I really had a great time over the 2 days at the 3rd Annual Taste of Tulalip on Nov 11 and 12 at the Tulalip Resort Casino in WA State with “Top Chef” alum, Carla Hall, wine celeb,”Thirsty Girl” Leslie Sbrocco and more. The Friday evening Celebration Dinner featured award winning Sommelier Tommy Thompson’s selection of wines and a spectacular seven course meal from Tulalip’s culinary team, lead by Chef Perry Mascitti. The Celebration Dinner was the kick-off for the Taste of Tulalip on Nov. 11. It was an evening of superb food, wine, and some surprises, like singing waiters, and a donation to a worthy cause. More about these surprises later.
Our Food and Wine Pairings
Smoked Kurobuta Pork Belly, Maple Vanilla Gastrique
Parsnip Puree, Fois Gras, Bacon Jam
Halloumi Cheese Wrapped In Jamon Iberico Prosciutto
Paired with Long Shadow’s “Poets Leap” Riesling, Columbia Valley, WA 2010
Thai Curry Kabocha Squash Bisque
Tempura Vegetables With Five Spiced Cherry Reduction
Paired with Va Piano Vineyards “Bruno’s White II” Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley, WA
Southwest Duck Breast With Hydro Bibb
Baby Heirloom Tomatoes, Gruyere, Pine Nuts, Pecorino Crisp
Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
Paired with Reynvaan Vineyards “The Contender” Syrah, Walla Walla, WA, 2008
Grilled Wild King Salmon Over Savory Apple, Pear And Chevre Tart
Cinnamon And Autumn-Spiced Lamb Chop With Huckleberry Demi
Paired with Sparkman Cellars “L’Autre” Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills, OR, 2009
and Corliss Estates “Cabernet Sauvignon”, Columbia Valley, WA, 2006
Ruby Pink Grapefruit Segments, Sprig Of Thyme
And Blood Orange Reduction Pipette
A Study In Beef
Kobe New York Strip Loin In Chanterelle Cream Sauce
Kobe Prime Rib In Baby Boy Blue Sauce
Kobe Tenderloin In Huckleberry Demi Glace
Smoked Yukon Mash With Sage, Seasonal Ratatouille
Paired with 21 Gram’s “Red Blend”, Columbia Valley, WA, 2007
Warm Chocolate And Peanut Butter Pudding Cake
Peanut Tuile, Frozen Banana Nougat, Butterscotch Sauce
Paired with Charles Krug Lot XIV Zinfandel Port, Napa, CA
I particularly enjoyed the first course of the Pork Belly, parsnip puree and Halloumi cheese wrapped in Jamon Iberico Prosciutto. I previously tasted the Long Shadow’s “Poets Leap” Riesling back in Vancouver. My tasting notes from that time were ” …pale lemon coloured in the glass. Nice nose. Very fragrant with flowers, citrus, orange and honeysuckle. Medium body, round, off-dry. Flowers and citrus flavours with sweet spices showing up mid-palate. Long length…” The smoked Kurobuta Pork Belly melted in your mouth and paired very well with the acidity in this wine. The parsnip puree was a flavour treat. It was delicately spiced with coriander and again worked very nicely with this Riesling.
Another pairing I really liked was the Grilled Wild King Salmon Over Savory Apple, Pear And Chevre Tart Cinnamon and the Autumn-Spiced Lamb Chop With Huckleberry Demi. These two were paired with Sparkman Cellars “L’Autre” Pinot Noir and with the Corliss Estates “Cabernet Sauvignon”. To me the Pinot Noir was the star of this course. The wine had a wonderful violet aroma and flavour, with low tannins and high acidity. The violets with the acidity in the wine to me worked well with both dishes. Salmon and pinot noir is a classic pairing. Red wines with low tannins work well with seafood. The sweet autumn spices, e.g. cinnamon and nutmeg, formed a crust on the lamb chops. These sweet spices meshed nicely with the violets in the pinot noir, and the acidity in the wine helped cut through the fat in lamb chops.
I also have a soft spot for duck breast, and enjoyed the Southwest Duck Breast With Hydro Bibb, Baby Heirloom Tomatoes, Gruyere, Pine Nuts, Pecorino Crisp with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette. I was worried that a Syrah could overpower this dish, but the duck breast with southwest spices plus the pine nuts and pecorino crisp, held their own. Very satisfying.
If you have a sweet tooth, you would have probably really liked the Sweet Ending consisting of Warm Chocolate And Peanut Butter Pudding Cake, Peanut Tuile, Frozen Banana Nougat, and Butterscotch Sauce paired with the Charles Krug Lot XIV Zinfandel Port. The pudding cake was very delicate, the tuile crunchy and the banana nougat refreshing and fruity. The Zinfandel port was full-bodied with ripe berries, toffee, and spicy oak flavours. It’s hard not to like this pairing.
Donation to Make A Wish Foundation
I always like when events like these donate part of their proceeds to supporting a local cause. In this case it was the local chapter of the Make A Wish Foundation. Al Tschider from the Foundation graciously accepted a cheque for $5000. He told us that the $5000 is enough to grant a wish for one child. He is not a professional speaker but endeared himself to the audience telling us about how one young girl was able to get a chance to go to New York City and get a chance to help backstage at not just one (her original request), but two Broadway plays. It so happened that when they were travelling to NYC to help with one play, I believe it was the Lion King, a Broadway producer was sitting next to them, and invited the girl to also attend his play as well. It is nice to hear stories like this of people helping people.
Part way through our meal, what appeared to be a head waiter came on stage to make a small announcement. He had an Italian accent and as after he made the announcement, he offered to sing a bit of an aria from an Italian opera. It was nice. Later in the evening he sang a bit more, and then a French sounding waiter came to the stage to show him how to sing opera with passion, which lead to dueling opera singers wandering through the audience. To add to the mix another waiter, a good ol’ boy from the USA, told them that Europeans cannot sing well, so he launched into operatic singing. So we had a triumvirate singing together. Of course,they knew each other,and they went on stage together to sing for us. We were told at the end that they are part of the world-wide company called the “Singing Waiters“. If you ever get to hear them, take the chance. You will have lots of fun.
This is only the 3rd time for the Taste of Tulalip, and it was done so professionally and with so much great food and wine, I’m not sure how they will top it for the 4th celebration next year. Enjoy!