From May 16 to 18, more than 90 of North America’s finest chefs, 70 wineries and breweries, foodies and wine connoisseurs converge at Monterey Bay Aquarium for the annual Cooking for Solutions. Launched in 2002, Cooking for Solutions promises a weekend filled with ample opportunities to meet, mingle and learn from culinary masters, sample new cuisines and drinks and discover ways to have a sumptuous, sustainable feast.
The event kicks off on May 16 with Top Chef: All Stars winner Richard Blais and MasterChef Junior winner Alexander Weiss teach event participants how to cook sustainable dishes. New York Times food writer Kim Severson will also be on hand to provide her insights on the culinary world from the perspective of two generations.
Another highlight of the opening night is the gala where guests can have the opportunity to sample sustainable gourmet food prepared by celebrity chefs as well as 90 of the best restaurants in the area. Guests can also taste the offerings from 60 West Coast wineries as well as craft beer from 11 breweries. Finally, guests can participate in a silent auction for wines which closes the evening.
May 17 is another activity-packed day. The Food and Wine Adventures activity consists of six tours where participants can learn and explore sustainable cuisine from the perspective of culinary masters like Wendy Brodie, Brooke Willaimson, Nick Roberts, Hugh Acheson, Jaime Malone, Jesse Ziff Cool, Kenny Belov, Kristina Scrivani and Linda Hanger.
The DIY: Hands-on Experiences with Top Chefs, on the other hand, is a unique cooking class which focuses on a particular ingredient, cooking technique or style taught by John Ash, Lindsay Autry and Virginia Willis.
The Salon Series, on the other hand, brings together chefs, artisans and foodies to offer their unique insights on a whole gamut of topics from bacon and chocolate to beekeeping to street food.
DIY: Hands-on Experience with Top Chefs continues on Sunday with chefs John Ash, Sam Choy and Sean Knight onboard to teach participants. The final round of the Salon Series, on the other hand, includes discussions on coffee tasting, home-made ice cream, gluten-free cuisine and food and beer pairings.
The whole affair culminates with the Sustainable Foods Celebration where participants can learn more about sustainable seafood, organic agriculture and winemaking. Visitors can also sample the offerings of local growers and food artisans at the Whole Foods Marketplace & Kids Zone. Celebrity chefs are also on hand to sign their books.
If you are thinking of joining the event for the whole week or if you are simply dropping by for a particular day, make sure to find the best places to stay in Monterey, CA and book your accommodations at the earliest possible time.