Menus and photographs of wine dinners hosted at The Summit Dining Room at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College’s Midwest Culinary Institute (MCI). For reservations and information, please email Carmen at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you there!
The Summit Room at Midwest Culinary Institute Sensational Wine Dinner
December 11, 2007
Chef Arthur Leech
Tuesday, December 11, 2007 marked the inaugural Wine Dinner at Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. As part of the planning team, I worked with College administration, Samantha Smith (from E&J Gallo Winery) and Carmen Parks (formerly of Rondo’s restaurant) to organize this, the first of our monthly Wine Dinners. It was gratifying to see this event come to life, and to have it so well-attended (somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 people attended the event).
Chef Arthur Leech provided the following menu, paired with wines by Samantha Smith.
Hors d’Oeuvres Barefoot Brut Champagne
Spicy Asian Pepper Seared Wild Caught Salmon with a fresh thyme lemon vinaigrette Martin Codax Albarino, 2006
Granny Smith Apple Chestnut Soup with Saffron Creme Fraiche Bridlewood Reserve Viognier, 2006
Duck Confit & Roasted Mushroom Potato Lasagna resting on sauteed baby spinach and raspberry braised beets MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir, 2006
& Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, 2004
Cheese Sampling of Brie, Compote, French Blue, and Manchego drizzled with Mission Fig Syrup Bridlewood Reserve Syrah, 2003
Peach, Apple, and Golden Raisin Rustic Tarts with moscato and honey reduction, creme anglaise Moscato, N.V.
The meal was neither too conservative nor too ‘wild’, which was appropriate for the first time. We, as a planning committee, needed to begin to understand our audience and where their tastes are.
The Summit Room at Midwest Culinary Institute Sensational Wine Dinner January 8, 2008 Chef Alan Neace Wine pairings by Chef Neace & Laura Landoll, Vintage Wine Distributors. Wine commentary, below, provided by Laura Landoll.
Smoke-Roasted Corn Chowder with Petite Blue Crab and Shrimp-filled Morel
FOOD: Wonderfully silky, smooth chowder with a flavor that rich and full (there was smoked cheese in there), yet a light texture, topped with a nice garnish of a slice of morel mushroom that had been stuffed with blue crab and shrimp, then poached. 2005 Joseph Drouhin Saint-Veran, White Burgundy WINE: Saint-Veran is very close stylistically to Pouilly-Fuisse, with its golden green hue, its intense fruity, flowery nose and its refreshing flavors. It can be enjoyed very young (two to three months after bottling). An independent, family-owned firm that is 125 years old — this is very rare today! Eleven of the world’s leading wine families, each a recognized leader in its region, have created an international association, named Primum Familiae Vini (“Leading Wine Families”) or P.F.V.
Cobenerro Crusted Sea Bass with Quark Spaetzle and Cucumber-orange Compote
FOOD: A generous portion of sea bass crusted with cobenerro spices (a Guatalaman spice blend), served with spaetzle that were crisp on the outside with a tender chew on the inside. The compote provided a brightness and acidity to the dish, and it was a very nice, complete flavor profile. 2006 Domaine Sigalas Santorini, Assyrtiko WINE: Assyrtiko is one of Greece’s finest white grape varieties and is planted throughout Greece. It was first cultivated on the island of Santorini, where it has developed a unique character producing excellent A.O.C. wines. Assyrtiko has the ability to maintain its acidity as it ripens. It yields a bone-dry wine that has citrus aromas mixed with an earthy, mineral aftertaste due to the volcanic soil of Santorini. A light yellow color with green highlights citrus flavors, and a lemon intensity, particular of the grape variety.
Quinoa and Black Bean Salpicon with Oven-dried Cherry Vinaigrette and Elfin Greens
FOOD: A flavorful bound salad (a Salpicon is a chopped, bound salad) with quinoa (oh, I adore quinoa), presented in a base of a cucumber ring, garnished with microelfin greens (no hobbits in sight), and presented with a crescent-shaped cracker. The dressing was painted on the plate, and was very flavorful and a good acidic compliment to the salad. A very nice presentation and flavor. 2006 Chateau de Campuget Rose Rhone, Syrah/Grenache WINE: Chateau de Campuget, which belongs to the Dalle family since 1941, is producing A.O.C. Costieres de Nimes wines. Their vineyard, of 160 hectares, is situated in the heart of the A.O.C. area, between Nimes and Arles, a few kilometers from the right side of the Rhone river. Grape composition: 30% Grenache noir, 70% syrah. Its color is an intense peony pink. Its bouquet is very aromatic, with scents of small red fruits such as raspberries or black currants. In the mouth, there is a perfect balance between vivacity and mellowness.
