Eat Drink Bend's Nancy Patterson filed this report—and photos—from the KIDS Center Cork & Barrel fundraiser July 20.
At the Grand Cru Gala, four winemakers featured a pairing for the four dinner courses provided by Chef Franco Console of the Neuman Hotel Group. Tables were presented with an array of cheeses and jams served family-style while we enjoyed the first two courses, including roasted beets over a candied lemon and charcoal chèvre. After a main course of exquisitely prepared duck confit over a brown butter carrot purée, Chef Console presented us with a honey-butter-soaked cake topped with saffron cream and grilled peaches—all for the cause of raising money for KIDS Center.
Thursday evening started out with several intimate dinners, hosted by local high-end eateries, each featuring a wine maker from the Southern Oregon wine region. Lavish six-course meals were prepared to complement the pairings of wine provided by their partnered winery.
Friday evening we saw an array of small bites presented by many local caterers and restauranteurs. Currents at the Riverhouse served crowd-loving pâtè and Citizen Bar and Kitchen provided a lavish, graze-worthy cheese and charcuterie presentation. Italian-loving guests came back for seconds (and thirds) to get their hands on Trattoria Sbandati’s famous meatballs.
Too Sweet Cakes took the (proverbial) cake in desserts— French macarons, tiny cupcakes garnished in edible glitter and mini cookie-pies were a few of the sweet offerings designed by Chef Shelbi Blok. And the wines—oh, the wine! Viognier and Tempranillo were the star varietals of the event.