Traveling and the ‘road show’ is certainly nothing new for us at Hundred Acre/One True Vine, as most of you know our Layer Cake Wines are made on 4 different continents and in 5 countries. Jayson Woodbridge, our fearless leader along with his food and wine crew pack up each harvest season and hit the road to oversee the grape harvest and wine making process. In addition to the focus on the grape harvest, we embrace the food, culture and lifestyle in each region. We have captured our travels, stories and passions in a larger than life magazine – One True Vine a journal of food, wine and life. (www.onetruevine.com).
A couple weeks ago, brought a different type of experience to embrace and opened the door to a whole new world of entertaining and excitement. The restaurant group 50 Eggs, Inc. located in Miami, invited us to bring to life the late evening hours with their one of a kind “Midnight Chef’s Table Series”.
Our dinner was held at Yardbird, one of the four restaurants owned by the 50 Eggs group. The plan was for myself and their culinary director, Clayton Miller to prepare a four-course dinner that would be paired with Hundred Acre/One True Vine award winning wine’s: Layer Cake Chardonnay, Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon, Cherry Tart Pinot Noir and an exclusive preview of the “DUKE”, a bourbon based on John Wayne’s 40 year old recipe.
It is somewhat surreal to see a restaurant close for the evening, yet have a full staff hustling around to reset the dining room, while at the same time, cooks continue to man the stoves because in an hour 50 new guest would arrive for our Midnight Chef’s Table dinner.
I would start the evening off with our (Almost) Wild Fennel Salad, a dish comprised of thinly shaved fennel, fava beans, toasted pistachios, local artisan honey, toasted nut oil and citrus dressing. A dish that highlight’s and embraces everything about springtime in the Napa Valley.
Chef Clayton delivered for the second course a “Beef Duo”. Ground Beef Sirloin Tartar served with house ketchup, capers, red onion, tomatillos and egg yolk. Along with Smoked and Roasted Bone Marrow that was seasoned with house made spice rub, Maldon salt, cracked black pepper and onion jam.
For my next course, time to think outside the box a bit, and showcase Gulf prawns in a whole new way – Shrimp Bolognese, a dish I learned early on in my Tra Vigne restaurant days with Michael Chiarello. Over the years I made a few adjustments, the Gulf prawns are finely minced, then quickly sautéed with garlic and Layer Cake Chardonnay. Penne pasta and herbed marinara sauce finish the dish, simple yet exploding with flavor. This will be one of the recipes in our soon to be released One True Vine Journal #002.
Of course we can’t forget about dessert, the pastry chef at Yardbird, Daniela Pardo served a Dutch Oven Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler with Vanilla Chantilly. And to pair with the ‘DUKE’ bourbon, a Bacon Butterscotch Layer Cake that was completely over the top.
It was a fantastic experience, new friends, shared stories and a great culinary memory that will last for many days to come. Embrace life, you only live once.