Author Archive | Laura Ness

Local Chefs, Wineries Show Their Stuff At PBFW

April 10, 2018 – One of the highlights of Pebble Beach & Wine, now in its 11thyear, is the Lexus Grand Tasting tent, a pure spectacle of tasteful indulgence. This year, local chefs and winemakers were out in force, tucked in among nearly 100 wineries from around the world. Here are some of the top finds we encountered while trying to indulge in some of the world’s finest champagnes.

Executive Chef Brian Kearns, Quail Lodge, Carmel Valley

The line was always long and earnest for this hearty but not heavy dish presenting beef cheeks with spring onion, cauliflower and savory hazelnut granola, sporting a wonderful texture, complex flavors and the perfect crunch. No wonder people stood in line, repeatedly. Plus chef Kearns is just the cutest.

Executive Chef Read More

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Wild Fish Hires Chef for New PG Spot

April 3, 2018 – What was once Favaloro’s in Pacific Grove becomes Wild Fish this week, as new owners Liz and Kelvin Jacobs take over. For the couple, who also run the first location of Wild Fish in Little River, on the splendid Mendocino coast, having a restaurant on the Monterey Peninsula is a dream come true.

They hope to get staff up and running and hold a friends and family soft opening on April 26, followed by a general opening on April 28.

As the name suggests, the restaurant will specialize in wild, locally-caught seafood, along with fresh organic produce from local farms—everything made from scratch and beautifully presented.

Chef Steven Patlan, who has worked in restaurants including the Inn at Spanish Bay, Solaire at the Paradox Hotel in Santa … Read More

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Watsonville Embraces New Integrity Wines Tasting Room

March 27, 2018 – Mark and Gail Hoover were on a winetasting vacation in Murphy’s a few years back, drawn, like so many, to the charm and wine-infused nature of the place. This is a quaint foothills town filled to the brim with tasting rooms. After a few days of exploration, Mark had one simple observation, shared with Gail over a glass of the local Zin: “We can do this!” And thus, an amateur winemaking fixation that had been a source of pleasure since 1981 became the glimmer of a commercial reality that today is Integrity Wines.

Hoover—a sixth generation born and raised Santa Cruzan whose family moved here in the 1840s—went to school at Santa Cruz High, attended Hartnell College and also UCSC, where he majored in Environmental Studies … Read More

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In the Gaggenau Kitchen with David Kinch

March 20, 2018 – When renowned Michelin star chef, David Kinch of Manresa in Los Gatos, mic’d up to do his cooking demo at GourmetFest in Carmel this past weekend, a rapt hush fell over the audience. Cameras trained in to capture his every move: stalking fame. But Kinch isn’t one to relish it. In fact, he explained that while he’s a cook and a chef, he’s not a public speaker. “Help me out here,” he said, “and ask me questions while I’m working. It makes me less nervous.”

Kinch was introduced by GourmetFest organizer David Fink, proprietor of L’Auberge Carmel, who thanked him for being part of the four-day foodie extravaganza that presents an impressive roster of Relais & Châteaux Chefs, along with the world’s finest wine estates.

Manresa … Read More

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Hahn Takes Best of Monterey, Scheid Shows Muscle in Wine Competition

March 13, 2018 – Nicky Hahn, founder of Hahn Estate, passed away last week at age 81, so he didn’t get to hear the news. But he would surely have been proud to learn that the 2016 Hahn Santa Lucia Highlands Estate Syrah was chosen “Best of Monterey” at the recently concluded Monterey Wine Competition, held at the fairgrounds in King City. Congratulations to longtime winemaker, Paul Clifton, vineyard manager, Andy Mitchell, and to the entire Hahn team for this award. And condolences to them all on the loss of this esteemed pioneering icon of the Santa Lucia Highlands.

It was the 25th anniversary for the Wine Competition, helmed by wine writer Rich Cook, whose write-ups for all the Platinum winners can be found on It’s the first … Read More

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