A Taste of Monterey at a Pop-Up Dinner at Redbird

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.

Chefs John Cox, Neal Fraser and Tim Walter

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

Spot Prawn Kimchi and Prawn Reduction, Fried Shell

Roasted Pumpkin Soup, Squab, Lardo

Roasted Pumpkin Soup, Squab, Lardo

Ink & Abalone Blini, Smoked Steelhead Trout Roe, Finger Lime

Ink & Abalone Blini, Smoked Steelhead Trout Roe, Finger Lime

Hay Smoked Shoch Cheese with red wine bread, pickled pumpkin

Hay Smoked Shoch Cheese with red wine bread, pickled pumpkin

 

Toasted Acorn Bread, Golden Foie Gras Bon Bon, Candied Meyer Lemon, Sea Salt

Toasted Acorn Bread, Golden Foie Gras Bon Bon, Candied Meyer Lemon, Sea Salt

Monterey Charolais Cecina, Picked Chanterelles, Wild Watercress Puree, Black Garlic

Monterey Charolais Cecina, Picked Chanterelles, Wild Watercress Puree, Black Garlic

Sheepshead, Carolina Gold, Morcilla PepperSheepshead, Carolina Gold, Morcilla Pepper

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin, Rosemary Pinot Reduction, Parship Puree

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin, Rosemary Pinot Reduction, Parship Puree

Creme Caramel, Apples, Cider Caramel, Celery Sorbet

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.

Monterey Wines 2014 Blair Rose of Pinot Noir and 2009 Caraccioli Cellars Brut Rose 2012 Wrath Swan-828 Pinot Noir 2012 Bernardus Pinot Noir Pisoni Vineyard 2012 Joyce Syrah Santa Lucia Highlands 2012 Le P'Tit Paysan Petite Sirah 2012 Cima Collina Tondre Grapefield and 2010 Scheid Vineyard Late Harvest Rieslings

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.

 

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