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Friday, September 18, 2015

ACF Naples Chefs Wine Dinner 2015

The American Culinary Federation (ACF) is a professional organization for chefs, cooks, food industry professionals, food enthusiasts and maybe a food blogger or two. Nationally, ACF has over 200 chapters and almost 20,000 members. ACF offers educational, training, certification and scholarship resources to enhance the professional growth of it's members. It also represents the USA in major culinary competitions and is a force in promoting proper childhood nutrition.

The Naples and Marco Island, FL chapter of ACF, ACF Naples Chefs, holds a number of monthly meetings during the year. Once a year, they host a dinner that is a pairing of food and wine, and is a tribute to member chefs and industry vendors. This year, there was a change of venue, and as always, I knew this dinner would be something special.

The dinner that evening was held at Bay Colony Golf Club.

They have a gorgeous clubhouse

with a very nice dining area set beautifully for the evening's dinner.

As the wines were being put together for the evening

the kitchen staff were hard at work for the final preparation of the evening's meal.

 Here was the menu for the evening.

As the attendees started to mingle during the social hour before dinner

they were treated to a welcome cocktail of lemongrass lemonade with herbs

and appetizers of Raclette cheese with Cornichons, pickled Pearl Onions and baguette,

in addition to oysters served with a champagne Migonette (a classic shallot/vinegar) sauce, cocktail sauce, lemon and Tobasco.

I loved the ice sculpture. It was beautiful and exemplary of the talent present in this ACF chapter.

Before dinner I took a look outside and realized one would need to have a really good job to live here!

As social hour ended and diners started making their way to dinner

the chapter president, Chas Tatigian prepared to give a few announcements.

Some really great multigrain bread was brought to the table and served with Schmalz.

This was pure Triple Bypass dining and was excellent. Fat from pork belly was mixed with cooked bacon, onions and apples for the "crunch". Absolutely delicious.  .

The Amuse-Bouche served that day was pickled daikon radish as a base for German rye bread cooked in butter, spread with Thimble berry Jam and wrapped around a piece of cured pork shoulder that was prepared in house. Loved the presentation.

This was a seven course meal and was fantastic. The first course was a fish course.

This was tea smoked salmon with salmon skin crackle.

From bottom to top, sweet pepper sauce, Bamboo Rice Risotto, wasabi micro greens, sweet and sour shiitake mushrooms and curry coconut foam. Wow! This was paired with a 2014 Echo Bay Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

The second course was an amazing Consomme made from Parmesan rinds with Profiteroles, truffle and Frico. I apologize as I have destroyed the presentation (frico on top of cup) but wanted to give readers a sense of the dish.

This course was paired with a 2014 Anterra Pinot Grigio from Italy

The third course was a salad.

This was a white tomato pave which refers to the brick of Tomato Water gelatin with tomatoes, greens, pickled onions and balsamic gel.

The fourth course was duck breast seared in rosemary oil, bread pudding fortified with Foie Gras, Swiss chard and plums cooked in port wine.

The wine pairing for this course was a 2012 Domaine De la Cote Pino Noir from California. We were lucky to be served this as this vintage is now sold out!

The fifth course was a palette cleanser, and was an orange sorbet served with Artichoke Liquor. I really liked the dehydrated orange peel garnish.

The sixth course was a pistachio/pesto crusted rack of lamb, with purple sage polenta, apple mint chutney, ratatouille and pickled yellow mustard seed Merlot sauce.

This was some of the best lamb I have ever tasted and was paired with a 2012 Pepper Ridge "Trine" from Washington State which was a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot.

Dessert was a chocolate fig tart with Gorgonzola Dolce. Excellent!

A 2012 Taylor Quinta De Vargelles port was the final pairing.

This dinner was amazing not only for the flavors offered that evening but for the the craftsmanship that went into the dinner.  At least a month went into the preparation of this meal and it showed.

After the dinner the kitchen staff were given an almost obligatory standing ovation

and were presented with a number of well deserved awards.

At this point I'd like to thank Wilhelm Gahabka and Sergey Kashkin, Executive Chef and Sous Chef, respectively, at Bay Colony and kitchen staff Jose Lopez, Jim Chery, Verner Dietrich and Jon Bailey for providing all of us with their exceptional cooking that evening.

This dinner would not be be possible without the generosity of  Boars Head, Cheney Brothers, Happy Foods, Landert Bread, North Star Seafood, Sunset Spice, Swiss Chalet and Sysco, among others.

I felt very privileged to be able to attend a wonderful and well thought out meal in such a beautiful setting. There are many good things about the ACF Naples Chefs meetings and I very much look forward to attending more.

It's a wrap for another post on Forks.

ACF Caxambas Chapter of Naples and Marco Island
President Chas Tatigian, CEC
PO Box 855
Naples, FL 34106
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