18 July 2008

Friends of James Beard Benefit

I miss a lot of the wine dinners and other special occasions around Memphis due to work commitments or simply being out of town. But I made sure I was free for Wednesday night's dinner at River Oaks to raise money for the James Beard Foundation. Six great chefs from around Memphis came together to make one unforgettable evening, all for a great cause.

I got to meet some fellow bloggers, local wine and food notables, and made several new friends. I regret that I have no photos to share with you, but here's the menu served, slightly altered from the one announced in advance:

Appetizer Course
Clay Lichterman - Grill 83 Madison Hotel

Ginger and Lemon Pickled Halibut
Kumamoto Oyster and Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho "Shot"
Kobe Beef, Braised Short Rib, and Foie Gras Slider with Tomato and Red Onion Marmelade
Caesar Salad Mousse with Micro Bacon and Crispy Bits
Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin, Brut, Reims, France
Caymus Conundrum, California, 2006

1st Course
Wally Joe - KC's and Brushmark

Crudo of Hamachi and Tuna
Avocado Panna Cotta and Tomato Oil
SA Prum Riesling Kabinett, Germany, 2007

2nd Course
Rick Farmer - Jarret's

Pan Roasted Roulade of Alaskan Halibut, Wild King Salmon and Dungeness Crab
on Seafood Risotto, with Tomato Fondue and Fresh Basil
Merryvale Starmont Chardonnay, Napa Valley, 2006

3rd Course
Ben Vaughn - River Oaks

Roasted Quail and Foie Gras
Red Onion Marmalade, Pain Perdu, Pancetta Crisp
Belle Glos "Meiomi" Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, 2006

4th Course
Erling Jensen - Erling Jensen the Restaurant

Lightly Smoked Kobe Loin, Marrow Flan, Summer Greens,
Lingonberry Vinaigrette, Cabernet Reduction
Caymus "Special Select" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2005

5th Course
Jason Severs - Bari

Trio of Tortas
Sweet Tomato Tortaloni with Reggiano Parmesan Gelato
Local Strawberry and Black Pepper with Balsamic Gelato
Gorgonzola Cremaficato and Pear with Basil Gelato
King Estate Vin Glacé, Oregon, 2006


Michael Hughes said...

Ok spill, what was your favorite? what course was more effectively paired with its wine? Did you find Caymus as boring as I do? Who all was there? I'm watching Mondovino right now for the eleventy-billionth time.

Benito said...

It was all good, though I'd have to say my favorite was the Roasted Quail and Foie Gras. First time I've ever had deboned quail, and it was nice to enjoy the flavor without picking around a little skeleton.

As for Caymus, Conundrum is fairly sweet for my tastes, but the Cab Sav was great. I felt that the Pinot Noir was the best wine of the evening.

Michael Hughes said...

I agree with you that the Caymus Cab is a good cab. I wouldn't say great, however. Not the Napa Cab or the Special Select. I find them both very one dimensional & vastly overpriced. Its too bad really. Because so many consumers are hypnotized by the excellent branding this winery has done. I would rather take that $ (or even half of it) & spend it on a bottle that would actually move me in some way....but again thats just my opinion. Yes, roasted quail is fantastic & the addition of foie gras I'm sure was ridiculously good!

Carrie said...

"Mondovino" what a great documentary!