It’s a combination that just makes sense. The 17th Annual Central Carolina Food and Wine Festival pairs good times with a good cause, serving up luscious wines from around the world with elegant menus from the area’s top restaurants and caterers.
The festival features intimate wine dinners and private wine tastings sprinkled throughout the winter months, culminating with a gala on April 1. In addition to tempting the palate, the festival also benefits Central Carolina Community Foundation and its mission of awarding grants to nonprofit organizations in the Midlands. Since its inception in 1995, the festival has raised close to $735,000.
While Hampton Street Vineyards, Mill Pond Steakhouse, MoMo’s Bistro and The Vista Room at the Blue Marlin already have hosted successful festival dinners, it’s not too late to enjoy two more elegant evenings showcasing wine and food.
On March 31, you get to be the judge at the VIP Wine Tasting: A Battle of the Pinots. You’ll enjoy an opportunity to sample and judge a blind tasting of South Carolina distributors’ best pinots at 6:30 p.m. at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, 1320 Main Street, 17th Floor. Tickets are $150.
And on April 1, join more than 600 wine lovers as you sip and savor a vast array of global vintage wines and fine foods offered by Midlands chefs and caterers. The gala event is at 7 p.m. at The Medallion Center, 7309 Garners Ferry Road. Tickets are $75 in advance, $100 at the door.
We asked the owners and chefs of the restaurants that hosted tasting dinners – Hampton Street Vineyards, Mill Pond Steakhouse, MoMo’s Bistro and The Vista Room at the Blue Marlin – to each share a delicious recipe and their top wine picks. You’ll be able to keep the celebration of food and wine going long after the festival ends.
For more information about the Food and Wine Festival or to purchase tickets to any of the events, visit the CCCF website at www.yourfoundation.org.
Hampton Street Vineyard’s Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with a Ginger Mandarin Orange Brandy Glaze
William Murphy, Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Hampton Street Vineyard, has cooked for Shahs and showgirls. He was appointed personal chef to Gov. Richard Riley and Gov. Carroll Campbell. With Leigh Talmadge and Paul Pittenger, he started Hampton Street Vineyard in 1995. Bill says he enjoys a cheap rose while prowling around the southwest of France.
Bill finds that a Trimbach Gewurztraminer accents the crab cakes beautifully.
1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
6 tablespoons minced onions, sautéed
3 tablespoons minced garlic, sautéed
5 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Gently mix all the ingredients, being careful not to break down the lumps of crab meat and adding only enough bread crumbs to hold together the cakes. Patty 4 cakes, gently flour both sides and sauté both sides in clarified butter. Place in a 450-degree oven for 4 to 5 minutes.
1 small can mandarin oranges
4 tablespoons brandy
3 tablespoons red onion, minced
3 tablespoons red pepper, minced
3 tablespoons pickled ginger
1 Thai chili, minced
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Saute all ingredients in a noncorrosive pan and reduce by half. Add cilantro and thicken with cornstarch.
Serve crab cakes drizzled with glaze.
White Truffle Cake
MoMo’s Bistro Chef Andrew White is a hometown boy. The Heathwood Hall alum graduated from Le Cordon Bleu culinary schools and has whipped up savory dishes from Yellowstone to Denali, Alaska and from Los Angeles to Garmsich, Germany.
Andrew’s wine tastes vary with the season and his mood. He prefers his whites light and crisp and leans toward French sauvignon blancs. When he goes red, he gravitates toward newer blends and prefers the alternative grapes, such as Malbec, for their complexity and adaptability to food.
This white chocolate génoise cake with white chocolate mascarpone icing is Andrew’s favorite dessert. He’d pair it with a Rozes White Reserve Porto.
1/3 cup flour
4 teaspoons sugar
1 1/4 ounces white chocolate
Melt 1 1/4 ounces white chocolate in a double boiler. Whisk 3 eggs in a tabletop mixer and slowly add in sugar. Once sugar is incorporated, slowly add in flour while still whisking. Fold melted chocolate into batter. Pour into a buttered 9-inch cake pan. Bake for 25 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Allow cake to cool to room temperature.
