Jeff Bundschu is President of Gundlach Bundschu Winery and co-founder of Huichica Music Festival.
What was the food highlight of your year?
Hands down stumbling into State Bird Provisions one night last spring. I was taking my daughter and her friend to see G-Eazy at the Fillmore in SF and had a few hours to kill. SBP is just adjacent to the venue and the commotion through the window, the line outside, and the understated sign all caught my eye. Somewhere in the fog I might have heard the name and it was enough for me to go in and ask the concierge if there was any way I might get a seat at the bar. I have since heard that it books two months in advance for reservations. She took my phone number, pointed me to a good bar and said she'd text within 45 minutes. Thirty minutes later I was in and sitting and then the adventure started. The bar was right up against the kitchen and the cook in front of me doubled as my server, host, and food educator. Knowing nothing of the format when I sat down, I was mesmerized by the checklist menu, the pick-and-choose little dishes that kept coming by seat-side, and the continual commentary by the super friendly chef. I don't remember any one thing I ate that night, probably because I ate EVERYTHING. On a night where sitting in my car in a parking garage reading the latest New Yorker was an acceptable option, I instead wandered into the meal of year!
What was the music highlight of your year?
My homegrown choice has to be Real Estate at the amphitheater under the stars at Gundlach Bundschu winery. It was just down right epic. I LOVE that band and to have them on our hillside making that beautiful music brought me to tears more than once. Like Blitzen Trapper in 2013, it was one of those pinch me moments - as in, 'That band, here?'.
Away from home it was for sure tUne yArDs at the Pabst theater in Milwaukee. I had been wanting to see them/her for years having stumbled into an early record prepping for a SxSW trip a while back, and it was serendipity that they were playing one of America's most iconic theaters on my one free night. Merrill Garbus is a treasure and she just killed it. So super unique and creative, her music is driven by rhythm and vocals, and some other worldly force. They really are way way outside, but some how still so approachable.
Was there a moment when food and music came together in a memorable way?
Easy breezy: Jammin on a BUNK cubano, swigging Gun Bun Mountain Cuvee, and grooving to Kelley Stoltz at Huichica Music Festival. Yeah I am a homer and totally biased, but blah blah. If there is a better food/music (and wine!) scene I haven't found it.