TRAVERSE CITY — Last January seven local gourmet chefs and 22 winemakers put their heads together.
What resulted is Traverse City Wine & Art Festival’s first-ever Winemakers Party on Friday, June 21.
Wine and food aficionados will have an opportunity to see just how well Michigan wines pair with gourmet fare from 6-9 p.m. on the grounds at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons in Traverse City.
“We decided to create an event that was more about the wine and food, with the wine and chefs as the actual celebrities,” said Andy McFarlane of organizer Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association. “We wanted to put our winemakers and our wine region on the stage.”
Each chef received a bottle from all of the 22 vintners from Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas and then were left to dig in and see how the wine and food might work together.
They came up with a varied menu that includes escargot and ramp risotto from Bistro Fou Fou/La Becasse; coffee and red wine braised beef short ribs with polenta, chevre, sage and pea shoots from Black Star farms; Northern Indian vegetarian curry with basmati rice from Cook’s House; wine poached Lake Michigan trout with asparagus and smoked butter pesto on herbed barley from Epicure Catering; house made grilled merguez sausage on baguette with rouille, Werp Farms rocket arugula, pickled onions and cucumber from Mission Table; and braised Michigan veal breast on local brioche with house pickled ramps from the Riverside Inn. Trattoria Stella also joins the list with grilled focaccia, melted stracchino cheese, heirloom tomatoes, basil, extra virgin olive oil, and salt.
“What I really like about it is that the foods pair so well with the Michigan wines,” said Master Sommelier Claudia Tyagi, one of only 20 women in the world to hold the highest Sommelier credential. She will also be attending the event to chat with guests. “It’s designed so people can ask the winemakers questions and move around the room,” she added.