Congratulations to Hunter Hammett, sommelier at The Pyramid Restaurant and Bar, for winning a prize for wine writing in Wine Australia’s 2011/2012 Sommelier Immersion Program. He won an all expenses paid trip to Australia for two weeks accompanied by sommeliers from nine other US cities. During his visit, Hammett will be spending his time pretty much like any other tourist in that huge country: he will be visiting just about every major Australian wine producing area (except Tasmania), which means traversing distances between regions as far apart as are Florida and Oregon. Meals will be cooked at the dozens of wineries, wines tasted will sometimes cost several hundred dollars a bottle, and he won’t even have time to watch the water swirl anticlockwise as it exits the sink or stare up at the sky and ponder “someone stole the north star…”
To wine this prize, Hammett and other Dallas sommeliers took six in-depth classes held at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Dallas. They were tested in preparing food and wine pairings based on several supplied menus and an essay on some aspect of Australian wine. In his essay, Hammett chose to compare and contrast Australian Riesling from the Clare Valley with Riesling in Germany (where it is known as ‘The King of Grapes’).
Update: I just heard that two Dallas sommeliers won the prize. The other one was Anthony Martinez of the Gaylord Texan. Congratulations to Anthony as well.
Cafe Momentum, a nonprofit restaurant concept that helps disadvantaged youth learn culinary skills, is hosting its ninth pop-up dinner at Dee Lincoln’s Bubble Bar & Tasting Room this Sunday, March 18, at 6 PM, and there are only 14 seats left. Guest chef Juliard Ishizuka is creating a four-course, Japanese-inspired menu that incorporates what he learned from being in great kitchens like (get ready for some serious name-dropping) Rosewood Mansion, Citizen, and Bailey’s Prime Plus. If you’re dying to go, I’d suggest you order your ticket right now before you forget. Tickets are $100.
Roasted Patty Pan Squash Ratatouille With Burrata
Beef Tartare With Shishito Aioli on Roasted Fingerlings
Vegetable Bagna Cauda
Oak Cliff Cellars 2010 “Wild Diamond” Mourvedre
White and Green Asparagus Salad With Brown Butter and Mustard Vinaigrette and Speck
Oak Cliff Cellars 2009 Sonoma Chardonnay
Fata Steamed Bass With Enoki, Napa and Fennel
Oak Cliff Cellars 2010 Lake County Sauvignon Blanc
Braised Pork Belly on Apple and Fava Bean Puree With Tomato Pesto
Oak Cliff Cellars 2008 “Curtis Ranch” Zinfandel or Oak Cliff Cellars 2007 Mendocino Pinot Noir
Cornmeal Shortcakes With Strawberries and Mascarpone
Oak Cliff Cellars 2009 “Firebrick” Zinfandel
Two weeks ago, I was on a cruise headed for the island of Grenada when I received an email about The Grenada Chocolate Company. Needless to say, the headline–“Grenada Chocolate Company and FairTransport Team Up To Make First Ever Carbon-Neutral Trans-Atlantic Mass Chocolate Delivery”—got my full attention. I rearranged my schedule and made plans to meet with Mott Green, the founder of GCC, a tree-to-bar organic chocolate cooperate. Sadly, the only time we could meet was at high noon on a Sunday. The factory was closed so I met with Green at their retail store which is located on the beautiful Belmont Estate, Grenada’s first and finest agri-tourism organic farm.
Green was busy getting ready to pack four tons of his organic dark chocolate and sail with it from Grenada to New York City. He’d partnered with Netherlands-based shipping company, FairTransport, and the ship, the wind-powered Brigantine Tres Hombres, was set to sail from Grenada with Green and his chocolate today. This voyage, according to Green, is the “first carbon-neutral trans-Atlantic mass chocolate delivery.” Green built his own insulated cool room, powered solely by wind and sun, for the ship’s cargo hold. (Click here to follow the ship’s progress and Green’s blog about the journey)
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Good morning. Did you wake up, brush your teeth, and throw on some clothes? Most importantly, did you vote for your favorite pizza place for our Readers’ Choice poll yet? If you’re dazzled by Jay Jerrier’s ability to run Cane Rosso and tweet, like, every ten seconds, or in awe of Urban Crust’s Salvatore Gisellu and his dough-throwing skills, show your avid support for whoever you think makes the best slice in Dallas by voting here.
Get your voting game face on. And repeat once a day until March 25.
While the Korean-Mexican fusion concept is far from novel at this point, this doesn’t mean it is not every bit as delicious as it was when people were going absolutely batty over the idea of a Korean taco. Now that this multicultural mish-mashing seems to be slowing down a bit, perhaps it is safe for me to declare my personal favorite, an honor which I bestow upon Kor-BQ in Plano.
I first sampled Kor-BQ shortly after they opened in late 2010. At the time, whisperings of the taco fusion movement from the West Coast, particularly L.A.’s Kogi food truck, were just barely reaching the ears of North Texans. It was an exciting time for everyone, and I’m sure I was not the only taco lover excited to sample the intriguing flavor profiles of “East meets West.” Kor-BQ was the first of its kind to hit the Dallas area dining scene. Many others have followed, but I still find myself trekking up to Plano anytime I need to fulfill my cravings for a sweet and spicy Korean short rib taco.