2013 Scion FR-S: Kulinary Mille 2012, the Finale
July 25, 2012
My original plan was to join the day-two drive which circled all around California's central valley, then participate in some dirt oval racing. Unfortunately, the dirt track part of the event was cancelled. I held off on my decision until I finished breakfast.
To my surprise, there were plenty of other Mille participants already in the dining room, looking no worse for the wear. Some had the same story I had to tell: had a great time, ate like Henry the VIII, had a few beverages and turned in early. A few had a more adventurous night that involved trying to make the Jack in the Box drive-thru a "walk-thru" to no avail. It sounded like fun, but was glad nonetheless that I found my way to my room before that went down.
I decided to pack up and head back to Edmunds HQ to get a little work done; maybe even play a round of golf if I could power through my assignments. The drive south on Highway 101 was as picturesque as it always is, with rolling hills dotted with hundred-year-old oaks and expansive views of the Pacific Ocean. The FR-S was perfectly agreeable as it settled into cruise control and the stereo was decent enough to make the drive seem shorter than it was. As a road trip car, it's on the small side if there was a passenger and luggage. As a solo road-tripper, it's fine.
I re-joined the Kulinary Mille at the finale, which took place at the private Grand Havana Room in Beverly Hills. I was regaled with tales of what I missed on the middle days -- the most notable being a wrong turn on the route that led them all onto an unpaved fire road. Ooops. As with the other night, the feast was as epic as one could hope for.
Beef. Moar beef. It certainly doesn't hurt that the organizers of the Kulinary Mille are master chefs Keith Previte and Erik Kelley.
I was shoveling caviar down my gullet all night. If it weren't for the cigars, I'm sure I would have smelled like low tide.
Alright, alright...relax people. The mystery blonde passenger is here on the left. She has a name, and it's Jayme. Thanks for not puking in the Scion, Jayme.
The Grand Havans Room is an amazing space. The smoke isn't oppressive, either.
I became quite familiar with these Moscow Mules, courtesy of Russian Standard Vodka.
Dobryj vyechyer! Does she understand Russian? Does it matter? Nyet.
There were no shortage of smiles throughout the entire Mille.
All things considered, the sophomore outing of the Kulinary Mille was a rousing success. The promise of great food, great cars and great fun were most certainly fulfilled. Planning for next year's Mille will start shortly, and it appears as though they want my input. Twist my freakin' arm, huh? I'm going to push for some track time.
If you can't join us next year, I hope you'll at least follow along in spirit. Until then, drive well, eat well and live well.
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 3,500 miles