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March 12, 2014

Relais & Châteaux’s Inaugural GourmetFest

By Sasha Levine | Food

Relais & Châteaux’s Inaugural GourmetFest
Brian Canlis

It’s one thing to travel around the world to taste Michelin-starred chefs’ brilliant creations. It’s another entirely to have many of them all in one place ready to serve you. In honor of Relais & Châteaux’s 60th anniversary, the collection of fine hotels and restaurants will kick off a yearlong celebration with the inaugural GourmetFest (March 27–30)—a four-day wine-and-food festival in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, hosted at the hotel L’Auberge Carmel.

The fine-dining affair spotlights 15 curated events. Winemakers from the likes of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Krug, Weingut Dönnhoff and Weingut Künstler hold wine and Champagne tastings. Chefs host demonstrations and talks, such as a primer on caviar. A wild mushroom hunt takes guests across 20,000 acres of the Santa Lucia Preserve.

But the highlight, of course, is a number of gourmet meals prepared by some of the world’s best chefs, like Michael Tusk (Quince, San Francisco), Michael White (Altamarea Group, New York), Barbara Lynch (Menton, Boston), Christopher Kostow (the Restaurant at Meadowood, Napa Valley) and Jean-Michel Lorain (La Côte Saint Jacques, France).

“This is about a quality and unique experience for food lovers,” says David Fink, founder of GourmetFest and owner of L’Auberge Carmel. “It would be impossible to have this level of Relais & Châteaux chefs in one place with the incredible wine estates in attendance and many of the owners and winemakers present. [It is] a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” Tickets start at $160; 831-622-5907; gourmetfestcarmel.com.