Posted by: Stan Russell | January 9, 2013

Oceans Frontiers/Big Sur Foragers Festival/Concert at Chappelet Studios Barn/Monterey named Top Wine Destination/Koeppel’s return to Coast Gallery

Hello Big Sur!

It’s going to be a busy rest of the week with lots of events you want to attend. We’ve got Oceans Frontiers film at the Grange with an esteemed local panel lined up for a discussion, 2013 Big Sur Foragers Festival and a concert at Chapellet Studios Barn. In addition to these events that you’ll want to attend, in the news this week Monterey County was named “10 Best Wine Travel Destinations 2013” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, in part because of the beautiful Big Sur coastline. Monterey County is the only wine destination listed in California! That has to have some tongues wagging in other parts of our Golden State. In local affairs, Gary and Emma Koeppel are returning to manage Coast Galleries. Read all about it below:

Oceans Frontiers
Award Winning Ocean Film Makes Big Sur Debut
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Big Sur Grange Hall

Well known locals on panel

You are invited to a free showing of Ocean Frontiers on Thursday, January 10 at the Big Sur Grange. Come for soup, salad and bread at 6. Bring your own place setting. Or come just for the show at 6:30. We plan to be prompt. Ocean Frontiers will take you on an inspiring 60-minute voyage to seaports and watersheds across the country; from the busy shipping lanes and whale corridors of Boston Harbor to the small fishing community of Port Orford, Oregon; from the nation’s premier seafood nursery in the Mississippi Delta to the cornfields of Iowa.
Hear the voices of unlikely allies working together: industrial shippers teaming up with whale biologists, pig farmers with wetland ecologists, and many more, all of them embarking on a new course of cooperation.

The panel discussion immediately following the film showing will be moderated by retired Fire Chief, Frank Pinney. On the panel will be Laura Kasa, Executive Director of Save Our Shores, Biologists David Moen and Joe Burnett from Ventana Wildlife Society, Marcus Foster – surfer, Jess Mason – deep sea diver and Kirk Gafill, President of the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce. Dr. George Somero, Hopkins Marine Station will be present if his schedule allows. The panel will discuss the film and take questions and comments from the audience.

Ocean Frontiers is an independent film from Green Fire Productions, founded by Oregon residents Karen and Ralf Meyer. To make the documentary, the couple crisscrossed the country, meeting and filming people they call “ocean pioneers.” Along the way they discovered some unlikely allies at the forefront of implementing promising new approaches to ocean and coastal management.

The HuffPost internet newspaper notes: “Ocean Frontiers is a film that can help turn the tide in protecting our oceans, and one which every member of Congress—and every American—should see. It has been premiering to rave reviews all across the country and internationally as well, and it delivers a message we all need to heed.

Ocean Frontiers” is an Official Selection of the 2012 Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Nevada City, Calif., as well as a jury nomination for Best Science Communication and Official Selection for the 2012 Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival in Palmerston, New Zealand.

More information about “Ocean Frontiers” can be found at

Thursday, January 10, 2013 at the Big Sur Grange. *

Come for soup, salad and bread at 6.

Bring your own place setting. Or, come just for the show at 6:30.

2013 Big Sur Foragers Festival
A Culinary Exploration into the World of Wild Foods

A celebration of the amazing array of wild foods will be the centerpiece for a weekend of gourmet food, world-class wine and beer, entertainment, expert-led foraging hikes and a chef competition.

On January 11th and 12th Big Sur area restaurants will host the culinary expertise of notable chefs preparing unique fare from rustic to elegant, paired with the region’s amazing selection of wines and beers.

The event also serves as a fundraiser for the Big Sur Health Center. The community’s non-profit health center will receive 100% of the proceeds to support the continued presence of local health care services.

Events to date are scheduled as follows:

Friday, January 11
Several restaurants will be offering special menus for the evening, including:
Big Sur Lodge’s “Foragers Barbeque and Libation” at $45 per person. 831-667-3100
Big Sur Bakery’s “Foraging with Friends at the Big Sur Bakery” at $75 per person 831-667-0520.

Dinner reservations may be made in advance directly with the restaurants.

Saturday, January 12
“Wild Mushroom Walk and Talk” at Pfeiffer State Park led by an expert forager. This will be an informative and entertaining outing with limited availability. Cost per person is $35.

“Fungus Face-Off” at Ventana Inn & Spa from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Cost per person is $45. A friendly competition among some of the area’s notable chefs featuring chanterelles and other fabulous fungi. Celebrity judges are Jim Dodge, Michael Bauer and Wendy Brodie. Attendees also have an opportunity to cast their vote for “People’s Choice”. A silent auction will take place during the food and wine sampling.

Participating restaurants are: Big Sur Taphouse, Big Sur Bakery, Big Sur River Inn, Big Sur Affair Catering, Carmel Valley Ranch, Coast Gallery, Fernwood Resort, Ripplewood Resort, The Restaurant at Ventana and Treebones Resort. Wine pairings will be provided by: Baker and Brain, Calcareous, Comanche Cellars, Chapellet, Chesebro Wines, Mesa del Sol, Morgan Winery, Silvestri and Ventana Vineyards.
“Foragers Dinner” at the Restaurant at Ventana beginning at 6:00 pm. The evening will be a very special meal prepared by Ventana’s executive chef Truman Jones and Kory Stewart, executive chef at Americano Restaurant located in San Francisco’s Hotel Vitale. The multi-course dinner, destined to be a memorable feast paired with an incredible wine selection, costs $175.00 per person.

For more information or to order tickets online, please visit our website at

Chappelet Studios Barn on Rancho Rico
Saturday, January 12 – arrive by 4:00 PM
Rushad Eggleston, Lily Henley & Friends

What we have known for a long time and what the rest of the world is finding out quickly, Monterey County is a wine enthusiasts paradise. Wine Enthusiast’s Magazine has included Monterey in the “10 Best Wine Travel Destinations 2013.” Monterey County was named in the Top Ten Wine Travel Destinations in the World in part because of the stunning Big Sur coastline. San Francisco Chronicle has a nice write up about this in addition to Wine Enthusiast’s article.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Some of the most celebrated wine regions in the world have made Wine Enthusiast’s list of top wine travel destinations for 2013: Rioja in Spain and the Douro Valley in Portugal; Australia’s Hunter Valley; Willamette Valley, Ore., and in California … Monterey County?

That’s right, Monterey — not Napa or Sonoma, or any other Golden State appellation — made the list, announced today and in the February edition of the magazine, available on newsstands Wednesday. Wine Enthusiast editors also chose Puglia, Italy; Stellenbosch, South Africa; Val de Vinhedos, Brazil; and (perhaps equally surprising) Long Island, N.Y., based on factors that included overall cultural experience, timeliness and travel infrastructure as well as wine quality.
Read more:

Gary and Emma Koeppel have retaken the operation of Coast Gallery. Read attached press release for details


That’s all for now.
Stan Russell

Big Sur Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 87
Big Sur, CA 93920
(831) 667-2100 – Contains updates on emergency information when appropriate.

Highway 1 Big Sur now has a toll free hotline to Check Road Conditions courtesy of CalTrans 888-836-0866

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