We just heard we are mentioned by a NZ travel writer who was in Oregon this summer and came to a farmers market dinner. `
“EVOO Cannon Beach Cooking School With quips like “Garlic is a vegetable”, “Go large or go home”, and “I’m Jewish- Italian – there’s nothing subtle about what I do”, chef Bob Neroni is an entertaining guy, especially when he’s dealing with gentle verbal sparring from his wife, fellow chef Lenore Emery.
Based in relaxed Cannon Beach, around 90 minutes west of Portland, the Farmers Market Dinner Show at their EVOO Cooking School is a surprising dining experience. Seasonal produce – their culinary manifesto is “If it grows together, it goes together” – is sourced from a co-operative of Oregon farmers, and Bob and Lenore supplement ingredients from Cannon Beach’s excellent farmers’ market.”
Thank you! Click this link to read the whole article.
Well we can finally say Lucca! Paola is very superstitious so up until now we could not say Lucca without poking the cosmic bear and possibly jinxing our trip to the walled city. Our day began as all do at Villa Fabroni with a traditional Italian breakfast consisting of fresh bread, croissants even, cheese and deli meats with espresso and juice. But of course we need the American version as well so Sergio whips up an egg concoction each day with eggs produced farm their ” silky” chickens. Today it was a frittata of spinach and another of Roma tomatoes.
It went from a down pour at our villa upon departure to sunny skies and about 70 degrees at the bakery where we had a lesson after which we were able to shed the rain coats, stacked the obsolete umbrellas, and peeled some layers. Our baker, Pedro, was gracious as ever, and very shy until our group show interest and he talked about what he knows very well. His wife, Petra was teaching today.
Anyway, after baking and a bread lunch we headed to Lucca.
Lucca is a great place to shop or people-watch while having a coffee, a.k.a. Espresso. We were able to work it all in for a couple hours. Bob searched for a new scarf. By the way he only wears scarfs in Italy. Smiley face!
Tonight our group is gathering for dinner of pizza by our hosts,Sergio and Stefanos. Update tomorrow.
Rain! The locals reported this as very unusual this early in the season. Our plans for an early morning start to go the two hour drive to Lucca was in vain. Our tour guide half jokingly stated something about a plan “b” due to the weather report. The bus driver came without checking the weather report so we climbed a board. Before long lighting was flashing and thunder clapping instantly after. We were still in the hills but water was rushing in the ditches beside the road. Then Paola’s phone rang. It was the baker stating the river between Lucca and them was rising rapidly. Paola puts down the phone and says she thinks we will not be able to reach the bakery today. Plan “b” becomes a reality.
She begins to rearrange our activities so we won’t miss anything. Paola starts calling our artisans; what may we move to today? After several dropped calls and waiting to get a connection, Paola announced she was now up to plan “m.” Nobody could make the change to accommodate. Understandable given that all were responding to the same worsening weather. So our driver turns around and heads toward Greve. There we can shop and enjoy the cafes.
We had lunch at the butcher in town, where we tasted wines at will while eating their cheeses and prosciutto. Chianti Classico is the region’s famous varietal. Here and only here the term chianti Classico may be used on the label. The symbol for the location is a black rooster, the legend of which is another story. If a wine maker is a member of the union, they may use the rooster on their labels indicating the terroir. Only so many barrels of chianti from here each season are allowed, as designated by the state, and all extra wine may not be called Classico. With the “extra wine” they blend what are known as Super Tuscans. These are more robust and all are more expensive than a single chianti. We like the very much.
Our wonderful hosts at our villa have agreed to move their cooking class to this afternoon. We will make our own dinner. By now our guide, Paola, has figured out the rest of the week. And by now the rain has stopped. No more lightening and thunder, and even a patch of blue sky.
Each year as lenore and I prepare for Italy, it seems that the reality doesn’t kick in until we are in hour 18 or so of getting there. By that time its been long enough that our twisted muscles and lack of sleep, not to mention a real meal has rendered us spent. Our conversation turns to the reality that in a few more hours we will be in Italy, and the thought of the italian hospitality is making the any discomfort in the air transit seem insignificant.
