Grande Dame of Yosemite National Park
Yosemite, California, USA
photos courtesy of Chris Andre
From the moment I entered the doors of The Ahwahnee Resort Hotel in Yosemite Park, the soaring beams and elegant mountain décor offered a preview of what was to become an unforgettable visit to one of America’s most celebrated national parks. Located on the floor of Yosemite Valley, The Awhahnee is constructed of stone, concrete, wood and glass. Designed in 1927 by Gilbert Stanley Underwood, the exterior is an architectural feat in and of itself; poured concrete was prepared to resemble a massive façade built of felled redwood. Mr. Underwood designed a similar concrete “log” structure in Idaho – the Sun Valley Lodge. Interiors appear to sour as high as the surrounding rock formations that lure millions to visit Yosemite every year. The candle-lighted dining room could be a set for the PBS series Downton Abbey. The Awhahnee is a premiere example of chic rustic architecture, and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987. With an array of winter activities, twinkling, lights and excellent accommodations, I cannot think of a more apropos destination to spend the winter holidays with friends and family.
Yosemite’s Chefs’ Holiday Series at The Ahwahnee, held annually in January and February, features some of the worlds most innovative and acclaimed chefs. This Northern California cooking adventure provides a showcase for the range of styles, personalities and trends that characterize the American culinary scene. Various sessions include intimate ‘Meet the Chefs’ receptions, educational cooking demonstrations & tastings, behind-the-scenes kitchen tours, and a five-course Chefs’ Holidays Gala Dinner.
For the 2013 winter season, Chefs’ Holidays welcomes 24 of America’s renowned chefs. Celebrating creative culinary leaders in the breathtaking natural setting of Yosemite National Park, Chefs’ Holidays will be held over a series of eight sessions from January 6-31, 2013. “Guests love meeting their favorite chefs in person and learning about food trends and techniques in the kitchen,” said Chefs’ Holidays program director Kathy Langley. “Chefs’ Holidays is truly a delicious and interactive event and we work hard to bring the best of the best each year. Many of our participating chefs are nationally known for their talent and have been recognized with James Beard Awards. Others you may recognize by their participation in such shows as ‘Iron Chef’ or ‘Top Chef’.”
Since its inception as a small gathering of chefs and hotel guests in the winter of 1985, Chefs’ Holidays has become a premier destination for epicures and culinary professionals alike. Held each January, Chefs’ Holidays allows the chefs to relax after their busy holiday season and unwind with their culinary colleagues and Yosemite visitors. While several chefs have participated multiple years, the 2013 season welcomes several exciting newcomers including Nyesha Arrington of Wilshire in Los Angeles, Kim Alter of Haven in Oakland, CA, Laurence Jossel of Nopa & Nopalito in San Francisco, CA, and Joey Campanaro of The Little Owl in New York.
For more information, visit the EVENT website.
Chefs’ Holiday at The Ahwahnee
Yosemite, California, USA