Fast approaching is the Big Sur Chantrelle Cook-off, to be held in two locations – Ventana Inn & Spa, and the Big Sur Lodge at the State Park.
Ventana Inn and Spa will host the kickoff party 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Feb. 24 with local wines, mushroom-slanted food and Songs That Hot Box Harry Taught Us coaxing guests from the table to dance. The following day Ventana will host Art and Syrah from 3 to 6 p.m. at the resort gallery, with art, a trunk and runway show and sips of Parsonage Syrah from Carmel Valley.
Following the show is a five-course rewards dinner that Ventana chef Truman Jones is calling “The Fungus Among Us.” Jones has earned a reputation as a creative chef who creates memories among diners. Look for a salad using chanterelles three ways (raw, pickled and cooked), a cream of chanterelle soup with a grilled truffle and brie sandwich, a chanterelle-crusted Alaskan halibut, Angus beef with chanterelle pudding, and a sweet finale featuring chanterelle bombe with maple anglaise, caramel mousse and praline ice cream.
The Lodge at Pfeiffer State Park also hosts two events; A Wild Mushroom Walk and Talk will delight those who want to know more about the botanical aspects of the Chanterelle. This educational event will be followed by The Grand Tasting with Big Sur chefs showcasing their ingenuity with creative Chanterelle concoctions. Guests will taste the offerings while casting “People’s Choice” votes and talking with the official Grand Tasting judges. This year’s illustrious judging panel includes: Margo True, editor of Sunset Magazine and author of The Sunset Cookbook; Marlene Sorosky Gray, freelance contributor at San Francisco Chronicle and cookbook author; Jim Dodge, Director of the Specialty Culinary Programs at Bon Appetit Management Company; and Tami Yu, founder of feteafete.com and San Francisco writer who tracks the latest lifestyle trends, new restaurants, fashion designers, beauty treatments and travel destinations.
Kara Stout of Big Sur’s illustrious Ventana Inn is the host (or one of them?), and has done an incredible job of making sure this event actually happens.
The award dinner at Ventana costs $150. The cook-off at The Lodge is $50. Tickets and information about all the events for the two days, including the costs of other events can be found at bigsurchanterelle.eventbrite.com.
All monies raised will benefit the Big Sur Health Center.