Please The Palate Pick of the Week: Pebble Beach Food & Wine and Dinner with Champagne Billecart-Salmon and Chef Alain Passard

If there is one event I look forward to each year, it is Pebble Beach Food & Wine. The wines, the food and the people, set among the beauty of Pebble Beach, makes for a spectacular weekend. There are seminars, lunches and dinners featuring wines and chefs that you might have thought could only happen in a dream. And this year was no exception.

Almost one year ago to the date (April 10 2018), I was honored to be invited to a magical dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Champagne Billecart-Salmon. The dinner was prepared by three-star Michelin Chef Alain Passard of l’Arpege restaurant in Paris, as well as two-star Michelin Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. One year later (April 13, 2019), at Pebble Beach Food and Wine, I was again invited to dinner with Champagne Billecart-Salmon for a Decadent evening wit h Chef Alain Passard. Not once, but twice I had an exquisite meal and that is why Pebble Beach Food & Wine and Dinner with Champagne Billecart-Salmon is the Please the Palate pick of the week.

After a casual reception, we entered the elegant dining room. Two long tables filled the room. Gold colors were enhanced with touches of pink and white flowers in large floral centerpieces that were raised three to four feet above the table. Each table setting had seven wine glasses and I knew we were in for an evening of decadence.

Bottles of Champagne Billecart-Salmon were flowing, including Cuvee 2000, Blanc de Blancs NV, Vintage 1996, Vintage 1998, Vintage 1986 and more!

And then there was the food. Each plate was a piece of art. Colorful, elegant, delicate, it was an enjoyable to look at the dishes as it was to eat them.

Chaud Froid d’Oeuf au Sirop d’érable Vinaigre de Xérès – A luscious creamy hot/cold egg with a maple syrup Sherry vinegar.

Mesclun au Pralin de Pistache de Sicile à l’ancienne Ail Frais Thermidrome – A simple and refreshing mesclun salad with Sicilian pistachio praline and fresh garlic flowers

Homard Acidulé au Miel de Notre Rucher, Pétales de Navet Globe – A delicious piece of lobster with acidulated honey and turnip petals

Lotte au Côtes du Jura, Chou de Milan et Petits Pois – Tender pieces of monkfish with savoy cabbage and the freshest, most vibrant and flavorful peas

Tartare Poupre Végétal au Couteau Moutarde de jardin – A vegetable pie tartar made with beets and served with with garden mustard

Chimère Agneau & Pigeon Légumes Nouveaux – This dish was from the imagination of Chef Alain Passard.

A picture may be the best way to explain it.

The dish is Chimera Lamb and Pigeon, combined to look like a single piece of meat, and served with fresh Spring vegetables.

Asperge et Rhubarbe rouge, beurre noisette – This was not a typical dessert but was a perfect end to the meal. The tender, almost sweet, asparagus was paired with tart rhubarb  and hazelnut butter.

Magical evenings like this are rare and I am honored to have had this experience twice! Thank you to Pebble Beach Food & Wine, Champagne Billecart-Salmon and Chef Alain Passard for an extraordinary night of decadence.