The marketing team at Coastal Luxury Management has a penchant for using the words "rock star" when describing the chefs it recruits for gourmet food-and-wine events like Harvest Carmel Farm to Table. So what should they describe WAR (above) and Gin Blossoms (below, photographed by Jenn Okray, jokray.com), freshly announced additions to the Sept. 25-26 gathering at Quail Lodge?
"Side dish" doesn't seem to do the masters who crafted "Why Can't We Be Friends," "Low Rider" and a number of underappreciated anthems justice.
"Flavor sensation" comes up a little short for the post-grunge Billboard residents that are the Gin Blossoms, who coincidentally plan to have their fifth album, No Chocolate Cake, coming out right around Harvest time.
Let's just go with "household names" instead of "hot plates" for now. Their participation should mean a big boost for ticket sales that may have hiccuped in the absence of a top-flight food star name like Tyler Florence, who headlined last year. Eighty-five smackers is pretty good value for an al fresco concert plus 50 chefs and 200 wineries and gardening, barbecuing and cheese-making seminars. WAR takes the stage Saturday; Gin Blossoms comes in Sunday.
Not that the CLM team has stopped searching for a "rock star" headlining chef either.