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Walnut Creek Magazine

2019 Relais & Chateaux GourmetFest Lineup: Carmel-by-the-Sea

Feb 11, 2019 04:33PM ● By Fran Miller

GourmetFest, the renowned Relais & Châteaux international food, wine and lifestyle festival returns for its sixth year March 14-17, 2019. Drawing chefs, sommeliers and gourmands from around the world to Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, GourmetFest showcases unparalleled chefs and winemakers in a four-day journey of experiential dining events, designed to appeal to culinary connoisseurs young and old.

“We’re so honored to be celebrating the sixth annual GourmetFest with an incredible line up of acclaimed Relais & Châteaux chefs and prestigious wine estates from around the world,” said GourmetFest founder and Mirabel Hotel and Restaurant Group founder David Fink. “The food, wine and hospitality presented this year is unrivaled and we trust that our exciting events will attract our loyal returning guests, as well as individuals just discovering their life-long love of fine wine and exceptional food.”

This year’s festival features wines by Chateau LaFite Rothschild, world-renowned red wines known for setting record-breaking prices at auction, and Domaine Yves Boyer Martenot, a small-scale French winery operated by Vincent Boyer, a fourth-generation winemaker known for his hands-on attention to his family’s land, vineyards and wines. Culinary superpowers Michael Mina, chef and owner of the eponymous celebrated international restaurant group, David Kinch, chef and owner of three-Michelin starred Manresa and highly-anticipated Mentone, and Walter Manzke, chef and owner of Republique and previous partner and long-time friend of GourmetFest founder David Fink, lead a celebrated line up of presenting chefs. Manzke will headline the Welcome Party and Saturday Cooking Demonstration, which supports Ment’or, a leading nonprofit organization devoted to inspiring culinary excellence in young professionals and preserving the traditions and quality of cuisine in America. 

New this year is Bluegrass and BBQ at The Wine House featuring grilled meats and oysters by AJ Buchiano of Magee Homestead, Adriano Venturini of Eden Roc Cap Cana and Eduardo Marin of Solar de las Animas alongside live music. In addition, Michael Tusk, Chef and Owner of San Francisco’s Quince, Cotogna and newly-opened Verjus will be leading the culinary efforts at the acclaimed Rarities dinner. Treasured events from previous festivals return as well, including intimate winemaker talks and tastings, cooking demonstrations and a chanterelle forage through the rugged Big Sur coast’s forested granite gorges.

The three-day festival begins on Thursday, March 14 with the Relais & Chateaux Welcome Party at La Playa Carmel, with the following events taking place Friday through Sunday:

Friday, March 15, 2019

  • BBQ and Bluegrass | The Wine House | 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. featuring Eduardo Marin, Adriano Venturini and AJ Buchanio
  • Ment’or Cooking Demo & Lunch | La Playa | 11:00 a.m. featuring Michael Mina, Mark Lundsgaard and Nathan Rich
  • Opus One “An Expression of Time & Place” | La Playa | 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. lead by Opus One CEO David Pearson
  • Plantin Black Truffle & Black River Caviar Dinner | La Playa | 6:30 p.m. featuring Melissa Rodriguez, Toni Mörwald, Lou Rossi and Christopher Wilson

Saturday, March 16, 2019

  • Wild Mushroom Hunt & Lunch | Saint Lucia Preserve | 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. lead by Chuck Bancroft, Lou Rossi and Daniela Ramos
  • The Climats of Meursault | La Playa | 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. lead by Vincent Boyer-Martenot
  • Ment’or Cooking Demo & Lunch | La Playa | 11:00 a.m. featuring Walter Manzke, Adriano Venturini, Toni Mörwald and Christopher Wilson
  • Chateau Lafite, “an exceptional Terroir,” | La Playa | 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. lead by Eric Kohler with introduction by Jamie Pollack of Zachy’s
  • Relais & Chateau Grand Finale Dinner | La Playa | 6:30 p.m. featuring Justin Cogley, AJ Buchanio, Toni Mörwald, Eduardo Marin and Yulanda Santos

Sunday, March 17, 2019

  • Champagne Taittinger Morning Tasting and Chat | La Playa | 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. lead by Clovis Taittinger
  • A Taste of Relais & Chateau | La Playa | 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. featuring Justin Cogley, Nathan Rich, Christopher Wilson, Eduardo Marin, AJ Buchanio, Lou Rossi and Adriano Venturini

For full event information, chef line-up and to purchase tickets to the 2019 Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest, visit

GourmetFest tickets can be purchased at GourmetFest is presented by the Mirabel Hotel and Restaurant Group, which manages L’Auberge, Aubergine, Cantinetta Luca, and Salumeria Luca.