May 12, 2011
Cooking For Solutions will be three days of food, wine and more

Monterey.jpgThe biggest event on the Monterey Peninsula is coming to the Monterey Bay Aquarium May 20-22. That would be the 10th annual Cooking For Solutions program, and now's the time to make your plans to attend.

There will be plenty going on, including cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs, food- and wine-tastings, book-signings, wine seminars, wine-and-food pairings, "grazing" on local produce and artisan foods, programs on the sustainable and organic food movements, a Southern-style breakfast with champagne and mimosas, and more.

Don't lose sight of the overall fund-raising goals of Cooking For Solutions - "To discover ways to save the oceans."

Most events are priced a la carte. Some are free with the purchase of admission to the aquarium. Others move into the hundreds of dollars. Discounts are offered to aquarium members; call (866) 963-9645) to sign up ($50 to $250, tax-deductible).

By far the most popular event of the three-day program is the opening gala, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. May 20 ($150 general, $120 aquarium members; a percentage of each is tax-deductible). There, you'll sample "gourmet dishes" from celebrity chefs and 70 restaurants, and taste delicacies in the Sushi Lounge. Chef-authors will sign their books - Rich Moonen ("Fish Without a Doubt"), aquarium culinary partner (and event co-host) and Sacramento Bee Book Club alumna Cindy Pawlcyn of Mustard's Grill in the Napa Valley ("Appetizers"), and garden-designer P. Allen Smith ("Seasonal Recipes from the Garden").

Up for silent auction will be "culinary adventures, great wines and many one-of-a-kind items."

Go to for details. The aquarium is at 886 Cannery Row.

For area lodging, special offers, dining, attractions, events, tours and more, visit

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