Strawberry Marshmallows and The Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival Recap pt.1

by Irvin on June 27, 2011 · 9 comments

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Remember how I talked about how I love my life? Well part of the reason I love it so much is that I have fantastic fabulous friends. Take for instance my partner-in-crime Sabrina of the Tomato Tart, who I presented with at BlogHer Food on design and branding (the post about our session is coming – really). Sabrina had asked me, after her first choice fell through, to accompany her to the Fourth Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival back in April when she received tickets from Foodbuzz. I certainly didn’t mind being the second choice. The festival, in fact, inspired me to make a fairly elaborate dessert suitable for a dinner party, of which, this is just one component: The Strawberry Marshmallow.

Strawberry Marshmallows jpg

Sabrina and I headed down to Pebble Beach on Friday, bright and early to drive down and check into our hotel in Monterey. Though the trip down was uneventful, our early arrival at the hotel didn’t quite work out as they told use it was too early to check in. So we headed over to the festival only to hit another snafu. After driving around endlessly in the gated community area (boy, it’s confusing) when we finally arrived to check in, our tickets were not there.

Driving around Pebble Beach, lost jpg

Though there are worse places to be lost. Pebble Beach is pretty. jpg

After much calling back and forth with Sabrina’s contact at Foodbuzz who had arranged for the tickets, we ended up missing a good chunk of the Belgian Beer Lunch that we were scheduled to attend which was located at a different part of Pebble Beach. To compensate, the Pebble Beach Food & Wine people ended up walking us into a Sustainable Delicacies from the Sea luncheon over at Roy’s.

Sustainable Delicacies from the Sea Luncheon Menu jpg

We sat down with some fantastic people (Bill & Cindy, Jack & Stephanie) and proceeded to dine on a three course menu of Black Cod with hand pounded pa’i ‘ai from Town Kaimuki, Halibut with spring vegetables & tangerine-tamarind sauce from Passion Fish Restaurant and Hawaiian Shutome with pepeiao mushroom & pork shank cassoulet from Roy’s. The 2009 MacMurry Ranch Chardonnay, which was paired with the halibut was definitely a standout, it’s citrus and fruit notes complimenting the vegetables and tangy sweet sauce.

Morro Bay Black Cod jpg

Halibut with tangerine tamarind sauce jpg

Hawaiian Shutome jpg

Of course the dessert from Mindy’s Hot Chocolate Restaurant was pretty fancy schmancy, a frozen chocolate nougat over almond shortbread, chamomile crème fraiche and honey caramel. I later tracked down Chef Mindy Segal and asked her how she made the caramel and she told me the secret was the honey mead wine that she used in it. Now I just gotta get my hands on some mead (is there a RenFaire happening anytime soon?).

Frozen Chocolate Nugget with honey caramel sauce jpg

Luncheon chefs jpg

The Chefs getting applause from the attendants at the luncheon. jpg

Sadly after the lunch our ticket situation did not resolve itself and we ended up finding ourselves free for the rest of the day. We wandered about the Pebble Beach resort area, sticking our heads into places we probably shouldn’t have. Like a large dining room in the midst of being prepared for an event, the chef’s interview room (where I proceeded to make Sabrina sit down and pretend to be a famous chef so I could interview her), a group of very important looking people polishing wine glasses for the cases of bubbly that they were going to serve to rich people, the area where the after hours party was being staged and the staging area where they were the celebrity chefs were to do their cooking demonstrations. I could tell Sabrina was getting nervous with my ballsy behavior so we headed off to find some place to eat (because, you know, we hadn’t eaten enough).

Prepping Dining Room Area for big fancy dinner. jpg

The Chef Interviews jpg

Chef Sabrina ready for her close up. jpg

Important looking representatives prepping for important people. jpg

Staging area of the After Party. jpg

Staging area for celebrity chefs to demonstrate what made them celebrities. jpg

Foodbuzz was very apologetic to us about the ticket mixup, and to make up for it, said they would compensate us for our dinner. So sweet of them, we decided to take them up on their offer and headed over to Stillwater Bar and Grill over at the Resort, which was more seafood (what can I say, Sabrina and I love our seafood). We split an appetizer of Monterey Bay crispy calamari with Haricot Verts, baby artichokes, meyer lemons and a chipolte aioli. Hello fried salty goodness, nice to meet you! I then moved on to the Main Lobster Bisque while Sabrina dined on a selection of oysters on the half shell. Finally Sabrina ended with a great abalone with cappalini and black truffle pasta while I feasted on scallops with lobster mashed potatoes (ok, fine I did lobster and lobster. What can I say? I so rarely get a chance to eat it).

