I had been tossing around the idea of a monthly Visiting Chef’s Series Dinner for quite a few months. Finding the time to plan/create just didn’t seem to be in the schedule and the final push came from a friend of mine who simply said, let’s throw a dinner party, we’ll do it together and it will be fabulous.
Past entertaining has been limited to Friday or Saturday evenings. Cocktail season was in full swing and deciding this event should not have any limits, I chose a Tuesday evening, sent out the invitations and began working on the decor / theme. I sent out more invitations than I knew would be accepted, it was after all last minute, and smack dab in the holiday party season. While some did in fact decline due to scheduling conflicts, a few of my favorite friends and colleagues accepted and the dinner was on.
The menu was beyond exquisite; Roasted Tomato Soup, New Bedford Scallops, White Prawns, Duck Breast, Filet Mignon, Risotto, Chocolate Lava Cake and Chocolate Caramel Torte.
This was a rare treat indeed. We watched our Celebrated Northwest Chef prepare each course and tasted each dish immediately after preparation, in anticipation of watching him prepare the next delectable bite. We ate for hours.
The wines were also exquisite. Marywill Winery sent their best as a gift for our soiree and to compliment our menu. We sipped, savored, tasted, paired and enjoyed an enchanting evening.
2011 Maryhill Columbia Valley Winemaker’s Red
Aromas of vanilla, cherry cordial and cola. Medium bodied with a sweet core of raspberry jam and toasty oak followed by a medium finish. A classic Washington State red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc with plenty to offer for those who enjoy a wine that is fruit-forward and easy drinking. ~Christine Havens
2011 Maryhill Columbia Valley Winemaker’s White
On the nose, Bartlett pear and lemon tart. The impression translates on the palate in this medium-bodied Washington State white blend. Nice round mouth feel and a medium finish, the Maryhill Columbia Valley Winemaker’s White represents a pleasantly composed effort for it’s modest price point. A versatile wine, this will be a great choice for entertaining. I’m drinking it this evening with a simple Sunday supper of roasted chicken and haricot verts. ~Christine Havens
“Great wines are our inspiration. For us, winemaking isn’t about lifted noses or highbrow personalities. It’s about sourcing the best grapes and treating them with passion, patience and balance.” ~ Maryhill Winery
Located in the Columbia Gorge wine region on a bluff overlooking the Columbia River and majestic Mt. Hood, the winery is a breathtaking place to visit and is situated just 100 miles east of Portland, Ore., and boast a 3,000 square-foot Tasting Room and gift shop, a 1,200 square-foot Reserve Room with a private courtyard, a popular vine-covered outdoor terrace and a 4,000 seat amphitheater that hosts a spectacular summer concert series, all of which are family – and dog – friendly.
Maryhill has produce nearly 40 award-winning varietals and blends and have been recognized as “Washington Winery of the Year” and “Best Gorge Attraction” for their superb wines and stay-for-a-day activities. Read more here…
The first of our monthly Visiting Chef Series Dinners was an exquisite treat. We are already planning our January feast and will keep you updated on the menu and wines.