4/05/2013 12:03:00 PM

Pebble Beach Food & Wine Kick-Off: Top Chefs, Ocean Views and Crab Balls

Last night chefs, culinarians and the foodies who love them convened at the Inn at Spanish Bay on Pebble Beach's picturesque 17-Mile Drive for the sixth annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine fest. The best part of PBFW is how intimate every event is, even blowouts like this one, where more than 20 chefs served everything from oysters topped with anisette gelee and caviar, gnocchi with lamb sugo, escargots de Bourgogne and grilled octopus to the most unique delivery system for Dungeness crab we've ever seen.

If chefs like Carla Hall, Fabio Viviani, Daniel Boulud, Anne Burrell and Jose Garces weren't serving, they were sampling and sipping with the rest of us. We spotted Top Chef Seattle runner-up Brooke Williamson and her husband Nick Roberts, LA chefs David LeFevre (MB Post) and Kris Morningstar (Ray's and Stark Bar), Paul Bartolotta (Bartolotta at the Wynn) and many more walking through the restaurants and ballrooms.

Everyone's geared up and ready for the weekend, especially if it includes hitting the links - Lefevre told us he and his team tied for first in the Celebrity Chef & Winemaker Golf tourny yesterday (he shot a 65, if anyone's interested). Later, most of the sommeliers went off to watch the screening of SOMM, a documentary that follows four wine peeps as they prepare to become Master Sommeliers; everyone else hit the dance floor at the after-party. (Pics of that LA chef dance-off or it didn't happen.) But we missed all that: Somehow we got whisked off to Restaurant 1833 in Monterey, where Boulud served us and a group of about 10 people fried chicken with one arm behind his back - like a pro - and the bubbly flowed.

Check out the slide show for some sights from the night. And keep your eyes here for more PBFW updates from the weekend.


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