When our connections finally land us in Milan we hear the bellowing familiar sound of our guide, “CIAO Bob and Lenore,”a sound we equate with all things Italy. We plan these trips to arrive a day or two before our guests so we may acclimate and prepare. Today we travel to Florence, an opportunity to walk the streets, hear the bells from the Duomo and sip an espresso or two, a treat we indulge in often, especially since Paola is with us. Seems she needs frequent visits to the bars in the area, espresso bars, that is!
Our welcome reception will take place this evening at the villa castle after we pick up our guests. First they will have free time to unpack and take in the enormity of the vistas from the property; get to know the mascot, Lucio, an English bulldog; and watch the silky hens that roam freely.
On the menu are chicken breast with truffle ravioli, some salad for the Americans, and tiramisu for for dessert.
Nothing like a shopping trip in Florence to make one’s day. The three of us set out late morning for a day in Florence before meeting the guests who will be gathered at a hotel to catch our bus.
But first we must have lunch. So Paola said she knows of a place where the food is like what locals eat, so that sounded like us. It was simple, and delicious.
Bob chose bacala, salt cod in tomato sauce with rice. Lenore got Tomino con verdure, grilled vegetables with melted aged soft cow’s milk cheese. Paola got one of her favorites–chicken liver pâté served warm in an earthen ware crock with crostini . We got complimentary sparkling from the owner and a glass of chianti colli florentini red wine 2011. Decadent chocolate cake split three ways completed our repast. We were now ready to shop!
Just so you don’t think we are only eating, the time after lunch was spent shopping the leather kiosks of Florence. Are three pairs of shoes too much! The thing about being in Italy is that you walk to most destinations which keeps the calories at bay. That being said let’s discuss dinner…..the wines consisted of Proseco, Strozzi Vernoccia and Tenuto la Novella reserva chianti Classico.
Antipasti of puff pastries with porcini and Torino cheese alongside ham and Brie. Fresh buffalo mozzarella, Tuscan pecorino fresco, green olive bread and what seemed to be the best bruschetta with tomatoes from the villa, fresh oregano and baby garlic, yum! Then the primi course of lemon ravioli was as stuffed with lemon zest, ricotta and a sauce of lemon juice, zest, parmigiana and reduced cream. Secondi of pan seared chicken breast with black and white truffle cream with a reduced balsamic smear, a perfect juxtaposition of acid against fat. Thankfully they included a salad of bitter greens. Finally tiramisu and espresso, dopio! No worries about sleeping after this day. Ciao!
Monday, October 20,
Morning came early since we have a long drive to Lucca today.g src=”http://evoo.biz/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/image5-230×230.jpg” alt=”” title=”Paola and Bob having wine on our arrival” width=”230″ height=”230″ class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-23554″ />
To begin with, there are things like no others than can take me back to my childhood summers. The slam of the creaky screen door; the smell of beach fires (now, fire pits); the way the fresh air of the outdoors mixes with picnics on the porch or deck, and camping to make the food taste so much better! Yes each by themselves can bring me to a happy summer place.
Summer itself can elicit food cravings, too. Like charcoal grilled hamburgers and pickles and, of course, potato salad. I never think about potato salad in the winter, but come the 4th of July, it must be on my menu somewhere. Over the years we have a few favorite versions. All start pretty much the same way with cooking the potatoes in very salty boiling water (3 Tablespoons salt to 1 gallon water). This salty start ensures the potatoes will not be bland. While still hot, a drizzle of sherry vinegar is a favorite trick too, also imparting flavor that if we wait till the potato gets cold, it may not penetrate the starch meat of the potato rendering it a bit bland.
Some tips for making a potato salad “wow!”
1. Chill all ingredients before mixing; then chill again before snapping into a Tupperware- or like container to take to the picnic. That means chill the mayo, mustard, eggs, pickles and vegetables too. It will still warm up a little during preparation, so chilling again after it is mixed is a good practice when planning to take it on an outdoor picnic in the summer. When eating it right away, mix away and serve.
2. Using commercial mayo rather than homemade is really a good idea for food safety since its pH is regulated and safely acidic.
