We joined the judges for lunch outside at the Sheraton Fairplex beneath yellow umbrellas on a sun drenched afternoon. The Sheraton was the host hotel for the competition. Executive Chef David Teig presented a lovely buffet highlighted by Atlantic Char, lamb, salads and a wonderful cheese table. After a bit of quiet time, we boarded a trolley car for the short ride to McKinley’s Farm. Located on the Fairplex grounds, the farm sits on a third of an acre and everywhere you turn you see lush produce growing, ripe for the picking. Chef Teig did a lot of picking and served it to us on bountiful plates. We were greeted with tray passed Hors d’oeurves, Sobi Nori roll, Hamachi sashimi, sunny side up quail egg on an uni cone with white soy Ponzu. We enjoyed a wide assortment of wines, previous best of class recipients, while we savored grilled Pacific octopus with early farm peaches and Anaheim chiles (I would have been satisfied with just that), spring farm tomatoes, charred jumbo San Joaquin Delta asparagus with Morel mushrooms and aged Pecorino, grilled ostrich and stuffed Jidori chicken with a black pepper lovage glaze. And there there was the dessert station, offering a licorice/sassafras custard with saffron honey and dessert wine snow cones, an absolutely perfect finishing touch to a most memorable day.