Monday, February 23, 2004

This is going to be a (relatively) short blog. Work is actually busy today.

If I were to list the things I learned during this past Saturday's wine tasting, it would be something like this:

* A little bit of garnish can go a long way to enchancing the look of the dish.
(Related: cilantro can go on just about anything, except Bananas Foster ;))

* Alternative "containers", such as envide leaves and red pepper rings, can also do great things for a presentation as well.

* Heat is a master and you are it's slave.

* My birthday (1977) also happens to be a good year for Port.

* There are way more things going on with new wines that I can possibly hope to catch up on.
(Related: apparently, some people who attend these tastings are not interested in these new things. A fact that baffles even a complete wine-novice like me)

So, the tasting went pretty well (though the final wine sales were a bit lackluster. Personally, out of the 3 wines I tried, I found them to be quite good). I arrived at Mike and Liz's at about 5:30. Most everything was already packed in the Tofu-mobile, so I just changed into a chef's jacket Mike lent me and followed him up to the Tasting House. We loaded everything into the cramped kitchen and Mike started getting things to where they needed to be. One of the things I've learned is that, in serving a small party like these, it's feast or famine (no pun intended). One minute, you have all the time in the world, but the next, you're booking it to get 26 plates prepared in time to be served (relatively) at once. Really, all the serious work was done the last few days by Mike and Liz, I was just there to soak up the info (and wine ;) and plate up some food.

For those interested, the menu was as follows (I, unfortunately, do not have the list of accompanying wines):

Cajun Black Bean Salad served in an Endive Leaf
Spicy White Bean Gumbo Soup w/ Cornbread
Pasta with Cajun Green Beans, Potatoes and a Creamy Pesto*
Mirliton Ratatouille served in Red Pepper Rings
Jambalaya, served in a Portabella Mushroom bowl
Bananas Foster in Phyllo w/ Caramel/Rum Sauce

The tasting ended with Bob introducing the evening's Chef and let Mike field some questions from the attendees (who were all quite suprised to discover that most of the food for the evening was vegan).

The next tasting will be on April 24th.