The Carbon Mesa Estate in Malibu was the setting for chef Matt Abergel’s Culinary Masters Competition brunch, with tables arranged on a sun-drenched terrace overlooking the surrounding mountains and ocean. Abergel, whose restaurant is an innovative yakitori spot in Hong Kong called Yardbird, said he designed his menu to impress his mentor, Masa Takayama, who nominated Abergel for the competition.
First course: Santa Barbara Sea Urchin, Fresh Nori, PankoWine pairing: Dom Pérignon Oenotheque 1996
Second course: Japanese Eggplant, Pickled Garlic, TosazuWine pairing: 2010 Staglin Chardonnay
Third course: Horse Mackerel Sashimi, Red Shiso VinaigretteWine pairing: 2010 Staglin Chardonnay
Fourth course: Local Quail, Yardbird Shichimi, Root Vegetable KimpiraWine pairing: 2009 Stagliano Sangiovese
Fifth course: Mushroom RiceWine pairing: 2006 Staglin Cabernet Sauvignon
Dessert: White coffee ice cream
Dom Pérignon, the official Champagne partner of the Culinary Masters Competition, was matched with a series of Japanese-inspired canapés, as well as the first course.
BMW, a sponsor of the Culinary Masters Competition, offered the perfect vehicle for a glorious Malibu afternoon.
Matt Abergel layers pale pink slices of horse mackerel sashimi with lightly dressed greens.
The chef grilled spiced-rubbed quail over Japanese bincho charcoal, which burns clean and hot.
Each attendee completed a judging booklet, awarding points for each course on presentation, flavor, balance, execution, originality and just general deliciousness.
Master chef Masa Takayama, right, introduces Matt Abergel, his nominee.
Each guest was given a bottle of shichimi, Matt Abergel’s own blend of dried chilies and spices.