February 2, 2011
There are more than a few “benefits” out there where the cause is an afterthought, a well-intended but slightly obligatory gesture.
The Clambake for a Cure started with the cause, after the small family at Jocelyn Ronen Winery was rocked by the sudden loss of its patriarch Lonen Curtis. In his honor his wife Susan and daughter Brandi set out to not only continue to steer a successful winery, but do something significant in the struggle for a cure for brain cancer.
He was never far from front of mind for them as they assembled a tasting blockbuster—they built it around two of his loves, golf and wine. The event's set to sync with AT&T Pro-Am weekend, and a number of PGA pros will attend, including recent The Hyundai Champions Tournament winner Jonathan Byrd, who lost his pops to a brain tumor in 2009. It delivers some incredible Napa and Sonoma wines, with a touch of Monterey County's best. (The clam theme is a nod to the Bing Crosby hoedowns of old.)
Looking at what they've put together, it’s almost as if they’ve gathered flavor to approach the scale of their emotional investment.
The lineup of chefs is spectacular; here’s a look at what they’re planning to serve (Todd Fisher, below left, took top honors a year ago):
Terry Teplitzky • Michaels Catering • Manila clams “casino” ceviche
Tyler Stone • Chef Tyler • Filet of lamb with black garlic sauce and petite vegetables
Mark Ayers • Cannery Row Brewing Company • famous freshly hand ground beef sliders with crispy shallots & marin french brie & 14 hour smoked pulled pork sliders with tennessee style coleslaw
Todd Fisher • The Kitchen • Razor clam and kobe beef shabu shabu with shellfish dashi
Deric Wenzler, one of the talented chefs from Baum and Blume will serve warm polenta croustades with clams and taleggio and shrimp & crab cocktails with zesty citrus sauce
Charles Phan • Slanted Door • Dumplings steamed in banana leaf with shiitake mushrooms, pork and dried shrimp
Jamie Lauren • Beechwood Restaurant, Top Chef All Stars • hamachi David Frappiea • Chamisal Courtside Cafe • geoduck clam risotto with matsutaki mushrooms, geoduck clam sashimi with fresh soy-ginger dipping sauce
Peter Armellino • The Plumed Horse • Bellwether Farms ricotta cheese gnocchi, Jacques Pepin pressed caviar and Pacific Ocean veloute
The wineries are well-stocked to entertain too. Not wimpy sisters in this group:
Jocelyn Lonen Winery
Hoot Owl Winery
Rocca Family Winery
Elkhorn Peak Cellars
Eagle Eye Winery
The event’s 4-9pm at a $4.4 million mansion walking distance from the Lodge. Shuttles from the Pacific Grove High School Tennis Courts/Parking Lot on Forest Lodge Road near Congress Avenue in Pacific Grove will also take guests to the ocean front estate. Shuttles will begin to transport guests into the Del Monte Forest at 3:30 PM and will run throughout the evening. (There's also a $300 VIP dinner at a private location Wednesday with Armellino, Phan, Lauren and Stone cheffing. Whoah. Check the websites below for more on that one.)
Clambake for a Cure is $75 per person, which is fully tax deductible. To purchase tickets, or for more information, go to www.clambakeforacure.com.