Event at Ritz-Carlton benefits Project MANA | SierraSun.com

Event at Ritz-Carlton benefits Project MANA

Story and photos by Amy EdgettSierra Sun
Grass fed beef gave backbone to the braised short rib with red wine foam.

NORTHSTAR, Calif. andamp;#8212; Ritz-Carlton Executive Chef Ruben Garcia described the flavor of Edible Reno-Tahoe’s, Lake Tahoe Autumn Food andamp; Wine Festival event: andamp;#8220;Cayenne pepper. It’s a hot event, with hip people, the food’s poppin’ for a good cause.’Edible Reno-Tahoe Publisher Amanda Burden was honored when Steven Holt, director of public relations at the Ritz-Carlton Highlands Lake Tahoe, partnered with her magazine’s fall issue launch to benefit Project MANA, the local hunger relief agency. andamp;#8220;We want to be a synergistic link to the food community,andamp;#8221; said Burden. Edible covers 12 counties in the area, including Northern Nevada, the Lake Tahoe area and Plumas County.Burden harvested the creme de la creme in organic, sustainable and natural farmers, vintners and ranchers.The foodBurden and Garcia worked closely on the menu, using grass-fed beef from Susanville’s Hulsman Ranch, in operation since the late 1800s. The resulting braised short rib, topped with a red wine froth, kept bubbly all evening with a Petco aquarium pump and lecithin gum, epitomized andamp;#8220;tender morsel.andamp;#8221;Garcia found mushrooms, supplied by Nevada’s Own, to be the biggest challenge, nonetheless creating a vibrant mushroom cappuccino. The mushrooms were sauteed with olive oil, shallots, garlic and thyme, reduced with stock and mescot wine, then blended with heavy cream. The earthy delight was topped with a nutmeg-cinnamon foam. Divine.The partyGuests mingled in the hotel’s Pine Terrace Room, overlooking the Sierra Nevada, swathed in DJ Patrick’s down-tempo music and pink sunset hues as the gondola whirred seamlessly, bringing attendees from the Village at Northstar to theFor photo gallery visit sierrasun.com/edible mid-mountain resort.The peopleCathy Piechowski, general manager of the Carson City Courtyard Marriott offered perspective: andamp;#8220;In this economy, with Nevada at the highest unemployment rate in the country, anything we can do to help those who do not have enough food is important.andamp;#8221; Barbara Cox, who works with both Project MANA and Tahoe Women’s services agreed: andamp;#8220;At $40, this is nothing compared to how the event will directly benefit the community.andamp;#8221; Project MANA, operating locally in Incline Village and the Tahoe-Truckee area, will receive $1,750 from the event.andamp;#8220;The biggest thing for me is to support local farmers and vendors in our culinary community,andamp;#8221; said Garcia.Gary Romano of Sierra Valley Farms, a Slow Food advocate and local farmer, provided multi-colored carrots, which Garcia transformed into a andamp;#8220;shooting soup,andamp;#8221; an autumn orange-colored delight. The carrots were pureed with stock, topped with a foam of pickled ginger. andamp;#8220;It wakes you up, it’s intense and lets you know you’re having ginger and carrot.andamp;#8221; The first sip sent an thrill of shivers, tickling the glands. The next sip, smooth: Sunshine turned to nectar.Garcia said the event was a great way to partner with Project MANA to feed the hungry in or community, in the tradition of the Ritz-Carlton’s philanthropic Community Footprints program. He was also delighted to bring in local products and merge them with high tech culinary methods.The Ritz-Carlton conjured up refreshing drinks, glass carafes of pink, yellow and green pastels. Edible flowers encased in citrus Jell-O adorned the bottom of each glass.Ten vintners poured libations throughout, selected for organic, biodynamic growing methods and naturally, flavor. For photo gallery visit http://www.sierrasun.com/edible. Visit http://www.projectmana.org and http://www.RitzCarlton.com/LakeTahoe.

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