Posh New Look for Carmel Valley’s Marinus, Williams-Sonoma Chef Demos & More

Spring risotto at Marinus restaurant. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Marinus Restaurant at Bernardus Lodge Gets A Modern Redo

Marinus, the signature restaurant at the luxurious Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley, debuted a brand new look late last month.

Gone is the Old World-feel. In its place, a new, elegant, coastal California look with an over-sized farm table with a profusion of flowers underneath hand-forged iron chandeliers and French sconces.

Chef Cal Stamenov remains at the helm with a new menu, emphasizing the bounty from the enlarged on-site organic garden that includes more than 250 varieties of fruit-bearing trees, bushes and vines.

The elegant new dining room at Marinus. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant

The menu is divided into the categories of: “Farmed & Forged,” “Seasonal” and “Traditional.” Both a la carte dishes and a five-course prix fixe ($125) are available. Enjoy such dishes as black chanterelle risotto, and Monterey Bay wild King salmon with English peas and celery root puree.

Save room for desserts by Pastry Chef Ben Spungin that includes a “Chocolate Terrarium” of chocolate mousse, hazelnut cake, chocolate streusel and strawberry sorbet.

Gear Up for SF Chefs

The annual San Francisco extravaganza of food, wine and spirits known as SF Chefs doesn’t roll around until July 30-Aug. 5. But tickets are already on sale to the multifaceted event that takes place in and around Union Square.

If you’re a Visa Signature card holder, you’ll enjoy a 20 percent discounts on tickets, as well as preferred seating at demos and seminars.

Good eats and drinks at the Grand Tasting at last year's SF Chefs. (Photo by Marc Fiorito)

Additionally, to get you in the mood early, SF Chefs is hosting a series of star-studded dinners through July. Dubbed the “Dinner Party Project,” each event brings together two or more chefs to collaborate on a unique dinner.

A portion of proceeds of each dinner will benefit the Center for Urban Education and Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA), which operates the Ferry Building farmers market.

Tickets are still available for the following dinners:

*Two Chefs, One Beast,” June 28 at One Market in San Francisco. One Market’s Chef Mark Dommen is joined by Chef Staffan Terje of Perbacco in San Francisco to cook goat. General admission is $125; Visa Signature tickets are $115.

*Modern American Picnic,” July 9 at Baker & Banker in San Francisco. Lori Baker and Jeff Banker of Baker & Banker will team with Nick Balla and Courtney Burns of Bar Tartine in San Francisco for a dinner of updated homespun classics, including fried chicken. General admission is $135; Visa Signature tickets are $125.

*Family Night, Going Basque,” July 16 at the Grand Cafe in San Francisco. Chef Alicia Jenish of the Grand Cafe will be cooking with Chef Jen Biesty of Scala’s Bistro in San Francisco for a family-style Basque feast. General admission is $85; Visa Signature tickets are $75.

*Street Feast,” July 19 at Tacolicious in San Francisco.  Executive Chef Antelmo Faria of Tacolicious will be joined by Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats and Alex Ong of Betelnut in San Francisco.  Look for a whole pig to be roasted, and plenty of platters of Asian- and Mexican-inspired food. General admission is $95; Visa Signature tickets are $85.

Chef Hoss Zare doing a cooking demo. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

For even more fun, Williams-Sonoma flagship store on Union Square is hosting a series of fun chef demos through the end of this month:

*International Meatball,” noon to 2 p.m June 9. Hoss Zare of Zare at Fly Trap in San Francisco and Chris Thompson of A16 in San Francisco will demonstrate and give out tastes of Italian and Iranian meatballs.

*Marvelous Macarons,” noon to 2 pm. June 23. Michelle Hernandez of Le Dix-Sept Patisserie of San Francisco and Jessica Entzel of Morimoto Napa will show you how to make everyone’s favorite French cookie, plus other decadent desserts.

*Summer Road Tripping,” noon to 2 p.m. June 30. Jason Berthold of RN74 in San Francisco teams with Omri Aflalo of Bourbon Steak in San Francisco offer up the best picnic fare, using local,, seasonal ingredients.

Tickets to any of the demos is $20 for general admission; $15 for Visa Signature card holders.

Oliveto Restaurant Tackles What’s Complicated

Oakland’s Oliveto restaurant will host a series of conversations about eating, cooking and the politics of food. The series, “It’s Complicated,” kicks off 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. June 9 with “Our Local Seas: A Comeback Story.”

Join fishermen, as well as Ed Ueber, former superintendent of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, discuss the state of the seas. Tickets are $10 per person.

June 17, it’s “Building a Local Grain Economy” with speakers Bob Klein, proprietor of Oliveto and founder of Community Grains; Craig Ponsford of Artisan Bakers; and Doug Mosel, founder of the Mendocino Grain Project. Tickets are $10.

More: Scenes from the 2011 SF Chefs

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