The Ahwahnee Set to Kick Off Culinary Series

The Ahwahnee, in Yosemite park, is ready for annual Chefs’ Holidays events By: Kenneth Shapiro
The Ahwahnee hotel’s Chefs’ Holidays series begins in January. // (c) 2011 DNC Parks and Resorts at Yosemite, Inc.
The Ahwahnee hotel’s Chefs’ Holidays series begins in January. // (c) 2011 DNC Parks and Resorts at Yosemite, Inc.

The Details

The Ahwahnee, a full-service, AAA Four-Diamond hotel in Yosemite National Park, Calif., will host its 27th annual Chefs’ Holidays series from Jan. 8 to Feb. 2. Celebrating the range of styles, personalities and trends that characterize the American culinary scene, Chefs’ Holidays events present 25 prominent American chefs and culinary professionals from New York to Los Angeles over a series of eight sessions. For each session guests are invited to enjoy a Meet the Chefs reception, three educational cooking demonstrations and tastings, a behind-the-scenes kitchen tour and a five-course gala dinner prepared by the chefs and paired with four wines, served by candlelight in The Ahwahnee’s dining room.

Here is the schedule of sessions. 

Session 1: Jan. 8-10
Moderator: Connie Barney, culinary travel consultant
Headliner: Kent Rathbun — Abacus, Jasper’s and Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen in Texas
Demonstrator: Annie Sommerville — Greens, San Francisco
Demonstrator: Brian Streeter — Cakebread Cellars, Napa, Calif.

Session 2: Jan. 11-12
Moderator: Connie Barney, culinary travel consultant
Headliner: Suzanne Goin — Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern, Los Angeles
Demonstrator: Mark Estee — Campo, Reno, Nev.
Demonstrator: Donald Link — Herbsaint, New Orleans

Session 3: Jan. 15-17
Moderator: Andrew Friedman, author
Headliner: Peter Chastain — Prima, Walnut Creek, Calif.
Demonstrator: Emily Luchetti — Farallon, San Francisco
Demonstrator: Sean Baker — Gather, Berkeley, Calif.

Session 4: Jan. 18-19
Moderator: Andrew Friedman, author
Headliner: Rick Moonen — RM Seafood, Las Vegas
Demonstrator: Jimmy Bradley — The Red Cat/The Harrison, New York
Demonstrator: Jesse Ziff Cool — Flea Street Cafe, Menlo Park, Calif.

Session 5: Jan. 22-24
Moderator: Barbara Fairchild, food journalist
Headliner: David Bazirgan — Fifth Floor, San Francisco
Demonstrator: Daniel Holzman — The Meatball Shop, New York
Demonstrator: Peg Smith & Sue Conley — Cowgirl Creamery, Pt. Reyes, Calif.

Session 6: Jan. 25-26
Moderator: Barbara Fairchild, food journalist
Headliner: Christopher Lee — Eden, South Beach, Fla., and Huntington Social, Huntington, N.Y.
Demonstrator: Chris Prosperi — Metro Bis, Simsbury, Conn.
Demonstrator: Robert Anderson — The Golf Club at Boulder Ridge, San Jose, Calif.

Session 7: Jan. 29-31 — A Collaborative Dinner: The Men of Bravo TV’s “Top Chef”
Moderator: Janice Wald Henderson, food & travel writer
Guest Chef: Ryan Scott — Ryan Scott 2 Go/3-Sum Eats/Brunch Drunk Love, San Francisco
Guest Chef: Tre Wilcox — Marquee Grill & Bar, Dallas
Guest Chef: Brian Malarkey — Searsucker and Burlap, San Diego, Calif.

Session 8: Feb. 1-2 — A Collaborative Dinner: The Women of Bravo TV’s “Top Chef”
Moderator: Janice Wald Henderson, food & travel writer
Guest Chef: Jen Biesty — Scala’s Bistro, San Francisco
Guest Chef: Ariane Duarte — CulinAriane, Montclair, N.J.
Guest Chef: Antonia Lofaso — Black Market, Studio City, Calif.

Two- and three-night Yosemite culinary vacation packages are available at The Ahwahnee and Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, starting at $896 and $665 respectively, and include lodging and admission for two to the Chefs’ Holidays events. Tickets for the gala dinner are available for $199 per person, including gratuity. Tax not included.

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