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Thursday, 13 June 2013 15:53

Chef of Roy's at Pebble Beach Honored

ACF Chef of the Year Pablo Mellin Picmonkey(L – R) American Culinary Federation Monterey Bay Chapter President Tene Shake, Roy’s at Pebble Beach Chef de Cuisine Pablo Mellin, American Academy of Chefs Advisor and Cannery Row Company Co-Owner Bert Cutino and American Culinary Federation National President Michael TyRoy’s at Pebble Beach Chef de Cuisine Pablo Mellin was named “Chef of the Year” for 2012 by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Monterey Bay Chapter on Sunday, June 2, 2013. Chef Mellin was presented the award by ACF Monterey Bay Chapter President Tene Shake during the organization’s 39th Annual President’s Gala Dinner.

The ACF Monterey Bay Chapter “Chef of the Year” award recognizes an outstanding culinarian who works and cooks in a full-service dining facility. The chosen chef has demonstrated the highest standard of culinary skills, advanced the cuisine of his or her local chapter, and given back to the profession through the development of students and apprentices.

Chef Mellin was born and raised in Mexico and, after moving to the United States in 1986, began his culinary career as a line cook at the Hog’s Breath Inn Restaurant in Carmel, Calif. As his career progressed, he began working in other fine dining restaurants on the Monterey Peninsula, eventually bringing his talents to Pebble Beach Resorts in 1991. Chef Mellin became the lead supervisor at Roy’s at Pebble Beach in 2000, where he honed his skills in Hawaiian-fusion cuisine. In 2005, he was promoted to Sous Chef, where he gained a wealth of knowledge in Japanese products, unique flavors and presentations. In 2008, Chef Mellin became Chef de Cuisine of Roy’s at Pebble Beach.

Since Roy’s at Pebble Beach opened at The Inn at Spanish Bay in 1995, Chef Mellin has developed a special relationship with celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi. In the restaurant’s inaugural year, Chef Mellin flew to Hawaii and trained in Waikiki for three days. Over the last 15 years, Chef Yamaguchi has passed on much of his knowledge and skills in the Hawaiian and Japanese cuisines to the award-winning chef, but in return, has also learned extensively about the Hispanic culture, history and tastes from Chef Mellin.

Chef Mellin has been involved in numerous local special events such as Cooking for Solutions at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Pebble Beach Food & Wine, and The Harvest Farm to Table event, using local and sustainable product. Chef Mellin recently participated for the first time in the annual Culinary Classique, a fundraiser for Meals on Wheels. During his time at Pebble Beach Resorts, he has also mentored twelve students and apprentices, with many moving on to chef positions throughout the Monterey Peninsula. Chef Mellin enjoys working with the vast array of ingredients and the intensity of flavors available in Asian cuisine. The diversity of tropical fruits, fresh produce and seafood are the flavors of Chef Mellin’s youth and he brings this passion to his creations at Pebble Beach Resorts.

Editor's note: Those considering a visit to Pebble Beach or anywhere on the Monterey Peninsula may want to check out Taste California Travel's Resource Directory. Links to the websites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options are there, as well as links to Monterey County wineries and brewpubs.

Sunday, 14 April 2013 22:38

April 12, 2013 Wine Pick of the Week


Edna Valley chardonnay  Picmonkey


2010 Paragon Chardonnay


 Edna Valley Vineyard

 Appellation: San Luis Obispo County


 Suggested Retail: $15.50


“This review marks a departure. In years past we would taste dozens—sometimes hundreds—of new and current releases every week. The 'Pick' was always the wine we liked best, regardless of grape variety or category. The tasting of new wines and subsequent note-taking really is time-consuming and has taken a back seat lately to other business needs. Henceforth, we'll use our 'Pick' to select a wine and discuss it, not necessarily laud it.

