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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

2016 ACF Caxambas Chapter Chef's Wine Dinner

The American Culinary Federation (ACF) is a national organization of almost 20,000 members and 150 chapters nationwide. They are made up of chefs, food industry professionals and perhaps a food writer or blogger or two.

For the most part, here is what ACF is all about. I cannot say this any better so I am quoting from ACF's "About" page.

"We offer culinary competitions, certification, a national apprenticeship program, regional and national events, publications and much more to help foster the growth of professional chefs and the food service industry. If you are not part of our organization, we invite you to join us and gain access to the best culinary resources available".

The local ACF Chapter is The Caxambas Chapter of Naples/Marco Island and their moniker on social media is ACF Naples Chefs (ACFNC).

Once a year, ACFNC has a signature wine dinner. This year it was held at The Club at Mediterra.

I got there a bit early to find Executive Chef Tyler Field helping prepare the servers for the meal that night

and some of the kitchen staff finishing the passed starters for the dinner.

While guests gathered before the first course was served,

they were treated to champagne

and appetizers such as 5 Spice Powder braised pulled pork tacos with radish and cilantro

and shrimp and corn fritters with a spicy "Cajun" remoulade sauce.

As the kitchen staff were putting the evening's meal together for attendees,

guests sat down

in anticipation of a 5 course food and wine pairing.

I am far from fluent in wines so I will focus on the food which was wonderful. One of the great things about the ACFNC events is that it's chefs cooking for chefs. Generally, the meals that are served there cannot be had anywhere for any price.

The first course was a knockout.

Using a cauliflower Royale or custard as a base, this dish was served with greens, smoked Marcona Almonds, orange Supremes radish, pickled mustard seeds, lump crab and pork belly. Delicious.

A Hudson Valley Foie Gras Mousse on a pastry Base was the second offering

and garnished with candied hazelnuts, apricot jam, a peach Fluid Gel and a Verjus vinaigrette. Very nice. After researching these ingredients, I think most people (as I did) don't realize how much work goes into a dish like this.

Cornish Game Hen was next.

Trumpet mushroom, asparagus, parsnip puree, fig Compote and Jus completed this course. Another great dish.

After a palate-cleansing Yuzu mimosa,

A duo of beef and pork tenderloin

was served with a saffron/carrot puree, root vegetables, haricot verts, tomato jam and jus. This was another outrageously delicious dish.

To top all of this off, the dessert course was a Chevre cheesecake with a pistachio crust, cherry glaze and served with a tarragon custard.

The food served that evening was completely over the top and some of the best cooking I have had the pleasure to eat recently. "Hats off" to Chef Tyler Field and his crew at The Club at Mediterra. It does not get much better than this.

It's a wrap for another post on Forks.

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