2015 Big Sur Foragers Festival starts in two weeks

A weekend of gourmet food, world-class wine and beer, entertainment, expert-led foraging hikes and a friendly chef competition with celebrity judges starts on Friday, January 16 through Sunday, January 18, 2015. Big Sur area chefs will exhibit their culinary expertise by preparing edible creations paired with regional wines and beers.

Friday, January 16th:
·         Kick-off Dinner at Big Sur Road House. 
·         Big Sur Bakery is also doing a dinner to benefit the Big Sur Health Center.
·         More than 10 Monterey County restaurants will be donating a portion of their sales on Friday, January 16th to support the Big Sur Health Center.

Saturday, January 17th:
·         9:30 AM-12:30 PM: Two "Wild Foraging Walk and Talk" http://www.eventbrite.com/e/big-sur-forager-festival-2015-tickets-12739388855 - one at Pfeiffer State Park (beginner level) and one through the Big Sur Wilderness (intermediate level), both led by expert foragers. The intermediate hike through the Bug Sur Wilderness will be led by Stephen Copeland of Big Sur Guides and Hiking. Cost per hike $35.00. 
·         1 PM-4PM: "Fungus Face-Off" http://www.eventbrite.com/e/big-sur-forager-festival-2015-tickets-12739388855 on the deck at Ventana Inn & Spa. A friendly competition among some of the area's notable chefs featuring chanterelles and other fabulous fungi. Celebrity judges include Jim Dodge, Russ Parson (LA Times Food Editor) and Wendy Brodie. Participants include: Executive Chef Paul Corsentino (The Restaurant at Ventana Inn), Chef Sean Garrett (Fernwood), Chef Johnny DeVivo (Porters in the Forest at Poppy Hills), Chef Phillip Burrus (Esalen), Chef Tim Wood (Carmel Valley Ranch), Kim Solano (Haute Enchilada and Social Club), Chef Brenden Esons (Big Sur Roadhouse), Chef Tony Baker (Montrio Bistro/Baker's Bacon), The Quail and Olive, Winery Partners/Brewery, Chappellet, Alvarado Street Brewery, Tudor Wines, Holman Ranch, Morgan Winery, Mesa Del Sol Winery, Comanche Cellars, Ventana Wines, McIntyre Vineyards, Bernardus Lodge, Dawn's Dream, Joullian Vineyards, and Fillipponi Ranch. Attendees also have an opportunity to cast their vote for "People's Choice". A silent auction full of culinary delights, hotel stays, tickets to explore the area, art and so much more will take place during the food and wine sampling.  There will be more than 60 items this year! Purchase raffle tickets for $5 per ticket or $25 for 6 tickets. Enter to win your choice of 7 culinary delights or hotel packages! Raffle package values range $200 to $700! Tickets available for purchase at the event. Cost per person is $60.

To read more and see highlights from the 2014 Big Sur Foragers Festival's Fungus Face-off, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/article/2015-big-sur-foragers-festival-starts-two-weeks