April 1, 2008

Hello dear readers. This is a hard thing to write, especially after two years of dedication to this venture, but sadly this will be the last tablehopper issue to show up in your inbox. Not sure if I'll be able to start it up again at a later date. I hope to, but I'm currently just too busy with other writing gigs to keep this thing going. I want to thank you all for your support, and also wish you a very happy April Fools' Day.

Sorry, I'm a cretin. But what the hell, I had to do something. It was either that, or some made-up gossip, like Marisa Churchill taking over Julius' Castle, or a fake starlet entry, like Fabio being spotted at the Ambassador. Anyway, let's proceed.

Ahhhh, springtime—loving everything in bloom, HATING my allergies right now. Ack. I know I am not alone. But I have to strongly recommend a mini road trip for anyone who can swing it right now, even to get out of town for the day. It's a dreamy season to do it. I hit the Pebble Beach Food and Wine event on Saturday, and immensely enjoyed my drive down the coast along Highway One. I longed to pull over in Pescadero for a taco, pick up some artichokes at numerous fruit stands, and chill out over a glass of wine at Bonny Doon, but I had to keep on truckin'. The event itself was quite the splashy affair, with a tent bigger than Cirque du Soleil's (and carpeted), and lots of "star chefs" roaming about. I spotted the Top Chef triad of Ts (Tom Colicchio, Tre Wilcox [damn, he has some guns], and Ted Allen), but my absolute favorite moment was seeing Jacques Pépin! (He had women literally swooning around him—he was so gracious and charming. He's the man.)

I was especially happy to see tables commandeered by non-TV chefs/personalities at the Lexus Grand Tasting, like Susan Spicer (Bayona, New Orleans), Joel Huff (Silks), Michael Ginor (Hudson Valley Foie Gras), Mark Estee (Moody's Bistro, Truckee), and Kendra Baker of Manresa did a lovely rhubarb and coconut parfait. I also attended a seminar, a vertical tasting (1998–2006) of Pisoni wines, which was also fantastic, due in no small part to the antics of Gary Pisoni, the Wolfman Jack of Wine as far as I'm concerned. Ahwoooooo.

Speaking of liquid persuasions, I decided to break out the booze news and new bar/club mentions from the chatterbox—you'll find it all in the "lush" section now. Hic.

~ Marcia