Drinks for Oceanic Dinners 2011


We’ll be featuring Randall Grahm’s Bonny Doon wines for this year’s Oceanic Dinners because, duh, we really love them! But also because Randall has always been ahead of the pack on the transparency front and in that regard, his commitment to tell-all labels makes a fine compliment to our well-linked menu. Always an amusing teller of tales, we asked Randall if he would write something about the wines we’re pouring. Here’s what he had to say about them:

2010 Vin Gris de Cigare (Blend of Grenache, Grenache Blanc and Roussanne) In our Long March toward full transparency, I began to look closely at everything we were doing that was perhaps less than fully transparent. 

[1] Oddly enough, one of those things was the nomenclature of this wine. I began making “Vin Gris” in 1982, but until three years ago, the wine was in fact not a true “vin gris,” but rather a vin rosé. [2] Very simply, we called it “Vin Gris” from the beginning because in those dark days to call a wine a rosé was to doom (doon?) it to a fatal association with unspeakably sweet and confected industrial plonk. Further, then I had my own set of insecurities about our flagship red wine. I wanted Le Cigare Volant to be more concentrated, or at least I imagined that if it were more concentrated, the critics would give it higher point scores. In recent years, by working more closely with our growers, we’ve been able to achieve sufficient flavor concentration in our red grapes, and no longer (for the most part) have the need nor desire to bleed our red tanks.[3]

But here is the most extraordinary thing: I worried (unnecessarily it turned out) that the pink wine needed to be overtly fruity for people to continue to buy it, that it needed to be a certain rich color for customers to find it attractive. All of this turns out not to be true. When you make a true vin gris by pressing it directly rather than allow it any skin contact, the wine is in fact way more elegant. It is pale in color but retains better acidity and has more articulate definition and complexity. [4] Neither do you find the confected fruitiness that one often gets in rosé. This is a real instance of less being more; what you end up with is a stronger sense of minerality (what I live for) as well as vinosity. We achieve this in part by the inclusion of the white varieties in the blend and by extended time sur lie with bȃtonnage. This is a complex, real wine, perfect with the Provençal palate, viz. shellfish. I’m particularly happy with this particular vintage, very likely the best Vin Gris we have made to date. [5]

2009 Vinho Grinho. (60% Loureiro, 40% Albariño, Ca’ del Solo Vineyard) Forgive the slightly silly name; this is an allusion to the wine’s Iberian antecedents. I planted Albariño in our former vineyard in Soledad, [6] for the reason that we had also grown Riesling in the same spot with very good results, and since Albariño was believed by some to be a long lost relation of Riesling [7] — the vines and clusters themselves certainly look very much alike — I thought perhaps Albariño would fare well there. A number of years ago I had a brief consulting job in Rias Baixas, and was utterly knocked out both by the Albariño I tasted as well as by the region itself. While the climate was totally different — it rained all the time in Galicia, and hardly ever in the Salinas Valley, the granitic soils were not too dissimilar. But what struck me about Rias Baixas was the fact that one could smell the sea air in the vineyards. [8] Now, as you may know, the Salinas Valley is not called “Salinas” for nothing — the giant Salinas River (an underground river) is slightly saline. Since one is compelled to irrigate grapes in most parts of the Salinas Valley — the area is pretty much a dessert — I thought that maybe Albariño, if not halophilic (a longshot for vinifera species), might be slightly salt tolerant. Since I was packing a large suitcase in Rias Baixas, I thought perhaps to bring some Loureiro along for the ride. One never knows about a new variety in a new region, and having some blending options is always a good idea.

So, it turns out that Albariño does well in Soledad where it crops modestly at about 2 1/2 tons/acre. Keeping the yield low, the grape expresses a wonderful citrus character — tangerine and grapefruit, with wonderful acidity. But the genius grape at least in the Ca’ del Solo Vineyard is in fact, Loureiro. It took us a while to figure this out — we were overcropping it for a few years and it struggled to ripen — the cluster weighs almost twice as much as does the Albariño one. But if you get it ripe, the wine will have a fabulous savory aspect, partially herbal (said to recall bay leaf), partially peachy, and maintain a delightfully screeching acidity. Our commercial release of Albariño is 75% of that grape, but in this bottling we reversed the percentages and made Loureiro the dominant one. This wine is absolutely perfect with oysters, especially of the slightly brinier persuasion.


