This weekend, an estimated 120,000 people flocked to Napa, CA to hear musicians from all over the globe and enjoy world-class food and drink at the fourth annual BottleRock Napa Valley. In addition to four sound stages that showcased musicians like Steve Wonder and Florence and the Machine, there was the Williams-Sonoma Culinary Stage, where star chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Tyler Florence and Michael Voltaggio tag-teamed with the likes of Green Day’s Tre Cool and Mike Dirnt, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith, and the Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins to put together standout dishes in front of a live audience. We spent three days straight next to the stage; here, in no particular order, are nine of our very favorite moments from the weekend.
Adam Richman Living Out His Dream with The Pharcyde
Adam Richman loves The Pharcyde, and says he was living out a dream to be cooking on stage with them. In fact, he was so pumped for his cioppino cooking demonstration with Imani and Bootie Brown that he wrote and freestyle-rapped an entire song in honor of the event. En route to BottleRock, he ran into the members of Green Day and asked them for a musical opinion—which is how the entire chorus came into fruition.
The Pharcyde, in turn, was so taken by Richman that they invited him to make an onstage appearance during their music set a few hours later.
Witnessing Girl Bosses Mei Lin and Melissa King support one another
On Saturday, in a segment called Tour Rider Quick Fire, Top Chef 12 winner (and Chefs’ Collective member) teamed up with Atlas Genius and Grouplove to create an on-the-fly dish. Close friend (and fellow Top Chef winner) Melissa King stopped by and watched the demo backstage to show her support, then the two hung out afterwards and hammed it up in some incredibly heartwarming photos.
Always silliness when I’m reunited with @meilin21–love this girl! Thanks Dave Graham at @bottlerocknapa for throwing such an awesome music festival with chefs! Regram from @williamssonoma. Photo by @hausfraufotografie #wsculinarystage follow on snapchat for more: @chefmelissaking
A photo posted by Melissa King (@chefmelissaking) on
Gordon Ramsay Unfiltered
Gordon Ramsay took to the stage on Friday afternoon, demonstrating three dishes using the Philips Airfryer. The real standout was seeing the Gordon Ramsay we’ve all come to know, unfiltered on the big stage. While making chimichurri, he held up a leaf and said, “This is an herb—but not the one you guys are smoking.” We saw the power of his celebrity when he passed a plate of scallops into the audience, then asked one superfan who’d tasted it what she thought. “It’s amazing,” she replied, her voice cracking.
It wouldn’t have been a Gordon Ramsay appearance without more than a few potty-mouthed moments; our favorite involved the chef putting an inebriated fan back in her place. See it in the clip below.
A video posted by Susannah Chen (@susannahchen) on
An Epic Fish Toss with The Pike Place Fish Guys
After witnessing Adam Richman’s budding career as a rapper, the men of Pike Place Fish Market—you know, the ones famous for throwing fish in Seattle’s Pike Place Market—took the stage with chef Michael Mina, and tested 49ers wide receiver Dwight Clark and his skill for “catching” fish. The only thing that added to our amazement? Learning that the fish guys actually carried their own fish on the plane from Seattle.
A video posted by Williams-Sonoma (@williamssonoma) on
Every Star’s Obsession with Our Copper Mugs
The Williams-Sonoma Culinary Stage was propped with plenty of copper—copper cookware, copper Vitamix blenders, and copper mugs—and every big personality who graced the stage couldn’t get enough of it. Michael Voltaggio, Adam Richman, Chris Cosentino, The Pharcyde: these were just a few of the names who were unable to resist leaving the stage without swiping at least one Hammered Copper Imperial Pint Mug.
— the pharcyde (@thepharcyde) May 30, 2016
Tyler Florence’s (Attempted) Fried Chicken Slingshot
At his Sunday afternoon appearance, Food Network chef Tyler Florence showed the crowd how he makes the signature fried chicken that’s served at his San Francisco restaurant Wayfare Tavern. In an effort to distribute some of his delicious fried chicken out into the crowd, the chef attempted to create a makeshift fried chicken slingshot out of a copper bucket and some string. It didn’t work out so well, but we are still 100 percent happy that he attempted it, because watching it fail was that entertaining.
The Curious Incident of Morimoto, Green Day and the 60-Kilo Tuna
You knew Masaharu Morimoto’s live performance was going to be a good one when the demo began with four men entering stage hoisting a 132-pound bluefin tuna on their shoulders. (Considering first bluefin tunas can go for more than $1,200 per pound at auction, one can only surmise that this was the most expensive item any of these men have ever carried on their shoulders.)
After breaking down the whole tuna without batting an eye, the Iron Chef rolled tuna sushi with Green Day’s Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool, then fed everyone using drumsticks as chopsticks, which was pretty darn smooth. But our hearts soared into cute overload when we caught Tré Cool feeding his three kids more sushi post-demo.
Chris Cosentino’s Son Throwing Him Under the Bus
A number of chefs crashed chef Mourad Lahlou’s cooking lesson, including Chris Cosentino and his son Easton. Musician Michael Franti put Easton on the spot when he asked him whose cooking he preferred. Unexpectedly, Easton threw in a vote for his mom as the better cook. Busted!
BottleRock’s Custom Drum Kits for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Food Fighters
Michael Voltaggio’s “Drummers from Another Mother” cooking demo featured Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters. While Smith and Hawkins knew there would be culinary-inspired drum sets on stage, what they didn’t know was that BottleRock created custom replicas of their exact drum kits. When Smith and Hawkins arrived, they immediately recognized their places on the stage.
Although their appearance was one of the last culinary sets of the weekend, the drum kits sat on stage all weekend, and from Green Day’s Tré Cool to the Jeffery brothers of Atlas Genius, not one single person could resist playing on it.
— Green Day LIVE (@GDLoT) May 29, 2016
Reliving all of this past weekend’s best moments has us counting down the months for next year’s event. Couldn’t make it to BottleRock 2016? Transport yourself there by entering our BottleRock Sweepstakes—which ends today!—for a chance to win a $2,000 prize package, and by shopping the #WSCulinaryStage. See you next year!