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Aquarium's "Cooking for Solutions" Features Three Days of Great Chefs, Great Culinary Events, May 17 - 19
All-star lineup includes Carla Hall, Lorena Garcia, Art Smith, Chris Cosentino, Richard Blais, Educator of the Year Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Cindy Pawlcyn and more
Renowned chefs from North America, the United Kingdom and Latin America will share their passion for fine dining and environmentally sustainable living when they’re honored at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s 12th “Cooking for Solutions” celebration on May 17-19 in Monterey.
The annual gathering of top chefs and winemakers offers a full weekend of spectacular events featuring gourmet cuisine: from a festive Friday night gala tastings with celebrity chefs, 80 restaurants and nearly 60 premium wineries and breweries, to a weekend of lively presentations by culinary TV celebrities, an ocean-view breakfast with celebrity chef Carla Hall, food adventures and a bountiful new Street Food Extravaganza.
Tickets go on sale to aquarium members on January 28 and to the general public on February 11 and will be available online, or by calling the aquarium at 866-963-9645. The full program of events and chef bios is at www.cookingforsolutions.org.
The nonprofit aquarium and its respected Seafood Watch program will honor Britain’s Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall as Educator of the Year for his role – on his River Cottage farm, through his TV shows and books, and in his public leadership – in promoting seasonal and sustainable food production, as well as fishing practices that preserve the health of the oceans.
The aquarium welcomes as Special Celebrity Guest television all-star Carla Hall of ABC’s The Chew. She and Celebrity Guest Host Cindy Pawlcyn – the aquarium’s culinary partner, and creator of Mustards Grill in the Napa Valley and the new aquarium restaurant, Cindy’s Waterfront – will be joined by 20 celebrity chefs from three continents, and 23 local host chefs and presenting chefs from throughout the region.
All have been selected and recognized by the Monterey Bay Aquarium (www.montereybayaquarium.org) for their leadership in promoting sustainable farming and fishing practices that protect the health of the ocean and the soil.
Cooking for Solutions supports the aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, www.seafoodwatch.org, the nation’s leading source of information to help transform the seafood market in ways that preserve healthy ecosystems and sustain ocean wildlife.
The national lineup of 20 honored celebrity chefs who share the aquarium’s commitment to sustainably delicious cuisine includes:
• Returning Celebrity Chef John Ash of Santa Rosa, a culinary educator and Cooking for Solutions founder; past Chef of the Year honorees Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of Border Grill (Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Las Vegas); and past honorees Sam Choy of Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai in Hawaii, Jesse Ziff Cool of CoolEatz Restaurants & Catering/Flea St. Café (Menlo Park), Chris Cosentino of Incanto (San Francisco), Elena Hernández, chef, director of the Academia de Artes Culinarias and president of Panamá Gastronómica (Panamá); Emily Luchetti of Farallon/Waterbar (San Francisco); Nathan Lyon of Los Angeles, a chef, TV host and author; Hákon Már Örvarsson, of the Culinary Institute of Iceland in Reykjavik; Charles Phan of the Slanted Door (San Francisco); and Jeff Rogers of Cindy’s Waterfront (Monterey Bay Aquarium).
• First-time honored Celebrity Chef Ambassadors Richard Blais of Flip Burger Boutique/HD-1/The Spence (Birmingham, Alabama and Atlanta); Duskie Estes of zazu restaurant + farm/black pig meat co. (Santa Rosa & Healdsburg); Lorena Garcia of Lorena Garcia Cocina/Lorena Garcia Tapas (Miami and Atlanta); Kerry Heffernan of New York, a chef, TV host and author; Diego Oka, a Peru native and chef at La Mar Cebichería Peruana (San Francisco); Michele Ragussis of The Pearl Seafood Restaurant and Raw Bar (Rockland, Maine); Art Smith of Table Fifty-Two/Art and Soul/LYFE Kitchen/Southern Art and Bourbon Bar (Chicago, Washington, D.C., Palo Alto and Atlanta); and Vikram Vij of Vij’s Restaurant (Vancouver, B.C.).
The Friday-night gala on May 17 – the signature event at Cooking for Solutions and a sell-out every year – offers gourmet dishes from appetizers to desserts, created by the celebrity chefs, local host celebrity chefs and 80 exceptional regional restaurants. In addition, 60 premium vintners from California and the western U.S. will pour organic and sustainable wines.
Other highlights of the three-day weekend :
• A Friday-night pre-gala special event with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and special guests (aquarium members only).
• A Premium Access Lounge (aquarium members only) throughout the evening with live music and special treats, hosted by celebrity chefs Sam Choy and Carla Hall.
• Saturday culinary outings with celebrity chefs that range from visits to wineries in the highlands overlooking the Salinas Valley, to spectacular homes in the Carmel Highlands and ocean view destinations on the Big Sur coast.
• Saturday and Sunday “Salon Series” demonstrations and tastings of everything from artisan California cheeses to high-end chocolate, premium wines, dairy desserts, Indian dishes, and gourmet pasta and paninis.
• New on Saturday evening, a Street Food Extravaganza hosted by Carla Hall, with demonstrations and abundant tasting of favorite street food dishes prepared by celebrity chefs Sam Choy, Susan Feniger, Emily Luchetti, Mary Sue Milliken, Michele Ragussis, Art Smith, Sarah LaCasse and James Waller of the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa.
• The Morning Chew, a Sunday breakfast with Carla Hall.
• A weekend-long Sustainable Foods Celebration (included with aquarium admission) with tastings, cooking demos and the Whole Foods Market and Kids’ Zone.
Tickets for Cooking for Solutions 2013 events go on sale January 28 for aquarium members and February 11 for the general public. They are available online at www.cookingforsolutions.org, or by calling the Monterey Bay Aquarium toll-free at 866-963-9645.
The mission of the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the oceans. To learn more, visit www.montereybayaquarium.org.
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NOTE: Photos and video of past celebrations available from public relations; as are photos of participating celebrity chefs.