“To oversimplify, Chardonnay tends to reflect either crisp citrus and green apple characteristics or lush, tropical fruit qualities. We prefer the former category. This 2010 Edna Valley Chardonnay is an example of the latter. Aromas of ripe Bartlett pear and pineapple are the first impression. Flavors of pear, mango and very ripe pineapple predominate, though there is definite 'brown spice' presence reminiscent of cinnamon and/or nutmeg. The finish evokes vanilla and seems quite sweet. For our tastes, it doesn't have the qualities that would make it a good pairing with most fish or fowl dishes. Though Taste California Travel prefers leaner and more austere Chards, that doesn't mean that the Edna Valley is a bad wine or a badly-made wine. It will please many who like to drink Chardonnay in lieu of a cocktail and might even seem to be good accompaniment to dinner for those who like this style."

Food Affinity: Hard to say. Maybe with a scalding-hot Asian curry that features some mango or papaya?

Thursday, 21 March 2013 19:06

March 22, 2013 Beer Pick of the Week

DBA Tap Handle Picmonkey 

Firestone DBA


Producer: Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Location: Paso Robles, California

Style: English style bitter/amber ale

Alcohol: 5%

IBUs: 30

Serving style: 12 and 22-ounce bottles and draft

Availability: Year around on the West Coast


Appearance:  “Golden brown/amber brown. Beautifully clear considering it's not filtered.”

Aroma:  “Very little.”

Taste:  “It's an older, English style of beer, not one that punches you in the face. It's what an ale is supposed to be—smooth and complex.

Food Affinity:  “It's a very food-friendly beer for richer food. A roasted meat dinner—something with gravy. Or perhaps with mushroom parmigiana or a rabbit stew.”

General Background: Today's Pick was poured from draft. Firestone Walker considers the DBA (Double-Barreled Ale) their flagship product. It is partially fermented in American oak barrels which the brewery says enhances its fullness and “the clean briskness of the finish.”

Dan Scott Picmonkey


Reviewer Dan Scott lives in Sacramento

and describes himself as a “Beervangelist.”

Pacific-Coast-Wine-Trail-Map-web  PicmonkeyNorth San Luis Obispo County features one of the most scenic untouched stretches of coastline in California. Now visitors can enjoy that beauty while tasting some of the regions best Rhone and classic coastal varietals. Six local wineries have joined together, creating the “Pacific Coast Wine Trail” winding along the Pacific Coast Highway from San Simeon to Harmony. The Pacific Coast wineries include; Hearst Ranch Winery in San Simeon, Moonstone Cellars, Black Hand Cellars, and Twin Coyotes in Downtown Cambria, Stolo Family Winery up Santa Rosa Creek Road just outside of Cambria, and Harmony Cellars in the tiny town of Harmony.

Each boutique winery features hand-crafted wines made from local vineyards. “It’s been fun working together to create a unique experience for North County visitors” says Maria Stolo Bennetti, General Manager at Stolo Family Winery. “These award winning wines coupled with our beautiful trail are going to put us all on the map” adds Todd Clift, Owner & Winemaker at Moonstone Cellars.

The Pacific Coast Wine Trail was created in direct response to the demand by tourist to Cambria and San Simeon to have wine tasting available to them in closer proximity. Many visitors stay in Cambria to enjoy the coast and drive 30 miles to wine taste in Paso Robles. Now, with the design of the new trail, visitors can stay along the coast and taste wine from six award winning wineries. The Pacific Coast Wine Trail also plans to offer joint promotions and talks of a shuttle bus stopping along the route are in the works. More information can be had at www.pacificcoastwinetrail.com


Editor's note: If you're planning travel on the Central Coast you may want to check out Taste California Travel's Resource Directory. You'll find links to websites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options, as well as links to all the region's wineries. There's even a directory to beer specialists in the area!

Tuesday, 08 January 2013 00:47

Savor and Save in Monterey County

Home to the nation's largest vegetable producing region, the culinary talent of Monterey County, California is being Tim Wood Chef at The Lodge Carmel Valley PicmonkeyChef Tim Wood of The Lodge  showcased during California Restaurant Month 2013. Thirty five restaurants featuring the diversity of the destination are offering a ten percent discount or a prix-fixe menu to customers who mention California Restaurant Month from January 1-31, 2013.