Sumac-rubbed Roast Pork Tenderloin Roulade with Ratatouille, Haricot Vert, aromatic infused pear, chive fragranced polenta cake, and sauce diable
FOOD: Gosh darn it, not enough people use Sumac when cooking. Its delicate, slightly citrus-y flavor was a nice addition to the pork tenderloin roulade. The tenderloin was trimmed & skinned, and the edible cut-offs were made into a farce that was placed atop the tenderloin (secured using powdered egg whites — “meat glue“, as Chef called it) and wrapped in caul fat before being seared off and roasted. Each of the components of the dish — ratatouille, pear, polenta, and verts — paired well with the tenderloin and, taken all in one bite were tasty, but sometimes the flavor profiles were muddy when mixing & matching components. For example, pear + pork == tasty. Pear + pork + ratatouille == less so. 2006 Willamette Valley, Pinot Noir WINE: A beautiful wine that truly expresses the terroir of the red, volcanic earth where it was grown. Aromas of red fruits, violets, clove, and tea leaf. Flavors mirror aromas with juicy bing cherry, lavender, earth, and mineral followed by an elegant finish that lingers with spicy cinnamon and clove notes. The mouth-feel is round and generous with a concentrated mid-palate and good acidity. Appealing now, but will further reward those who cellar this wine. This wine is Salmon Safe, LIVE (Low Input Viticulture and Enology), and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.
& 2005 Consentino Winery, Sangiovese WINE: Spicy, exotic red and black fruit with hints of clove in the nose. A vibrantly colored, rich and concentrated, yet brightly balanced wine on the palate. A round, rich, and balanced wine that evolves into an intense mixed berry sensation with ripe tannins in the center. An elegant white pepper note finishes this richly textured wine. Grape composition: 92% Sangiovese, 2% Petite Sirah, 2% Early Burgundy, 2% Merlot, and 2% Alicante.
Delicate Pistachio and Cranberry Cake with terrine of cream medley, Tellicherry red wine sauce, and chocolate decor
FOOD: I enjoyed helping Chef prepare and refine this recipe. The original concept was modified to substitute almond paste for the tardy pistachio paste, and we bumped up the flavor of the cranberry center by rethinking the filling. Each cake — which was individually made — required that batter be added to the silicone mold, a filling of thick, red cranberry gelee added, then the mold ‘topped off’ with a bit more cake batter, sealed, and baked off. When opened, the cakes oozed a ruby red center. 2003 Les Clos de Paulilles Banyuls WINE: Les Clos de Paulilles is owned and managed by the Daure family, the preeminent wine growing family of the Roussillon. The entire vineyard is hand-harvested when the Grenache has reached exceptional degrees of ripeness — a minimum of 15 degrees. The grapes are crushed but not de-stemmed into stainless steel vats. Neutral grape spirit is added during fermentation — a process called “mutage” — after the wine is allowed to macerate for a full six weeks. The wines are pressed after maceration. Bottling occurs the Spring following the vintage, and the wines are aged in-bottle in climate-controlled cellars for a minimum of two years. Dark black-purple red with intense blackberry jam aroma and succulent, rich flavors. A superb dessert wine. Grape composition: 100% Black Grenache.
This dinner was very successful, and set the bar for meals to come.
On February 13, 2008, we attended another Wine Dinner at the Midwest Culinary Institute, this time cooked by Chef Rick Potter, C.E.C. who is a faculty member at the college. Wines by Jamie Stewart, Master Sommelier, from Fosterâ€™s Group.
Here’s the menu Rick prepared, and boy was it good!
Welcome Wolf Blass Yellow Sparkling NV
Creamy Corn & Leek Soup with toasted English croutons Beringer Alluvium 2006
Spicy Pan Seared Scallops with braised Savoy cabbage with carrot ginger emulsion Chateau St. Jean Riesling 2005
On March 26, 2008, we attended the next montly Wine Dinner at Midwest Culinary Institute, this time helmed by Chef Matthew Winterrowd, the newest executive chef on faculty there. Wines by Rich Parducci, winemaker from McNab Ridge.
The Midwest Culinary Institute (MCI) Wine Dinner for April was planned and prepared by Chef Alan Niece & the Olympic Culinary Team. Wines by Brian Scott from Vintner Select. Additionally,Â the culinary team prepared booklets with recipes for all the dishes they served which were given to the guests.
Due to a previous commitment, I was unable to attend this event.
On Wednesday, August 12, 2008, the Midwest Culinary Institute hosted another Wine Dinner, this time prepared by Chef Kyle Goebel with wines by Chad Johnson, owner of Dusted Valley Vintner Winery. Sadly, we were in Houston, Texas and missed the dinner. But here’s the menu and photos… It sounded great!
Amuse Bouche Yellowfin Tuna Tataki, Yuzu, Wakame, and Microgreens La Sera Malvasia 2007
First Course Watermelon Consomme, Pickled Cucumber Granite, and Lavendar Dust Boomtown Pinot Gris 2006
Second Course Sliced, Butter-Poached Lobster, Hearts of Palm, Avocado, Valencia Orange Supreme, and Mango Beurre Blanc Boomtown Unoaked Chardonnay 2006
or Dusted Valley Vintner Viognier 2006
Duck Confit, Sweet Potato Crepe, Chantrelle Mushrooms with Seared Duck Breast, Bing Cherries, Arugula, and Micro Cilantro Boomtown Merlot 2004
Fourth Course Cinnamon-Smoked Lamb T-Bone, Herb Risotto, and Blueberry Gastrique Boomtown Syrah 2006
or Dusted Valley Vintner Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Fifth Course White Donut Peach, Dark Chocolate, and Raisin Compote Red Head Ranch Late Harvest Zinfandel 2004