3. Try taking the separate components of a potato salad to the picnic and let people assemble what they want. We definitely include our salty potatoes on a picnic, sometimes all by themselves; and when we let people choose what they want for their salad, we leave the dressing on the side for dipping instead of coating before leaving home. Don’t be afraid of the amount of salt we use when cooking these salty potatoes–remember the skin on the potatoes must not be broken for best results–rendering the outside salty and the inside creamy!
Well, it finally happened. Our five star run on Trip Advisor has ended. We have been holding our breath, much the way we do before we get our first scratch in the paint on a new car. Knowing it is inevitable, when it finally happens we are bummed but somewhat relived. And this one comment was a good critique! We can learn from it, and we intend to! We will react with a change in the service during our Market Dinner Show as a result. So what was the comment?
The whole review was really a good one. Our food and show was highly praised. The comment made was translated by Trip Advisor as a ding against our service. The comment was that our dinner show started at 6:00 with a plated appetizer dish, and the buffet wasn’t served until 8:00. Our intention was that the starter, a pasta cheese dish, would hold them till the buffet opened, as they watch it all come together. We have in the past done two waves of buffet and we can easily go back to that.
One of the blessing that there is such a thing as Trip Advisor is that we have many new friends coming from all over the country and the world for that matter. Our customer base has grown and we are grateful. The fact that we are not exactly a restaurant can be confusing to our new guests. They go to Trip Advisor looking for a restaurant and see us. Even though every event at EVOO includes a meal, the “show” is also part of our product. Trip Advisor doesn’t really have a category for that!
We often have a difficult time reading the reviews because they are so good, and because we know it makes us perched for a fall; it’s only a matter of time. So our position regarding our performance has always been what is known in the food business as, “you are only as good as your last banquet.” Meaning, don’t rest on your laurels. Everyday is a fresh start and we need to deliver the hospitality standard we want to be known for at EVOO every day.
So when a guest does make a comment that critiques us, (rather than criticizing), as this one did, we are grateful to learn from it and we take it to heart.
We really don’t eat much pudding. At least not the cornstarch variety that is in the older cookbooks. It isn’t on restaurant menus much any more unless as a mousse or pastry cream. Maybe in the South where Banana Pudding was made famous with the Nilla* Wafer cookies we might see it on a menu. But for the most part the ingredients are very simple for this a softly thickened sweet milk cold dessert.
Seems most pastry chefs never make pudding they make pastry creme. Pastry cream is a very egg yolk-y vanilla pudding. So about the same. When we were writing our version a southern favorite, banana vanilla pudding for our APRIL DINNER SHOW, we found ourselves wanting to perfect the vanilla pudding.
We started like the chef-sleuths at Cook’s Illustrated might, with our own pastry cream recipe since we know it best. We knew we wanted a rich pudding, and since pastry cream uses egg yolks exclusively, while pudding might use some whole eggs, we chose to use only yolks for the richness.
We also wanted to determine once and for all whether to use all milk (cornstarch pudding is almost always made with whole milk), or would we add a little cream, all cream, or half and half cream. One other ingredient that seems to be present pretty consistently is cornstarch, thus the old fashioned name “cornstarch pudding.” But even our pastry cream recipe includes some flour for thickener.
We first made our pudding with only cornstarch so that when/if we have a guest who cannot eat gluten, our recipe would still work. We simply were not sure until the first test whether we could convert the flour to an equal amount of cornstarch. We also were not sure if the flour also performed something other than thickening, but were willing to drop it and find out for ourselves.
Next we tackled the whole milk or part cream option. We decide the logically way is to make it with an equal amount of half and half. We liked it; still quite rich, but not heavy as all cream might be. It also still give us the option to fold in whipped cream to really light up the pudding if we wanted to.
Well in the end, our new recipe is probably not much different, but it is “vanilla” enough (no pun intended) that it will work for many different dessert variations; just like our original pastry cream recipe does.