Fried calamari, green beans, artichokes and lemon wedges. jpg

Lobster Bisque. jpg

Oysters on the half shell. jpg

Sabrina food blog geeking out over her meal. jpg

Sabrina food blog geeking out over her meal. jpg

Scallops with Lobster Mashed Potatoes. jpg

Stuffed to the gills (get it? gills?!? seafood restaurant? nevermind.) we originally opted not to do dessert but the joyous and riotously loud party of eight men seated in our section of the restaurant were gracious enough to tell our server that they wanted to buy us dessert for putting up with them. We went and said hello to them and they apologized for their obnoxious behavior as they were celebrating a few of their 50th birthdays! They then proceeded to try to give us jaigermiester and tequila shots but we politely declined. We bid them adieu, and they said that they hoped they hadn’t interrupted our romantic dinner together and hoped the night wasn’t ruined for both of us. We laughed as we said our romantic dinner together probably would have been more romantic if both our husbands were with us. They guffawed and wished us well.

Dessert Number 1

Dessert Number 2 jpg

The group of guys who ruined Sabrina and my romantic dinner out. jpg

We left Pebble Beach for our hotel room tired, full and incredulous that we would be turning around to eat even more food at the Pebble Beach Food and Wine festival bright and early in the morning. Swing by here on Wednesday for the second part of the recap and another component of the plated dessert I made, inspired by the festival. In the meanwhile enjoy these homemade marshmallows and remember not to eat them all by themselves, save a few for the final dessert!

Strawberry Marshmallow jpg

For Sabrina’s recap of Pebble Beach Food and Wine event, feel free to visit her blog.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Belinda @zomppa June 27, 2011 at 5:08 am

Good food, good friends. Little else needed! These marshmallows are perfect! All the uses I could find with them….


OC2Seattle June 27, 2011 at 10:25 am

What a fun trip with such delectable looking seafood! And the marshmallows are only one component? What more do you need?!


gluten free cupcake recipe June 27, 2011 at 10:33 am

Nice website! Greetings from Glory Foods.


Sabrina Modelle June 27, 2011 at 12:20 pm

You just made me tear up a little. I miss you so much. I haven’t seen you in a month! I love this post even more than strawberry marshmallows. Did you know you combined my two favorite things, btw, to make that dessert? I’ll see you soon and tell you where I found honey mead to make the honey mead caramel for my pies for Pie or Die.


Barbara June 27, 2011 at 1:59 pm

I don’t see anyone else speaking to the Ren Faire question, so:
Northern California Renaissance Pleasure Faire
Casa de Fruta
9/17 through 10/16 2011

Lacking that, I feel certain that TJ’s or another large liquor store would have honey mead – Chaucer’s is nice 🙂


West Australian Lobster tails June 28, 2011 at 8:07 am

In the pictures the food looks yummy….so in real it must be awesome…..

West Australian Lobster tails


Home with Mandy June 28, 2011 at 9:13 am

Sounds like a fun adventure in Pebble Beach! I’ve never made marshmallows but I am so intrigued! Thanks for the step by step tutorial.


sippitysup June 28, 2011 at 1:26 pm

I am so sorry I missed PB this year. The timing the drive… boo hoo. This was almost as good. GREG


Emmie June 29, 2011 at 12:20 am

Your life IS undeniably awesome. YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Btw, I don’t quite get the Food & Wine people. How come it was so hard for them to just give you 2 ghetto tickets and let you in?? Seems like more effort to be doling out separate cash for your meals. But for you, sounds pretty win-win.

You & Sabrina are invited to my own personal Food & Wine festival anytime! I’ve got kettle chips and Calpico at the ready.


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