Monday, October 31, 2011

Upcoming Event: 2011 Taste of Tulalip - Tulalip Resort

While I can happily say that there are MANY great wine events held throughout the year, the Taste of Tulalip is by far my favorite. The 2010 event (read my write-up on it here) was amazing, featuring top of the line wines from Washington and California and delicious bites from the many talented chefs of the Tulalip Resort. I've been checking off the days on my calendar in anticipation of this year's festivities and from the preview event I attended, this year will be even better than before (I don't even know how that's possible, last year was incredible).

At the start of the preview event, we were greeted by the resort's brilliant sommelier Tommy Thompson, who poured us glasses of 2002 Louis Roederer 'Cristal' champagne. Once again, we were being treated like royalty, and I couldn't wait to see what the evening had in store for us. Each of the resort chefs were introduced to the group by Executive Chef Perry Mascitti. The chefs then proceeded to roll out carts to each table and prepare our tastes tableside! This was a fun way to learn about the course they were presenting, and it was fun to be able to ask questions of the chefs.

(bring on the bubbles! 2002 Cristal)

Our table's first course, prepared by Chef Gerry Shultz, was handmade chantrelle mushroom tortellini that was made with local blue cheese, hazelnut, olives and roasted fennel and served with winter squash mascarpone sage sauce. I loved the presentation in tiny martini glasses, and enjoyed how they served dishes in these glasses at the Taste of Tulalip last year.

(chantrelle mushroom tortellini)

Next, Chef John Ponticelli served up a dungeness crab artichoke crostini, which also was served with a wasabi aioli. The presentation by the chefs of the resort never ceases to amaze me, even when they are plating things table side!

(dungeness crab artichoke crostini)

Our third dish was a wagyu New York strip, prepared by Chef Brent Clarkson. This came with some striped fresh beets, baby chives, sherry vinaigrette and almond butter and bleu cheese. The cut of meat was so tender, I most definitely could have eaten a much larger piece of it!

(Wagyu beef! It's what's for dinner)

We were then served some sushi, also prepared by Chef John Ponticelli. This included fresh water eel, crab, and ahi hand roll, and Temari sushi with eel, rice seaweed, kaiware, and teri sauce foam.

They saved the best part for last, however, when the resort's own "Willy Wonka", Nikol Nakamura, mixed up some nitrogen pistachio ice cream! When the chef has to wear safety goggles while mixing your dessert, you know it's going to be good. This was a great touch to end the meal and was definitely fun to watch!

(mixing up our nitrogen ice cream)

(ta-da! Pistachio ice cream made with nitrogen)

And now for the wines of the event. Remember my post last year talking about the amazing wines I was able to try? This year will be no different when it comes to the best of the best wineries in attendance. While nothing was really paired for the bites we were provided, we did receive some excellent wines to enjoy along with our food. First up was the incredible 2008 Domaine Leflaive Batard Montrachet from Burgundy. This was amazing. Rich, elegant, delicious, and such a treat to be able to enjoy it this evening.

Our next wine, also quite amazing, was the 2006 Leonetti Cellars 'Reserve' from Walla Walla. This blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petit Verdot, 11% Malbec, and 2% Merlot was created using grapes from each of their estate Vineyards. It was plush and fruity and accompanied my steak dish well.

Lastly, but certainly not least, we enjoyed the ZD Wines 'Abacus' XII Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley in California. If you remember my post from last year (or have referred back to it since reading this one), the 'Abacus' is made up of wine from each of the vintages prior. So basically, the Abacus XII contains 12 vintages of wine in it! I love this concept and I can't wait to try the next.

Each of the bites and wines we enjoyed at the preview will be available at either the Celebration Dinner on November 11th, 2011 or the Grand Taste on November 12th. Unfortunately, I hear the Celebration Dinner has long since sold out (it's a popular dinner!), but there are definitely still tickets for the main event on Saturday. There are two options for Saturday:

Taste of Tulalip Grand Taste Pass

  • 2:30 PM - 6:30 PM
  • 65 Washington wineries
  • 20+ Napa Valley wineries “Highway 29”
  • “Italian Palazzo” in Oasis Pool featuring 20+ Italian wineries
  • Multiple food stations by Tulalip Resort’s award winning chefs
  • Taste of Tulalip retail wine shop
  • 3:30 PM Rock-n-Roll Cooking Challenge judged by “Thirsty Girl”, Leslie Sbrocco and Carla Hall!

Taste of Tulalip All Access Saturday Pass

  • 12:00 PM - VIP Seminar featuring Carla Hall. Carla Hall will “wow” you with her talents as she performs a cooking demonstration, table talk and a question and answer session with Executive Chef Perry Mascitti and Sommelier Tommy Thompson.
  • Private Magnum party in mpulse lounge hosted by “Liquid Kitchen”, star Kathy Casey! In here you’ll be treated to some of the most elite wines from around the world hand selected by Sommelier Tommy Thompson and sample some of Kathy Casey’s tasty appetizers!
  • Early entrance into the Grand Taste at 1:30 PM
  • 65 Washington wineries
  • Multiple food stations by Tulalip Resort’s award winning chefs
  • Taste of Tulalip retail wine shop
  • 3:30 PM Rock-n-Roll Cooking Challenge
While one is a little heavier on the pocket book than the other, both are sure to please. The ticket prices for this event are WELL worth the cost, as the wines and food you get at the Taste of Tulalip go above and beyond any other food & wine event out there. I can't stress enough the need to get your tickets ASAP. There's a strong possibility that this event will sell out, so don't miss out on the fun at the 2011 Taste of Tulalip!

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