‘Food & Wine Experience’ officials unveil schedule

The 2013 Mammoth Food & Wine Experience has unveiled its selection of seminars, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, July 5 and 6.

Participation at the seminars does not require a ticket to the Saturday night Grand Tasting event or a VIP ticket to the overall event.

One of the seminars, however, is exclusive to the culinary school student teams competing in the Saturday Grand Tasting’s “Great Outdoor Cooking Competition.”  That particular seminar features most of the guest chefs and a few other culinary professionals who share their real-world expertise with the budding chefs, helping them to prepare for life after school, according to event organizer Julianna Olinka.

 That special seminar is one of the unique ways this fund-raising event reinforces the Mammoth Lakes Foundation’s mission of furthering higher education and cultural arts, Olinka said.

“As we’ve seen with the growth of cooking shows, showmanship factors into the culinary arts as well,” she said.  Another seminar is specifically limited to VIP ticket holders.

 “The Best-of-the-Best Burger Battle” features Four “Best Burger” winning chefs, three from Los Angeles and one from Mammoth, all of whom put their burger-making bragging rights on the line.

The burger battle features Chris Lucchese (L.A. Times Best Burger Champion); Bruce Kalman (Executive Chef of The Churchill in L.A. and winner of the March 31 episode of “Chopped”); Matt Toomey (Chef of Toomey’s Breakfast Lunch and Dinner), and Brian Lenzo (of Blue Palms Brewhouse, featured on Food Network).

Attendees taste the burgers alongside Mammoth Brewing Company beers, and then choose the winner in tandem with a panel of judges.

Here is a sampling of the seminars being presented over the two-day festival.

  • Iron Chef Seminar with Jason Knibb, competitor on “Iron Chef.”
  • “I’d Rather Be Making Pickles.”  Chef Bruce Kalman of The Churchill in L.A. shares his passion for pickling.
  • “Riedel presents: Glass with Class—Enhancing the Wine Experience.” Experience how the right vessel makes all the difference with Melissa Hawkins of Riedel Wine Glass Company. This premium seminar has a cost of $75 per person and includes one complimentary set of Riedel tasting glasses valued at over $120.
  • “Everything You Wanted to Know about Trout but Were Afraid to Ask” features Chef Jason Hoeltzel of CJs Grill in Mammoth as he demonstrates preparing trout from lake to plate. Featuring famous Alpers Trout.
  • “2012 MFWE Winner of “Best Dish”—Bakersfield College, Returns to Share Their Recipe for Success” with Chef Suzanne Davis and the Bakersfield Culinary College Students.
  • “The Secrets and Craft of Salting and Curing Your Own Meats and Cheese”—Charcuterie anyone?” features chef/owner Brandon Brocia who demonstrates artisan ingredients meeting Old World techniques on the “new American” food frontier.

In addition, the Food & Wine Experience this year will offer Private Wine Dinners on Friday evening—a Mediterranean-themed dinner at Pokonobe Lodge on Lake Mary; an exclusive Star Chefs-prepared dinner with Eberle wines at The Plum House; and a genuine Argentinean Asado Dinner outdoors at the college.

For more information, visit www.mammothfoodandwine.org.