THE PERFECT PUDDING
2 cups half and half
1/2 vanilla bean scraped into sugar or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste mixed into 1/2 cup granulated natural sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch (level but not packed)
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup more sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 to 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, optional
Method: Blend vanilla and 1/2 sugar and cornstarch in sauce pan. Add milk and bring to simmer over medium heat while stirring occasionally. Meantime, beat egg yolks with 1/4 cup sugar; add small amount of the warm milk mixture to eggs to temper(warm them slowly) eggs a little, and then stir all egg mixture into warm milk whisking quickly. Bring mixture to almost boil while stirring; it will bubble but should not go to full boil ( not over 200ºF). Hold steady there for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter if using. Sieve through fine screen to remove any lumps. Pour out into stainless steel bowl or shallow non-reactive container Cover pudding with plastic film by resting film directly on the pudding surface; cool in the refrigerator. At service, spoon into dishes and serve. Or make one our our listed variations.
Service variations: Serve with whipped cream, Swiss meringue, or as a parfait layered with fruit and cream and graham crackers. Or spoon into individual bowls layered with vanilla wafers and bananas and for the famous southern dish that started this quest. See Banana Pudding Cups When making the south’s favorite banana pudding, after you have made the appropriate layers, they must sit in refrigerator for a minimum of four hours and even overnight. It just gets better when you let the flavors meld and soften the cookies.
Recipe Variations: Add 3 tablespoons rich bitter sweet cocoa powder to the sugar and finish with 2 teaspoons butter and 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate pieces, stirring until melted. Cool and you have a rich chocolate pudding. Add 2 teaspoons espresso powder with the vanilla to make it espresso chocolate pudding.
*Chef’s Note: Ever wonder why the wafers from Nabisco are called “NILLA” and not VANILLA? Apparently they cannot because there isn’t any vanilla in the recipe; it is artificial.
Our town just experienced SAVOR CANNON BEACH WEEKEND 2013. This wine and food festival started three years ago to attract folks to town for wine thinking, drinking and seeking-good wine, that is. The culinary side of the event is not yet as well developed but none the less, it is a very robust event including a wine competition, blending throw-down and opportunity for the guests in town to taste the wining wines. The event brought in forty five wineries to town for a very long wine-walk where the true wine aficionados can be picky; while wine walkers “do” as many wineries as they can in the two hours.
So we had high hopes of attracting some wine geeks, not walkers, to our wine blending class on Saturday afternoon. We wanted our guest to experience the art of blending wine. A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of blending our very own private blend. We met Jonathan Oberlander, wine maker and owner of J. Scott Winery, half way between EVOO and the winery, at our wine distributors, Jacqueline and Stephan’s, home. Jonathan brought several of his own wine varietals and even some he bought from Washington state. We got started and had so much fun developing formulas; mixing blending tasting as we went. Some of us were spitting and some were swallowing. Shortly it became pretty obvious who was doing what. Anyway, the blend we liked was finalize a little more than an hour into the effort. Jonathan was very supportive and really let us do what we wanted to do. What we ended up with was a blend we dub, Bordeaux meets Rhone. Very French.
Before saying good-bye and heading out for a great lunch with our hosts, Jonathan agreed to bring some wines to Cannon Beach to help Bob with a wine blending class during Savor weekend, March 8 & 9. Our guests would have the opportunity blend their own and taste ours. When Jonathan came, he threw us a curve; he said he wanted to blend a little variation of the one we did, because he thought it would be even a little better. You see our wine isn’t bottled yet, and he was kind of setting up a throw down between his proposed new version using the same varietals and the one we decided on a few weeks earlier.
Our guests were to follow Jonathan’s recipe, by remove the varietals in the right proportions with a pipette and dropping it into a clean wine glass. Thus the new formulated blend. He then asked them to taste the one he brought already done and compare with the new blend. Guests definitely had a preference, though we heard votes on both sides. Everyone seemed surprised at how a little variance in the amounts made such a noticeable difference. They told us that while the one they had blended was pretty good by itself, the other one was best with the cheese and bread, so in other words with food.
Little did they know, this was the affirmation we were hoping for. We set out to make a wine that would become a food wine. One that gets better with food and the food gets better with the wine. And so you might say, our blend won Jonathan’s challenge.
To get this wine to market we need to design a label. But first we actually have to become a new d.b.a to be compliant with Oregon wine label laws. Our new d.b.a. is called CHEF NERONI’S WINE BLENDS. We have asked our designer to come up with a Neroni family crest as the subject of our label; we asked that ours be more personal than the ones we find on the internet that already exist for the Neroni name. So though our crest isn’t finished yet, we can tell you you will know it is ours. We’re not sure if it is the toque that replaces the traditional helmet at the top of the shield, or the poodles adorning the sides that will give it away.
