Focus on Farmers at Hyatt Carmel Highlands
Perched on one of the world’s most iconic stretches of coastline, the Hyatt Carmel Highlands is launching a series of exciting events aimed at nurturing a new generation of environmental stewards and spotlighting our distinctive local food culture.
The new program will include seasonal Meet the Farmer lunches and other special events to benefit the outstanding MEarth environmental education program.
With unmatched views of Carmel and the Big Sur coast, the hotel’s spectacular Pacific’s Edge Restaurant is known for its delicious “California Coastal” cuisine made with the freshest local ingredients.
“Executive Chef Matt Bolton sources locally every chance he gets and we wanted to highlight that with our Meet the Farmer lunches,” says General Manager Steve McNally.
Each event features a special three-course menu created using products provided by the farmer. Bolton will demonstrate how to prepare one of the dishes and the farmer will talk about all that goes into growing, harvesting and marketing. Diners will have a chance to chat with Bolton and the farmer over a glass of wine and enjoy the magic that happens when fresh local ingredients meet local culinary talent.
Everyone goes home with recipe cards and a better understanding of where our local food comes from. A portion of the proceeds from each Meet the Farmer lunch will go to MEarth—which is helping grow the next generation of environmental stewards and food lovers.
“We chose to partner with MEarth on these events because it fits really well with what Chef Matt is doing in the kitchen,” says David Lambert, Director of Sales and Marketing for Hyatt on the Monterey Peninsula. Hyatt launched their partnership with MEarth by hosting a benefit dinner at the hotel’s casual California Market restaurant last November and will continue to provide support in the kitchen at MEarth events throughout the year, according to Lambert who says he doesn’t mind washing dishes for a good cause.
The first Meet the Farmer lunch was held Saturday, February 15th with Art Seavey and Trevor Fay of the Monterey Bay Abalone Company. The partners explained the fascinating story of how the Monterey Bay was once a thriving center for abalone divers and how they are trying to make the slow-growing delicacy available once again through sustainable, open-ocean aquaculture.
Later in the year, the Schoch Dairy family of Salinas will bring their artisan farmstead cheeses, yogurt and raw milk to the Hyatt Carmel Highlands. In the summer, Meet the Farmer turns to the vegetable garden. Dick Swank of Swank Farms in Hollister will talk about what’s in season and Chef Matt will create a menu brimming with fresh local produce in its peak season. In the fall, the series will offer a Meet the Forager lunch and for the first time a Farm-to-Field family style dinner to take place on the property of one of our local farmers. Stay tuned for details! The Meet the Farmer line up includes:
- February 15th Meet the Abalone Farmer: Monterey Bay Abalone Company
- April 5th Meet the Cheese Farmer: Schoch Family Farms
- July 12th Meet the Vegetable Farmer: Swank Farms
- October 11th Meet the Forager
All Meet the Farmer lunches start at noon and tickets are $55, inclusive of tax and service. Reservations are required. Buy tickets here.
Meet the Farmer lunches are just part of Hyatt Carmel Highland’s annual Forks, Corks, Action series of special culinary events. Meet the Winemaker dinners also take place throughout the year and are a great way to learn more about our local vintages while enjoying delicious food. Next up is an evening with Dan Lee and the wines of Morgan Vineyards. Lee and Bolton will expertly pair five delicious Morgan wines with hors d’oeuvres, a first course of John Dory with hearts of palm and lobster, a second course of quail with polenta and hedgehog mushrooms, a third course entrée of Colorado lamb paired with 2011 Morgan Syrah and an Asian pear tart for dessert paired with Morgan Riesling from the Double L Vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands. Tickets are $95, inclusive of tax and service.
- March 20th Meet the Winemaker: Morgan Vineyards
- June 19th Meet the Winemaker: Talbott Vineyards
- November 13th Meet the Winemaker: Mount Eden
Forks, Corks, Action also includes a series of cocktail classes with the hotel’s expert mixologists in the Sunset Lounge. Find out the history of your favorite drinks, taste the differences in various brands and learn to mix cocktails like a pro at sessions from 6-7:30pm. Tickets are $35 and include small bites.
- April 16th A taste of ryes and bourbons
- June 18th A taste of agave: tequila and mezcal
- October 15th A taste of mint: mojitos
- December 17th A taste of the many faces of Cognac, Armagnac and brandy
Lastly, the Forks, Corks, Action series includes the popular Hello Sunshine Thursdays in the Sunset Lounge from June to October. Each Thursday from 5-7pm special seasonal cocktails will be created using local fruits, vegetables and herbs. Complimentary appetizers are served with the purchase of two cocktails.
All Forks, Corks, Action events help to support the work of MEarth, so go ahead and indulge in 2014. It’s all for a good cause.
Hyatt Carmel Highlands • 120 Highlands Dr. Carmel • 831.620.1234