Pebble Beach Food & Wine Battle of the Coasts: WEST

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Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2013 pitted West Coast vs. East Coast chefs in a two-dinner Battle of the Coasts, featuring five chefs from each coast cooking on back-to-back nights at The Lodge at Pebble Beach’s Stillwater Bar & Grill. On April 5, East Coast started proceedings. On April 6, it was the West Coast’s chance to impress with an illustrious roster that included Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn), Thomas McNaughton (Flour + Water, Salumeria + Central Kitchen), Nancy Oakes (Boulevard + Prospect), Tyler Florence and pastry chef Lincoln Carson (Michael Mina Restaurant Group). Gary Obligacion, Director of Service Operations for Alinea, was once again a gracious M.C. People who attended both dinners (like me, thanks to my hosts at PBFW) got to informally choose a winner. While both dinners had plenty of positives, I ultimately preferred the West Coast meal.

Chef Dinner Pebble Beach
Tyler Florence’s standout hors d’oeuvres consisted of Sweet Pea Deviled Eggs, crispy Iberico ham, mint, truffle salt.

Chef Dinner Pebble Beach
COURSE #1: Dominique Crenn – Uni, Licorice, White Chocolate, Yuzu. The confident chef said, “Who was at the dinner last night? I’m sorry…You’re going to learn a lot tonight.” The pairing: Grieve Family Winery Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley 2011

Chef Dinner Pebble Beach
COURSE #2: Thomas McNaughton – Black Cioppino. He was inspired by San Francisco and delivered a classic shellfish broth with swordfish, mussels, puffed rice, preserved radish, sliced radish, and black color from dried black Mexican chiles. The pairing: Clendenen Family Chardonnay, “Le Bon Climat,” Santa Maria 2008

Chef Dinner Pebble Beach
COURSE #3: Nancy Oakes – Roasted King Quail with barberries, pinenuts, saba gumdrops and cabbage rolls with “duck liver.” Wink. The pairing: Sandhi Pinot Noir, “Sanford & Benedict,” Santa Rita. Hills 2011

Chef Dinner Pebble Beach
COURSE #4: Tyler Florence – Roasted Beef Bone, short rib crust, dry aged cap, hedgehogs, asparagus, sea bean, fiddlehead ferns, fennel, garlic flavors, crispy shallots. Florence channeled the “spirit of the beef bone” with a “foresty effect.” My tablemate said, “This lends a whole new definition of having a bone to pick with you.” The pairing: Master Sommelier Larry Stone presented Quintessa, Rutherford 2006.

Chef Dinner Pebble Beach
COURSE #5: Lincoln Carson – Red Velvet Cake, rooibos, strawberry, hibiscus. The pairing: Taylor Floodgate, Vintage Porto 2003, a rare vintage port.

Chef Dinner Pebble Beach
Lincoln Carson provided two different mignardises to close the meal.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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