This is my second year at the Taste of Tulalip. Last year I was getting my feet wet, trying to learn the ropes. Here is the link to my Celebration Dinner notes last year. This year, I came prepared with a plan, and how to pace myself. The Taste of Tulalip starts off with the Friday evening Celebration Dinner, where not only are food and wine celebrated, but also support for a new charity in Washington state is announced.
”Thirsty Girl” Leslie Sbrocco was our celebrity host, and our celebrity chef for the 2 days was Chef Marcus Samuelsson, whom you should recognize as a judge from the Chopped show on the Food Network. The Friday evening Celebration Dinner featured award winning Sommelier Tommy Thompson’s selection of wines from around the world and a spectacular seven course meal from Tulalip’s culinary team, lead by Chef Perry Mascitti. Chef Mascitti tasked his culinary team to evoke memories from food aromas for us. We started the evening with 3 vials containing different herbs and spices which we were to smell and talk about at our tables. Yes these aromas did bring us back to times when we enjoyed a particular meal, whether it was a freshly baked pizza, or a hearty winter stew.
Our Food and Wine Pairings
HOLIDAY LOBSTER WEDDING
LOBSTER TERRINE, CHANTERELLE MUSHROOMS PEPPADEW PEPPERS, VANILLA SHALLOT FOAM, AND MICRO GREENS, PUMPKIN LOBSTER BAKE, PEAR CHESTNUT RELISH
Italy, Vignalta Pinot Bianco ‘Agno Casto’
ASIAN SOUP DUET
LIME, GALANGAL, DAIKON, COCONUT, TARRAGON, THAI BASIL, DUNGENESS CRAB, MISO, AND GYOZA RAVIOLI STUFFED WITH MAITAKE, PORCINI AND SHITAKE MEDLEY, SESAME TWILL,
France, Famille Perrin Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape ‘Vielles Vin’ Blanc
MICRO GREEN SALAD WITH DUO OF DUCK
SMOKED DUCK SAUSAGE- STUFFED HONEY CRISP APPLE TOPPED WITH QUAIL EGG
PANCETTA-WRAPPED DUCK SAUSAGE ARUGULA AND MICRO BEET GREENS WITH LAVENDER-BALSAMIC MIST
Oregon, Penner-Ash Pinot Noir ‘Pas de Nom’, Willamette Valley
SALMON TWO WAYS
ORANGE-TARRAGON CURED SOCKEYE WITH LEMON OIL & “NAKED” KING SALMON WITH BELLAVITANO GOLD PESTO
Washington State, Woodinville Wine Cellars Cabernet Franc
HOT AND COLD ITEM, FIRE AND ICE IF YOU WILL, ON ONE PLATE
GRILLED FRESH PINEAPPLE WITH TOUCH OF CHILI POWDER, CAYENNE PEPPER AND SUGAR
NEXT TO A GREEN APPLE MINT SWIRL SORBET
SNAKE RIVER FARMS WAGU FILET MIGNON PAIR
CAVE BLEU HUCKLEBERRY DEMI, GREMOLATA GELE’E, CHIVE-RED PEPPERCORN AROMA DROP
California, ZD Wines, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
“THE S’MORE – FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE, HONEY-VANILLA MARSHMALLOW, LIQUID CHOCOLATE AND GRAHAM CRACKER STICKS”
PARTING GIFT WILL BE – “MILK CHOCOLATE COVERED HOLMQUIST HAZELNUTS”
Washington State, Eroica Riesling Ice Wine ‘Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Ernst Loosen’, Columbia Valley
My Favourite Dishes and Pairings
The Holiday Lobster Wedding was a fun dish for me, in particular because of the Pumpkin Lobster Bake. We were each served a plate that contained a “baby” pumpkin, that had the top opened and the seeds removed. The pumpkin was baked, then a tasty piece lobster in broth was served. The lobster with the pumpkin worked well together. Also plated was a lobster terrine with chantrelle mushrooms and peppadew peppers, vanilla shallot foam and micro greens. The terrine was light, fluffy and creamy with sweet crunchiness from a pear chestnut relish. The paired wine was the Vignalta Pinot Bianco ‘Agno Casto’, from Italy, a Pinot Blanc for those that do not speak Italian. The wine had a light stone fruit aroma, dry, light body with citrus and melon flavours. It was a complementary pairing to the Holiday Lobster Wedding.
Another dish I really enjoyed, which was also very rich was the Asian Soup Duet. We were served the soup as two separate components; a Thai spiced clear broth with dungeness crab, and a cup of coconut milk. We tried each separately, then poured the coconut milk into the clear broth, and tasted the combined soup. I enjoyed the sweet creaminess that the coconut milk added to the spice from the clear broth as well as tempering the heat. Our wine pairing was the Famille Perrin Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape ‘Vielles Vin’ Blanc a white Rhone wine made from the Roussanne grape. I do enjoy white Rhone wines, which can be made from one or more of the Roussanne, Marsanne, or Viognier grapes. Always full flavoured; never austere, celebrating the joy of the Rhone Valley. This wine had a very nice nose, with sweet spices, cinnamon and oak. Medium body, round and spicy, with baked apple and citrus flavours. I think this flavourful wine matched the full flavour from the food and was a nice complementary pairing.
A third pairing that was memorable for me was the Micro Green Salad with Duo of Duck. In particular I really liked the pancetta wrapped duck sausage. It was very rich and had some smokiness to it. It paired nicely with the Penner-Ash Pinot Noir “Pas de Nom” from the Willamette Valley, Oregon. This Pinot Noir had violets, plums and smokiness on the nose. Dry with medium acidity, with violets and very juicy plum flavours, and some spiciness too. The duck with pancetta seemed to mesh so nicely with the wine. I think the acidity embraced the fattiness of the duck and the pancetta, and the smokiness from both the wine and food complemented each other. That left the violets and plum flavours to entertain your tastebuds. The Penner-Ash is beautiful wine on it’s own.
My final choice for flavourful pairing was the simple dessert of Liquid Chocolate in a cup. I do not have the details on how this dish was prepared, but the chocolate was mixed with milk/cream and lemon an dherbs were added. It was a wonderful pairing with the Eroica Riesling ice wine. This wine is a joint venture production between Chateau Ste. Michelle from Washington and Dr. Ernst Loosen from Germany. The Eroica Riesling had a nice fruity nose, that had a sweet apricot and dried fruit aromas. Medium body, medium sweetness, with honey, apricots, and cherry flavours. The sweetness of the wine matched with the creaminess and herbs/spices of the wine. I could have had a second or third helping.
As I mentioned, each year the Tulalip Resort Casino donates part of their proceeds to supporting a local cause. This year they were supporting Food Lifeline. Food Lifeline supports families in Western Washington through providing food to food banks and other agencies. Last year, Food Lifeline distributed more than 35 million pounds of food. 35% of the people Food Lifeline serves are children. 14% of the people Food Lifeline serves are seniors. Hopefully we all can get the food we need to survive, as well as support our families. Here is the weblink to Food Lifeline. You may want to contribute for the upcoming holiday season.
Next year is the 5th anniversary for the Taste of Tulalip. I hear that they are already thinking of how to mark this milestone with something above and beyond we have experienced the last 4 years. I have faith that they will do it, and I’m looking forward to celebrating with the Taste of Tulalip again.