Hey 650 and 408! Two Great Food Events the First Weekend of June


The Historic Villa at Montalvo Arts Center; from their website.


The Sunset Outdoor Kitchen. Photo by Thomas J. Story.

Food and wine lovers of the 408, take note: the annual ~MONTALVO FOOD & WINE CLASSIC VIII: THE ART OF DINING~ has quite the lineup of chefs, restaurants, and wineries this year, and they’re putting together a tasting event on Sunday June 5th, 5:30pm-8:30pm, on the beautiful grounds of the Montalvo Arts Center’s historic Mediterranean-style villa.

20 noteworthy restaurants and food purveyors of Northern California and beyond will be on hand to prepare and serve their unique creations. They include The Ahwahnee in Yosemite National Park, Arcadia (a Michael Mina restaurant), Cascal Restaurant, Chez TJ, Dolce Bella Chocolates and Cafe, Gitane, Junnoon, Kokkari Estiatorio, La Mar Cebichería Peruana, Lafitte, Le Papillon, Madera (Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel), Navio (The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay), Osteria Coppa, Plumed Horse, Rancho Gordo New World Specialty Food, Sent Sovi, Tell Tale Preserve Company, The Village Pub, and Whole Foods Market (Los Gatos).

Winemakers from 20 of the region’s finest wineries will also be on hand to pour tastings: Andrew Geoffrey Vineyards, Big Basin Vineyards, Cooper Garrod Estate Vineyards, Duckhorn, Faust, Fog Crest Vineyard, Goldeneye, Grgich Hills Estate, House Family Winery, Jemrose, J. Lohr Winery, Migration, Morgan Winery, Mountain Winery, Mustard Hill Cellars, Oakville Ranch, Poetic Cellars, Rosati Family Winery, Silver Oak Cellars, Talbott Vineyards, Twomey Cellars, and Ventana/Le Mistral Winery.

You’ll have a chance to bid on rare and limited edition wines, and special dining and travel packages during a live and silent auction, which includes vacation packages to South Africa, Bali, Italy, and Mexico! Tickets are $175 ($150 for members), and limited to 425 tickets. All proceeds benefit Montalvo’s art education programs.15400 Montalvo Road, Saratoga, 408-961-5858.

A little further up in the 650, Sunset magazine in Menlo Park has announced the headliner for their June 4th-5th ~CELEBRATION WEEKEND 2011: MAKE IT YOUR OWN~: celebrity chef Rick Bayless will be turning up the heat with Mexican-inspired cooking demos on both days, and Traci Des Jardins, Charles Phan, and other notable chefs from the West will also make appearances. Plus, you can easily not just watch, but enjoy the food and drink yourself with the bevy of food trucks and artisanal food, beer, and wine purveyors who will be on-site.

It is Sunset’s Celebration Weekend after all, so of course you’ll find DIY demos for home and garden (like beekeeping and beer-brewing), informative wine seminars, gardening exhibits and how-tos, and all sorts of interesting stuff, but let’s get back to the chefs, shall we?

Bayless will take to the IKEA® Cooking Stage both Saturday and Sunday from 12:30pm-1:15pm to demonstrate four Mexican-inspired dishes: Mexican-style shrimp cocktail, a summer margarita, sun-dried tomato guacamole, and tropical beach ceviche. Chase Sapphire cardholders get a bonus: they’re invited to join Bayless at an exclusive meet-and-greet in the VIP lounge, and to partake in an invite-only breakfast with the editors of Sunset.

In the Safeway Outdoor Kitchen, you’ll find some hometown faves: SF chefs Traci Des Jardins and Charles Phan. Des Jardins will demonstrate warm bread and baby artichoke salad with marinated crescenza (one of my favorite salads) on Saturday from 2pm-2:30pm, followed by Phan from 3pm-3:30pm with caramelized shrimp with lemongrass. See the full lineup here.

Gourmet food trucks and artisanal food purveyors in the Artisanal Food Pavilion will include food trucks Babaloo, Chop Soo.ey, Fruit n Exotica, Safeway Ranchers Reserve, Seoul on Wheels, and SPRINKLESMOBILE; and food purveyors Beehive Cheese, Cypress Grove Chevre, Foodzie, Klausesbees, Laloo’s Goat Milk Ice Cream, R & J Toffees, and much more.

See the complete schedule of presenters, events, and event information online, and purchase tickets here. General admission $16/day; seniors 60+ $12/day; children 12 and under free (must have ticket in hand). Sunset Headquarters, 80 Willow Rd., Menlo Park.