The annual Berkeley Wine Festival will take place at the Claremont Resort & Spa in California. The Berkeley Wine Festival is a series of wine dinners and seminars. The festival begins with an opening reception on March 2. Attendees will be able to sample more than 50 wines from the many wineries featured in this year’s festival, while savoring selections from a bountiful buffet of exquisite cuisine created by Chef Josh Thomsen.
Dinners continue each Tuesday and Wednesday through Apirl 25, and there will be a closing reception on April 27. Berkeley Wine Festival 2012 tickets range from $125 to $200 per event.
41 Tunnel Rd.
Berkeley, CA 94705
While some young boys dream of becoming astronauts or baseball players, Josh Thomsen’s 6th grade yearbook listed “chef” as his career of choice. This New Jersey native credits his ambitions to his father Jerry, an accomplished amateur chef.
Named a “Rising Star Chef” by StarChefs in 2010, Thomsen is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York and honed his skills with some of the most prominent chefs in the country kicking off his career at the Hotel Bel-Air and Pinot Bistro in Southern California. He then relocated to Aspen, Colorado to work at the Little Nell Hotel, a Relais Chateau property as chef de cuisine before moving to Napa Valley Wine Country to work at the French Laundry under Thomas Keller, whom he credits as a major influence on his career. Then after spending two years in Napa Valley, Thomsen was drawn to the lights, action and many culinary hot spots of Las Vegas where he continued to build his resume at the exclusive “Mansion” at the MGM Grand Hotel as well as being executive sous chef at Michael Mina’s Nobhill Tavern.
An opportunity as executive sous chef at The Lodge at Pebble Beach lured him back to the California coast and in a few years he was back on the strip as corporate executive chef for Innovative Dining Group overseeing the opening of three BOA Steakhouses – two in Las Vegas and a third in Los Angeles. Before returning to California, he opened the 400-seat Tao restaurant at the Venetian Resort.
In his role as executive chef at the Claremont Hotel, Club & Spa, Thomsen, oversees the food and beverage program, including hotel banquets operations, Paragon bar & café as well as the new Meritage restaurant. Here, he offers a seasonal menu of contemporary California cuisine using many locally-sourced ingredients.
When he is not in the kitchen, he can be found watching his favorite baseball team, the New York Yankees, or his Dad’s favorite football team, the New York Giants, while unwinding with his favorite cocktail, a Tanqueray & Tonic. He is also a supporter of The V Foundation for Cancer Research and Keep the Memory Alive, a charitable foundation supporting research for Alzheimer’s disease. Most recently he partnered with Taste of the NFL, an organization that rallies the top chefs and NFL’s greatest to raise money in support of food banks. Thomsen represents the Oakland Raiders at the annual Super Bowl Taste of the NFL event that raises funds for both the city of Oakland as well as the hosting Super Bowl city. He enjoys traveling the world to explore new cuisines and cultures having been to France, Switzerland, Italy, Mexico and Russia.
Chef Thomsen is looking forward to delighting your taste buds at the 2012 Berkeley Wine Festival, brought to you by the Claremont Hotel, Club & Spa.