26th Annual Vintage Bouquet Food and Wine Festival
Event Recap and My Favorite Dishes
I recently attended 26th Annual Vintage Bouquet Food and Wine Festival at the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, California, hosted by The Barristers of the Beverly Hills Bar Association and the Beverly Hills Bar Foundation and sponsored by Celebrity Cruises and others.
The Vintage Bouquet Food and Wine Festival is a wonderful event that features some of Los Angeles and Hollywood’s best restaurants and California’s best wineries. Proceeds from the event support the charitable causes of the Beverly Hills Bar Foundation including pro bono programs that focus on community outreach, legal education and access to the justice system.
The event is held at Greystone Mansion, which literally looks like Bruce Wayne’s estate from Batman. The stately grey walls of Greystone mansion were a perfect palate to showcase the talents of the participating chefs.
One of my favorite dishes was made by Executive Chef of Celebrity Cruises, Chef Rufino Rengifo. He made a Cajun shrimp appetizer that was balanced in flavor and actuated the naturally sweet flavor of the shrimp while enunciating a constant harmony of lively Canjun flavors. The result was a dish with multiple flavor layers that stayed interesting on my palate, even after my fourth helping.
I was not surprised that a cruise ship company produced one of my favorite dishes because there has been a strong focus on Gastronomic Tourism in the travel industry. As I mentioned in a previous post, the cruise industry, including Celebrity Cruises, has been doubling down on cuisine based cruises.
Some of my other favorite dishes included the salmon and Bay Scallop Ceviche from Chaya. It was a warm afternoon and the cool and refreshing flavors of yuzu citrus cured salmon and scallop hit the spot just right.
Napa Valley Grille made a beautiful Mushroom Agnolotti, that burst with the earthy flavors of mushrooms and rounded off my the glorious flavor of butter.
Ruth Chris Steakhouse presented their gourmet beef slider and their sweet potato casserole. The slider was good, although everyone I met agreed that the sweet potato casserole stole the show. You cant argue that butter, brown sugar makes anything pop.
Taberna Arros Y Vi, in Santa Monica, made a very refreshing Fava Bean puree with Burrata. The dish was garnished with sweet toast. This dish was simple, yet complex in flavors. A perfect summer dish.
My favorite wine at the event was poured by Cielo Farms in Malibu. They were pouring their Woodstock collection of wines including my favorite, Black Widow.
My Final Thoughts
Overall this was a really well organized tasting event. Although the price tag was on the higher side of tasting, all the Chefs and vendors put their best foot forward and showcased their best dishes. The backdrop of Greystone Mansion added to the allure of the event.