@PBFW: Celebrity Chef Golf Tournament

(Pebble Beach, CA) — Although we have attended the Pebble Beach Food & Wine event a few times before, this year afforded us the opportunity to actually play Pebble Beach golf course as part of the Celebrity Chef Golf Tournament...

He Fed:

Something magical happened. All weather models on every website predicted a rainy golf day, smack dab in the middle of otherwise picture perfect days. I awoke early, dressed, made coffee, and stepped out onto our hotel room balcony to see...no rain. The forest and lawn below were damp, so it had clearly rained not long ago, but now? Nothing. And it got better with every passing hour.

We arrived via shuttle to the clubhouse a few minutes late. Though we missed the champagne toast, our hosts filled our hands with Taittenger as we passed. Inside, made-to-order smoothies and coffee drinks were available, as were little breakfast bites of caviar-topped pastries and “toad in the hole” with a soft boiled egg instead of sausage. We scarfed down a couple, then ran to our carts.

While Geoffrey Zakarian and other famous chefs practiced on the putting green, we loaded up on free tallboys of Stella Artois for our beer cooler. Our group included me, Juliet, her boss, and another young couple from SoCal. Soon, we were in our carts and racing to hole #5 for our shotgun start. (We got lost on the way and had to turn around to find #5, but we got there!)

Strange for Pebble Beach, there was absolutely no wind. I took off my jacket, stripped down to a polo shirt, and led the charge with a beautiful down-the-middle drive. All day, my drives were better than normal while my short game remained as dismal as always. It’s a scramble, though, so everyone contributed and I’m very proud of my long putt to birdie the final hole.

At first, we expected some kind of food or drink at every hole. It wasn’t until #9, however, when we began to encounter sustenance. Pulled pork and slaw; lobster rolls; fresh berries from Driscoll; and lobster corn dogs. When you’re playing a course as spectacular as Pebble Beach, though, food and drink pale in comparison. This place is gorgeous! I don’t expect to play a nicer course or have a more enjoyable round of golf.
She Fed:

When we receive the invitation to golf at Pebble Beach we immediately and enthusiastically accept the opportunity. With grins on our faces we schlep our clubs all the way from Michigan to Pebble Beach, checking them in with the bellman at The Inn at Spanish Bay, our home for five days. I have to admit, it’s fun explaining to the bellman we’ll need our clubs early the next morning as we’re part of the tournament.

The show organizers instruct us to arrive at 8 am, which turns out to be a bit late, giving us just enough time to hurriedly nibble on some breakfast (berry smoothies, truffled egg puffs, assorted pastry, strong espresso) and grab a glass of champagne before the tournament’s official start. After much milling around, including Geoffery Zacharian graciously posing for photos with fans while looking for his cart, we head for our assigned holes. After a few double-backs and U-turns, we find hole #5 and begin stretching and limbering up for that first swing. Jeremy and I take a quick moment to stand cliffside overlooking the shore, pinching ourselves to see if we’re dreaming.

What follows is a full day of challenging golf on one of the world’s most pristine and gorgeous courses. Every few holes there are drinks and nibbles: strongly spiked coffee (or “aiming juice” as I call it) from the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas; tangy smoked BBQ brisket with crunchy slaw; lobster sandwiches; Stella Artois and Pellegrino; a seafood bar with sashimi tuna, oysters on the half-shell, and shrimp cocktail; lobster corn dogs with tomato jam; and fresh berries from Driscoll’s. There are also gifts and schwag along the way: fleeces, gloves, Stella glasses, mini-coolers, etc.

The forecast called for rain and clouds, but early in our game the sun emerges and the weather is absolutely glorious. We end the day slightly sunburned and tired, but in very high spirits over our score—just two over par! This once in a lifetime opportunity will be the highlight of our spring, if not our 2013.

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