October 23, 2018 – Undeniably, Big Sur is among the world’s most captivating natural wonders. Constantly shaped by eternal forces, the very place deeply impacts all who live or wander here.
If you’re looking for an experience that can’t be replicated elsewhere, Big Sur Food & Wine Festival is for you. Beginning Thursday, November 1, with the Opening Night Kickoff, and ending on Sunday with a new event, called Gourmet Marketplace, there are plenty of things to catch your fancy over this 4-day event held at storied locations including Ventana Big Sur, Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur Roadhouse and the Henry Miller Library.
Organizers Aengus Wagner and Elsa Rivera are thrilled at the way this year’s event is coming together. They just announced details of the auction, to be held Saturday, November 3, at Rancho Rico, a privately owned ranch in Big Sur.
“We’re bringing together a smorgasbord of delightful and hedonistic friends like you, for an afternoon of celebration and camaraderie at one of the most majestic properties in California,” says Wagner. “There will be bubbles flowing, music in the air and delicious morsels to nibble while being introduced to a fabulous collection of auction lots with the incomparable auctioneer, Brooke Ewoldson, a Pfeiffer Family descendant.”
With seminars, wine tastings, chef cookoffs and somm dinners, Big Sur Food & Wine is cornucopia of culinary and winemaking talent plated on a backdrop of magnificent scenery. Alas, the legendary Magical Mystery Tours and Hiking with Stemware experiences are already sold out, but you still have a chance to get in on the following not-to-be-missed events:
What: Opening Night, Thurs, Nov 1, 2018, 6—9pm, $175
Where: Ventana Big Sur, 48123 Highway 1 Big Sur
Why: Kick off the fun with an evening at Ventana, featuring an unparalleled selection of chefs, including Dave Baron, Emmanuel & Anna Bartolini, Paul Corsentino, Michelle Estigoy, Todd Fisher, Soerke Peters, Eric Piacentine, Cal Stamenov, Phil Wojtowicz and Tim Wood/Chris Watts, accompanied by 25 Champagne and wine producers. Music by local guitar wonder, John Sherry. A star-studded evening, to be sure. Note: Shuttle service is required for this event, so be sure to buy a ticket for this as well ($25).
What: Panel Tasting, Chalone AVA, Fri, Nov 2, 10am, $50
Where: Ventana Big Sur – Gallery
Why: Winemaker panel on the history of the Chalone Appellation of Monterey County, featuring older vintages alongside wines made by the current generation of winemakers, including August West, Flywheel, I Brand and Michaud. Chalone has a distinctive signature that has made it legendary among wine connoisseurs. Come taste what this special dirt is all about.
What: Pinot Walkabout, Fri, Nov 2, 2018, 12-3pm, $150
Where: Post Ranch Inn
Why: Meet some of today’s stars of pinot, as you wander the Chef’s gardens of the Sierra Mar restaurant at the incomparable Post Ranch Inn. With pinot from 20 wineries and 6 chefs (Elizabeth Murray of Post Ranch Inn, Tom Snyder of Cella Restaurant, Guiseppe Panzuto of Il Tegamino, Ben Spungin of Alta Bakery and Beau Schoch of Schoch Dairy and Creamery) offering up bites to compliment this most seductive grape, the stage is set for an intimate and memorable day.
What: Sommelier Dinner, Fri, Nov 2, 6—10pm, $250
Where: Big Sur Roadhouse
Why: This will be a carefully curated dinner with multiple wine pairings per course, featuring wines you may never get to try again. Each course will be led by a pair of Somms, who have done their best to create the ultimate culinary experience. You don’t want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime dining extravaganza. Book now, as seats are limited to 40 people for this very special bucket list evening. A great gift for the epicure in your life: perhaps it’s you?