Stay tuned–we will let you know when our wine is on the market. The date we are hoping for is SPRING UNVEILING 2013, which is our town’s art festival which again means art galleries hold an open house with wine and food to show off the work they have collected over the winter. This happens May 3 and 4. So you might say we will be unveiling our winter’s work then too.
Pictures: Left-top, Jonathan removing wine from the bottle with a pipette. Right -top, Bob uses pipette like a straw to get the right amount of a varietal. Bottom-left, some of our guests; looks like Julie started blending hers already; Bottom-right, dueling pipettes!
Pictures may tell the story but let me just describe our first course of the March menu and see if you miss the picture. Lenore says the broth and vegetables are crazy good alone, but there is so much more to the dish. Starting with the aromatics, shallots, onions, carrots and celery, I get a little sweating action going by crowding the pan and adding a bit of salt. In go the previously blanced red potatoes, skin on. Then I add the first defining flavor, that of the Navarre Spanish Sausage, which has been diced about 1/2 inch. Next more defining flavors are the white wine, about two cups, and when that is reduced a bit, the fresh halibut stock itself. For herbs, a pinch of about .5 grams saffron, oregano, parsley and chives. Then I let it simmer just long enough to pan-sear the bias cut halibut fillets to get a nice brown crust, which I then add to the simmering broth just to finish the job before placing in the bowl. By now those vegetables are to the tooth done, the broth a subtle gold from the saffron and beautiful against the white bowl. The fillets are just done and still crisp from the pan sear. But wait there’s more! While the simmer was going on, I refreshed the Dungeness crab stuffed piquillo peppers in the oven just to warm through and placed them on top of the stew, garnished with anchovy aioli and that bright red and yellow on top of the dish just pushed it over the top! Oh and sop that up with my crusty bread.
There are so many good reasons to come see us in Cannon Beach. First we rarely get out so we need friends to come to us! Second and most importanly, the beach! It has been a fantastic February! Good weather and good fun to be had! Sun is warming my back through the window as I write this.
Too many events to list in our email blast. So keep reading if you want to know more about what’s going on.
MARCH DINNER SHOW MENU SAVOR CANNON BEACH Wine & Food Festival and our SMALL PLATES WITH WINES Raffle for a SOUS CHEF OF THE DAY & DINNER ($2 OR 3 FOR $5) How one winemaker comes up with his BLENDS-see our blending class! Wine maker Dinner with J. Scott Cellars We’re going to Tuscany–again and again! Still have room for you. EVOO on the Road again–going back to Red Ridge Farms–The Art of Risotto
March 1 & 2 New Menu for our DINNER SHOW Pan-seared halibut with Dungeness crab stuffed piquillo pepper in a chorizo Navarre broth; chicory endive with vegetables and anchovy liquor; Bob’s crusty bread Wine: David Hill Farmhouse Red
Lemon ricotta raviolis with bias cut asparagus and roasted cherry tomatoes, toasted walnuts, tarragon and brown butter bread crumble topping Wine: J. Scott 2010 Roussanne
Rack of lamb with garlic rosemary; wild and basmati rice pilaf with mint, pecans, and currants, aisins, lemon & spring onion Wine:Punto Final 2010 Reserva Malbec
Golden Delicious unsweetened creme fraich bisque, apple sorbet; paired with walnut-strudel and five spice whipped cream Caffee Umbria Mezzanote Decaf fresh-brewed Coffee
March 3, SUNDAY SUPPER 1:00-3:30 pm Kale and feta filo bundles with hot leek & potato soup Braised lamb shanks in wine olive stock; root cellar vegetables; and creamy polenta with mint pesto
Roasted sweet potato and beet salad with frisee and arugula in light emulsified mustard caper vinaigrette with smoked salmon and white-yellow sieved egg
Pickles, Olives, Crusty Bread & Homemade butter Bleu Cheese, sharp cheddar
Cheese course: Oregon bleu with apple flatbread & blackberry sauce
Dessert: Tiramisu and pistachio brittle
March 7, 8 SMALL PLATES WITH WINE 6:00-9:00 pm Braised beef short rib ravioli with herbed butter-demi; house pickled chili’s; sautéed escarole with garlic, pistachio and balsamic currants Wine: Punto Final 2010 Reserva Malbec
