The Queen Mary in Long Beach has teamed with B. R. Cohn Winery from Sonoma County to present a winemaker's dinner on Thursday, October 10 in the Queen's Salon. In an interview today with Chef Todd Henderson, Executive Chef for the Queen Mary's hotels and restaurants, Chef Todd discussed the wines and olive oils from B. R. Cohn that will be featured with the dinner, as well as the menu items that he has created to complement the wines. According to Chef Todd, “the first step in the process was to throw out the conventional ideas of wine pairings and just taste the wines for inspiration. With Twain's [Schreiber, Director of Food and Beverage for the Queen Mary] direction on wineries and the wines, along with Dan Cohn's suggestions of which B. R. Cohn wines to taste, we had ideas of what to present”. Chef Todd tasted the wines and began to get an idea of what would work best with their flavor profile. “Twain and I discussed the wines and also looked at what had worked in the past. With beef and chocolate along with wine, 'if it works well it works' so we came back to those as a foundation for the dinner”.
B. R. Cohn is also famous for their olive oil, sourced from 145 year-old French Picholine olive trees on the estate property. Chef Todd decided that the primary use, because of the taste and quality of the extra virgin olive oil, was for dressing several dishes rather than using it for cooking. “Knowing that the olives pick up nuances from the same soil that the grapes are grown in makes for a nice pairing of the olive oil and wine”, he said. A balsamic vinegar from B. R. Cohn was also used in creating some of the dishes for the dinner.
B. R. Cohn Winery will be sending Dan Cohn, their Senior Vice President and National Sales Manager to lead the wine tasting portion of the evening. Featured music will include tunes from the Doobie Brothers,, one of the top groups in rock history. Bruce Cohn, founder of B. R. Cohn Winery and owner of the Olive Hill Estate Vineyards, has still maintained his presence in the music world as one of the longest continuous managers for a music group in history, having started to manage the Doobie Brothers in 1970 and still their current manager. Twain, a longtime fan of the Doobies, will personally select the music to be played in the Queen's Salon.
For the first course, Chef Todd decided that the vanilla notes of the B. R. Cohn Chardonnay called for matching flavors. Butter poached Maine lobster forms a pallette that is highlighted by a vanilla-scented Yucatan yam. Accompanying that is a heirloom tomato salsa and fresh greens dressed with the B. R. Cohn Extra virgin Olive Oil. Since it is the tail end of heirloom tomato season, Chef Todd felt that this would be a nice way to salute the delicious tomato. “I grew up as a kid in Rhode Island, so we would often go down to the docks and fish markets for live Maine lobster. This dish certainly helps to bring back memories of my childhood”, Chef Todd said.
For the second course, Chef Todd decided to pair the B. R. Cohn Pinot Noir with a wild boar chop. “I will be brining the chops with cannella, a Mexican cinnamon, along with garlic, water and fennel and several other aromatics. “We'll brine the wild boar chops for 24 hours and then grill them”, Chef Todd said. “The cannelini beans will be lightly braised in olive oil to accompany the chops”.
The third course will highlight Chef Todd's favorite grape, cabernet sauvignon. “I'm going to use the B. R. Cohn Cabernet Sauvignon along with beef bone stock reduced into a demi-glace and then combined with the cabernet reduction into a demi-glace for the beef. Along with that, I am seasoning and then poaching some beef shank bones for their delicious marrow, which will get bound with some butter to form the marrow butter that will accompany the dish”, according to Chef Todd. He feels that marrow is making a comeback, having been a key part of French culinary icon Chef Escoffier's cuisine. A wild mushroom ragout will also be infused with the cabernet sauvignon demi-glace and then served with a luscious Prime Rib Eye Filet.
Recognizing the affinity of chocolate for red wine, Chef Todd decided to create his dessert to pair along with the B. R. Cohn Zinfandel. Chef Todd will be reducing some B. R. Cohn Balsamic vinegar along will some sugar to form a balsamic syrup for his Chocolate crunch of dark chocolate mousse, and flourless chocolate cake. He feels that the balsamic syrup will provide a perfect finish to the dessert course.
Following the dinner, guests will adjourn to the Queen Mary's Verandah Deck, where Twain Schreiber has paired the B. R. Cohn Port with some fine Alec Bradley cigars. This final course will be enjoyed while guests stroll the deck, look over at the skyline and lights of downtown Long Beach and savor the classic combination of port and cigars.
Following the success of the Queen Mary's spring Whiskey Dinner and this summer's extremely popular, sold out Jack Daniel's Whiskey Dinner, the B. R. Cohn Winemaker's Dinner should be an affair to remember, featuring one of the world's best ultra-premium wineries. The B. R. Cohn Winemaker's Dinner will be held on Thursday, October 10, 2013, from 6:00 to 10:00 pm. Information about purchasing tickets can be found on the Queen Mary's website for the B. R. Cohn Winemaker's Dinner.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
6 to 10pm in the Queen's Salon
The Queen Mary
1126 Queens Highway
Long Beach, CA 90802
Information: (877) 342-0738