Last week, Michael Laukert, Chef of Hundred Acre Wine Group, journeyed to Aspen to accomplish a two-fold mission. Mission one, expose and deliver the true Hundred Acre – One True Vine food and wine experience to attendees of the Aspen Food and Wine Classic. Mission two, to attend the Classic himself.
Chef Michael’s journey began with a first stop in Boulder Colorado, home to the University of Colorado, a picturesque view of the ‘Flatirons’ mountain range and most importantly a thriving food and wine scene that never ceases to amaze.
The One True Vine Boulder experience focused on Cherry Pie Wines, and on collaboration with Casey Easton, Chef and founder of Food Lab.
Chef Michael and Food Lab served a fabulous four-course dinner paired with three California, single-vineyard Pinot Noir wines from Cherry Pie: Stanly Ranch, Huckleberry Snodgrass and Rodgers Creek. The meal also featured a few special wines as a surprise.
The four –course dinner included the following mouth watering dishes…
Roasted Medjool Dates wrapped in Prosciutto, Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese, Frisee, Toasted Almonds, and Spiced Gastrique
Grateful Bread Bruschetta with Wild Mushrooms, ‘Just-Made’ Ricotta and New Press Olive Oil
Cal Pep Spicy Shrimp with Creamy Organic Polenta
Hudson Ranch Lamb ‘Lollipop’ Chop’s with Mom’s Mint Jelly
The second part of Chef Michael’s journey took him to Aspen, Colorado to partake in the culinary event of the season, Aspen Food and Wine. There really is no comparison to any other events in the country. Aspen Food and Wine brings together the top food and wine talents from around the globe. 60+ Food and Wine experts converge to share their knowledge, passion and love for this business.
The Hundred Acre team took advantage of this opportunity by hosting a Friday and Saturday lunch event, gathering a diverse group of people who are lovers of our wine brand(s). Chef Michael presented a variety of dishes that highlighted the wines.
Hundred Acre – Cabernet Sauvignon
2012 Few and Far Between
2008 Fortification (Port)
Smoked Trout Rillettes
Caraway –Rye Crostini
‘Just-Made’ Mozzarella, Spring Pea Puree, Wild Mushroom
Mustard-Crusted Watson Ranch Lamb ‘Lollipops’
Grateful Bread Bruschetta
Boquerones, Frisee’, Piquillo Peppers, White Beans
Duroc Pork Belly with Thai Black Bean Sauce
Mung Bean, Mint and Cilantro Salad
Upon his return to the Napa Valley, we talked to Chef Michael to hear some first-hand stories from his travels.
What was your favorite dish?
Mustard-Crusted Watson Ranch Lamb ‘Lollipops’, Mint Jelly
The marinate of garlic, chili flake, oregano, Espelette pepper and extra virgin olive oil provide a foundation and accentuate the lamb flavor. The mustard crust pulls it all together and delivers a memorable food / flavor experience.
While you were there, what else did you see?
It is one of my favorite places on the entire planet – Maroon Bells. Located just about 10 miles outside of Aspen, it is the Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak that provide a panoramic view along with a diversity of color that highlights the seasons of the year.
It is a place I like to visit not only for its sheer beauty; in addition it moves my soul. I feel this place grounds me, a personal inner high that I have only experienced here….
Your best memory from the trip?
The GUESTS…. Their smiling faces and festive demeanor captured the moment.
The Hundred Acre team delivered a memorable life experience for everyone that attended.