This month, the Bay Area Chapter of United States Personal Chefs Association meeting was hosted by Chef Garbo in her family’s beautiful summer house in Inverness, on the route to Roint Reyes lighthouse, and in the middle of the West Marin and Sonoma coast food paradise. The fine ladies with big knives went sampling oysters at Hog Island Oyster Company (the tiny kumamoto’s were salty and briny, extra-small Pacifics sweet and plump), then moved to Cowgirl Creamery to taste cheeses ( all the old favorites, plus the new Wagonwheel semi-hard cheese that everyone loved), and then had a cookout and games by the fireplace in Garbo house.
Your Chef Polina spent most of the night tending the old-fasioned kettle charcoal grill and grilling oysters, chicken, lamb, beef, and vegetables. The bruschetta, braised pork belly appetizers, vegetable risotto, and the berry tart were to die for. The hostess mixed her signature cocktails in a vintage shaker.
Back in the hotel, my boyfriend and I finished the evening with wine, water crackers, and a sampler of Cowgirl Creamery cheeses, in our patio overlooking the marina.
The next morning, R. and I went for what we thought would be a short stroll on the beach, and ended up doing a 4-hour moderate-sternious hike (our trademark extreme romantic walk), and so missed the breakfast at Garbo house. I am looking forward to seeng breakfast photos and reports of other USPCA members.
Thank you dear collegues for a great weekend, and for cute little gifts of spices that you left me!
Update: Here is Chef Garbo’s report on our September retreat, for the January issue of Personal Chef magazine.