Where to begin? After a trip to Europe, I hit the ground running to create an unusual restaurant pop-up night in my own dining room with an intimate gathering of 20 friends and new friends. With help from wine expert, Marie-Luise Kerpen of Weingut Kerpen Vineyards and the fabulous Mary Long of Greenville Vineyards, we put together an explosion of flavors, pairing amazing wines with some of my most popular dishes. Eight dishes, eight wines plus a surprise wine from Kerpen's personal cellar... a 2003 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Reisling Auslese, proving that it's not only red wines that pair magnificently with a cheese plate for dessert.
Planning the night was no small feat, and we did a dry (wet!) run the night before to make sure our pairings were spot on. The food and wine sang together, as expected!
We got a few shots of the food but we were all so much in the moment, I'm not sure if we did it justice.
I had some terrific help for the night. My chefs in training. Thank you, Jackson and Fayed!
Marie-Luise made the wine come to life with her descriptions and expansive knowledge on the subject. Greenhill Vineyards and Weingut Kerpen provided wonderful wines and assistance.
And my griller prepared the beef and duck to perfection!
And if our guests didn't know each other before the night began, they certainly did after the evening was over. Thank you to all my guests who were willing to participate in this wonderful evening. I look forward to more inventive nights like this one in the future!
Now accepting ideas...