Cooking for Solutions Becomes a Year-Round Celebration

Monterey Bay Aquarium welcomes celebrated chefs in June and October; new events planned in spring and summer – in Monterey and from Napa Valley to the SF Bay Area

Mar 18, 2015

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has spiced up the recipe for the 14th edition of its annual Cooking for Solutions sustainable foods celebration, with new events and festivities planned throughout the year. The new direction means more ways than ever to connect with noted chefs, farmers, winemakers and food artisans – at the aquarium and beyond.

Highlights of the year-round Cooking for Solutions include:

  • Two celebration weekends with ticketed events and free public events for aquarium visitors: on June 6-7 and October 3-4. Tickets for the June celebration weekend go on sale March 23.
  • Sustainable tasting events at the aquarium during its summertime Evenings by the Bay weekends, from Fourth of July weekend through Labor Day weekend.
  • Cooking for Solutions on the Road events with partners including The Hess Collection, Hog Island Oyster Company and Peet’s Coffee & Tea – with more in the works. The first takes place at The Hess Collection winery in Napa Valley on April 25.

Each culinary event will celebrate sustainable foods from land and sea – and all are designed to help participants connect their food choices to the health of the ocean.

The new Cooking for Solutions format incorporates favorite ticketed events from past years, like chef-led Food & Wine Adventures to culinary destinations in the Monterey area. Celebrity chefs from past years will host festive parties, a champagne celebration, and a reimagined Talk & Taste series of intimate salons and cooking demonstrations on June 6 and 7.

Carla Hall (co-host of ABC’s “The Chew”), Sam Choy (Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii), and Nathan Lyon (chef/author/TV personality, Los Angeles) are among two dozen noted chefs taking part in the June events.

They’ll be joined by Ned Bell (Four Seasons Hotel, Vancouver, BC), Chris Hastings (The Hot & Hot Fish Club, Birmingham, Alabama), Douglas Katz (fire food & drink, Cleveland, Ohio), Javier Plascencia (Misión 19, Tijuana, Mexico) and Aarti Sequeira (Aarti Paarti/author, Los Angeles).


Ticketed events include:

  • A morning Feeding Frenzy Tour with Carla Hall behind the scenes at the aquarium
  • The daytime Talk & Taste Series at the aquarium with celebrity chefs
  • Food & Wine Adventures throughout the Monterey Bay region
  • An afternoon Bubbles and Bites on the Bay sparkling wine event
  • In the evening, The Prelude reception with Nathan Lyon and Aarti Sequeira
  • The Party with Carla Hall – a late-night event with music, dancing, food and culinary celebrities.

In addition, the Sustainable Foods Celebration will include cooking demonstrations with chefs like Nathan Lyon and Aarti Sequeria, cookbook signings and opportunities to sample sustainable and organic foods. These activities are included with aquarium admission.

Sustainable tasting opportunities will be part of the aquarium’s summer Evenings by the Bay series, each Saturday and Sunday from Fourth of July weekend through Labor Day weekend. In addition to live music performances and extended hours, until 8 p.m., Evenings by the Bay will include tastings of ocean-friendly seafood and other dishes from 6 to 8 p.m.

Cooking for Solutions also takes to the road, bringing culinary events to northern California in collaboration with chefs and conservation partners. The first Cooking for Solutions on the Road takes place on Saturday, April 25 in Napa Valley with An Afternoon at The Hess Collection.

There, special guest chefs Michael Cimarusti (Providence and Connie and Ted's), Justin Cogley (Aubergine), John Fink (The Whole Beast), Jeff Jake (Silverado Resort and Spa), Darren McRonald (The Pullman Kitchen), Armando Navarro (El Dorado Kitchen) and Rodney Worth (The Pear Southern Bistro) will join Hess Executive Chef Chad Hendrickson for a food and wine event featuring ingredients grown on the vineyard, and tastings of small lot releases.

The aquarium will continue a popular online fundraising auction that offers culinary travel, gourmet food and wine packages, family fun adventures and unique behind-the-scenes aquarium experiences. Proceeds benefit Seafood Watch – the aquarium’s respected source of science-based information for consumers, chefs and businesses looking for ocean-friendly seafood.

Full event details, prices and biographies of participating Cooking for Solutions chefs are available online at Tickets and information are also available by calling 866-963-9645.


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The mission of the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the ocean.