Chefs, winemakers pair up at annual showcase

Leading restaurants, chefs and food experts paired with winemakers from around the state at The Bellevue Collection last week for the second annual Culinary & Wine Showcase.

  • Tuesday, June 3, 2008 2:06pm
  • Life
Chef Randy Tomasacci (left)

Chef Randy Tomasacci (left)

Event at Bellevue Collection

Leading restaurants, chefs and food experts paired with winemakers from around the state at The Bellevue Collection last week for the second annual Culinary & Wine Showcase.

The weeklong event included culinary and wine experiences, as well as two featured ticketed wine events that benefited the Washington Wine Industry Foundation.

On Wednesday, chefs from around The Bellevue Collection, including Ristorante Luciano owner Luciano Bardinelli, whipped up summer favorites on the Viking Stage in the center court. Shoppers 21 and over also enjoyed five tastes of wine at the tasting lounge adjacent to the cooking demonstrations, which featured 60 Washington wines.

Additional events included “Dress it Up” at Oil & Vinegar, where Chef Randy Tomasacci of the Bitter Sweet Herb Farm Company sautéed savory samples for patrons, such as Portobello mushrooms and pork.

He used the company’s four finishing sauces that can be found at Oil & Vinegar for $12.95 per bottle, including lemon garlic, wasabi ginger, smoked maple chipotle and chipotle peanut.

“Primarily the finishing sauces are for the end of the cooking process,” Tomasacci explained. “So if you’re sautéing meat or vegetables, add a tablespoon of the finishing sauce when you’re just about done.”

The wasabi and ginger sauce tastes great with stir fried chicken, mushrooms and leaks, he added, and can be served over rice. Pork is complimented best with the smoked maple chipotle.

On the Viking Cooking Stage, the final demonstration Wednesday featured John Sarich, noted culinary director for Chateau Ste. Michelle. He demonstrated how to cook seared halibut with a Puttanesca (Italian pasta) sauce.

“This is a summertime dish and what makes it a little bit different are the sides that go with this,” Sarich told a crowd that gathered around the stage.

For the Puttanesca sauce, he mixed two cloves of garlic, two chopped roma tomatoes, six green onions, fresh basil, Italian parsley, cumin and white beans in a bowl.

The he added some chopped capers and chopped, pitted olives.

While many American-Italian restaurants sauté the ingredients in olive oil and cook it for hours, Sarich prefers the traditional method of only slightly heating the sauce to break the flavors lose.

Before heating the ingredients, he tossed the mixture with a splash of red wine vinegar, a tablespoon of aged balsamic and two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

“You’ll see it looks fresh and very summer like,” he said of the sauce.

For the halibut, he sprinkled the filet with sea salt and cumin and seared it in a heated pan with olive oil. He also added a splash of sauvignon blanc around the fish and allowed the halibut to poach in the liquid a couple of minutes. He garnished the dish with a lemon slice, basil and Italian parsley. Sarich recommended sauvignon blanc to enjoy with the dish.

Carrie Wood can be reached at cwood@reporternewspapers.com or 425-453-4290.


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