As we move from an incredible Summer and into Fall, there is a softening of pace in Big Sur as kids go back to school, and we are in the final weeks of preparation. As thye step into Year Five of this amazing Festival, we feel blessed and honored to have made it this far!
It’s also a great feeling to welcome back folks who have come to this weekend ever since we started it, and to realize that they feel strongly enough about what we’re doing so uniquely that brings them back. Where else can one wear hiking boots as you sip on some of the finest wines you could possibly imagine? Or see the condors glide lazily overhead, or hear that sweet sound of crashing waves against the ancient and steep cliffs? As we go about our travels, the words of encouragement are so enthusiastic and heart-warming. The accolades we receive and knowing what we have accomplished so far make us more resolute in our goal to promote Big Sur as a true culinary destination, and at the same time, raise much-needed funds for our community.
A recent calculation of our donations put us as giving over $100,000 to various local non-profit organizations over the last four years. This includes the Health Center, all five Big Sur schools, the Henry Miller Library and more. Given the enormous efforts and expenses of creating a festival of this nature, we are understandably very proud. We’ve captured it in a video below.
We’re delighted to have the Post Ranch Inn again help us stage our Pinot WalkAbout and the Lexus Grand Public Tasting. And this year, we have the new Jamieson Ranch Vineyards of Napa Valley sponsoring the Dinner With Friends, with Hahn Estates, our local neighbors, sponsoring the kitchen at the Henry Miller Library.
And our chefs! From around the country they come to share their culinary skills and also re-kindle personal and professional connections. David Lawrence of 1300 Fillmore is back with us, and we have Daniel Kelly of American Craft in Chicago, the incredible Matt Glazer who is garnering exceptional critical acclaim at the renovated Roadhouse in Big Sur, Brad Briske of the new and lovely La Balena in Carmel, Aaron Haagerdorn of Prairie, Minneapolis, Justin Cogley of Aubergine who was recently recognized as one of America’s best new chefs by Food and Wine, and the list goes on!
Again, we have managed to secure some truly unique and special auction items for this year’s luncheon. I’d have to say that the highlight will be the Hike In Big Sur with the world’s foremost winemaker – Aubert de Villaine of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti —something he has never offered any other auction in the world, and we’re deeply honored that he has offered this, along with a dinner at the exquisite Deetjens Big Sur Inn for six lucky guests. There are some other pretty amazing items on the block, and details will be posted soon as to the specifics.
So – please come and join us this year for a great celebration of all things tasty and fun! It’s all about friendships, old and new, and come rain or shine, we’ll find ways to knock your socks off…
And finally, a heartfelt thank you to the most amazing committee one could ask for! They hung in there through thick and thin and I could not have asked to have better friends and support.
We’ll see you on November 7 – 10!
Toby Rowland Jones, President and Founder