Chef Luciano Pellegrini Grills Up Quail for Celebrity Luncheon

Tangy sauce complements game bird entrée at Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert

Chef Luciano Pellegrini prepared grilled quail with a Tuscan barbeque sauce at the celebrity chef luncheon March 22 to open Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert.

Lani Garfield

Chef Luciano Pellegrini put on a Las Vegas style show in serving up a grilled quail entrée to nearly 300 guests on March 22 at the celebrity chef luncheon to kick off the fourth annual Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert.

Pellegrini, a James Beard award winner and executive chef at The Venetian Hotel’s Piero Selvaggio Valentino restaurant in Las Vegas, paired the wild game bird with a Tuscan barbeque sauce snuggled in a nest of arugula.

“The quail is semi-boneless,” Pellegrini described. “The chest bones have been taken out.”

The reddish-pink sauce, which included raspberries and usually marinates for a day before use, covered the quail as it was grilled, reapplied and returned to the grill again.

Pellegrini added yellow wedges of pan-roasted squash to the dish.

The accompanying red wine was Tenuta Di Salviano Turlo Lago di Corbara IGT 2009, out of Umbria, Italy, from Kobrand Wines and Spirits. Mike Biagi, regional manager for Kobrand, said there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to pairing wines to poultry or red meat.

“You need to look at the body of the wine,” Biagi said. “You need a medium body for this wine.”

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