You know Pim, or you know of Pim. If you read food blogs, no doubt you have at least once seen her blog, Chez Pim. Pim lives a gourmet life many vicariously enjoy through reading her blog or following her on Twitter or catching sight of her in newspapers and glossy magazines. She is known for her annual fundraising efforts on behalf of UN World Food Programme, and as an arbiter of taste. Pim is the author of the much anticipated book, the Foodie Handbook: The (almost) Definitive Guide to Gastronomy, to be released later this year. Her handmade butter is enjoyed at rare tables around the Bay Area and her Thai curries are legendary. She even made pop tarts something to savor. I know her because I was an early food blogger, but I'm just a hanger-on. This is how I imagine her circles of friends, with apologies to Malcolm Gladwell.
Last week I scored an invitation to dine with Pim and some other food and wine bloggers, old friends really. It was a very intimate gathering at Manresa, and most of us met each other almost exactly five years ago to the day, when blogging was still a fairly new phenomenon. The hosts for the evening were from Pebble Beach Food & Wine. This is the second year for what is one of the most exclusive premier food and wine events around. To give us a "taste" of what the events are all about we dined on dishes including the famous Arpege egg--a soft boiled egg with heavy cream, maple syrup, salt and sherry vinegar, duck foie gras with a gelee of buckwheat honey and Pim's ginger lime marmalade, and cabbage and caviar. Cabbage and caviar? you ask, yes and why not, since chef David Kinch recently won Iron Chef America with the secret ingredient cabbage.
We drank wines including, 2002 Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Reims, 2002 Puligny-Montrachet Louis Latour en Magnum and my personal favorite, 1997 Chateau Haut Brion. I'd tell you more but you'd just end up hating me.
The truth is, you can hang out with the likes of Pim at Pebble Beach Food & Wine from April 16 - 19th, 2009. There will be chef demonstrations, lunches and dinners prepared by well-known and rising star chefs, and tastings of some of the most sought after wines in the world, all at the beautifully picturesque seashore that is Pebble Beach. Like the dinner I enjoyed, the events will be intimate, the food delectable and the wines outstanding. Care to attend a tasting of 1959 Bordeaux, see a cooking demonstration by Thomas Keller, or learn about food and wine pairing with chef Michel Richard and Penfolds? Perhaps you'd prefer a chef's table truffle lunch or dinner with the Michelin star chefs of San Francisco? Tickets start at $100 and packages at $995. Cheaper than a trip to the grand capitals of Europe and almost as good as day in the life of you-know-who.