Carmel-by-the-Sea – GourmetFest

The GourmetFest is an international food and wine festival in the quaint village of Carmel-by-the-Sea. The inaugural year of the festival will take place over a four day period March 27-30, 2014, Starting at 6:00 pm.


Check out the Online Auction and then….BID IN THE ONLINE AUCTION

The festival will feature the talents of Relais & Châteaux Chefs from around the world. Events include an opening night welcome party, a cooking demo, wine tastings, off-site tours combined with exciting lunches, featured chefs, world class wine dinners, a rarities dinner, and a closing seafood grill and champagne tasting.

This year’s festival will benefit the non-profits for the Carmel Chamber of Commerce, Rancho Cielo and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Enjoy the beautiful properties of Relais & Châteaux while supporting these great organizations and their missions.

View Events and Purchase Tickets at


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#carmel #vacationrentals #foodies


The Breakfast Blog: Best Places to Eat around Monterey

Best places to eat in Monterey

The Breakfast Club tabletop

I asked the gang for a list of their favorite breakfast spots, and they scrambled to answer:

Rhiannon McCraner said everything is good at Holly’s Lighthouse Cafe in Pacific Grove, and Chris Navarro recommended “the huevos rancheros at Rondita’s.” After fruitlessly searching Google, I realized that his wife is named Rhonda. Very funny, Chris.

Then our faithful property inspector Howard Hartman chimed in. Now, Howard knows a lot about breakfast spots (playing golf or racquet ball five mornings a week, the man needs his nourishment!).

Here are a few of his favorites:

  • Wagon Wheel Coffee Shop, Carmel Valley: “The steel cut oatmeal.”
  • First Awakenings, Pacific Grove: “Huge blue germ pancake with blueberry compote.” I told him I thought “blue germ” sounded a bit unsavory, and in between forwarding funny emails on his iPhone (how else would we know that rubber bands last longer when refrigerated?) he responded, “U have to try new things!”
  • Best Western Hotel, Del Monte Beach, Monterey: “Best breakfast views on the Peninsula. The potato skillet with vegetables—but no cheese, please.” (Howard is vegan-ish.)
  • Porter’s Grill, Poppy Hills Golf Course, Pebble Beach: “Good food and great golf course views.”
  • The Breakfast Club, Seaside: “Omelet with fruit on the side.”

He said he had more, but he had to go to breakfast.

Property manager Frank Gallagher (our version of Don Draper, but without the martinis and cigarettes), seconds Howard’s vote for The Breakfast Club, adding that the coffee is good—and that his kids love the Mickey Mouse pancakes.


images2Wonder who makes the best burger on the Monterey Peninsula? I asked the staff at Monterey Rentals – and they must’ve been hungry – because I was inundated with responses.

A sampling:

Ashley: R.G. Burgers in Monterey and Carmel has the BEST burgers.

Frank: R.G. Burgers, Monterey and Carmel!

Jo:  R.G. Burgers. I like the way they taste.

Michelle: Sorry, I went to R.G.’s about a month ago and my burger was supposed to be turkey but they gave me beef that was red in the middle. I like the one in the mall way better… Islands Burger?

Frank: Sacrilegious!!! Scandalous!!! Do NOT listen to Michelle. She must have gotten Mad Cow disease at the “other” place.

Michelle: Ha, ha… probably!

Patricia: Edgar’s Restaurant at Quail Lodge: ½ pound char-grilled beef patty with hickory-smoked bacon, sharp cheddar, red onions, tomato, lettuce, and pickles on a brioche bun…. well, yum!

Rhiannon: Wow, 11 emails about burgers?

• Quail Lodge Golf Club: 8000 Valley Greens Drive, Carmel
• Islands Restaurant: 300 Del Monte Center, Monterey
• R.G. Burgers: 570 Munras Ave. #30, Monterey, and 201 Carmel Crossroads Shopping Center

Oh, Mamma Mia!


Your family just might break into song once you learn to make authentic pasta and pizza at Cantinetta Luca in downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea:

Pizza Secrets Class

11:30 am – 1:30 pm

March 24, May 26

Pasta Secrets Class

11:30 am – 1:30 pm

April 21, June 23

In these hands-on, 90-minute classes, you’ll learn:

PIZZA: proper heat, making great dough, shaping the pizza, different styles (and everything else you want to know about the world’s favorite food).

PASTA: how to make great dough, different types of pasta and pasta machines, cooking times and procedures, and recipes for dressing the perfected pasta.

Maximum 10 people per class, so make your reservation now. $50 per person plus tax and 18% service fee.

And if you need accommodations in Carmel (and a place to test those new recipes) consider “Bay Laurel,” a new, “old world” cottage with a gourmet kitchen, a Viking six burner range, a lovely outdoor patio and a Mediterranean garden.

Now, that’s amore.

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