Yosemite in the colder months brings to mind fewer crowds and amazing sights like Half Dome frosted with snow. But it should also have you thinking of one of the West’s most appealing culinary traditions—the Chef’s Holidays at the famed Ahwahnee, celebrating its 26th annual edition between January 9 and February 3, 2011.
The series of eight sessions goes well beyond mere fine dining, presenting heated (pun intended) cooking demonstrations, insider tours and much more, culminating in extraordinary meals by some of the best chefs in the business. Among the impressive roster of chefs for the 2011 version of Chef’s Holidays are such luminaries as:
- Chef Andrew Kirschner, the heralded executive chef of Santa Monica’s Wilshire, known for his contemporary touches and ‘farm-to-table’ philosophy centered on fresh local ingredients;
- Chef Ariane Duarte, the talented season five Top Chef contestant from Montclair, N.J., who has also appeared on the show Iron Chef; and
- Chef Douglas Keane, executive chef and an owner of Healdsburg, Calif.’s Cyrus, recipient of two Michelin stars in 2010.
Adding to the intrigue, every session is hosted by a number of culinary experts and professionals. Among the moderators this year are Barbara Fairchild of Bon Appétit, and Izabela Wojcik, a director with the esteemed James Beard Foundation. Attendees will enjoy the opportunity to meet and chat with chefs and experts alike, a hallmark of the special dinners.
“Chefs’ Holidays present an amazing culinary vacation that any foodie would enjoy, set in the majestic winter wonderland that is The Ahwahnee,” says Tami von Isakovics, a spokesperson for the event. “Guests can see, taste and learn from some of the best chefs in the country, experience ingredients and techniques that they’ve never seen before, and indulge in a candlelit dinner in the hotel’s beautiful Dining Room.”
Foodies on the lookout for a unique and delicious gourmet getaway in California will have a tough time topping the 2011 version of Chef’s Holidays.