Monday, April 7, 2008

Pebble Beach Food & Wine

by Chad Freeman

Hey there! Chad here. Scott asked me to do a little report and recap on our time at the first ever Pebble Beach Food & Wine, and gosh is there a lot to tell. For those of you that weren’t able to make it to the event, it was pretty impressive, and you should make a point to visit next year. The whole team did an incredible job putting things together, and it is sure to become another must-attend event on the Peninsula.

We began the weekend with an invitation to provide a tasty treat for the VIPs at the after party on the first evening. The opening festivities were showcased by the amazing Inn at Spanish Bay. Several of the other sponsors (Patron, Tommy Bahama Rum, & Lexus) helped to make the entire party something to remember – and not just because of the breeze in the air.

We were featured right at the bottom of the stairs as guests arrived. Vases were filled with chocolate to create a decadent feeling of luxury, and with the assortment of chocolates provided, we made sure that no one went away unsatisfied. Gail Simmons of Food & Wine Magazine and Bravo’s Top Chef even stopped by for a taste. The hit of the night (the whole event really) was the tasting of our new sea salt caramel collection. More will be written about all the amazing flavors, but for now let’s just leave it that they are all beyond incredible.

Next up was working the Lexus Grand Tasting on Saturday and Sunday. That kept us busy. We were featured in the 30,000+ sq ft. tent that was constructed on Pebble Beach’s Equestrian Center. There were over 200 wineries and 20 celebrity chefs, and no wonder – there were 2,000+ people scheduled to attend.

Being placed up on the VIP stage in the back tent was a mixed bag of gift/concern. On one hand we were able to really target-market our product, but at the same time we weren’t able to get the exposure we might have had elsewhere. Either way, it seemed like we made a splash created lots of talk and enjoyment.
Also adding a nice compliment to the Grand Tasting: we supplied the valets with 4-piece boxes so that any Lexus driver would get a bonus – not a bad perk for arriving in luxury.

Thanks to all the folks at Pebble Beach Food & Wine for including us in this unbelievable event, and to the staff at Pebble Beach for all their help. We look forward to participating again next year and seeing where things lead.

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