2009 Cinsault (Ca’ del Solo Vineyard, Woock Vineyard) I am likely doomed in this lifetime never to produce the Pinot Noir of my dreams, and as a result I chase after various surrogates — elegant, fruity, delicately oxidative capages. [9] Cinsault is known primarily as a blending grape of the Rhȏne, as well as a table grape; it is almost never made on its own. [10] It’s a large grape, perfectly spherical, not quite as big as a golf ball, but fairly ginormous. Typically, it’s crushed and then bled very significantly, (maybe 2/3 of the juice is drawn off), at which point, another red, typically Syrah, is crushed on top, and the two are co-fermented.

We use Cinsault of course as a component in our flagship wine, Le Cigare Volant, but decided to reserve a portion of it as a special bottling for our wine club, D.E.W.N. (There were a few cases unsold, which we are sharing with our dearest friends.) In this case, we were working with Cinsault from two vineyards — our own in Soledad, a relatively young planting, as well as the extraordinary head-trained, dry-farmed Woock Vineyard in Lodi, which may well be the oldest vineyard in California — believed to be about 140 years old. Yes, we bled them a bit, but left them unblended with other varieties. The Soledad Vineyard is a relatively cool site for Cinsault, but the roots are not as deep. We achieved better acidity from this component and a sense of freshness; the Lodi Cinsault, harvested riper, contributed much more depth of flavor and structure to the wine. (This is the magisterial authority of old vines.) Cinsault has relatively little tannin, relatively little color (the bleeding helps), but has the most extraordinary fragrance — that of kirsch cherries; it is a grace note that works so well in blends. [11] We aged the wine in neutral 500 liter puncheons for six months, topping religiously to protect from oxidation and to preserve its delicacy. It ain’t grand cru Burgundy, but shows that elegance is possible even in Lodi.

“Querry” (Apple/Pear/Quince Cider) Sometime mid-last summer, David Kinch, the owner of Manresa Restaurant in Los Gatos and a friend and neighbor of mine in Santa Cruz, very innocently asked me, “So, Randall, y’know the Eric Bordelet cider that we both love so much? [12, 13] Do you imagine you could make a product that tasted a bit like that, i.e. something low in alcohol, elegant, refreshing and complex with a nice degree of minerality?” [14] “No problem, David,” I replied instantly, mentally calculating as the words came out of my mouth how much fun it would be to try to reverse engineer some of the cooler aspects of the cider. I reasoned, or more accurately, rationalized, to myself that even if it didn’t come out exactly like Bordelet’s, [15] if I expended a crazy amount of attention on the project — something I was for my own internal reasons absolutely prepared to do — I could just will it to come out great. The major problem, as I learned, was that the proper sort of pears for this product just don’t exist in California, indeed anywhere at all in the U.S.[16] Ripe Bartlett pears (especially those that are dry-farmed) taste very “peary” of course — that’s good — but they have essentially no acidity nor tannin. This is bad news, very bad news, for making a lively cider. Further, you can’t really press Bartletts when they’re dead ripe and flavorful; they turn to mush and foul the screens of the press. And under-ripe, they just don’t have any flavor. I called virtually every small to mid-sized cider press in California and no one would touch them with a barge (or Bartlett) pole. [17]

Of course there has to be a way, I thought. I’ll just reformulate the problem and not make pear cider pear se, but something vaguely pearish. I’ll get the acid from the apples and the tannin from, let’s say, quince, which is quite astringent. Apples and quince have a different kind of cellular structure than pears, which allows them to easily be pressed. Maybe if we just press them all together, we can get some clear juice to come out rather than just mush. (This actually worked.) An enormous amount of effort was spent in the next month trying to find oddball high acid cider apples and quince and eventually we found a bit, got our cold storage arrangements organized so that everything could come out at the same time.

The actual production of the cider from the fermentation in tank to the fermentation in the bottle was an unalloyed disaster. Primary fermentation, undertaken with wild yeast, even at low temperature, went way too rapidly and stank up the entire winery. [18, 19] I made a grievous procedural error in believing that the secondary fermentation in the bottle would arrest itself upon attaining a certain degree of pressure. The secondary fermentation just marched right through six atmospheres of pressure and ended up fermenting all of the residual sugar, effectively creating little apple/pear/quince cider time bombs. So for the bottles that did not explode (maybe 70% of them), we had to don what was essentially bomb detonation gear and disgorge them, losing approximately 60% of the contents in the process. [20] They were then refilled and recapped, tidied up and put to bed. [21, 22]

The cider is bone-dry — a little too dry, I think. For this reason, I recommend that you add about 15% verjus to it. The added sweetness balances the acidity and also seems to brighten the fruit. This little project was the biggest pain in the neck of any winemaking undertaking in my experience. And yet in the end, the trauma and horror of it all has largely faded from memory, and the cider itself is really quite nice. With a little verjus, even better. Next season, I will undoubtedly make slightly different mistakes.

