Five Wines Course Through Benefit Dinner

Two whites, three reds punctuate a multicourse feast to benefit James Beard Foundation

The miso-glazed Skuna Bay salmon with roasted fairy tale pumpkin, double roasted Asian broth, and micro Thai basil was served with the 2010 Walt “Gap’s Crown” Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.

Steven Biller


Kathryn Walt Hall, of the family-operated Hall Wines, featured five wines, including a crowd favorite pinot noir, Nov. 20 at the Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner at Spencer’s Restaurant in Palm Springs.

The evening — which raised scholarship money for aspiring chefs and featured Chef Eric Wadlund — began with five Hadley Farms California date-based amuse-bouches paired with the 2012 Hall Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc:

  • hamachi, caviar, and date sesame cones
  • air-dried chicken, date, and duck prosciutto
  • heirloom tomato, date, and black truffle
  • Local spiny lobster and date tartlets
  • and Heluka pork and date Rillettes

Before the entrée, guests enjoyed a creamy local white corn bisque with Madagascar vanilla Maine lobster, steamed milk served as a cappuccino-style foam, and micro lemon basil. The wine pairing was the 2011 Walt “La Brisa” Sonoma County Chardonnay.

The entrée came in two courses. First was the miso-glazed Skuna Bay salmon with roasted fairy tale pumpkin, double roasted Asian broth, and micro Thai basil served with our favorite wine of the evening, the 2010 Walt “Gap’s Crown” Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.

Melissa Carasquillo of Skuna Bay Salmon talked about the sustainable and environmentally ethical practices of the farmers of the craft-raised fish.

Second was the dry aged Meyer Ranch natural strip steak with cocoa-dusted and grilled porcini mushroom, a medley of Bautista Farms vegetables, micro mustard greens, and red wine-infused wild mushrooms.

Susan Kelley of Bautista Farms spoke briefly about its product and the farm’s sustainability practices. Two wines were served with this course: the 2010 Hall “Kathryn Hall” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2005 Hall “Exzellenz” Sacrashe Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

Those who could squeeze in dessert were rewarded with decadence: extra-moist pumpkin spice black walnut cake, dark cherry ice cream, and local dried fruit chocolate bark with chocolate cranberry sauce.

For more information:

James Beard Foundation

Hall Wines

Skuna Bay Salmon

Meyer Ranch

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