Andalucían risotto cake and fennel crusted scallop; citrus-fennel slaw; orange-herb pesto and chive crème Wine: Li Veli Primitivo 2010 Orion
Albacore tuna-lemon garlic confit with baby greens, tomato puttanesca aioli, pickled shallots, and crostini Wine: Adelsheim 2009 Willamette Valley Chardonnay
Grilled vegetable tamale quenelle, on a chile arbol enchilada sauce, with avocado dried lime mousse and strawberry tequila sorbet Wine: J. Scott 2010 Petite Syrah
Tamarind sesame crusted lamb loin, cashew cream, green tomato chutney, mint micro green salad Wine: Tamarack Cellars Ciel du Cheval Reserve 07
Toasted coconut gelato, dark chocolate shot, assorted cookies (cardamom-pistachio biscotti, Nina’s pizzelles, bolitas de nuez), and bacon brittle Wine: Bernard Griffin 2010 Syrah Port
March 9, WINE BLENDING CLASS 12:30 pm-1:45 pm Tastings, of course A recent blending collaboration between Jonathan Scott Oberlander, winemaker of J. Scott Cellars, and EVOO’s Chefs Bob Neroni and Lenore Emery resulted in our own new red wine that we are calling, CHEF’S BLEND. We invite you to learn more about the art and science behind creating a winning wine blend. Join us for this unique SAVOR CANNON BEACH event, as chefs and wine maker reinact the making of CHEF’S BLEND. Tasting of individual varietals and the final blend are included, of course, as well as opportunity to buy in advance of its release, scheduled at this time for SPRING UNVEILING, May 4, 2013.
J. Scott Cellars is located in the Willamette Valley wine country and is currently producing Petite Sirah, Viognier, Roussanne, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc, many of which have been featured wines in EVOO Dinner Shows.
March 9 SAVOR CANNON BEACH SMALL PLATES WITH WINES WINE MAKER DINNER WITH J. SCOTT CELLARS 7:00-10:30 pm This is a special wine maker dinner featuring J.Scott Cellars created to celabrate the Savor Cannon Beach FOOD & WINE festival. All plates tonight are created especially for the wines. Jonathan Oberlander, winemaker and our guest, will be at dinner to share his inspiration for each varietal. In addition, EVOO is helping to raise funding for THE CHILDREN’S CENTER in CB. All shows this week, THU-SAT, March 7, 8, 9, 2013, will donate $20 per ticket to the CB Children’s Center, and each participant will automatically be added to our raffle drawing for SOUS CHEF OF THE DAY & DINNER . Raffle tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5 and all proceeds also go to the Children’s Center of CB.
Braised beef short rib ravioli with herbed butter-demi; house pickled chili’s; sautéed escarole with garlic, pistachio and balsamic currants Wine: J. Scott Grenache Andalucían risotto cake and fennel crusted scallop; citrus-fennel slaw; orange-herb pesto and chive crème Wine: J. Scott Syrah Albacore tuna-lemon garlic confit with baby greens, tomato puttanesca aioli, pickled shallots, and crostini Wine: J. Scott Viognier Grilled vegetable tamale quenelle, on a chile arbol enchilada sauce, with avocado dried lime mousse and strawberry tequila sorbet Wine: J. Scott 2010 Petite Syrah Tamarind sesame crusted lamb loin, cashew cream, green tomato chutney, mint micro green salad Wine: J. Scott Cabernet Sauvignon Toasted coconut gelato, dark chocolate shot, assorted cookies (cardamom-pistachio biscotti, Nina’s pizzelles, bolitas de nuez), and bacon brittle Wine: Bernard Griffin 2010 Syrah Port
March 13 6:00-8:30 PM SKILLETS
March 15,16 6-9 PM DINNER SHOW
March 17 6:00-8:30 PM SPECAIL SKILLETS
March 19, 20 6:00-8:30 PM SKILLETS SHOW
March 22, 23 6:00-9:00 PM DINNER SHOW
March 24, 1:00-4:30 PM at Red Ridge Farms & Oregon Olive Mill
THE ART OF RISOTTO Once again EVOO takes to the road. We are delighted to be going back to this beautiful venue to teach a class in the ART OF RISOTTO. We begin with an appetizer and a little splash of Durant Vineyards wine while you watch our demonstration before you begin to cook your own batch. Then in teams of two you make your own version of risotto, choosing the stock, seasonings, sofrito and finishes.The finished risottos will be tasted by all with light salad, Bob’s bread, Olive Mill EVOO, and more Durant wine. And of course we won’t send you home without a sweet taste!
