It’s always fun to see what imaginative chefs come up with to celebrate holidays and other special occasions. Most recently we can’t stop quacking about the Easter Duckies that Executive Pastry Chef Chris Ford of the Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel, created for the spring holiday. Made of hallowed bittersweet chocolate and presented on a wooden crate with a mallet, the ducks are designed to be cracked open to unveil the surprise treat inside: Easter-themed Jordan Almonds and caramelized chocolate truffles.

The ducks came in four options, including Fool’s Gold, Duckmoji, Playbunny and Flower Power. Priced at $90 each on the Beverly Wilshire website, and customizable, they sold out immediately.

Ford’s whimsical sweets are inspiration on how to ending a banquet on a memorable note. And while his artful pastries, often end up on Instagram, he emphasizes that they are meant to be enjoyed, not just admired. “Flavor often gets lost in beautiful desserts. For me, it’s always flavor first and appearance second.”

I’m heading up to Monterey in a couple of days for the Grand Opening of the newly renovated Monterey Conference Center. It will be a jam-packed itinerary, but I’m hoping there might be a chance to sneak a peek at the other big happening in Monterey: the peak of whale-watching season.

 

The Estate Yountville in Napa Valley is set to open The Vineyard, as well as complete a renovation of its 11 event spaces. Other spaces being renovated at The Estate Yountville include Villagio Inn & Spa, the Vintage House, V Marketplace, and The Spa. These spaces, as well as The Estate's outdoor vineyard will allow individuals to make any meeting or event special.

 

From all-new stand-alone conference centers to outdoor event lawns, the Hyatt Regency LAX offers the most robust and upscale amenities for meetings and events. The newly completed hotel is one block from the airport, featuring 580 guest rooms, including the largest presidential suite in the area and 23 suites that can be used as a meeting space or longer gathering.