Culinary Wizards Share their Secrets at Menlo Park Foodie Event

Connoisseurs’ Marketplace Brings Together 10 Local Chefs for Weekend of Demos

A bushel of farmers market finds, a fresh seafood catch, and a dash of extreme cuisine will make for an exciting weekend under the Facebook Chef’s Tent at Menlo Park’s Connoisseurs’ Marketplace, July 19-20. Ten top-notch local chefs will demonstrate their culinary talents at this premier annual food event sponsored by Edible Silicon Valley, Facebook and Kitchens by Meyer.

Ka'anapali Getaway - Enter to win a trip to Ka'anapali Beach Resort on the island of Maui! Stay at Aston Maui Ka'anapali Villas and fly with Alaska Airlines. In addition, enjoy complimentary tickets to the Ka'anapali Fresh Signature Food and Wine event. Please visit the Chef Demos booth to register to win.
Edible Silicon Valley is partnering with the Ka'anapali Beach Resort to offer attendees a chance to win a getaway for two to the island of Maui! The winners will fly with Alaska Airlines from San Jose, stay at the Aston Maui Ka'anapali Villas and enjoy complimentary tickets to the Ka'anapali Fresh Signature Food and Wine Event! Please visit the Chef Demos booth to register to win!

Edible Silicon Valley put together the stellar line-up of chefs and will MC the event with publisher/editor Kerri Stenson and website/graphic designer Cindy Goldberg. They will keep it lively and entertaining and encourage audience members to sign up for a luxurious Maui getaway courtesy of Ka’anapali Beach Resort, Alaska Airlines, Aston Maui Ka'anapali Villas and Ka'anapali Fresh. And in the Hawaiian spirit, they’ll raffle off pineapples from Maui Gold Pineapple.

Warming up the stoves with Saturday’s first demo will be Chef de Cuisine Kelsey Casavan of Menlo Park’s LB Steak. Peak-of-the-season fresh corn will shine in a Sweet Corn Risotto with Caramelized Leeks and Bacon. Casavan will talk about the versatility of risotto and how to choose just a few ingredients with big flavors.

Next in the line-up will be Chef Erik Romme of Menlo Grill Bistro & Bar at the elegant Stanford Park Hotel. A delicious marriage of hot and cool, his demo will feature Spicy Grilled Shrimp with Chilled Melon Gazpacho. Middle Eastern spices give the shrimp recipe a zesty kick, while the melon is a delightful alternative to tomatoes in the refreshing Spanish soup.  

Left Bank Brasserie of Menlo Park will feature Chef Brendy Monsada cooking a classic Southern French dish—True Cod Provençal. The typical provisions from a summertime farmers market in Provence—olives, capers, basil, tomatoes and haricots verts—come together in this light and aromatic preparation.

Another seafood dish, but this one offering a taste of California and Mexico, comes from the kitchen of Chef de Cuisine William Roberts of Mayfield Bakery & Café in Palo Alto. It’s a sublime mouthful: Pan-Seared Day-Boat Scallops with Roasted Frog Hollow Farm Peach, Applewood-Smoked Bacon, Tomatillo and Mint. He’ll share fascinating tips, from removing the muscle of a scallop to pan-roasting tomatillos and pan-charring peaches.

Chef Patrick Kelly of Lure + Till, at Palo Alto’s jazzy Epiphany Hotel, will celebrate spontaneity with discoveries from that morning’s farmers market. He’ll make a Composed Salad with Early Summer Greens and Stone Fruit, Dried Black Olives and Orata (a type of sea bream) Crudo. The restaurant’s chief mixologist, Carlos Yturria, will join Kelly at the chef’s counter, blending a seasonal cocktail he calls Dizzy Orchard. The vodka libation with peaches, sage and lemon and will heighten the complex flavors of the salad.

Chef demonstration in progress
The chefs' demonstration tent will feature a professional-series range, custom-built alder wood cabinetry, quartz countertop and overhead mirror for easy viewing — all provided by Mountain View's Meyer Appliance & Kitchens. Meyer Appliance & Kitchens has been providing quality appliances, kitchen and bath design, installation, parts and service for over sixty years. Their 18,000 sq/ft. two story showroom has over 25 kitchen vignettes, built in appliances, cabinets and countertops, and a full parts and service department. Visit

Palo Alto Grill’s Chef de Cuisine Ryan Shelton will kick off Sunday’s demos with his recipe for Salmon Poke. Preparing his interpretation of this traditional Hawaiian appetizer, he will discuss the technique for using sushi-grade salmon and Asian seasonings to make a raw salad that becomes a building block in an elegant tower of components.

Leave it to Charlie Ayers to come up with a divine dessert that’s sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free and loaded with healthy omega-3’s and protein. The innovative chef/owner of Calafia Café in Palo Alto and founding chef at Google, Ayers will assemble a Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding, an elegant no-cook, three-layer parfait.

Yu Min Lin, executive chef at The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse in Palo Alto, will intrigue the audience with his enigmatically named Sea Urchin Brulée with Lobster. The dish will include a champagne glaze and egg sabayon from the French tradition with Asian-influenced sushi rice and seaweed. Its construction is a nod to the marine food chain: lobsters eat sea urchins, and sea urchins eat seaweed. Culinary art imitates nature.

Michael Dotson, executive chef and partner at Redwood City’s Martins West will prepare a crossover Indian-Italian invention. His salad of Heirloom Tomatoes, Masala Spinach-Burrata Fondue and Fenugreek Crisps takes its inspiration from the ingredients in Indian saag paneer, while the presentation evokes an Italian caprese salad.

Sunday’s final demo will be from Margo True, food editor of Sunset Magazine, a Menlo Park institution since 1951. She’ll introduce a couple of alluring vegetarian recipes from her recently released The Great Outdoors Cookbook. Grilled Eggplant Wraps with Tahini Dressing make a hearty meal with a Middle Eastern flair, while the Soy-Furikake Corn recipe lends a taste of Japan to grilled corn. True will have cookbooks available for purchase and signing.

A local chef

The chefs’ demonstration tent is located at Doyle Street and Santa Cruz Avenue next to Left Bank Restaurant. Audience seating for up to seventy people under a giant tent will be provided on the cool, tree-lined street.  Wine from Woodside Vineyards and assorted seasonal craft brews will be for sale in the Microbrew & Wine Tasting Tent alongside the chefs demo area.



12:00 PM — LB Steak, Chef de Cuisine Kelsey Casavan (Menlo Park)
12:45 PM — Menlo Grill, Executive Chef Eric Romme (Menlo Park)
1:30 PM — Left Bank, Chef de Cuisine Brendy Monsada (Menlo Park)
2:15 PM — Mayfield Bakery and Café, Chef de Cuisine William Roberts (Palo Alto)
3:00 PM — Lure + Till, Chef  Patrick Kelly (Palo Alto)


12:00 pm — Palo Alto Grill, Chef de Cuisine Ryan Shelton (Palo Alto)
12:45 pm — Calafia Café, Chef Charlie Ayers (Palo Alto)
1:30 pm — The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse, Executive Chef Yu Min Lin (Palo Alto)
2:15 pm — Martins West, Executive Chef Michael Dotson (Redwood City)
3:00 pm — Sunset Magazine, Food Editor Margo True (Menlo Park)