Twenty-seven of the US’s best chefs — from New York to San Francisco — will convene at the iconic Ahwahnee hotel in the scenic heart of the Yosemite Valley to share their talent, expertise and cuisine with guests at the 29th annual Chef’s Holidays event series, which will run from January 12 to February 6, 2014.
Celebrating the creativity and excellence of these culinary leaders in the natural setting of Yosemite National Park, Chefs’ Holidays will be held over a series of eight sessions from January 12 - February 6, 2014.
According to event manager Kathy Langley and PR Lisa Cesaro, for each session, guests will be invited to take part in a “Meet the Chefs” reception, educational cooking demonstrations and tastings, a behind-the-scenes kitchen tour and a five-course Chefs’ Holidays Gala Dinner in The Ahwahnee Dining Room prepared by the headliner chef complete with wine pairings.
“This year's line-up of participating chefs is one of our best yet,” said program director Langley. “With an excellent combination of new and traditional talent, there is something for everyone, including Top Chefs, Iron Chefs and some of the very best culinary talent from California and across the US.”
Chefs’ Holidays has become a premier destination for epicures and culinary professionals since its inception as a small gathering of chefs and hotel guests in the winter of 1985.
Held every January, Chefs’ Holidays allows the chefs to relax after their busy holiday season and unwind with their culinary colleagues and Yosemite visitors.
Each session includes a “Meet the Chefs” reception, three cooking demonstrations in the Great Lounge moderated by food industry experts, a tour of The Ahwahnee’s 8,000 square foot kitchen, and a gala dinner prepared by the session’s headliner chefs in the Ahwahnee (which is a national historic landmark) dining room.
While several chefs have participated multiple years, the 2014 season welcomes several newcomers including Michael Rotondo of Parallel 37 at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, Sarah and Evan Rich of Rich Table richtablesf.com/ in San Francisco, and Amanda Freitag of Food Network’s “Chopped.”
The 2014 line-up includes:
Session 1: January 12-14: “A Taste of Monterey & Carmel” - a Collaborative Dinner
Moderator: Janice Wald Henderson, food and travel journalist
Headliner: Cal Stamenov, Marinus at Bernardus Lodge, Carmel Valley, CA
Headliner: Brandon Miller, Mundaka, Carmel, CA
Headliner: Jerry Regester, C Restaurant & Bar, Monterey, CA
Session 2: January 15-16 (Wednesday-Thursday)
Moderator: Janice Wald Henderson, food and travel journalist Headliner: Hosea Rosenberg, Winner “Top Chef” Season 5/Blackbelly Catering, Boulder, CO Culinary Demonstrator: Kim Alter, Plum, Oakland, CA Culinary Demonstrator: Daniel Holzman, The Meatball Shop, New York, NY
Session 3: January 19-21 (Sunday-Tuesday)
Moderator: Carolyn Jung, food journalist Headliner: Kent Rathbun, Abacus, Dallas, TX Culinary Demonstrator: Jesse Cool, Flea Street Café, Menlo Park, CA Culinary Demonstrator: Mark Estee, Campo, Reno, NV
Session 4: January 22-23: TV’s Rockin’ Women Chefs — a Collaborative Dinner
Moderator: Carolyn Jung, food journalist
Headliner: Elizabeth Falkner, Next Iron Chef
Headliner: Ariane Duarte, Top Chef/CulinAriane, Montclair, NJ
Headliner: Amanda Freitag, “Chopped,” The Food Network
Session 5: January 26-28 (Sunday-Tuesday)
Moderator: Andrew Friedman, author
Headliner: Michael Rotondo, Parallel 37, San Francisco, CA
Culinary Demonstrator: Laurence Jossel, nopa/nopalito, San Francisco, CA
Culinary Demonstrator: Jerry Traunfeld, Poppy, Seattle, WA
Session 6: January 29-30 (Wednesday-Thursday)
Moderator: Andrew Friedman, author Headliner: Parke Ulriche, Waterbar, San Francisco, CA Culinary Demonstrator: Jimmy Bradley, The Red Cat, The Harrison, New York, NY Culinary Demonstrator: Harold Dieterle, Perilla, New York, NY
Session 7: February 2-4 (Sunday-Tuesday)
Moderator: Michael Harlan Turkell, radio host for The Food Seen Headliner: David Bazirgan, The Fifth Floor, San Francisco, CA Culinary Demonstrator: Annie Somerville, Greens, San Francisco, CA Culinary Demonstrator: Peter Chastain, Prima, Walnut Ceek, CA
Session 8: February 5-6 (Wednesday-Thursday)
Moderator: Michael Harlan Turkell, radio host for The Food Seen Headliner: Sarah & Evan Rich, Rich Table, San Francisco, CA
Culinary Demonstrators: Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer, Canal House, Lambertville, NJ Culinary Demonstrators: Peggy Smith & Sue Conley, Cowgirl Creamery, Petaluma & San Francisco
Some of the above are collaborative dinners, one course by each chef plus one course by Ahwahnee Executive Chef Percy Whatley and Ahwahnee Executive Pastry Chef Paul Padua.
To plan your schedule and book, click through to the Ahwahnee Chefs Holiday event link here. www.yosemitepark.com/chefs-holidays.aspx.