The 2013 Chef Holidays series at the renowned Ahwanee Lodge in Yosemite kicked off last week, and with five sessions to go, the schedule this year is impressive as always.
"We always choose chefs for both the caliber of their cuisine, and for their unique styles, aiming for the right mix of California and out-of-state chefs," says Kathy Langley, Signature Events Manager for the Ahwahnee. Stellar California chefs still to come this year: David Lentz of Hungry Cat (urban-chic seafoodery in Santa Barbara and two LA locations) for the January 20-22 session; Suzanne Goin of Lucques January 23-24; and the ever-popular Mark Estee of Camp coming right up on January 16-17. The final Chefs' Holiday session is the most focused on out-of-state names: featured guests include Joey Campanaro of The Little Owl, Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto, and Jimmy Bradley of The Red Cat & The Harrison. The session is entitled "Chefs of the Big Apple," so we'll let you figure out from whence they all hail.
As for what's on the menu during each session?
"We want to ensure that each demo features an entirely different type of dish - for example if one person is making pasta, the other might do something with an Asian twist, so that our guests can learn different things from each demonstrator. It keeps things exciting and makes for the most interesting Gala Dinner," explains Langley.
This approach has also turned January from a slow month at this gorgeous but remote mountain resort into a buzzy little secret getaway for foodies in the know, who have the means to get together and bond over food for a few days. Over each passing year, Chefs' Holiday has gained a bigger and more enthusiastic return clientele, who enjoy meeting new chefs and sampling new flavors, but also appreciate seeing their favorite Northern California chefs in such a great setting.
""We had a wonderful time last year, and were able to discover one of our favorite restaurants there - Campo in Reno [by Mark Estee]. This year we were inspired to come out by chef Douglas Keane, since we loved Cyrus, but we look forward to discovering other chefs this year as well!" said return attendee Annee Rubee of Sacramento, who attended the opening weekend.
(Photo Courtesy of by Chef Peter Armellino | Plumed Horse, Saratoga, CA)
(Photo Courtesy of Victor Scargle of Lucy at the Bardessono, Yountville)