Thursday, August 28, 2008

Chefs Serve at America's Favorite Tomato Festival

Satiate your desire for old-fashioned, heirloom tomato flavors at one of the best food & wine events in California, the 17th annual NatureSweet Carmel TomatoFest®, Sunday, September 14, 2008,12:30 pm, at the magnificent Quail Lodge Resort in Carmel.

Founder/Director of the TomatoFest®, Gary Ibsen, announced that 70 of America's finest chefs will attend this year's TomatoFest to offer guests the opportunity to enjoy world-class cuisine featuring heirloom tomatoes in an unpretentious, harvest-celebration atmosphere. Ibsen says, "Our gathering of culinary artists will showcase a range of unforgettable epicurean creations from classical to innovative food adventures. The chefs selected to appear at this year's TomatoFest lead the way to experiencing the possibility, range and pleasures of exceptional cuisine prepared with heirloom tomatoes. Exploring the photos of the amazing variety of wonderful tomato dishes at the website is sure to tempt any food lover." (see:

The NatureSweet Carmel TomatoFest also offers guests the opportunity to indulge their senses with a grand display & tasting of 350 varieties of delicious heirloom tomatoes, 50 wineries pouring more than 200 premium wines, an "International Olive Oil Tasting," a "Salsa Showcase" tasting of 90 tomato salsas from around the U.S., and an incredible, "old-fashioned," country BBQ. Festival attendees will also have the opportunity to enjoy dancing to live jazz by the Dennis Murphy Band, and indulge themselves within the notoriously perfect "Indian Summer" weather of the Monterey Peninsula.

"The NatureSweet Carmel TomatoFest® entertains more than one's senses," said Ibsen. It celebrates the spirit of the season's harvest and encourages home gardeners to carry on the honored tradition of seed-saving and growing their family's own organic heirloom tomatoes. It truly is a unique community festival for food & wine lovers, chefs, family gardeners and farmers. It's a celebration of life!"

General admission tickets at $95. are available in advance up to the day of the event and are limited to 3000 guests to ensure a quality experience for all. Early ticket purchase is suggested since the event sells out every year Ticket includes entry, all food, wine tasting, wine glasses and the day's activities. Children under the age of 12 with attending parent are admitted free. Net proceeds from the festivities are donated to regional and national youth-focused charities. Tickets may be purchased through or by calling 1-800-965-4827.

Founded and operated by Gary Ibsen in 1991, the TomatoFest® has revitalized the appreciation and desire for true heirloom tomatoes over the years. Ibsen's belief in sustainable farming and organic seed saving has inspired him to develop and grow heirloom tomato varieties for more than 30 years. For the 2008 season, he is currently growing more than 600 varieties of certified organic heirloom tomatoes from seeds originally sourced from family farms around the world. Ibsen's hands-on production and harvest techniques ensure the highest quality product from harvest to table. For more information visit or call 1-800-965-4827.

Sampling of Chefs Tomato Dishes for 2008:
"Caviar d'Aubergine", tomato confit, eggplant puree
Aubergine at L'Auberge Carmel, Christophe Grosjean

Tomato Braised Pulled Pork Slider w/ tomato roll, heirloom slaw
California Culinary Academy, Drew Curlett,

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Salas with Tuna Bottarga
Cantinetta Luca, Jason Balestrieri

Scallop and Lobster Mousseline with Heirloom Tomato Relish
Casablanca, A. Scott Cater

Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho & "truffled" Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwich
Edgar's at Quail Lodge, Neil Dunn

Chilled Green Curry, Yellow Tomato Bisque
International Culinary School at The Art Institute, Jim Gallivan,

Shrimp Tomato Sundae (shrimp wrapped bacon gelato over tomato filet)
Gelato Massimo, Massimo Caporale,

Pied de Cochon (pigs feet and lobster terrine w/ green tomato-shallot revigote)
Marinus at Bernardus Lodge, Cal Stamenov

Seared Day-Boat Scallop Heirloom Tomato Custard w/ Micro Basil Salad
Pacific's Edge at Highlands Inn, Mark Ayers

Smoked Tomato Panna Cotta, Cured Trout w/ Rhubarb Gelee
Tarragon, Ryan Smith

Housemade Duck Prosciutto & Tomato Salad w/ roasted pumpkin seed vinaigrette with Bibb lettuce
EOS Restaurant & Wine Bar, Danny Guerrini,

Poached Cherry Tomatoes with Pea Sauce
Gardiner's Resort, Hugo Barrigan,

Sopes with Smoked Gold Tomato Coulis, Huitili Coche-Roasted Corn Ragu & Green Grape Tomato Salsa
Millennium Restaurant, Eric Tucker,

Scarlet Corn Crusted Green Zebra Slider w/Pepper Griddled Citrus Soft Shelled Blue Crab w/ caricia aioli
Monterey Marriott-3 Flags, Willi Franz,

Heirloom Tomato Parfait with Champagne Cured Sardines
Farallon, Ryan Simas,

Pulled Pork Slider with Avocado Pico de Gallo
Sticks at Pebble Beach Resort, Ted Consoli,

Heirloom Tomato Parfait, Sweet Cream Goat Cheese & Watermelon Sauce
Stillwater Bar & Grill at Lodge at Pebble Beach, Patrick DuRant,

Sauteed Diver Scallops with heirloom tomato butter sauce and tomato cakes
The Sardine Factory, Jacques Wilson,

Sundried Tomato, Poblano and Panela Cheese Sweet Corn Tamales w/ Tomato Bricklayers Sauce
The Whole Enchilada, Luis Solano

Roasted Baby Tomatoes, Eggplant Puree w/ Curried Shallots
231 Ellsworth, Isaac Miller

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