Chefs from around the country, including several Bay Area notables, are gathering this month in Yosemite National Park for the 27th annual CHEFS’ HOLIDAYS AT THE AHWAHNEE, a series of eight culinary retreats between January 8th and February 2nd at The Ahwahnee Hotel. Each session includes a “Meet the Chef” reception, three educational cooking demonstrations and tastings, a behind-the-scenes kitchen tour, and a five-course, candlelit Gala Dinner in the Ahwahnee Dining Room. The Gala Dinner, prepared by the chefs, also includes four wine pairings.
The eight sessions will span the range of American culinaria with 25 chefs and culinary professionals participating. Bay Area locals heading to Yosemite include David Bazirgan of Fifth Floor, Ryan Scott of Brunch Drunk Love and 3-Sum Eats, Jen Biesty of Scala’s Bistro, Annie Somerville of Greens, Emily Luchetti of Farallon, Sean Baker of Gather, and Peggy Smith and Sue Conley of Cowgirl Creamery. Other chef participants include Rick Moonen of RM Seafood in Las Vegas, Daniel Holzman of The Meatball Shop in New York, and Donald Link of Herbsaint in New Orleans. Here’s the schedule:
Session 1: January 8th-10th Moderator: Connie Barney, culinary travel consultant Headliner: Kent Rathbun, Abacus, Jasper’s and Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen, TX Demonstrators: Annie Somerville, Greens, San Francisco; Brian Streeter, Cakebread Cellars, Napa.
Session 2: January 11th-12th Moderator: Connie Barney, culinary travel consultant Headliner: Suzanne Goin, Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern, Los Angeles Demonstrators: Mark Estee, Campo, Reno; Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans
Session 3: January 15th-17th Moderator: Andrew Friedman, author Headliner: Peter Chastain, Prima, Walnut Creek Demonstrators: Emily Luchetti, Farallon, San Francisco; Sean Baker, Gather, Berkeley
Session 4: January 18th-19th Moderator: Andrew Friedman, author Headliner: Rick Moonen, RM Seafood, Las Vegas Demonstrators: Jimmy Bradley, The Red Cat/The Harrison, New York; Jesse Ziff Cool, Flea Street Café, Menlo Park
Session 5: January 22nd-24th Moderator: Barbara Fairchild, food journalist Headliner: David Bazirgan, Fifth Floor, San Francisco Demonstrators: Daniel Holzman, The Meatball Shop, New York; Peggy Smith and Sue Conley, Cowgirl Creamery, Point Reyes
Session 6: January 25th-26th Moderator: Barbara Fairchild, food journalist Headliner: Christopher Lee, Eden, South Beach, FL, and Huntington Social, Huntington, NY Demonstrators: Chris Prosperi, Metro Bis, Simsbury, CT; Robert Anderson, The Golf Club at Boulder Ridge, San Jose
Session 7: January 29th-31st A collaborative dinner featuring the men of Top Chef Moderator: Janice Wald Henderson, food and travel writer Host Chefs: Percy Whatley and Paul Padua, The Ahwahnee Guest Chefs: Ryan Scott, Ryan Scott 2 Go, 3-Sum Eats, Brunch Drunk Love, San Francisco; Tre Wilcox, Marquee Grill & Bar, Dallas; Brian Malarkey, Searsucker and Burlap, San Diego
Session 8: February 1st-2nd A collaborative dinner featuring the women of Top Chef Moderator: Janice Wald Henderson Guest Chefs: Jen Biesty, Scala’s Bistro, San Francisco; Ariane Duarte, CulinAriane, Montclair, NJ; Antonia Lofaso, Black Market, Studio City, CA
Two- and three-night packages at The Ahwahnee and Yosemite Lodge at the Falls start from $896 and $665, respectively, including lodging and admission for two to the Chefs’ Holidays events. Tickets for the Gala Dinner are available for $199/person, including gratuity. Tax not included. More info and reservations online. The Ahwahnee, 1 Ahwahnee Dr. at Village Dr., Yosemite National Park.
The Ahwahnee’s pastry chef Paul Padua. Photo from Facebook.
Sunday Jan 8, 2012 – Thursday Feb 2, 2012 $665 and up Info The Ahwahnee 1 Ahwahnee Dr. at Village Dr., Yosemite National Park