Thursday, March 31, 2005
NO FOOLIN’… First of all, let’s get the reminders out of the way…March 31st through April 1st, Roy Yamaguchi at (guess) Roy’s in Spanish Bay, 647-7500, action with the man…April 2nd from 3-6pm, Bella Bocce benefit for Meals on Wheels. Call Linda Strohl at 375-4454, fun, bocce, music, eats, drinks…April 2nd from 6-8pm at Talbott tasting room, ultra cool acoustic guitar from Richard DeVinck, wines, apps fun and Ross Allen, 659-3500…April 3rd, Chef of the Year dinner by the American Culinary Federation, at Spanish Bay, 6pm, 484-2599, fanfare for foodies…April 2nd, April 9th, meetings with Richard Kanakaris (yes, the Richard Kanakaris) looking for investors in Pavona Wines. Also, April 3rd he’s doing an Italian Food and Wine Festival somewhere around here. Call him at 646-1506 to find out what’s going on…April 5th, 6:15pm at Grasing’s Restaurant in Carmel, talk about Silverseas Cruises “Food & Wine Aficionado” cruise in September as well as the Silversea Culinary Cruise that Kurt Grasing will be aboard. Contact Michael Mastrocola at 659-0151 or email@example.com…California Restaurant Association Golf Tournament on April 27th, nothing but fun, call Cindy Walter 596-2869 or email firstname.lastname@example.org…April 1st, New Flavors Crab Fest and Prime Rib at Rancho Cañada from 4:30 ‘til 9pm, 624-0111, Chris Sprecher now has the reins and will deliver the goods...April 2nd, somebody’s birthday…guess who?…April 28th to 30th the Monterey Wine Festival, the original, now in its 29th year, montereywine.com…May 7th the always ultra-amazing Paraiso Vineyards Air Show. Wine, food, fun, the Hullaballoo gang, the Smith gang and cool planes, 678-0300.
SELF PROMO DEPT.… So last week I mentioned our new event (mine and Jeff Moses’) at the Hyatt. We adjusted the date and the name slightly. Make it Around the World of Cocktails and make it on Friday, June 17th. It will be a fabulous night of mixed drinks, music, food, fun new products in the world of distilled spirits as well as old friends. Local restaurants and bars are lining up to participate, each proffering their specialty drink of the house. Contact me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or call 521-7921 to get your restaurant/bar/bartenders involved. There will be bartender competitions for things like Best Martini, Best Original Cocktail, Best Bartender. Check it out.
Oh yeah, we’ve also got the date of this year’s Monterey Beer Festival locked in. It’s Saturday, June 4, and we’ve already had about 17 breweries sign up when the invitations only went out last week. A number of them are asking for double-sized booths as well. The Celebrator, which is kind of like the Wine Spectator of the beer industry, is sending a crew down to cover the event, then doing a big write-up with pictures and everything. I have to remember to try to look presentable (I hear you) that day. Use the same contacts as above, plus check out montereybeerfestival.com, assuming we actually update the site anytime soon.
ONLINE GOSSIP… Speaking of Web sites, check out terranovafinewines.com, the site of, oddly enough, Terranova Fine Wines. Bob and Fabia Massaro, owners of the store, are really excited since Sal Intagliata (gotta love these Eye-talian names) got his smokin’ Sunstar Media company involved in the creation of the Web site. Terranova is getting tremendous feedback, both from customers that shop on the site as well as other wine industry professionals. Call Bob or Fabia down at the shop at 333-1313 after you check out the Web site and tell them how pretty it is. Better yet, stop in and say so in person. It’s right on the corner across the street from the Dou…oops…Portola Plaza Hotel and the Marriott.
GOOD GUYS, ETC.… So we’re in Hula’s with the funflappable Hunsakers, plus my delightful daughter Sara and her boyfriend Michael, when Hula’s manager and all-around superstar Craig “Lefty” Gladstone comes over and says, “hey Ray, I got a picture of you at the Masters of Food and Wine—you look hideous.” I’d just like to thank my good pal Lefty for his candor and complete lack of pretense. It reminds me of a line I heard from a dishwasher in a restaurant I worked in about a 100 years ago: “Hey, somebody’s gotta be ugly.”
Ugly is still the situation around the areas assaulted by that terrible tsunami. Our own Jane Piper, owner of Piper Environmental Group, Inc. in Castroville, has been approached by a group looking to help with the water purification in various areas in India that are still having severe difficulty. If you know of anyone who has been over to that or any of the areas hit by the tsunami and witnessed conditions first hand, she’d like to hear from you. Contact her at Piper Environmental Group, Inc., 11600 California St., Castroville, 632-2700, email@example.com.
Thank you to Wayne Johnson for another heartfelt and amazing Monterey County AIDS Project big donor reception at Pebble Beach last week. It’s the great event where Wayne personally thanks the big donors to MCAP one by one for their contributions. It is one of the nicest affairs I attend and always captures my heart. Capture some of the magic by helping that organization, which has to compete against the other 1,275 nonprofits in Monterey County, at 394-4747.
SPICE CHANNEL… Check the cool spices by Rosie’s Kitchen, the locally (Salinas) owned company of Rose Ann Koffler. She’s got these beautiful tins of various spice mixtures with names like MJK Steak Dust, Poultry Primer, Old Towne Blackening Spice and others, including my favorite, Uncle John’s Meat Rub (did that say Uncle John’s Meat Rub?). You know, I had an Uncle John too, and he used to rub…wait a minute, this is a family column. Back to the spices. Rosie’s Kitchen, 21720 Woodrose Place, Salinas, 905-7570, rosies-kitchen.com.
See you later, I’m on my way to pay a visit to my Uncle John.