Gateway to Big Sur presented by Hyatt Carmel Highlands and The Big Sur Food and Wine Festival To Kick Off on Thursday, November 1, 2012, at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands.

Perched high above the Big Sur coast on a  hillside of the Carmel Highlands with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, The  Hyatt Carmel Highlands combines true Carmel luxury with an approachable and sophisticated spirit.



A haven for artists and discerning travelers since its opening in 1917, Hyatt Carmel Highlands features 48 luxuriously renovated guestrooms, including 11 suites, 32 Ocean View rooms and 5 Garden View rooms.

In addition, Hyatt Carmel Highlands offers spectacular dining at the award-winning Pacific’s Edge restaurant and California Market, 4,800 square feet of meeting space, in-room spa services, heated outdoor swimming pool, three spa tubs and a StayFit fitness facility. Situated only four miles from downtown Carmel, Hyatt Carmel Highlands idyllic setting and personalized service has attracted families, weddings, honeymooners and privileged travelers for nearly a century.

Hyatt Carmel Highlands is also  recognized among the world’s finest hotels as part of Condé Nast Traveler’s 2010 Gold List and Travel + Leisure’s 2009 “T+L 500” World’s Best Hotels.

What a better place than the Hyatt Carmel Highlands to hold yet another world renown  event .Long  known as the legendary location for culinary talent and host of the world famous Masters of Food and Wine  will serve as the lead sponsor and host of the opening event of the Big Sur Food and Wine Festival. The Gateway to Big Sur entices the palate in a celebration of local flair and regional flavor in the epicenter of culinary innovation.

The breathtaking  Hyatt Carmel Highlands will be transformed into an enchanting oasis featuring thirty-five vintners, menu tastings from eighteen notable chefs including the Hyatt Carmel Highlands Chef Matt Bolton and two guest chefs from two Hyatt West Coast properties and live entertainment There will be wines from Pisoni, Talbott, Chappellet, Continuum, Au Bon Climat, andmore, all paired with great foods from chefs including Matt Bolton at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands, Kent Torrey of the Cheese Shop, Domingo SantaMaria of Deetjens Big Sur Inn, Truman Jones of the Restaurant at Ventana Inn and Spa and other culinary personalities.


In addition, The Hyatt Carmel Highlands will be bringing in two guest chefs for this opening event:

Greg Lopez, Executive Chef

Greg Lopez, Executive Chef for Two Hyatt Hotels in Seattle as well as Urbane

A New Jersey native, Chef Greg earned his culinary arts degree from The New England Culinary Institute and has spent more than 10 years in fine dining establishments, boutique hotels and resorts. His goal in the kitchen is to take Mother Nature’s bounty, highlight technical skills and present each dish with a chef’s whimsy.

Chef Greg oversees four kitchens in the two Hyatt Hotels in Seattle as well as Urbane. The much loved and lauded multi-award-winning restaurant Urbane continues to tantalize the tastebuds with its degustation delights and sophisticated, high-quality fine dining experience.  Under Chef Greg’s reign, the kitchen uses local and national seasonal produce as a starting point for dishes that both excite, and sometimes challenge, the palate. The cuisine style is based in both European and Asian traditions and influences, combining classic techniques with a modern execution.


Adam Nichol, Chef De Cuisine


Adam Nichol, Chef De Cuisine, Grand Hyatt San Francisco

At an early age of 15, Chef Adam began his culinary journey. A classical French trained chef with modern cooking methods, Chef Adam prides himself on his use of seasonal ingredients uniquely and thoughtfully prepared.   Chef Adam also worked at New York Central in the Grand Hyatt where he specialized in creating ideas for simple, delicious plates to put together, utilizing different meats that you don’t necessarily see on everybody’s menus — buffalo, elk, ostrich.  “I have a passion for cooking, a passion for food and that’s my driving force is,” said Chef Adam. Chef Adams is the Chef De Cuisine for One Up Restaurant and work under Ian Libberton at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco.

“We could not be more delighted and honored to co-host this event with the Hyatt Carmel Highlands,” states Toby Rowland-Jones, founder and President of the Festival. “Two and half years ago, we hosted the first Gateway opening night for our weekend at this historic resort, and the staff and management could not have been more helpful in our goal of promoting the culinary creativity of the entire Big Sur coast, while raising funds for local Big Sur non-profits.

The idea of revitalizing the feeling of the world-class Masters is a sort of dream comestrue for us. Many of our committee members worked at the Masters and because of the intimate nature, it’s there they developed winemaker and chef friendships that have deepened throughout the years. These friendships are dear to us and our festival.”

The 2012 Big Sur Food and Wine Festival will take place November 1-4 throughout the coast of Big Sur and is sponsored by Hyatt Carmel Highlands, Hyatt Hotels, Mercedes-Benz of Monterey, Post Ranch Inn, J& L Wines, and Farmer Family Fund among others.

This world class Food and Wine Festival promotes Big Sur as a culinary destination while raising funds for the Big Sur community to promote Health, Safety and Education. Since 2009, the festival has raised over $65,000 for various nonprofit organizations in Big Sur including the Health Center, the Henry Miller Library, the five separate schools throughout the Big Sur area, as well as a culinary scholarship for a local youth now studying at the Culinary Institute of America in New York.

Tickets for Gateway to Big Sur and other festival events are now on sale

For more information, please contact Toby Rowland-Jones at 831-667-0800 or, or visit