A Culinary Escape

Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine festival offers a tasty weekend—thanks in part to Las Vegas

Assembling the nation’s greatest chefs for a respite of cooking, imbibing and golf would be a memorable event no matter the circumstance or locale. Now add in a backdrop as scenic as Northern California’s Pebble Beach and invite a few of Las Vegas’ star chefs (Thomas Keller, Charlie Trotter, Hubert Keller, Wolfgang Puck, Paul Bartolotta), along with 60 more of America’s best chefs and more than 250 wineries, and you have the perfect weekend getaway.

How to get there

  • Allegiant offers nonstop flights from Las Vegas to the Monterey Peninsula.
  • Fly for as low as $28 each way on Mondays and Fridays.
  • For a more scenic option, fly from Las Vegas to San Francisco on Virgin America, with multiple nonstops per day, starting at $49.
  • (Insiders tip: Upgrade to first-class for $60 when checking in 24 hours in advance).
  • Then drive from SFO to Pebble Beach, which is a 2.5-hour trip.

A food-lover’s paradise, Pebble Beach Food & Wine, sponsored by American Express Publishing, is April 8-11 and it offers pricing at four levels to meet every chowhound’s budget. Tickets start at $100 for a la carte events, $995 for the Magnum package, $2,000 for the Jeroboam package and $4,750 for the Imperial package—all with varying degrees of access and itineraries. Events will take place in and around the Pebble Beach resorts: The Lodge at Pebble Beach, The Inn at Spanish Bay and the Pebble Beach Golf Links. There also will be dinners, lunches, wine tastings and cooking demos.

Here are our suggestions for events not to miss:

Thursday, April 8

Recreation: Celebrity Chef and Winemaker Tournament on Pebble Beach Golf Links. The day begins with a Krug champagne toast, and gourmet food, wine and beverages will be available throughout the course as chefs, master sommeliers, winemakers and guests enjoy a spirited game of golf.

Dinner: Opening-night reception at The Inn at Spanish Bay. Twenty chefs serve delicacies paired with more than 200 wines as guests stroll the picturesque Inn. Chefs include Alain Passard of L’Arpège in Paris, Charles Phan of the Slanted Door in San Francisco and Walter Manzke of Church and State in Los Angeles.

Friday, April 9

Lunch: Iron Chefs Masaharu Morimoto and Michael Symon come together to prepare a memorable lunch paired with wines from the Washington State Wine Commission.

Dinner: “A Study in Classic Composition With Thomas Keller and Charlie Trotter.” Two culinary geniuses unite with Angela Pinkerton of Eleven Madison Park doing desserts. Wines to complement include Oliver Krug presenting a Krug Grand Cuvee, Pio Boffa and his Barolo, and Paul Roberts showing off Bond.

Saturday, April 10

Tasting: Laura Werlin hosts ‘’The Magic & Seduction of Cheese & Wine.’’ The author and cheese-monger extraordinaire takes guests on an interactive tutorial of how to get the most out of pairings.

Dinner: “Dining With the Top Chef Masters.” Five of the superstar chefs from Bravo TV’s Masters show, including Michael Chiarello, Roy Yamaguchi, Hubert Keller, Tim Love and Jonathan Waxman, will craft a five-course dinner in the ballroom of The Inn at Spanish Bay.

Sunday, April 11

Lunch: “Lexus Grand Tasting.” The closing event of the weekend brings together chefs such as Ken Frank of La Toque in Napa and Mark Sullivan of Spruce in San Francisco for a final blowout complete with book-signings and photo sessions.

For a complete schedule of events, visit pebblebeachfoodandwine.com.

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