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Mammoth Food and Wine 2014

Hey all!!  Just so as you know, this year the Mammoth Food and Wine Fest is bigger and better than ever!  Hopefully I will get to see many of you up there this year.  If you’ve never been, Mammoth Lakes, CA is amazingly beautiful in the summer.  (some say even nicer than the winter, but that is up for discussion).  If you have never been, this is a perfect opportunity for a visit.  There are many dining and housing options, and even the local brewery, Mammoth Brewing Company.  AND the road to Devil’s Postpile and Rainbow Falls is OPEN, as once the snow falls, the road is closed to all motor vehicles except snowmobiles.  Access to all the lakes is also open for fishing, hiking and camping.

Devil's Postpile in the Eastern Sierra

Devil’s Postpile in the Eastern Sierra

Rainbow Falls in the Eastern Sierra

Rainbow Falls in the Eastern Sierra










But I digress, the Food and Wine Fest is July 11-13 2014  AND the tickets go to charity, helping out the music and arts in the Eastern Sierra, one of the most gorgeous settings in the US of A.  There is still time to get tickets and housing.  There is everything from high-class hotel settings, to homey condos, to all the airBnB type options.  And since the town is on the quaint side, there really is nowhere bad to stay.  You can even get out of town to the more rustic options around in the mountains.  Bring your bikes and you don’t need to move your car all weekend, because there is a bus and shuttle service which transports people all around town, Gratis!

A small rundown of the events.  In a coup for wine lovers, we have the makers of the movie that chronicles Sommeliers attempting the MASTER SOMMELIER exam, SOMM to show a screening!  There will also be a Q&A.   It’s in the village, and makes for a fine opening night Thursday the 11th.

On Friday I will be involved in the always fun and tasty BATTLE OF THE BURGERS!!!  Many of you know, I am a bit of a Burger crazed man, and have won some competitions in the past, and after not winning last year here, I am stepping up my game.  Hint: Making my own buns!  Here’s my profile  and you can check out the other Burger Battle chefs, and all the information you need for a succesful visit at the official Mammoth Lakes website

Burger Battle 2013, Mammoth Food and Wine Fest

Burger Battle 2013, Mammoth Food and Wine Fest

Friday evening finds another lovely night spent in the village, after the Burger Battle, with a wine walk, where you can mingle with other winos and meet some of the winemakers who are in town pouring their wines for the Festival.  You can also check out the many restaurants, bars and stores that abound in the village.  It’s a good place to pick up a memento of your trip to the High Sierra.  And if the wine walk isn’t enough for you, the local Mammoth wine bar The Sidedoor will be open for all your eating and drinking needs!  The owner Shields is a big supporter of the Festival, and helps recruite some of the amazing winemakers!

Saturday is the big day with the huge GRAND TASTING with every winery pouring along with Mammoth Mountain Brewing Company.  You will not go away hungry or thirsty.  It is an event to behold.  As culinary teams all make different dishes for the crowds to taste and vote on.  And unlike many “larger more famous” mountain Food and Wine Fests, here you can interact not only with all the attendees, but all the Chefs and Winemakers!  You don’t need an appointment to try and chat.  Just walk right up and say hey!  There is also an amazing auction at the Grand Tasting with some all kinds of marvelous items to bid on, like private dinners, trips to the mountains and stashes of wine!

Check out the Food and Wine website, as there are also private dinners, seminars, and lots of wine to be not only be drunk, but taken with you!  Some of the top wineries in CA will be present, but also some talented small producers.  While some of the amazing Chefs include Bruce Kalman, Nyesha Arrington, Richard Haake, Josie Le Balch, Ray Garcia and Matt Toomey.

                        JUST ANNOUNCED!!



Mammoth Lakes – The Mammoth Food & Wine Experience (taking place July 11 – 12, 2014) has been notified byWorld Food Championships that the winner of the 2014 “Best-of-the-Best-Burger Battle: 405 vs. 395” is anOfficial Qualifying Entrant in their November competition in Las Vegas.  Now in its third year, the World Food Championships is the ultimate culinary competition featuring more than 500 competitors in nine categories, from around the world.  Participation is by invitation only–and contestants must win to get in.

“We were very excited to open the mail last week and find the notice along with the golden ticket that is awarded to the winner of our Burger Battle,” stated Event Manager Nora Urdi.  “Including our Mammoth Food & Wine Experience Burger Battle in its second year is a credit to the event and its participants.”  Only 50 entrants worldwide are automatically accepted into the Burger Battle portion of the 2014 World Food Championships.

The Burger Battle event in the Mammoth Food & Wine Experience is a fun kick-off to the weekend’s festivities, and a great way to get people excited about a weekend of food and wine events supporting the Mammoth Lakes Foundation.  Chris Lucchese of Off-Track Cooking in LA made an early commitment to return–he participated last year.  A multi-time winner of the Los Angeles Times’ own Burger Battle, Lucchese is hard at work perfecting this year’s burger entry.   The added component of a possible trip to Las Vegas for the World Food Championship has raised the ante!

He was joined early by Chef Jason Hoeltzel of CJs Grill in Mammoth Lakes.  Throwing their respective hat into the ring shortly after–and before hearing about the possible entrance into the World Food Championships in November, were Steve Miller, Grill Chef at Rock Creek Lakes Resort in Rock Creek and Rena McCullough of Ohana’s 395 Food Truck/Catering in Lee Vining.

Last year’s winner, Chef Matt Toomey, returns this year as a celebrity judge along with Brad Metzger a Los Angeles based authority in Hospitality Recruiting and Human Resources, and Sean Turner of Mammoth Brewing Company–who is providing the liquid libations at the Friday morning, July 11th competition.  Tickets for the “Best-of-the-Best Burger Battle: 405 vs. the 395” are available at

Come celebrate a great cause, cheer on your favorites, and help kick off the 2014 Mammoth Food & Wine Experience by participating in the Best-of-the-Best-Burger Battle-405 vs. the 395!  We’re going to Vegas, baby!