Roberto Cortez’s Amedei Chuoa Chocolate Crema dessert.

It’s not every day that the man referred to as the “Boutique Private Chef” (he’s worked for everyone from Microsoft’s Paul Allen to Eddie Murphy) and a sommelier from Thomas Keller’s famed French Laundry team up, let alone do so in our own backyard. But that’s what will happen Sunday, May 9, and Monday, May 10, in Montecito when Chef Roberto Cortez and sommelier Anani Lawson present two wildly adventurous five-course dinners for a maximum of 20 guests each evening. “We are doing this because people are so stuck with the typical wine pairings with food that end up being boring and redundant,” Cortez explained. “People are afraid to push the other dimensions of flavors that lie in matching wine with food.” While Cortez wants to keep most of the menu a surprise, he was willing to admit that a dish called Wild Mushroom Air featuring Acquarello carnaroli risotto, ginger-lacquered smoked bacon, shiitakes, and a Santa Terezinha coffee syrah glaze would be paired with a special red wine. For more info, see To reserve your $200 seat at this fabulous table, email


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