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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Doubleback Winery Launch

I nominate the Doubleback Winery launch party as the best private party of the year! 160 plus guests, hosted by Walla Walla's native son Drew Bledsoe, honoring his winery venture with winemaker Chris Figgins. Hilltop at McQueen Vineyard with the Walla Walla Valley spread below, and the windfarm peaking over our shoulder; the setting couldn't have been more perfect... maybe a bit more perfect minus the wind.

Guests were bussed in from the Marcus Whitman, champagne served en route. We greeted them with wonton crackers topped with spicy ahi tuna. The wines weren't too shabby either. Leonetti, Pepperbridge, Le Ecole, Waters, a German gewertziminer (sp), Grammercy, and a couple others I can't recall.

The Menu: flat iron steak chopsticks with soy ginger dipping sauce, bruschetta white bean puree and pork confit, grilled shrimp and scallop skewers with herbed butter, endive goat cheese mouse lemon zest candied hazelnuts, artisan cheeses, and bonnie's asparagus with aioli.

Did I mention the windfarm? It was so windy the tent was tethered to heavy machinery. When guests arrived the busses were employed as windbreaks. Still the tent sides bulged, linens whipped over the buffet tables, and the hanging lanterns swung violently. The roar of the wind in the tent is a sound I will soon not forget.

Our cooking location was thoughtfully blocked by haybales and some careful Volksy parking. Unfortunately our 'kitchen' was on loose dirt and we had not the time, nor resources, to place it elsewhere. Creative cooking, plating, and wrapping saved the food from healthy doses of dust. And shockingly, despite the wind, the sad sack of a grill, and the dust, we pulled it off. Given proper circumstances the food would have been better, looked a tad nicer, and been warmer (!). But it was good, damn good. And if we are ever scheduled to cook in Florida during hurricane season we will be primed and ready.



Mark David said...

I think Walla Walla was in full swing this weekend. I think that the combination of Drew & Chris will be great. We get over to WW from seattle often. It’s where I spent several years growing up with all the wheat, peas, onions and strawberries. I can’t wait to taste the first vintage of your efforts.

onno david
my site

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