Chef’s Dinner at Aubergine

I’m back in Manila and made it just in time for the Les Toques Blanches dinner. That’s an evening when all the hotel and restaurant chefs get together …this time Aubergine was the host. It was good to see Aubergine’s Hans Shallenberg my former boss and mentor. The kitchen was busy with Chef Norbert Gandler manning his team and desserts by Chef Ernie Babaran. Peachy and I were just so happy to see good old friend Chef Humphrey Navarro up and about and in action again… The dinner was fantastic!…

Discovery Suites’ VP Bobby Horrigan, corporate chef David Pardo de Ayala, Chef Brando Santos (CCA), Chef Peachy Juban (CSB)

Aubergine – Special Chef’s Dinner, May 7, 2008 Menu:

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Going “Sideways” Wine Tasting 101 (part 3)

Tips on how to bluff your way during a wine tasting:

1.When wine is poured into your glass give it some time to breathe before you drink it. In other words don’t drink right away.

2.Hold glass at stem and swirl. Against the light observe the colour and the “legs”. Legs are the tears or tiny streams that cling to the glass.The slower it goes down the richer the wine. If you don’t know what to say study the colour for a few more seconds. Wait.. don’t drink yet.

3.Give the glass a little swirl and now smell the wine by sticking your nose inside the glass. For a novice make comments like nice aroma or bouquet.

4.Now sip but do not swallow right away.Assess how the wine tastes. Pretend to be thinking about the taste…then make comments like it is earthy, fruity, full bodied, etc..

5.Okay…now you can drink🙂

6.If you’ve had too much tasting and feel a little drunk.It is better to spit the wine out.Yes it is okay to spit it out.

7.Wash glass with a little water when tasting several different bottles.

I was able to visit COPIA (The American Center for Wine Food and the Arts) in Napa Valley last weekend.They have tastings, wine seminars, wine and food pairing lessons, a food and wine museum and an edible herb garden. The building also houses Julia’s Kitchen, a restaurant built in  honor of Julia Child. The place showcases her menu and memorabilia.

Going Sideways: How wine is made (part 2)

The Robert Mondavi winery is one of the largest and most modern wine aging facility in the world. This place is huge compared to the other wineries that are family owned! Here is a tour of the facility and how wine is made:

Old world wines like French, Italian and Spanish wines are named after the producer. New world wines like Californian, Australian, Chilean and South African wines are named after the grape variety. Woodbridge is known for their white Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and reds like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and the Zinfandel. Taste and flavor starts with the grape variety used.

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