FIXATED ON FUNGI
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 MARKS BERNARDUS LODGE’S HOMAGE TO THE MAGICAL MUSHROOM WITH FORAGING TREKS, SPA TREATMENTS, MUSHROOM MIXOLOGY & CHEF STAMENOV’S FUNGI-FRESH MENU
– Special Event: Five Star Edibles from the Wild Repast/November 17, 2012 –
CARMEL VALLEY, CALIF. – 2012 – From the oak-studded fields of Carmel Valley to the redwood forests of Big Sur and Monterey Bay, the seasonal forage for local porcinis, chanterelles and candy caps hits a high note this winter at Bernardus Lodge. The two-month homage to Mr. Fungi includes Big Sur foraging treks, mushroom-infused cocktails, anti-oxidant “FunGal” spa treatments and a special a la carte menu at Marinus Restaurant focused on the coveted gems of the forest. A new two-night hotel package is also available.
SHAKEN, SAUTEED & SAVORED…
From Bernardus’ Chanterelle and Elderflower Martini to the succulent Squab “Cailette” with Porcini and Sauce Perigord, the seductive qualities of the mushroom have outpaced most screen sirens. Ancient Egyptians linked the mushroom to immortality and its exotic flavors were reserved solely for royalty. South Pacific cultures believed in the mushroom’s aphrodisiac qualities, the early equivalent of Viagra. While cultivation credits go to the French and Southeast Asians, it is the Californians – those early-adopter foragers, cutting-edge chefs and passionate palates – that have placed these fleshy fungi on a pedestal.
Like a caped avenger, this super food is rich in antioxidants, packed with vitamins D and B, and struts to the table in a variety of textures and flavors. An avid forager, chef Stamenov harvests much of his own stash for Marinus’ seasonal menu, in additional to the coveted 20 lbs. of imported truffles he trades on annually. The seasonal menu will include a lusty lineup of entrees, including a rich White Truffle Risotto, Local Black Cod with Chanterelles and Carmel Bay Spot Prawns with Matsutake Angnolotti, bathed in a wild fennel sauce.
More than savory, mushrooms also have a sweet side. Pastry chef Ben Spungin rounds out the dessert menu with a sinful Black Truffle Ice Cream Sundae, Caramelized White Chocolate and Chanterelle Mousse and fragrant, maple-overtoned Candy Cap Pot de Crème with Pistachio Streusel.
Rain means wild mushrooms, and nowhere are they more prevalent than along the coastal forest and dense redwoods of Monterey County. On tap are two weekly guided fungi forages (Wednesday and Saturday), which include transport. Playing to the unparalleled beauty and bounty of Big Sur, the moderate three-hour coastal and inland trek led by a seasoned forager is certain to jump start the senses ($75.00/person; weather dependent). Most notable in the region are chanterelles, porcini and candy cap varieties.
PULL OUT THE PEDESTAL: FIVE STAR EDIBLES FROM THE WILD REPAST (NOVEMBER 17, 2012)
As the suns sets, chef Stamenov and his team turn up the heat at award-winning Marinus Restaurant with a reception and five-course tasting menu focused on Mr. Fungi. Paired with a selection of wines from Bernardus Winery, the menu will showcase both savory and sweet dishes including locally sourced Carmel Bay Spot Prawns with Matsutake Angnolotti and a sinful Black Truffle Ice Cream Sundae. Although not of the hallucinogenic variety, the mushroom-inspired dishes crafted for this repast will be nothing short of mind-blowing ($150.00/person inclusive).
SCRUB, SOAK, SLITHER…
Take to the Warming Pool at the 5,300 sq. ft. Spa at Bernardus Lodge, followed by a series of treatments designed to release the body of free radicals and renew the epidermis. The new Mushroom Medley includes an exfoliating body scrub followed with a hot rock massage combining a custom Bernardus blend of oak, moss and mushroom-infused oil (50-minutes; $150.00/person). Slither into the sexy alfresco whirlpool with a heady 25-minute mushroom soak for the ultimate chill-out (add-on).
FUNGUY & GIRL PACKAGE (November/December 2012)
Slip away for a stay in the valley of the wine gods. The new Funguy & Girl two-night package includes guest accommodations, a three-hour foraging trek for two, mushroom spa package for two and $150.00 meal credit at Marinus Restaurant or Wickets Bistro. Rates start at $1050.00/double. Packages are available November 1 through December 30, 2012, subject to availability and exclusive of taxes, gratuity and resort fees. Blackout dates apply. Reservations:
Set on 26 pristine Carmel Valley acres awash with vineyards and lavender, Bernardus Lodge boasts 57 luxurious guestrooms, award-winning dining, the signature Spa at Bernardus Lodge, two swimming pools, an alfresco bocce court and 4,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. Created by Bernardus Pon, owner of Bernardus Winery and Vineyard, the Lodge offers a bespoke escape steeped in European graciousness. A member of Leading Hotels of the World
and partner with American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts Program, Bernardus Lodge received the Conde Nast Traveler Johansens 2012 Awards for Excellent for “Most Excellent Lodge,” 2012 AAA Four Diamond Hotel rating and 2012 Forbes Four-Star award for the Lodge, The Spa at Bernardus Lodge and Marinus Restaurant. The Lodge is perennially recognized by discerning readers of Conde Nast Traveler’s “Top Hotels” and Travel and Leisure’s “Worlds Best Hotels” as well as being a Wine Spectator Grand Award recipient
(2001-2012) and voted #1 in Andrew Harper’s 2012 Reader Survey of “Top Food & Wine Resorts” worldwide.
Bernardus Lodge is located on the Monterey Peninsula,
120 mi./193 km. south of San Francisco and 330 mi./531 km. north of Los Angeles. The Lodge is a 20-minute drive from the Pacific Ocean, Pebble Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea and Monterey and a 45-minute drive from scenic Big Sur. For information contact Bernardus Lodge at 1.888.648.9463 or visit