Thanks Randall!

ALSO: Lance Winters at St. George Spirits fixed up a little Kombu seaweed vodka so our California Coast Oceanic dinners will include Oyster Shooters, garnished with pickled cucumbers.


[1] Obviously the real biggie is the name of the winery, “Bonny Doon Vineyard.” Neither the winery nor our vineyards are located in Bonny Doon, an incorporated area of the Santa Cruz Mountains; this causes me untold psychic pain on a daily basis. Will fix, just not immediately.

[2] The difference between a rosé and a vin gris is that a rosé is typically made by crushing grapes (often destined for red wine), allowing a reasonable period of skin-contact — up to perhaps 24 hours in some instance, and then “bleeding” (saigner) the tank. This is done to achieve a deep color in the rosé, enhance the fruitiness of the wine, and of course to concentrate the skin to juice ratio in the tank of red wine that had been bled.

[3]The other part of the equation is that grapes for full-bodied red wine are harvested at higher sugar levels than those for a delicate, pink wine. Because the saigner juice will give you a higher potential alcohol wine than you desire (white or pink fermentations also yield a higher sugar/alcohol conversion because they are typically conducted at lower temperature in a closed tank, hence less evaporation of alcohol), you are obliged to take action to lower to potential alcohol in the resultant wine. This is done either by adding water to the juice (aka “Jesus Units” in the parlance of the wine biz, and in fact a ligit addition if you don’t overdo it), or taking the resulting wine for a spin in the “spinning cone,” a high-tech device for dealcoholizing wine. Either option is a very odious and totally unpalatable to me at this point.

[4] Time on the skins increases the absorption of potassium ions, leading to a loss of acidity through the precipitation of potassium bitartrate.

[5] It was a very crazy vintage; for one thing, all of the pinks and whites spontaneously underwent malolactic fermentation during their primary fermentation, something that has never happened before chez Doon. This can be extremely vexatious to a winemaker, who fears that the primary fermentation will not complete, owing to microbial competition, leading to sweet wine, and even more, horribly sweet wine with a very high volatile acidity. We ended up putting large quartz crystals underneath the fermenters, investing them with the intention of a reinvigorated ferment. Yes, I know this is unspeakably New Agey but it seemed to have worked. For the record, wine actually does seem to possess a rudimentary consciousness.

[6] Vineyard was sold last year for financial reasons.

[7] Even the name itself seems to suggest “white Rhine,” but I’m afraid that this may really just be a wistful fantasy, or alternatively, as I believe, there is a connection, just on a non-material plane.

[8] The vineyards — all tiny little parcels (owing to the inheritance laws of the area) — were all planted on pergola, i.e. overhead trellises, to allow the clusters to dry out from the tremendous amount of rain and fog the area received. The stakes and endposts that supported the pergola were all made from granite, as both steel and wood stakes would both rot out in short time, in virtue of the degree of ambient humidity.

[9] It is the fragrant top note of these grapes that triggers the Pavlovian response.

[10] In Chȃteauneuf-du-Pape, I am told that Cinsault grapes are never planted adjacent to highways, as passersby will typically stop and harvest them for fresh eating.

[11] Malvasia nera, used as a blending variety in Chianti, is believed to be identical to Cinsault.

[12] David knows I’m insanely head-over-heels about Bordelet’s products, especially his Poiré “Granite,” a cider made from a 300+ year old pear trees. His “Granite” is arguably among the greatest artisanal products in the entire universe.

[13] Bordelet himself came to visit our winery a number of years ago along with his friend, the late Didier Daguineau and his importer, Michael Sullivan of Berkeley. A rather amazing visit with an amusing episode at a local Chinese restaurant involving a $100 bet between Daguineau and (the non-anglophonic) Bordelet, an attractive young woman from the area, and a tee shirt.

[14] The soil characteristics of Bordelet’s cider are so impressive, you might even want to call it “pearoir.”

