Wednesday, September 17, 2008

2008 Carmel Heirloom TomatoFest® Report

The 17th annual NatureSweet Carmel TomatoFest® was in all its glory this past Sunday at the spectacular countryside setting of Quail Lodge Resort in Carmel, California.

It all started seventeen years ago as a small get together, Gary Ibsen hosted this tasting event in his backyard for his family and a few of his chef friends for the purpose of celebrating his tomato harvest. Since then this event has grown into an annual fundraiser that attracts chefs, wineries, tomato growers and three thousand tomato lovers from across the United States.

This year’s TomatoFest® was a wondrous feast of delights that included; an unforgettable display of more than 350 heirloom tomato varieties from around the world for the tasting; exceptionally delicious and innovative tomato dishes created by 60 of America's top chefs; a tasting of more than 100 premium wines; an amazing "Salsa Showcase" tasting of 100, commercially available, tomato salsas; the pleasures of an old-fashioned country BBQ; an "International Olive Oil Tasting;" celebrity chef and gardening demonstrations; a tasting of great tomato-related specialty foods; sales of hard-to-find fresh heirloom tomatoes and heirloom tomato seeds; live music and dancing under Carmel Valley's oak covered hillsides.

Ticket price might seem to be a bit steep, starting at $95, however they did included all food, wines and activities. Children under 12, with parent, were admitted free. The net proceeds benefit several youth charities. Thus far the Carmel TomatoFest® has donated more than $210,000.00 to local, regional and national charities to benefit children.

Innuendo Enterprises LLC attended this festival to participate in the country store section featuring Dave’s Gourmet’s line of Organic heirloom Pasta Sauces. The newest flavor in this fabulous line is the Heirloom Spicy Marinara. These sauces were available at the Dave’s Gourmet booth for tasting and purchase.

Founded and operated by Gary Ibsen in 1991, the TomatoFest® has revitalized the appreciation and desire for true heirloom tomatoes over the years. Ibsen’s belief in sustainable farming and organic seed saving has inspired him to develop and grow heirloom tomato varieties for more than 30 years. For the 2008 season, he is currently growing more than 600 varieties of certified organic heirloom tomatoes from seeds originally sourced from family farms around the world. Ibsen’s hands-on production and harvest techniques ensure the highest quality product from harvest to table. For more information visit or call 1-800-965-4827.

1 comment:

Nate-n-Annie said...

Hey, we were there too! Too bad I didn't know you were going to be there. I would've stopped by the Country Store and said hi!

Recipe suggestions for your 30 lbs of heirloom tomatoes can be found on our website.