Pastry Chef Ben Spungin took his whimsical ways to Pebble Beach Food & Wine last weekend. His “Sweet Antiques” were on display at the Lexus Grand Tasting Tent. His play on an antique store was complete with rich aromas of black tea & tobacco, chocolate monocles and colorful chocolate fascinators. Guests peaked in the display case at white chocolate cameos and gold dusted perfume bottles.
The theme was the perfect opportunity for Ben to break in his new glasses – although as Chef Cal wisely captured on film – Ben ended up looking rather similar to our friend Providence Chef, Michael Cimarusti.
Ben and Micheal
Overseeing a restaurant requires devising recipes and menus on a daily basis. This is my favorite part of the job, because the opportunities for creativity are limitless. With a top-to-bottom refurbishment of Marinus planned for late May – I am drafting a completely new menu to coincide with the opening. I am busy thinking about that windfall of mushrooms, devising a salad in my mind. Thinking first of what’s in the garden, remembering the bed of mache that will soon be ripe for picking and the first favas of the season.
The kitchen is truly a collaborative forum, involving everyone in the creative process. Last night we experimented with rare small farm cheeses from Utah, Tennessee and Colorado and let everyone taste and judge. Over the next few weeks I will keep testing and refining the menu, maybe adding a dash more sherry vinegar or a sprinkling of tarragon, until it’s absolutely perfect.
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- Chef Cal