[15] It didn’t.

[16] You can find “perry” pears throughout England, Wales and France, but interest in pears for cider U.S. is very recent and still rather modest.

[17] It is (mostly) fortunate that I have inherited the stubbornness gene from my mother, the absolute refusal to fully grasp the concept of “it can’t be done.”

[18] This was fixed by the addition of a discreet amount of copper sulfate.

[19] I am still not sure whether the stinkiness of the fermentation was due to an excessive degree of solids or to an inadequate nutritional status of the must. While there was reasonable tannin in the wine, thanks to the quince, maybe there was still not enough to settle the must well enough. I don’t know if all of these questions would be answered by a visit to Normandy but that wouldn’t be a bad place to start.

[20] Geyserville.

[21] One can imagine that anything close to a break-even proposition for this product had gone out the window upon its initiation. There might even be some Werner Herzog-like comparisons to be drawn.

[22] At this point it would have been great to have given them a final dosage of sweetness (ideally from fruit juice), but of course I did not have the foresight to have arranged this.

2017-09-12T15:48:19-07:00July 12th, 2011|2009, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

Tomato Season 2010 off to a slow start

While tomatoes seem to be very late this year and our farmers think most of their crops are three to five weeks behind, looking back on Tomato Watch 2009 gives us some perspective. We’ve got Chef Canales reporting from the Farmers’ Market on July 27, 2009 the “official arrival of tomatoes” so perhaps we are seeing the beginning of a pattern in these later harvests over the last few years.

This year, because the rainy season went so long, we’ve pushed the dates for the 2010 Tomato Dinners

[reserve] back to September 15 – 19 and are watching and waiting. Recently, we’ve seen the first few cherry tomatoes and Sun Golds, and just this week some delicious “ugly” Early Girls.

In the meantime, we had fun revisiting Tomato Watch 2009 so we collected the posts here and thought we’d share:

Highlights include:
Joe Schirmer of Dirty Girl Produce on Dry-Farming in post #2, and then on July 3rd with further dry-farming information. Also, Joe’s own video reports in post #5 and #10 are of special note.

Riverdog Farm explain their growing cycle and how and when tomatoes are picked in posts #18 and #20.

Brookside Farm’s Welling and Ann Tom show us lovely pictures and thoughtful reports on their season in Brendwood, culminating in the October 1st Dead Ripe video.

Truffle Report #5: What’s that smell?

Giorgio & Paola's house in Monti-in-Chianti

Giorgio & Paola’s house in Monti-in-Chianti

The truffle dinners are now in full swing and going very nicely, but I wanted to provide a brief wrap-up of this year’s trip to Italy.

Monti-in-Chianti, about 10 miles north of Siena, has been the center of my activities since I began traveling to Italy (over ten years ago) to get truffles, and Giorgio Sacchini and his family have been my friends and guides from the beginning.

This was an extraordinary truffle year, including the truffle cleaning party. It took six of us about four hours to clean the truffles. In addition to Giorgio, we were joined by his wife Paola and daughter Denise, and a terribly sweet couple from Vienna, Margit and Peter Demuth, also joined in. Afterwards, we had a typical Giorgio dinner: crostini with chicken livers and black truffles, crostini with hazelnuts and black truffles, Paola’s preserved hot peppers and potatoes, cured tuna, and as always cinghaile or wild boar. In fact, in standard Giorgio-fashion, just after the cheese course and before dessert, Giorgio stepped outside for a moment, and shot two wild boar right from his back porch. I’d never seen that before.

Of course not every moment on the truffle trail was a joyous, life-affirming affair. No, sometimes you hit a snag.

I had just taken my seat for the first leg of my return-flight home from Florence to Munich on Air Dolomiti (a partner of Lufthansa), and started to write my final truffle report– Coming Home: We’re on the plane, me and the truffles! Before even finishing the first sentence, a flight-attendant asked me to the rear door of the plane (a medium, twin turbo-prop). Sitting on the tarmac below I saw my truffle case, my fragrant treasure all by its lonesome on a barren expanse of concrete.

truffle cooler

While the plane had an assigned luggage compartment it was not sealed from the passengers, and the pilot determined that the fragrance from my truffle case, though not significant, was undesirable, and ordered it off the plane. So I was booted off the flight! I was already exhausted beyond my limits, and this created a very difficult circumstance. I was set to arrive home on Monday night at 7:00 PM, cutting it close for our first truffle dinner on Tuesday night, but, you know, the truffles have to be fresh for the dinners.