March 27, 6-8:30 SKILLETS March 29, 30, 6:00-9:00 DINNER SHOW
March 31 EASTER 1:00-3:30 pm Our Easter Sunday Buffet reflects a bit of spring with dishes the whole family will like. Wines may be chosen at our shelf pricing if desired. Lamb two ways: lamb lollipop and fried lame sausage with pan peppers and onions, mint-pine nut pesto Salmon coulibiac torta – oven roasted wild king salmon, wild rice-bulgur salad, Bob’s creamed spinach wrapped in puff pastry Winter green salad, orange blossom honey champagne vinaigrette dressing and caramelized cherries Pickles, Olives, Crusty Bread & Homemade butter Strawberry Angel roll, fresh strawberries, rhurbarb strawberry sorbet, almond crumble Caffe Umbria Coffee & Steven Smith Teamaker Tea
2013 EVOO TOURS After our first visit years ago we became charmed by Italy. The allure of the scenery, the history, the rich culture, especially the food and wine culture, and the famous Italian hospitality was so seductive that we dreamed of sharing the experience with our customers. In 2010 an energetic enthusiastic vivacious woman knocked on our door at EVOO. Paola Roselli turns out to be a tour guide who studied languages and who has hosted many tours throughout Europe and especially her beloved Italy. She is now living with her American husband in Portland! We all hit it off and immediately began to put together our first EVOO tour to Tuscany.
In the beginning Paola asked us to describe the perfect tour. We told her we are not interested in seeing traditional tourist attractions. We wished she would concentrate on immersing our group into the artisan food and wine culture of the regions we visit. We wanted to see real people who are living out their passions, just like we do at EVOO.
We asked for a single villa or agriturismo from which to base for the week. Our day trips should include some cooking lessons, visits to artisan producers of local products from cheeses, pasta, salumi (Italian sausage/hard salami making) to wines, followed by tastings and sometimes lunch or dinner with our artisan hosts. And most importantly, our tours should be small–small enough to fit onto the smallest tour bus in Italy so we keep our numbers including us under 20 guests.
Paola has always delivered and is as involved during the trip as she was before the trip, when she visits many vendors and artisans to made plans for our group.
Now on our third year and fifth and sixth tours, we once again invite EVOO Encore Members and friends to join us for a culinary journey through Tuscany. Each week is €2680 per person, paid in US dollars applying current exchange rate. This does not include airfare. Exact details are forthcoming to guests who inquire.
October 20-26 2013TUSCANY COOKING, EATING, WINE TASTING CULINARY TOUR
Etruscan castle in rural Tuscan where we call home for the week:
Travel the rural back roads with us to learn why Tuscany is world renowned for its food and food products. From exquisite olive oil to Florentine steaks, we explore the farms and the artisan producers who give us the real Tuscan experience.
Off the tourist track, we stop at an olive mill near our villa where we watch the pressing of the olives we have picked. You learn all you need to know about olive oil! Shipping product home is available.
We enjoy several artisan workshops in meat and meat products, cheese, gnocchiand Tuscan breads and bakery products. And there’s wine, of course; we visit three wine producers of Chianti and other wines of the area. We visit the villages of Greve, Castellina, and Lucca.
The villa where we will call home for the week is a former castle located along an old Roman road deep in the country side. Quiet, spacious grounds and vista views define its ambiance. The chef-owners of the property give us a cooking lesson in how to make many Tuscan favorites as well as to cook breakfast daily and dinners for opening night and for our farewell.