From There to Here (Part Deux)
…After all my houseguests departed, I had a bit of “empty nest syndrome”. Luckily, I had enough work to keep me busy. Aside from the charity events Alejandra and I had been doing, we also had numerous high profile events throughout the month. With that said, our chance to plan a private and intimate French-Fusion menu was by far the the best use of !!! If you know me, you’ll know my adoration is deeply rooted in this tasty cuisine. French food: I like to eat it, I like to cook it. Simple as that. Check it out (these pictures were kindly donated to us from the evening (courtesy of our clients):
~amuse of fennel, mint, and pea soup with lime caviar~
~market beet salad, goat cheese crouton & fig, orange & chive vinaigrette ~
~amuse of salmon mouse, lemon crème fraiche, dill, & caviar~
~scallops & littlenecks in white wine broth, red pepper oil, & garlic crouton~
~black cod, chanterelles over potato gratin with braised leeks & lemon oil~
~spiced filet mignon, cabernet sauce, brussel leaves with celery root & turnip puree~
~nectarine tart with thyme & brown sugar pastry, duo of caramels, & spiced vanilla ice cream (a tad melty after posing for a picture opp)~
After a crazy September it was off to Napa at the beginning of this month (October 2011).
We were graciously welcomed to Judd’s Hill Winery to learn the process of crush. “Crush” is the time of year when wineries begin to pick the grapes off the vines and start the process of turning those grapes into wine. Truth be told, if people knew what it took to make wine, (from vine to bottle) they’d never waste a drop. Seriously, producing a great wine is an art…and I’m thankful we got to see the master artists at work. Prior to this I thought I knew about the wine-making process…I was so wrong!
While the time spent at Judd’s made me more appreciative and knowledgeable about the process of wine-making, I think I was more in awe of Judd himself. His zest for what he does is feverishly contagious. He and his family live wine. Somehow I swear this love of his makes his wine that much better. Nowadays I can’t help but think, “I know how you feel…” every time I see someone else doing what it is they love. It simply reinforces all the decisions I’ve made this past year and let’s me know I’m on the right track.
Sometimes pictures are better than words, therefor in honor of the visit, I put together a picture montage…
(View from Auberge du Soleil, breathtaking)
~the lovely Judd himself, truly a person that loves making wine (on top of it he makes a mean brisket)~
~view looking out from the winery~
~did you know grapes are self-pollinating grape? how fascinating is that…~
~a visit to Quintessa vineyard and winery~
~lots of delicious wine~
~no words needed~
~the best part of every morning while in Napa, the winery mascot: Nutmeg~
Let’s be honest, Napa was work, but it wasn’t void of play. We had an opportunity to network while enjoying the most insanely-good- farm-to-table meals. Although perfection sums up the description of everyone of our meals, we were also able to enjoy private tours, the Napa wine train, and a picnic at V Sattui.
Best news of all…we get to head back to Napa in December. Happy Holidays to me!