This year was the third annual Mammoth Lakes Food and Wine Fest. It’s a charity for Education and Arts in the Eastern Sierra. And it is a lot of fun at 9000 feet above sea level. If you’ve never been up to Mammoth Lakes, the summer is just as fun as winter. You can actually climb all the hills and mountains that are normally covered in snow. There is even some snow left if you want to hike up and see some in July. I’ve actually skied on the 4th of July a few times there.
Ahhh, I digress. The Fest. It’s three days of food, wine, and seminars. Just a short hop from Los Angeles, they tend to get some great Chef talent from Southern California each year. This year there was Michelin Starred LA Chef Josiah Citrin, La Jolla Chef Jason Knibb, Chef Joseph Miller from Venice Beach, Chef Bruce Kalman who was executive chef of The Churchill and has now started Bruce’s Prime Pickle Company, Chef/Owner Brian Lenzo of Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood, some Chef’s from Mammoth, and myself. Yes, little ‘ol me in with such esteemed Chefs.
There are actually some very good places in town for food. For a small mountain town, there are terrific dining options. Thusly, there are some talented Chefs. There are also some great places for terrific wines. So it’s a no-brainer that the town puts on a great Food and Wine Fest. Especially with all the great CA wines at our disposal. This year there were upwards of 30+ wineries pouring. As well as Mammoth Brewing Company pouring their beers with altitude.
Some of the events included a Burger Battle that I was a part of, and that local Chef Matt Toomey won. There were seminars about trout, salting and curing, pickling, and wine seminars with Riedel and one about Rose. There was a wine walk in town, at the Village with all the restaurants also open. Who doesn’t like Wine and Meat, because there was an Argentine Asado dinner with wines from Argentina. I took part in the Grand Tasting on Saturday making paella with other Chefs, and a competition between CA culinary schools. Followed by more wine seminars. A full weekend of fun in the sun. There was also an auction for the charity with everything from Wine to Trips to Food Experiences.
All in all a fun weekend. I got to meet some amazing chefs and talk with them. I met many lovers of good food and wine. It was a terrific time. I didn’t win the Burger Battle, but had lots of good feedback.
I’ll write soon about the Restaurant scene up there, so if you plan on going up to Mammoth you can make some plans to try some of my favorite places.