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Pebble Beach Food & Wine Fest: Day One

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The Pebble Beach Food & Wine Fest is off to a roaring start. For something so new, it's been smooth sailing. Picking from the list of events was like picking a favorite child (Thomas Keller and various Michelin-starred French chefs or Thomas Keller and Charlie Trotter? Tom Colicchio or Todd English? Oregon Pinots or Plumpjack?) We'll have stories from the after parties after and more weekend goss, but here's a quick taste: cooking demos, lunches, lots of wine and celebrity chef sightings topped day one---and the day isn't even over yet.

1) True: Even Thomas Keller gets shut out of his own events. The man he chatted with in the above picture asked if the chef could help him get a seat for tonight's sold-out rare wine auction and dinner. Keller: "I can't even get myself a spot at a table."

2) Top Chef's Tre Wilcox is no longer working at his restaurant in Texas and now private cheffing. He's not very comfortable talking about his time on the show (remember he was eliminated for the Marcel head-shaving incident), but he can cook a mean scallop. (Thanks to our commenters for correcting us. Tre wasn't sent home for the head shaving; wrong chef, wrong season. That's what we get for drunk blogging.)

3) Iron Chef Masarahu Morimoto knows his way around the links. We're told he was the best on the course today; Ming Tsai, not so much. Tom Colicchio was also out there.

4) Gail Simmons treats every meal like it's at the judges table. Spotted at breakfast at Roy's, the Top Chef judge prattled on and on about papaya. "Maybe they don't get good papaya in New York," our spy suggested.

We'll have more from the PBFW over the weekend. Check back!

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