Food enthusiasts can zip down the Big Sur coastline to have breakfast nestled beneath the redwoods at Big Sur River Inn and then have fresh local sanddabs for lunch while watching sea lions play above the Monterey Bay at Café Fina. History buffs will find minds and appetites satisfied by dining in the very house where John Steinbeck grew up near the agriculture fields of Salinas.

Special menus for January 2013 have been crafted by award winning chefs tucked along the dips of Carmel Valley, the nooks of Carmel-by-the-Sea, and the historic streets of Monterey. Unique prix fixe menu stars include Chef Tim Wood who is delivering a Monterey Bay Fisherman's Stew featuring Crab Fennel Garlic Tomato Broth at The Lodge Restaurant. Sweet tooths can experience dessert magic at the newly renovated Aubergine (2013) which Zagat recently ranked 5th best in the San Francisco Bay Area. Pastry Chef Ron Mendoza is delighting customers with an intriguing dessert of grapefruit, white chocolate, and celery.

DCV Fandango PicmonkeyIn Pacific Grove, Fandango's Citroen Deux Chevaux sets Gallic tone

Visitors may dine at a discount at Moss Landing's Haute Enchilada Café & Gallery, where sustainable seafood is always on the menu and the artichoke risotto is locally sourced. To dine like a local, head to Pacific Grove and experience Fandango Restaurant as they celebrate 25 years of award winning cuisine.

Additional taste bud adventures include Pacifica Café in Seaside. Steak lovers will discover Filet Mignon and Prime Rib cooked to perfection. International flavors can be found in Marina which is home to dozens of authentic restaurants. Experience island fare at Kula Ranch by trying the Big Island Fish Tacos.

To see menus and offers from participating restaurants visit www.SeeMonterey.com/ca-restaurant-month.

About Monterey

Monterey County is located 120 miles/192 km south of San Francisco and 345 miles/552 km north of Los Angeles along the classic California corridor. The region boasts 99 miles of Pacific Coastline, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, three historic missions, 40,000 acres of vineyards, 24 golf courses and over 250 lodging properties. Monterey County includes the Monterey Peninsula, Big Sur, North County and the Salinas Valley. The Monterey Peninsula Airport (MRY), is three miles from downtown Monterey and is served by non-stop flights to and from Denver (DEN), Las Vegas (LAS), Phoenix (PHX), Los Angeles (LAX), San Diego (SAN) and San Francisco (SFO). www.SeeMonterey.com.

Editor's note: Sources at TravMedia.com contributed to this report

Region: Cerntral Coast      City: Monterey     Contact: www.montereyjazzfestival.org

PB 2012 bestofshow 01 PicmonkeyPhoto copyright 2012 by Kimball Studios/Courtesy of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

Culmination of several days of automotive events on the Monterey Peninsula, this is the most prestigious show of rare and beautiful automobiles in the world.

Cars are displayed on the 18th fairway at the famed Pebble Beach golf course, an incomparable setting. Admission is expensive, but the event benefits local charities.

Selected as a recent year's Best of Show was the 1936 Mercedes Benz 680S Saoutchik Torpedo pictured at right.

Region: Central Coast     City: Pebble Beach    

Contact: www.pebblebeachconcours.net

Sunday, 06 January 2013 19:14

August 2-6, 2017 Old Spanish Days Festival

Region: Central Coast     City: Santa Barbara     Contact: www.oldspanishdays-fiesta.org

Sunday, 06 January 2013 19:11

July 29-30, 2017 Oxnard Salsa Festival

Region: Central Coast     City: Oxnard     Contact: www.oxnardsalsafestival.com

Sunday, 06 January 2013 18:57

July 20-23, 2017 California Rodeo

Region: Central Coast     City: Salinas     Contact: www.carodeo.com

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