When two renowned chefs from Monterey came down to Los Angeles and partnered with Neal Fraser at Redbird to create a pop-up menu using fresh Monterey ingredients and paired with the wines of Monterey, this taste of Monterey definitely whet my appetite.
Chef John Cox is the Executive Chef at Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn, one of the most celebrated restaurants and retreats in the world.
Chef Ted Walter is a Classic French-trained chef who opened Pacific Grove’s Passionfish with his wife Cindy in 1997. He sources ingredients from Carmel Valley farms, local markets and the fishers of Monterey Bay and has earned a national reputation as an advocate for the Sustainable Seafood movement.
Chef Neal Fraser, along with his wife and business partner, Amy Knoll Fraser, opened Redbird in one of the city’s most historic architectural gems, inside the former rectory building of Vibiana – the cathedral-turned-event-venue.
Monterey is a region known for an abundance of locally procured ingredients and a year-round growing season. Chef Cox and Chef Walter brought with them ingredients such as kabocha squash, squab, spot prawns, sheepshead fish, red abalone, pork, acorns, pinenuts and more. Between the three chefs, we were presented with a beautiful selection of dishes.
Spot Prawn Kimchi and Prawn Reduction, Fried Shell
Roasted Pumpkin Soup, Squab, Lardo
Ink & Abalone Blini, Smoked Steelhead Trout Roe, Finger Lime
Hay Smoked Shoch Cheese with red wine bread, pickled pumpkin
Toasted Acorn Bread, Golden Foie Gras Bon Bon, Candied Meyer Lemon, Sea Salt
Monterey Charolais Cecina, Picked Chanterelles, Wild Watercress Puree, Black Garlic
Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin, Rosemary Pinot Reduction, Parship Puree
Creme Caramel, Apples, Cider Caramel, Celery Sorbet
Dinner would not be complete without wine. From sparkling and still roses, to chardonnays, pinot noirs, syrah and petite sirah, the cool-climate wines of Monterey were the perfect pairings.
As we enjoyed our Monterey inspired meal, I started to get the travel itch. And, with the new Alaska Airlines’ direct flights from LAX to Monterey, it has never been easier, or quicker, to get there. From the 60 wine tasting rooms to the boutique hotels and local, seasonal-driven restaurants, I am looking forward to heading up to Monterey to explore the region. My appetite has been whet with this taste of the land, sea and vine of Monterey.