

TWS: When did you know you were going to be a chef?

Izard:  I think it was always in me… but it took going to college and not finding anything that truly interested me to realize it was what I was meant to do.

Mirarchi:  When I figured out I was pretty awful at everything else!

While the food and wine was the highlight for me, the experience left an indelible impression as did Lexus.

Mark your calendar!  The Pebble Beach Food & Wine experience returns April 5-8, 2018.

Pebble Beach Food and Wine event dazzles every year. Check out this post by The Wine Siren, Kelly Mitchell
View of Napa Vineyards before my journey to Pebble Beach Food and Wine in my 2017 loaner from Lexus USA

Recent Post

Kelly Mitchell on Instagram

All I want to do... is have some fun @tressabores #NapaValley check them out. Absolutely outstanding down to earth vibe and wine that`s better for you and planet earth. Sustainable, organic & truly killer wine! #certifiedsustainable #certifiedorganic ...

Current vibe on @threadsapp ...

I know no joy as great as a moment of rushing into a new love, no ecstasy like that of a new love.
~ Anais Nin

The words say it all. Magnificent drink. If you can get it. @turleywine 2015 Napa Valley Library Block Petite Syrah
Dark, brooding with a side of magnificent freshness.

And now back to Paris for a formidably fabulous Friday! Michelin-star restaurant- check! Fabulous dark and exquisite library for enjoying cocktails, a breathtaking entrance of a French hideaway from years ago...

Stunning Michelin star restaurant and beautiful bibliothèque with Parisian friends.

Bookmark this spot! I don’t often share where I dine unless I am out of the country, but because so many people ask 💋🍷💋#TheWineSiren I am going to change that. Take my favorite brunch and Fried Chicken spot! @southsidenapa offers not only some of the freshest most inviting dishes in Napa, they also have a wide array of coffee, tea, wine and bubbles to pair your dishes with.

Its one of the few #petfriendly places with great food and an inviting team. Lots of talent here in the food arena and the outdoor seating area is equipped with swinging chairs, a fire pit and comfortable seating inside and out.

Fried Chicken you ask? Yes! Pairs perfectly with your Napa Valley Sparkling and #Champagne.The best in Napa Valley. Make sure and call ahead, they often sell out.

Hours are 8am-2pm
Breakfast served all day and an expanded lunch menu.

With over 30 years of sustainability under their belt, Domaine Carneros has a big headstart in the way of sustainability. They built the first significant solar installation, recognized as the largest in the world at the time. Far beyond complacent, Domaine Carneros continues to push the limits and try new techniques and strategies to improve their abilities.

Domaine Carneros

An incredible indulgence and the ultimate experience.

It’s in my neighborhood. Two miles away door to door. Why do I find myself returning again and again? Because this is one of the most stunning destinations in Carneros and Napa Valley. Stunning in both taste and views.

The skies, the ultimate blue, the vineyard hills throughout the landscape. It’s a breathtaking pinch yourself situation no matter how often you visit.

The team is so welcoming and the sparkling wine is world class and made sustainably. If you’re ready to step up your sparkling wine game this is where you need to be.

The wines tasted:

2016 Estate Brut Cuvée (late disgorge) ripe pear, white flowers, creamy, beautiful structure.
2019 Brut Rosé Pinot Noir & Chardonnay, incredible well poised, citrus, red berries, almonds and floral notes
2015 Le Rêve Blanc de Blancs Tête de Cuvée The dream. A signature must taste from the most prized blocks of Chardonnay. Evocative of citrus curd, pie crust, a nuance of ginger and tart lemon. I could drink this all day every day!
2017 Ultra Brut Tropical fruit, lime, lemon zest, crisp, lovely palate and exquisite finish.

The ultimate indulgence, featuring three of Tsar Nicoulai’s finest caviars:
Classic, Select, and Golden Reserve
Served with potato chips, toast points, and Cowgirl Creamery crème fraîche.

Make your reservation today! and ask for the caviar experience!

#TheWineSiren #DomaineCarneros #CertifiedSustainable #NapaValley #WinePairing #SparklingWine

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Pebble Beach, World Class Chefs and The Lexus Effect

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