I drove a couple of hours north to Bologna, and checked into the Sheraton Bologna Airport Inn. Thankfully, the chef allowed me to stow the truffle case in his walk-in. I got up at 4 AM, for a 5:45 flight to Frankfurt, and arrived at SFO at 12:30 Tuesday afternoon. The truffles were at Oliveto by 2:30 PM just in time for dinner that night, and I was just so tired. Lufthansa and I are in discussions.

Finally, here are Giorgio’s new truffle puppies, now seven weeks old:

Until next year…

2017-09-12T15:48:52-07:00November 20th, 2009|2009, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

Truffle Report #4 with part of the menu revealed

Catania Fish Market, Sicily

Catania Fish Market, Sicily

It’s Thursday night here, and all the truffles for Oliveto’s truffle dinners are still in the ground; collection begins tomorrow morning. It’s cold, there’s been a good amount of rain, and the local truffle fairs have ended. Now, the truffles are for us. Truffle Dinners at Oliveto are booking up, so we’ve decided to extend them through Saturday, November 21st. I’ll bring home more truffles than originally anticipated to last us into the weekend.

[see menu]

The second item on the agenda for this trip was to gather video of some of our Italian wine producers, and food producers, for our soon-to-launch Oliveto Wine Journal. A complementary offering to the Oliveto Community Journal and a fresh approach to wine information.

Some highlights from this trip:
My 26 hours in Catania, Sicily were exceptional. A guest of Mount Etna winemaker Ciro Biondi and his wife Stef Pollock, I was picked up as soon as the ferry docked and taken to the Catania Fish Market to follow Chef Carmelo Chiramonte as he shopped for our vineyard lunch. Carmelo is the real deal.

Standing in their vineyards you are at an altitude of 800 meters, with the sea below you, on black volcanic sand sloped at 45 degrees, and an active volcano at your back. Beautiful, exciting, and unique. While the vineyards are centuries-old, the area has only been considered a fine wine region in the last 20 years. Wild soil, wilder weather, truly exciting company, wine, and a lunch of perfectly grilled fish and vegetables — all in all, a gorgeous day.

I was able to score a ticket to the LaScala-like opera house, Teatro Bellini, built in 1890.

opera outside opera inside

The opera was Donizetti’s “The Elixer of Love.” Magnificent singing, huge chorus, lots of fun. At 9:00, I met Ciro and Stef for dinner back at the Fish Market at Osteria Antica Marina. We had wine from his first two vintages, 1999 and 2000. I asked him if he thought his wines would age well. He said he didn’t know, we’d have to wait 20 years. The 2000 was delicious.

In the morning, I flew to Torino. Alitalia lost my luggage at the stop in Rome, but recovered it 2 days later. Perhaps payback for having too good of a time in Catania.

Sent from my iPhone

2017-09-12T15:48:53-07:00November 13th, 2009|2009, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

Truffle Report #3 with Aldo Vacca’s Vintage Picks

w & b truffles

Truffles are just now coming on, I encountered my first exceptional truffles last night, at the back door of Ristorante Antine in Barbaresco–I didn’t have to put my nose to it, it overwhelmed me from across the kitchen. Prices remain very low. We won’t be able to set the price for Oliveto Truffle dinners until we actually acquire them, but they should be a bargain.

Truffle Dinners at Oliveto are always a great excuse to pull out some older bottles of wine from our cellar. I talked with Aldo Vacca of Produttori del Barbaresco and asked him to recommend some Produttori vintages that are drinking great right now and would pair well with truffles.

2017-09-12T15:48:53-07:00November 9th, 2009|2009, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

Truffle Report #2: Italy 2009

truffles on stump

It’s still ten days or so before I move from the “just looking” phase into truffle acquisition, but here’s what we know so far: the truffles this year are very good, but not plentiful. Despite fewer truffles, prices are dramatically lower than they have been in recent years due to less demand and also many truffles coming from outside Italy. This is not a new phenomenon, over 12 years ago the joke going around ended with, “those are Alba…anian truffles.”

We had a good soaking recently and more rain coming. All good news.

Today is a travel day for me. I’m currently on a train to Naples, and will take a ferry to Catania later tonight where I’ll be visiting Biondi, a winery on Mount Etna. They have a wonderful day planned for me & I’ll be taking some video as well.

