Got back yesterday evening from the first annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine festival, a three-day extravaganza of tastings, lunches, dinners, seminars and (for those who know which end of the stick you hit that little white ball with) golf.

Highlights for me included what seemed to be unlimited amounts of Dom Perignon 1999 being served before a lunch that included, among other terrific courses, a superb piece of venison cooked by Eleven Madison Park's Daniel Humm. Someone asked him about why the meat was so tender, and he said in his Swiss-French accent, "Yes, first they slaughter the animal, and then they hang the carcass for three weeks." Various looks of slight alarm arose from the less game-obsessed at the lunch. "And then I marinate it for three days," he added, somewhat of an afterthought.