By Lauren Jade Hill
As Relais & Châteaux restaurants and hotels sit at the top of the world’s culinary rankings, gastronomic standards are certain to be high at Relais and Châteaux GourmetFest. And as the biggest gathering of Michelin-starred chefs to have been held in the United States, the festival of food and wine is set to meet these high expectations.
It’s in the small coastal city of Carmel-by-the-Sea on California’s Monterey Peninsula that the four-day culinary event will unfold from the 16th to 19th March 2017. The surrounding vineyards and wine estates this region is known for are an integral part of the celebration. Here, opportunities abound to embrace the local produce, with a number of California’s most exemplary artisanal producers involved.
Among the 18 Relais and Châteaux chefs taking part, Daniel Boulud, Michael Tusk, Nathan Rich and Cassidee Dabney will be showcasing their culinary skills through a series of lavish dinners and immersive events.
On the opening night, ticket-holders will be introduced to a number of these renowned chefs, along with the participating wine estates, and sake, beer and spirit producers; throughout an extravagant strolling dinner, Daniel Boulud, Fukumitsuya Sake Brewery and Champagne Pommery will be just some of the names to look out for.
The festival’s Black Truffle and Black River Caviar Dinner is then among the gastronomic events hosted on day two. Featuring Michelin-starred chef Shinichiro Takagi, and chef-owner of Danish restaurant Flasled Kro, Per Hallundbaek, the occasion promises to be an extraordinary meal, preceded by a Champagne Pommery reception in which wines from Pahlmeyer, Peay, and Hitching Post will be celebrated.
Any guests wanting to get more hands-on throughout the four days can join chefs Cassadee Dabney and Jerry Regester on a wild mushroom hunt. And by joining a cooking demo in the state-of-the-art Gaggenau Demo Kitchen, guests are able to benefit from the knowledge of a number of the show’s top chefs.
The festival is as rewarding for wine connoisseurs as it is for gastronomes, in particular with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience a Terroir of Meursault Perriers tasting with Dominque Lafon of Domaine des Comtes Lafon, as well as tasting sessions and lunches led by a number of leading wine experts.
To build up an appetite before indulging in a day of gourmet food and fine wine, visitors can sign up to be a part of one of the festival’s NTSQ Velo Premium Morning Cycles. Leading cyclists along the picturesque coast, these tours showcase Carmel-by-the-Sea’s identity as a cycling destination, as well as a gastronomic hub.
Find out more about the Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest by going over to the event’s website.