What: I Brand & Family Winemaker’s Dinner, Fri, Nov 2, 6pm
Where: Historic Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn
Why: If you’ve never been to Deetjen’s, this is the night you want to do it. Expect an amazing panoply of wines from the very talented Ian Brand, whose been named Top 40 Under 40 by Wine Enthusiast magazine. Note: Call Deetjen’s directly for reservations: 831-667-2377
What: The Big Sur Food & Wine Auction, Sat, Nov 3, 11am
Where: A spectacular private clifftop ranch
Why: A great way to spend a day for a great cause, with 15 exciting auction lots, including a week-long stay at a private villa in Tuscany! Shuttle-only transportation is available to the property or, Aengus invites you to enjoy a very special, gentle hike up to the Live Auction site—with surprises along the way! Auctioneer, Brooke Ewoldson, will entice you to raises those paddles and bids as high as you can, all in an effort to support BSFW Foundation’s vision and goals.
What: Wine & Swine, Sat, Nov 3, 6—10pm, $125
Where: The Henry Miller Library
Why: This is definitely the high-energy highlight of the entire event! A rock and roll, no holds barred, let your hair down and bring your dancing shoes party with live entertainment by Afrolicious and BiG SuRCuS, all while friendly mayhem happens in the kitchen. Check out this stellar list of chefs who are guaranteed to make this night spectacular:
Jerry Regester – Monterey Plaza Hotel
Danny Abruzzese – Portola Hotel & Spa
Jason Balesteri, Kevin Hincks – The Meatery
Neal Maloney – Morro Bay Oysters
Danny Leach – Folktale Winery
Tony Baker – Montrio Bistro
Chris Watts – Carmel Valley Ranch
Jeremiah Tydeman – 7th& Dolores
Jonathan Roberts – Pig Wizard
Terry Teplitsky – Michael’s Catering/Wild Thyme Deli
Pamela Burns – Wild Plum Café
Jamie Collins – Serendipity Farms
Percival Lammie – Percy’s Pies
Note: Shuttle tickets are mandatory, $25. There is no parking at Henry Miller Library.
What: Bennies & Bubbles, Sun Nov 4, 8am
Why: Internationally known for its world-class breakfast in their historic dining room, people travel far and wide for Deetjen’s famous Benedicts. A great way to wrap up your Big Sur Food & Wine weekend or start your morning before the Marketplace, guests will order their favorite breakfast specialty, skillfully paired with Laurent Pierre Champagnes. Naomi Smith will be in the house! Note: Reservations are made through Deetjen’s. Please call 831-667-2377
What: Walkabout Marketplace, Sun, Nov 4, 12—3pm, $85
Where: Loma Vista Gardens 47540 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920
Why: Help us close the festival weekend with music by Big Sur’s own Elliott’s Haircut, local artisans, food and wine for an unforgettable afternoon. Enjoy tasty morsels from Kari Bernardi, Carmel Belle, Edible Ambassadors, Penny Ice Creamery, Shiho Fukushima, Pamela Burns of Wild Plum, Bill Cox of US Foods, Livia Peterson, Charlie Cascio and Todd Spanier, King of Mushrooms. The Walkabout Marketplace will be staged in the beautiful Loma Vista Gardens next to the Big Sur Bakery.
The Big Sur Food and Wine Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization created to be a vehicle of support to the Big Sur community. Its intention is to stimulate the local economy and donate event proceeds to support local nonprofits that benefit Health, Safety, Education and Arts.
Chief Ambassador of Instigation, Aengus Wagner, CFO and Events Manager, Elsa Rivera and Matt Peterson, wine director, and their priceless team of volunteers work tirelessly to stage this event. Help support it by coming out and having a fabulous time with your fellow epicures.
Even if you cannot attend this year’s festivities, you may still donate to the cause by going to the event website.
Last year’s event benefitted the Upper Rocky Creek Road Repair Fund and the Big Sur Fire & Storm Relief Fund, Henry Miller Library, Big Sur Fire, Big Sur Health Center and Stage Kids as well as victims of the North Bay Fires.