Sent from my iPhone

2017-09-12T15:48:53-07:00November 4th, 2009|2009, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

Truffle Report #1: Italy 2009

A very healthy rain arrived in Tuscany about a week before I did, somewhat improving truffle conditions after another very dry year. The last few days have been beautiful, but we seem to be moving into another rainy period which is good timing for truffle hunting, as long as it doesn’t get too wet.

Here are some of Giorgio’s new recruits, five-week-old truffle dogs. They are already being given bits of truffle treats and seem to like it.

Dinner my first night here in Tuscany at Giorgio and Paola’s home:

Tortellini in brodo

Fried egg with black truffle

Fried egg with white truffle

Wild chicories

Minced black truffle and hazelnut bruschetta

Georgio's eggs with white truffles

Georgio’s eggs with white truffles

Actual truffle collection for the Oliveto Truffle Dinners won’t begin for another two weeks. So I’ve been busy video-taping wine producers in the region for a new project in conjunction with the Oliveto Community Journal: a Wine Journal. The first day in Chianti, Roberto Stucchi and I went to Fontodi in Panzano to tape a segment with Giovanni Menetti. He showed us the vineyards, his massive compost heaps (Fontodi wines are now organic), and his herd of twenty-four Chianina (large white cattle with beautiful black eyes).

That led us to see Dario Cecchini, the beyond colorful Panzano butcher, for a visit and a terrific lunch of mostly meat.

bob & dario italy 2009

The next day I visited Felsina in Castelnuovo Berandenga, and on Saturday I visited our Brunello producer in Montalcino, Canalicchio di Sopra.

More soon. And Truffle Dinners beginning on November 17th!


Sent from my iPhone

2017-09-12T15:48:53-07:00November 2nd, 2009|2009, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

Dead Ripe — “It actually means something”

‘Tis the season of abundance and acute ripeness, as summer crops put all their remaining energy into their final fruits and seeds in one last attempt to be sown back into the earth. The farms themselves seem at their most beautiful, and the harvest months have a certain celebratory cheer about them, the true pleasure in a job well done.

It’s also the season when farmers and chefs alike are borderline overwhelmed with an onslaught of fruits & vegetables that are ripe RIGHT NOW. It brings an immediacy and a level of creativity to the kitchen and menu that is unique to this time of year.

The term farmers use to describe some of their produce (specifically tomatoes and stone fruit) around now is “dead ripe.” Chef Canales explains to us what that means exactly and describes the sense of timeliness it brings to the act of cooking during this brief yet vibrant season.

Back on the Trail: Truffle Trip to Italy 2009

I’ll be leaving for Italy in late October and returning on November 16th, I presume, with a load of fine truffles to be served during our annual Truffles Dinners (November 17 – November 20, 2009). This trip is always filled with wonderful twists and turns and we plan on posting brief reports along the way here on the Oliveto Community Journal.

From the memory-lane-archives we’ve compiled a brief reel of Oliveto truffle stories covered by local and national television news networks over the past twelve years. Giorgio, the truffle hunter featured in many of the clips, has been a constant companion from the beginning. His knowledge and good humor, along with the hospitality and the warmth of his family, make this trip about much more than finding truffles and are the real reason I return year after year. Also of note: the six-week-old truffle pup shown in my pocket licking a truffle was named “Piccolo Bob”. Could there be a greater honor?

Truffle Dinners 2009

November 17th – November 20th

make a reservation

2017-09-12T15:48:55-07:00September 24th, 2009|2009, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

Tomato Tasting


For the kitchen, the first step in planning the menu for Tomato Dinners is knowing what they have to work with. Yesterday, Chef Canales and his sous chefs sat down for three hours and tasted fifty-five different tomatoes from seven different farms. Each tomato was assessed using the following criteria: color, acid, sugar, gel, other flavors, texture, structure, and then given an overall rating.

A primary task was picking the 6 – 12 tomatoes to comprise the best-of-season tasting plate. While each tomato on the tasting plate has to be a knockout in its own right, the dish overall requires diversity, balanced color, and variety of exceptional characteristics.

A few of the standouts from yesterday’s tasting were Momotaros from Brookside Farm, Big Girls from Lucero Organic Farm, German Reds from Riverdog Farm, and Yellow Brandywines from Catalan Farms.

2017-09-12T15:48:56-07:00August 21st, 2009|2009, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments
Go to Top