1/4 cup cream
12 ounces white chocolate
1 cup mascarpone cheese
Melt 12 ounces of white chocolate in a double boiler. Whisk 1/4 cup cream and 1 cup mascarpone in mixer until incorporated. Fold melted chocolate into cream and cheese mixture.
Pour topping onto cake. Allow to set in refrigerator for 90 minutes. Garnish with fresh fruit and shaved white or dark chocolate.
Blue Marlin’s Shrimp Creole
Customers flock to The Blue Marlin and the Vista Room at the Blue Marlin for the comfort and flavor of Executive Chef and General Manager Brian Dukes’s Lowcountry fare. So it’s no surprise that Brian has whipped up Blue Marlin’s Carolina cuisine on Capitol Hill and received a prestigious Invitation to Cook at the world-renowned James Beard House in New York City. The graduate of Johnson and Wales worked in New York City and the San Juan Islands before joining his uncle, restaurateur Bill Dukes, in Columbia in 2004.
In the world of wine it would be a shame to pick just one, so Brian offers several suggestions: King Estate Pinot Gris, Oregon; Acrobat Pinot Noir, Oregon; Archery Summit Pinot Noir, Oregon; Four Vines Naked Chardonnay, California; Louis Martini Napa Cabernet; Las Rocas Grenacha, Spain; La Posta Malbec, Argentina; and Martin Codax Albarino, Spain.
Brian shares his grandfather’s recipe for Shrimp Creole. Pair this dish with Archery Summit Pinot Noir, a well-balanced wine that holds up well to the tomato and spice.
1/2 pound bacon, large dice
1 yellow onion, large dice
3 stalks celery, large dice
1 green pepper, large dice
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
3 bay leaves
3 dashes Tabasco sauce
1 1/2 ounces chicken base
1/4 cup tomato paste
6 cups tomato strips
Cook bacon in saucepot over medium heat until browned. Add onion, celery, pepper and garlic. Cook vegetables until onion becomes translucent. Add cayenne pepper, black pepper, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, Tabasco and chicken base. Cook for five minutes or until very fragrant. Add tomato paste and tomato strips and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove bay leaves when finished.
6 cups Creole sauce
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 pounds shrimp
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
12 cups Savannah red rice (visit
www.columbiametro.com for recipe,
or substitute white rice)
In a warm sauté pan add oil to coat pan. Add shrimp and season with Old Bay. Cook until shrimp begins to turn pink and then add Creole sauce. Bring sauce to a simmer and check doneness of shrimp.
Place 2 cups of rice on each plate and top with 1 cup Shrimp Creole. Garnish plate with parsley.
Mill Pond Steakhouse’s Boykin Cornmeal & Panko Encrusted Organic Buttermilk Soaked Chicken Livers with Clemson Blue Cheese Coleslaw and Bourbon Glaze
Mill Pond Steakhouse Chef Jaime Hecker is an Irmo native who attended Western Culinary Schools in Oregon. He has cooked at Sunflowers in Colorado, Magnolias in Charleston and the Crescent Grille in Camden.
Jaime’s top five wine picks are Torii Mor Pinot Noir; Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, Oregon; Cain Five, Napa Valley; Caymus Cabernet, Napa Valley; Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc. He suggests pairing a Stags Leap 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet with this recipe.
1 pint organic chicken livers
1 cup Boykin Mill cornmeal
1 cup Panko bread crumbs, crushed
1 cup buttermilk
1/8 cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Dredge livers in cornmeal and Panko mix and deep fry for about 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.
one bag slaw mix
1 cup Clemson blue cheese, crumbled
1 green pepper
1 Vidalia onion
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
Puree half the onions and green
peppers in a blender. Stir together vinegar and sugar in a bowl. Add mayonnaise, pureed mix and salt and pepper and whisk together. Add a touch of sour cream. Pour over slaw mix. Add blue cheese crumbles and toss. Set aside
1 cup bourbon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
Add all ingredients in a tall pot and cook on medium high heat until thick and syrupy.
Top chicken livers with bourbon glaze and serve with coleslaw on the side.