The Mammoth Food and Wine Experience last weekend was, as it sounds, not a bad place to spend a few days shooting.
It was a two-day event full of interactive (they cook it, you eat it) food, wine and beer seminars, with a few parties and food-based social galas mixed in.
Much of the event took place on the grounds of the Mammoth Lakes Foundation, south of town, and was highlighted by the cooking and anecdotes of some of the West Coast’s most prolific chefs.
A few of these culinary experts were beckoned to Mammoth by the Eastern Sierra’s own Dan Molnar. Several years ago Dan traded the big city restaurant lifestyle for big mountain adventure and endless powder days (he’s always the first one up Chair 22 on a powder day). Luckily for the community, Dan maintained relationships with several of his colleagues over the years and was able to convince his crew from Eureka, a Los Angeles-based eatery started by Wolfgang Puck in the early 1990s, to come to Mammoth for the event. This group, dubbed the Eureka Dream Team, taught seminars, led community hall-type chats, and cooked up a few of the most beautiful paellas you’ll ever see, even in Spain.
I addition to the Dream Team, several cooks, wine makers, brew masters, and others involved in the industry came to participate in the event. A few local legends were there, as well as some from Napa, Santa Barbara, Reno and other points around the West Coast.
The seminars on Friday and Saturday were well-attended and got great reviews. Saturday night’s cook-off was the most exciting part of the weekend as several cooking schools from around California battled it out, preparing dishes for the masses whom, in turn, voted for their favorite at the end of the day. The Bakersfield College Culinary Program, and their cilantro-mint pesto shrimp with watermelon, was the big winner of the day. All the entries were delicious but theirs’ stood out, according to the Eastside’s foodies.
Also included here are images from some of the other functions around town, including the chef’s reception at Tallus, the wine walk in The Village, and another tasting at Petra’s.
These images include everything up to Saturday night’s bash. The rest will be up tomorrow. We’ll also post more on Facebook.
Finally, I’d like to thank local artist/photographer Miguel Flores for help with this. He shot many of the below images, and worked tirelessly throughout the weekend to make sure we covered everything. He’s going to help us out with some weddings this summer and we couldn’t be more stoked to find someone like him. You can see more about Miguel and exploits here and here. Miguel has a bright future ahead.
Thanks and check back tomorrow.