Social Scene: Foodie funtastic and wino wonderful weekend at Northstar
TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. andamp;#8212; Mushroom ice cream? You betcha! That was my favorite taste of Sunday’s Autumn Food and Wine Culinary Competition and Grand Tasting at Northstar. That ice cream, prepared by Northstar-at-Tahoe, tasted more like pralines than mushrooms, due to its fragrance (like maple syrup) and species (Candy Cap), and it was heavenly! And speaking of heaven, the skies may have been cloudy, but one thing was clear: the Village at Northstar was the place to be for all epicureans and oenophiles in town last weekend. The three-day food and wine extravaganza featured chef battles, outdoor grilling and cooking demonstrations, a celebrity chef luncheon, a grape stomp, a wine walk, art exhibits, winemaker dinners, and the grand daddy of all local food and wine events andamp;#8212; the Culinary Competition and Grand Tasting on Sunday.It was the 26th year for the annual event, and the weather definitely felt fall like Sunday, Sept. 11. Dark, foreboding clouds threatened to unleash a downpour onto the afternoon outdoor event, but held off until the last food sample and drop of wine was savored. The Village was transformed into a gourmet Mecca with more than 30 food and wine pairing stations, a gourmet marketplace, a silent auction and a andamp;#8220;Vineyard Rowandamp;#8221; offering wine tastings. Lots of patio umbrellas and outdoor furniture conversation groupings dotted the area for guests to relax and socialize while grazing and sipping. andamp;#8220;We worked closely with Northstar over the last four years to ensure the comfort of our guests and kept tweaking the venue layout to make sure everyone was comfortable,andamp;#8221; said Judy Laverty, North Lake Tahoe Resort Association special events program manager.Food from about 30 of the finest restaurants, caterers and chefs from the Lake Tahoe region and beyond were paired with premium world-class wineries for guests to sample as they swirled around the stations like fine wine was swirled in a many a glass that day. Participating restaurants and caterers included Wild Goose, Mamasake, Granlibakken Resort, Pianeta, Northstar-at-Tahoe, West Shore Caf, Village Pizzeria, Sunnyside Resort, River Ranch, PlumpJack Caf, Moody’s Bistro, The Chocolate Bar, Mikuni’s, Longboard’s Bar and Grill, Black Bear Inn, Wolfdale’s, Bootleggers, Hard Rock Caf, Hawk’s Restaurant, Manzanita at the Ritz-Carlton, Sacred Artichoke Catering, Six Peaks Grill, and Farm to Belly Personal Chefs. Everyone agreed the quality of both the food and wines was unsurpassed. Also offered to taste this year: the latest Belgian style brews from Stella Artois, Leffe, Hoegaarden, Shock Top and Land Shark Island Style Ale.Some locals spotted sipping and savoring around the Northstar Village were Janet Pahl and Warren Kucmund, Jennifer Merchant, Shelly Fallon, Nancy and Max Gisko, Terry Upshaw, Debbie Casey, Patricia and Alex Mourelatos, Bill and Louise Jensen, Heidi Doyle, Ron Parson, Bill Yundt, Les Pedersen, Allen and Samantha Highfield, Phil Gilanfarr, Ann and Bill Lindemann, Wendy Hummer, Kristin Plemel, Barb Cohen, Paul Schultz, Kali Kopley and Jennifer Montgomery.andamp;#8212; Vicki Kahn may be e-mailed at email@example.com
Best Food andamp; Wine Pairings:Gold: Six Peaks Grille, Smoked Duck Breast with Camembert Crostini and Caramelized Fig, 2008 Villa Maria Pinot NoirSilver: Hawks Restaurant, House Cured Salame, Scott Harvey Napa Valley Sparkling Pinot Noir BlancBronze: Chocolate Bar, Veal Cheeks, Carrots and Sweet Peas, 2008 Santa Barbara Collection Pinot NoirBest Pairing Food and Beverages:Gold: Hard Rock Caf, Vietnamese Bahn Mi Sandwich, Charbay Artisan Distillery, Green Tea LemonadeBest White Wine:Gold: Scott Harvey Napa Valley Sparkling Pinot Noir BlancSilver: 2009 ZD California ChardonnayBronze: Dr. Loosen German Sparkling RieslingBest Red Wine:Gold: 2008 Santa Barbara Collection Pinot NoirSilver: 2008 Pride Sonoma Cabernet SauvignonBronze: 2008 Renwood Old Vine ZinfandelBest Food:Gold: Hawks Restaurant, House Cured SalameSilver: River Ranch Lodge, Wild Game Meatloaf with Mushroom JusBronze: Wild Goose, Braised Pork Belly with Chipotle Guava GlazeBlazing Pans Champion: Longboards Bar andamp; Grill beat out Evergreen Restaurant2011 Lake Tahoe Autumn Food andamp; Wine Festival Peopleandamp;#8217;s Choice AwardsBest Food andamp; Wine Pairings:PlumpJack Caf at Squaw Valley Inn, Plum andamp; Cinnamon Braised Beef Short Rib with Mac andamp;#8217;n CheeseOrin Swift Cellars, 2008 Papillon Red BlendBest Food:PlumpJack Caf at Squaw Valley Inn, Plum andamp; Cinnamon Braised Beef Short Rib with Mac andamp;#8217;n CheeseBest Red Wine:Orin Swift Cellars, 2008 Papillon Red BlendBest White Wine:Frank Family Vineyards, 2009 ChardonnayBest Other:Charbay Artisan Distillery, Green Tea LemonadeBest Table Presentation:Northstar-at-Tahoe and Stags Leap Clos du Val Winery
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