Foragers Festival Tickets on Sale

2017 Big Sur Foragers Festival
Tickets On Sale and Fungus Face Off Participants Announced
Big Sur Health Center announces January 13–15, 2017, as the dates for its annual Big Sur Foragers Festival. This year’s partners include Carmel Valley Ranch, the sister property of longtime host Ventana Big Sur that was just named the No. 1 resort in Northern California in the Conde Nast Traveler 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards. With a resort enhancement project underway at Ventana Big Sur, the Fungus Face-Off and Grand Chef dinner will take place this year at Carmel Valley Ranch, a summer-camp-inspired resort that sprawls across 500 acres and celebrates a deep connection to the land of Carmel Valley.

The event has traditionally served as a fundraiser for the Big Sur Health Center. The community’s non-profit health center will receive the proceeds from the foraging events to help support the continued presence of local healthcare services in the Big Sur area.

New events for 2017 include:
· New Friday Night Dinner Added for January 13th, 2017. Pamper your palette for a great cause with a gourmet meal benefiting the Big Sur Health Center on Friday, Jan. 13, at La Balena Carmel, an authentic Italian restaurant on Junipero Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues. This very special dinner, part of the Big Sur Foragers Festival, will feature a five-course meal, lovingly prepared with wild mushrooms and black and white Italian Alba truffles, that were gathered during a recent three-week trip to Italy by La Balena owners Anna and Emanuele Bartolini. Wines donated by Bernardus Winery and Chappellet Wines will be served with each course.
● A Friday night winemaker dinner series will be held at select restaurants throughout Monterey County. Will’s Fargo Restaurant + Bar in Carmel Valley and Alvarado Street Brewery and Grill in Monterey will each donate 10 percent. The Big Sur River Inn will hold a forager-themed brunch, also donating a percentage of profits to the event.
● A vendor’s market will take place following the Fungus Face Off Saturday, January 14th from 1-4 p.m. Meet the local artisans during the Face Off, then shop at the market from 4-5:30 p.m. Each vendor-partner will donate a portion of their sales to the Big Sur Health Center.
Participants include:
● Carmel Honey Company: Jake Reisdorf’s fifth-grade report on bees developed into a successful business model with a non-profit component. Meet young Jake and his mom Becky as they detail the wonders of honeybees.
● The Quail and Olive: Board-certified cardiologist Dr. Stephen Brabeck long recognized the health benefits of olive oil so he started a successful local business centered around a California olive oil experience.
● Salt Roots Soap Company: Meet Stephanie Wise, who started this unique artisan company with her friend Shani Fridrich. Their soaps are handmade in small batches, which creates unique beauty in the variations of design, texture and color.
● Big Sur Sea Salt: Anna Linden runs this new startup, taking advantage of the natural bounty that comes from pristine seawater along the Big Sur Coast.
● Additional partners inclyd Percy’s Pies, Driftwood art from Duncan and more!
● Join us for a special evening at Hyatt Carmel Highlands. Executive chef Chad Minton and the culinary team will create a three-course meal paired with wines from Bonny Doon Vineyard. The evening will begin with a reception of passed appetizers, wines from Bonny Doon and live music from Dino Vera from 6:30–7 p.m. At 7 p.m. enjoy a three-course dinner in the legendary wine room. Meet the culinary team and representatives from Bonny Doon Vineyard! There are only 24 seats available. Tickets are $175 per person and can be purchased through

Back by Popular Demand:
● An exclusive Friday night dinner at Sierra Mar restaurant at Post Ranch Inn with a special menu and a unique opportunity to enjoy wines from their award-winning wine cellar. This event is limited to 14 people.
● The “Fungus Face-Off” will take place in a beautiful tented setting on the Pete Dye-designed golf course at Carmel Valley Ranch. This popular event sells out early. There are 250 available tickets, priced at $65 per person.

Fungus Face Off Winery and Brewery Partners Include:
● Holman Ranch
● Mesa Del Sol
● Bernardus
● McIntyre Vineyards
● Chappellet
● Twisted Roots
● Chesebro Wines
● De Tierra Vineyards
● Morgan Winery
● Bonny Doon Vineyards
● Filipponi Ranch Cellars
● Firestone Walker Brewing Company
● Belgian Pacific
● Blair Winery
● Alvarado Street Brewery
● Mad Otter Ale

Fungus Face Off Chef and Restaurant Partners Include:
● Chef Tim Wood, Valley Kitchen, Carmel Valley Ranch
● Chef Matt Glazer, Glazer Food and Beverage
● Chef Chad Minton, Hyatt Carmel Highlands
● Chef Soerke Peters, Basil Seasonal Dining
● Chef Angela Tamura, Peppoli
● Chef Cy Yontz, Rio Grill
● Chef Todd Fisher, Tarpy’s Roadhouse
● Pastry Chef Ben Spungin, Sierra Mar
● The Culinary Team at Alvarado Street Brewery
● Quail and Olive
● Carmel Honey Company
● Big Sur Sea Salt
● Salt Roots Soap Company

· Grand Chef Dinner at Carmel Valley Ranch. An intimate forage-inspired feast paired with incredible wines, the multi-course dinner from Chefs Wood and Worth begins at 6 p.m., and seating is extremely limited. Tickets available for $175 per person.
● Two foraging walks led by Steve Copeland and his expert team from Big Sur Guides. An easy “Wild Mushroom Walk and Talk” at Pfeiffer State Park and a nearby intermediate walk. This year, both hikes will be held on Sunday. There are 30 spaces available per walk. Tickets are $60 per person.

For event details visit Tickets can be purchased at

Marci Bracco Cain
Owner | Managing Partner
T 831 747 7455

Fungus Face-off

I have a confession … I am not fond of fungus, but I tasted some offerings that were amazing. Who would have thought fungus could be such an incredible Macaroon? (Ventana) or boar served on baquette (Ripplewood) or Carnitas-mushroom soup (Roadhouse) to mention but three. Everything was spectacular and I am already salivating for next year. Ventana did the superb job one would expect from such an establishment.