Thursday, March 8, 2012

CIC Cocktail Dinner for the 2012 BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival

Left to Right: Chef Crawford, Daniel Sanchez, Junior Merino, Charlotte Voisey, Chef Stefanelli, Jonathan Cato, CIC Dean Michael Saboe
CIC Chef Scott Stefanelli
Umstead Hotel and Spa Executive Chef
Scott Crawford
Junior Merino, The Liquid Chef
Charlotte Voisey, Brand Ambassador for William Grant and Sons
The Festival's very first cocktail dinner was held in 181 Palmer Restaurant at CIC on Friday, March 2nd. Superstar mixologists Charlotte Voisey and Junior Merino designed cocktails featuring Hendrick’s Gin and Milagro Tequila respectively, paired for each of four hors d'oeuvres and four courses on the menu. CIC Chef Instructor Scott Stefanelli was joined in the kitchen by guest chef Executive Chef Scott Crawford of The Umstead Hotel and Spa of Cary, North Carolina.
First Course: Crudo of Mark Marhefka's Beeliner Snapper with Grapefruit, Ginger, Radish, Marcona Almonds
Cocktail: Earl of Grey Granito
Second Course: Loin and Confit of Ashley Farms Rabbit with Housemade Bacon, Warm Potato Apricot Salad, Tarragon Jus
Cocktail: Tequila Warrior
Third Course: Border Springs Farm Lamb with Fava Beans, Pine Mushrooms, Rosemary and Fennel Broth
Cocktail: South Carolina Sour
Dessert: Anson Mills Corn Cake with Honey Butter Ice Cream, Salted Pecan Brittle, Anejo Cream Soda
Cocktail: Rouge
Charleston City Paper Restaurant Critic Robert Moss, who attended the dinner, wrote:
"With all four courses the pairings went well — leaving you reaching for your cocktail glass and momentarily forgetting it was not wine. Most of the cocktails had some sort of floral note to it — the lavender bitters in the opening 'Earl of Grey Granito,' the ginger elderflower syrup in the Tequila Warrior — that added a nice complement to the course with which it was paired. ...
"Are cocktail-paired dinners the wave of the future? If the comments of my tablemates and those around us are any indication, this inaugural one was a resounding success. The liqueurs and infusions of craft cocktails bring a new palette of flavors to the table, and I suspect we'll see more chefs and bartenders teaming up for future events."
For the full story, with photos:
Mr. Moss also wrote a considered piece about Brand Ambassadors in his personal blog, al forno Charleston:

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