When it comes to throwing the biggest and best 4-day party on the Central Coast, Pebble Beach Food & Wine always takes the cake. Now in their 11th year of popping bottles and exceeding expectations, the PBFW festival was primed to outdo itself, by living up the grand reputation it had built over the past decade of entertaining.
On the weekend of April 5th, 2018, the PBFW team was geared up and ready to perform.
But this year – judging by the colorful neon sign at the Chandon sparkling wine and cotton candy bar – it was apparent that for 2018, PBFW had planned to raise the bar on the fun and frivolity!
In case you haven’t heard it on the grapevine, PBFW is one of the top food & wine festivals in the USA. We’ve even been told it’s now ranked one of the top 3 food and wine festivals in the country. So, to put it mildly – they’re seriously turning up the heat on the foodie scene.
Held annually at Pebble Beach Resorts in Pebble Beach, California, this extravagant event brings together thousands of foodies, oenophiles, and stylish socialites to converge with the world’s top celebrity chefs and wineries.
Throughout the weekend, guests were treated to a dizzying array of events, from exclusive dinners to cooking demos, wine tastings, after-hours parties, and even a celebrity chef and winemaker golf tournament on the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links.
What To Drink at Pebble Beach Food & Wine
From zany theatrics at the Hendrick’s Gin station and a fun bicycle display at the Stella Artois beer bar to entertaining mixologists at the Absolut Elyx booth and Bulleit Bourbon Whiskey bar, it was easy to see where everyone was celebrating “Sunday Funday” that weekend – at the Lexus Grand Tasting at Pebble Beach Food & Wine.
If you love fresh cocktails, the first place to visit was the gorgeous tropical-themed Absolut Elyx booth. Here they were serving a variety of cocktails including the Elyx Bloody Mary, Butterly, Cold Fashioned, and Elyx Spritz.
If you’re more of an oenophile, did we mention that there were over 150 wineries pouring tastings? Mind boggling, we know! From French Champagne to Napa Valley Chardonnay and Monterey County Pinot Noir, there was no shortage of premium wines to try.
If you love sparkling wine, then the spot to hang out was the swanky Chandon lounge. Here they were pouring glasses of California’s best sparkling wine and offering guests cotton candy, in addition to providing a photo booth area (presented by MasterCard) and a cool place to socialize with friends. Plus, the fun neon sign behind the bar (that said “Save Water, Drink Champagne”) made for a cheeky backdrop that guests loved for selfies and insta-photos.
What To Eat at Pebble Beach Food & Wine
If your mouth isn’t watering yet, we’re just getting started. We haven’t even talked about the real stars of the weekend – the culinary performances by celebrity chefs like Top Chef Fatima Ali, James Beard-nominated chef Bruce Kalman, Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, and world-acclaimed chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud.
Inspired by seasonal ingredients, passionate about coming up with creative ways to serve food, and obsessed with the desire to tantalize our taste buds, these chefs are more than just cooks – they’re magicians. Each dish offered guests something new and exciting to taste. Whether it was a delicate foie gras mousse or stewed lentils with edible flowers on top, the gourmet food samplings were as scrumptious as you’d hope for.
A few of our favorite dishes included the Crab Behl Puri-Tamarind Cilantro & Spice (shown above) whipped up by Chef Fatima Ali, Farro “Porridge” with Smoked Mushrooms, Parmesan Crumble & Black Truffle by Chef Tyler Anderson, Santa Barbara Rock Crab Hushpuppies with Crab Roe and Umami Sauce by Chef John Cox, Kona Kampachi Tartar Shallots, Chives, Avocado Puree Radish, Lemon Aioli & Honey Crumble by Chef Alexander Ramirez, and Creamy Gruyere Farro & Horseradish-Hazelnut Gremolata by Chef Elizabeth Falkner.
If you thought this was all just a decadent excuse to eat and drink to our heart’s content, well that’s only partially true. What makes PBFW even sweeter is that the event also supports worthy local causes.
The charities that benefit from the generosity of Pebble Beach Food & Wine include The Berkeley Foundation, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County, Voices for Children – CASA of Monterey County, Ment’or – Inspiring Culinary Excellence, and the Pebble Beach Company Foundation.
When an event exceeds all expectations, you know it was an unforgettable celebration. That’s how we’d sum up the 11th Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine. Until next year – Cheers to fun times!