Archive for August, 2010

Let There Be Light!!

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

If you use charcoal in your grill (I use natural wood charcoal) and you start your coals in a chimney, consider using an alcohol fuel canister to light the coals.  Using newspaper can be inconsistent and may need to be done a few times to light the coals.  The fuel canister has a constant flame to ignite the coals and will start the chimney in a shorter time.  Happy grilling!

Hollywood Hill Winemaker Dinner with Chef Jay DeLong

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

Friday, September 24th
6:30pm – 9:00 pm
Hollywood Hill Vineyards Tasting House
Limit 20 guests. Pre-purchase required.
$75 per person


Cream of Carrot & Parsnip Soup
served with crème fraiche & chives
2009 Horse Heaven Hills Roussanne

Porter Braised Pork Loin
served with an apple-thyme coulis
accompanied by a potato croquette and late harvest hericot vert

2007 Rattlesnake Hills Syrah
2008 Horse Heaven Hills Mourvedre

Maple Cider Sorbet
handcrafted with fresh cider & Lewis County, New York Maple Syrup

Petite Cheese Plate
assorted Domestic and Imported Cheeses served with hand-crafted flaxseed crackers
2008 Rattlesnake Hills Cabernet Franc
2008 Horse Heaven Hills Grenache
2008 DI 83 Southern Rhone Valley blend

Brown Butter Pear Tart
served with a lemon-ginger infused chiffon cream
Dessert Wine

Wine of the Week

Friday, August 13th, 2010

This weeks wine is a  Zaca Mesa Roussanne.

Roussanne is a richly complex white grape variety know mostly in the Rhône Valley of France.  Honey, figs, apricots and spice are found on the nose, while a long finish with hints of minerality are noticed on the palate.

Food Pairing:  Grilled Halibut, Sea Bass, Shellfish, Risotto or Roasted Chicken with a light Beurre Blanc.

Purchase your bottle of Zaca Mesa at Vino Bello in Burien.  A fantastic wine shop and tasting room.

Immaculate Chef

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Here is a past episode of The Immaculate Chef that I was in courtesy of Dubious TV.  Click here to view the episode!!

Rocky Mountain High

Friday, August 6th, 2010

I have recently returned from the National USPCA conference in Denver.  What a trip!  I met some wonderful people and was able to experience “The Mile High City” for the first time.  Day 1 started on Thursday with a trip the Cooks Street School of Fine Cooking for a dinner of locally inspired fare and adult beverages.  The menu consisted of a grilled Caesar salad, Bistecca of buffalo and a dessert of mixed local berry cobbler.  It was all paired with local micro brews and wines, both of which were just average in my opinion and not worth commenting on any further.

Day 2 began with the introduction of the President of the USPCA, Gail Kenagy.  I have developed a great rapport with Gail these past few years and it was wonderful to see she and her husband again.  After the brief reunion, I was off to my first lecture (grilling for fun and profit).  The seminar focused on the presenters interpretation of grilling foods and how to take other common tasks (like baking cookies) and doing them on the grill instead of the conventional method.

Next I was off to Winning American Cheeses.  This lecture was very interesting and informative.  I was presented with a plethora of European style domestic cheeses and was absolutely blown away.  The flavors were intense, delicious and any other gratifying adjective you can come up with to describe the tastes.  I was also presented with a brief history of cheese making in various parts of the US and the World, as well as tips on building a cheese board to balance the flavors of multiple cheeses together.  After some brief downtime, all of us were filed into the dining area for our luncheon and awards ceremony.  Our lunch was a buffet depicting more local fare such as chili and skirt steak, all made with buffalo.  After we had replenished, Chef Gail began passing out the awards.  Certified Personal Chefs were recognized for their credentials as were the volunteers from the Denver Chapter of Personal chefs for their volunteer work at the conference.  The excellence in business awards were next.  Recipe of the year went to Molly Pisula, Chef of the year went to Tim Stewert, and website of the year went to yours truly!!  I received a wonderful plaque and was very honored to be chosen, as the awards were given to us based on the votes of our peers.

That evening, a few of us went to Zengo, a restaurant owned by Chef Richard Sandoval.  It has an Asian-Latin fusion style menu and the flavors are brilliantly brought together.  I started with some won-ton tacos (Deep fried won-ton shells stuffed with sushi rice, sashimi grade ahi tuna, and a mango salsa all on a bed of guacamole).  I then had some sushi rolls and other various tapas, paired with a lychee-passion fruit mojito,  before induldging in a Szechuan pork tenderloin with stir fried rice.  Dessert was a spiced Mexican chocolate tart paired with a late harvest Malbec.

Day 3 began with my taking the Certified Personal Chef examination as I am applying for this credential in the next calender year.  After completing this test of business, marketing and culinary knowledge, I was off for the day and decided to do some exploring.  I ended up going to the King Tut exhibit at the Denver Art Museam. I was in absolute awe to be in the presence of artifacts that were 3000-4000 years old.  I spent about 3 hours wandering around and reading the factoids associated with each piece.

Later that evening, another colleague, her nephew and I went to Bistro Vendôme near the Lodo (Lower Downtown) district.  We began the meal with Escargot and some of the best French bread I have ever had.  Sopping up the garlic and parley was a great appetite enticement.  I then had Steak Frites paired with a 2006 Chateau Haut-Goujon, St. Emillion.  A Merlot from Bordeaux’s right bank and perhaps the best Merlot I have ever had.  We skipped dessert that evening and were off for a digestif at Chef Troy Guard’s establishment, TAG.  There we partook in jalapeño-kumquat mojitos.  A flavor combination that was very well balanced, pleasant and palatable.

The next morning I was on my way home and back into the routine, almost immediately.  I had a great experience in Denver and would visit again, without hesitation, if given the opportunity.

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