|Cheers with a Holiday|
|Exciting Night Ahead|
|Grapes from California|
We started the evening with a refreshing Holiday Sake Sangria, prepared with California Grapes. The cocktail was sweet and mild and had a holiday flair to it. As we sipped, Chef Mendin came out to our table and chatted with us about how he likes to incorporate grapes into many of his creations and explained how he prepared the dishes we would be enjoying that evening.
|With Chef Jose Mendin|
The first course was the Seared Sea Scallops, a sweet and salty textural delight made with tender scallops, cauliflower puree, a delicate vintage beurre rouge, and pine nuts, then topped with a raw California grapes salad. It was fantastic. I had to ask Chef Mendin if he'd be so kind as to share the recipe with me because I can see myself scoring brownie points with the family if I whip up this dish at home.
|Seared Sea Scallops|
Figuring the first course would be the highlight of the meal, I was ecstatic when the second course topped the first. It was the Duck "A la Grape" and it was insanely delicious. I would have never thought of incorporating grapes with duck, but Chef Mendin hit it out of the ball park with this course once again. The roasted breast was cured with California grapes and served with leg confit, a bold grape gastrique, grilled cabbage and saba, that deliciously thick syrup made from grape must. All the flavors came together in sweet harmony and I couldn't help but notice how the combination of grape textures and preparations elevated the dish to a whole new level.
|Duck "A la Grape"|
The last course was dessert and this was a sight for all the senses. Beautiful in its presentation and playful in its taste, the Texture of Grape consisted of a berry sponge, served with meringue made with California Grapes and red wine reduction. The plating was so appealing, it took all of us a while to stop admiring it and dig right in. They couldn't stop me though after I started spooning with the bowl.
|Texture of Grape|
For more information on the nutritional value of grapes and other ways you can incorporate them in your cooking, visit their website at Grapes From California.