Sea Urchin, or uni, a delicacy of the sea harvested off of the shores of Half Moon Bay and other California locales, has turned up in recent years on restaurant menus from New York to San Francisco. Its creamy, sensuous texture makes it a very versatile ingredient, prompting chefs to invent new and creative ways to incorporate this luxury ingredient into dishes.
To celebrate the bounty of Half Moon Bay and pay tribute to this unique ocean delicacy, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay will host its first Half Moon Bay Sea Urchin Celebration on Sunday, October 8, 2017. The event will lend attendees the opportunity to taste a number of sea urchin-centric dishes created by the resort’s Chef de Cuisine Jason Pringle and a host of other chefs from restaurants up and down the California Coast, with local beers and wines. The chefs will face off in creating the most original and delicious uni dish, vying for two awards: Diner’s Choice and Professional Choice.
In an effort to support the resort’s Community Footprints, the hotel will donate a portion of the proceeds to Project Open Hand, a nonprofit organization that provides meals with love to critically ill neighbors and seniors while helping them recover from illness, get stronger, and lead healthier lives.
The event will also benefit Coastside Land Trust, an organization dedicated to the preservation, protection, and enhancement of the open space environment, including the natural, scenic, recreational, cultural, historical, and agricultural resources of Half Moon Bay and the San Mateo County coast.
“In recent years, sea urchin has come to be known as a luxury ingredient, and its prevalence on menus and incorporation into both traditional and non-traditional dishes and cuisine has surged,” states Xavier Salomon, executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. “Half Moon Bay is known for fresh seafood, shellfish, and sea urchin, it only seemed fitting for us to create an event that honors this most exceptional product of our region, while also aiding two local and incredibly impactful charities.”
All participating chefs will prepare a dish utilizing local sea urchin, and the dishes will be judged by event attendees as well as by a professional panel of judges made up of local, regional, and national media. Dishes will be judged on overall taste, creativity, culinary technique, and presentation. Winners for both the Diner’s Choice and Professional Choice will be announced just before the conclusion of the event.