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Walnut Creek Magazine

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay’s Global Cuisine Series Pairs Fun, Food, and Your Fave Chefs

Aug 08, 2018 12:36PM ● By Fran Miller

Chef Dean Fearing. Photo by Shelly Auyeung

BY FRAN ENDICOTT MILLER

Rare is the chance to rub elbows with some of the nation’s most lauded and celebrated chefs. Sure, you can dine at San Francisco’s Atelier Crenn or Nopalito, but chances are slim that you’ll get a face-to-face with Dominique Crenn or Jackson Yu, much less receive cooking instruction from the Michelin-starred chefs. But at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay’s Global Cuisine Series, lucky guests cook with, dine with, and chat with these and other famed chefs. 

The engaging Dean Fearing of Dallas’ Fearing’s Restaurant was the featured chef during my recent visit. Known as the Father of Southwest Cuisine, Fearing memorized each of our names as we were offered flutes of Moet-Chandon during an initial meet-and-greet. He then led our small group through the steps in making Crispy Yellowfin Tuna Tartare Tacos. We learned how to cut a mango for a piquant pico de gallo, how to properly turn a fresh tortilla into a taco shell, and how best to season an avocado. We then ate the spoils of our efforts while Fearing demonstrated how to make his barbecued shrimp burritos. Passion fruit margaritas were served as we made our way to the dining room for a three course sit down lunch, with wine pairings, featuring items from Fearing’s The Texas Food Bible - his most recent cookbook, a signed copy of which each guest took home afterward.

I'd followed Fearing’s career since his days as head chef at the Mansion on Turtle Creek. I’d watched him long ago on the PBS Series Great Chefs, and my copy of his original cookbook is dog-eared. It was a pleasure to see first-hand that Fearing is everything his public persona suggests – personable, congenial, and truly interested in sharing his culinary knowledge. Few opportunities exist where fans can so closely interact with their idols. The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay’s Global Cuisine Series is such an opportunity.

Scheduled once per month through the end of the year, the Global Cuisine Series is offered to Ritz-Carlton RewardsMarriott Rewards, and SPG Rewards Members who bid their points for a spot in the kitchen and at the dining table. (It’s easy to sign-up for any of the programs. If you find yourself a few points shy of those required for bidding, check-out the option to purchase points.)

The Global Cuisine Series package features a one-night stay the Friday night prior to the Saturday morning hands-on cooking class for no more than 16 led by the guest chef, a wine-paired luncheon with the opportunity to sit down with and get to know the chef, and a signed cookbook. Scheduled through 2018 are: 

  • Jackson Yu of Michelin Star Omakase, San Francisco, teaching Edomae-Style Sushi, September 21 - 22
  • Dominique Crenn of Two Michelin Star Atelier Crenn and Petit Crenn, San Francisco and awarded World's Best Female Chef by San Pellegrino's 50 Best, teaching Brittany-Inspired French cuisine, October 26 – 27
  • Pastry Chef Celine Plano of acclaimed Pascaline Fine Catering, Sebastopol, teaching Simple and Delicious Pastries, November 16 –17
  • Gonzalo Guzman of Nopalito, San Francisco awarded Three Stars by the San Francisco Chronicle, teaching Regional Mexican, December 14 – 15

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay's Global Cuisine Series is based on inspiration from the culinary team’s globe-trotting travels and experiences with exceptional cuisines by chefs of diverse backgrounds and cultures.

Visit either SPG Moments or Marriott Rewards Moments for a complete list of opportunities. Global Cuisine Series events are posted for bid about two months prior to each scheduled event.