Chef Tables In The Vineyard

At this year’s 16th Annual Heirloom Tomato Festival, we added a wonderful charity dinner to benefit the Cooking with Kids Foundation. We invited some of our favorite local chefs as well as some celebrity TV chefs to cook for and each host a table of guests. We were extremely happy to have Guy Fieri and Mario Batali at this dinner in the vineyards. The amazing line-up of chefs included:

Adam Mali (Mandarin Oriental – San Francisco)
Andrew Wilson (The Lodge at Sonoma)
Bruce Aidells & Dino Bugica (Diavola)
Casey Thompson, Eli Kirshtein & Ryan Scott (Top Chef – Bravo TV)
Domenica Catelli (Catelli’s)
Douglas Keane (Cyrus, Healdsburg Bar & Grill)
Dustin Valette (Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen)
Jeff Mall (Zin Restaurant & Farm)
Jesse Mallgren (Madrona Manor)
John Ash & Tom Schmidt (John Ash & Co.)
John Stewart & Duskie Estes (Zazu Restaurant & Farm)
Josh Silvers (Three Squares Café, Jackson’s Bar & Oven)
Ken Tominaga (Hana Japanese Restaurant)
Mark Stark (Stark’s Steakhouse, Willi’s Wine Bar, Monti’s, Willi’s Seafood, Bravas)
Perry Hoffman (étoile)
Sondra Bernstein (The Girl & The Fig, Fig Café, Estate)
Steve Litke (Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant)

Each chef cooked for their table and they all brought their own signature styles to the heirloom tomato inspired dishes. I saw so many impressive dishes being plated up, I wish I could have tried them all. Here are just a few that caught my eye:

Steve Litke’s Heirloom Tomato & Lobster Salad, Tomato Gelee, Bloomed Basil Seed, Micro Lettuces, Sudachi Vinaigrette, Seaweed. Paired with Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay.

Ken Tominaga’s Sake Braised Beef Short Rib, Tempura Green Tomato with Red Wine Soy Mirin Reduction. Paired with Kendall-Jackson Stature

Adam Mali’s Heirloom Tomato Salad, Mozzarella Made Tableside, Basil Oil, Baby Basil. Paired with Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay

Douglas Keane’s King Salmon, Matsutake Tsukemono, Radish, Snap Peas, Tomato-Konbu Broth. Paired with Kendall-Jackson Highland Estates Camelot Chardonnay.

Mark Stark’s Coffee Crusted 56 Day Aged Prime New York, Faux Bone Marrow, Bbq’d Tomatoes, Candied Garlic, Fingerling Potatoes. Paired with Kendall-Jackson Highland Estates Trace Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon

John Stewart & Duskie Estes’ BLT Salad: Pork Belly Croutons, Little Gem Lettuces, Soda Rock Farm Tomatoes, Buttermilk Dressing, Crispy Paprika Pig Ear. Paired with Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay

Eli Kirshtein’s “Marvin Gaye & Chardonnay”: Fresh Tomato Paste, Green Tomato & Chardonnay Broth, Tomato Leaf Puree, Nasturtiums, Albacore, Abalone, Uni. Paired with Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay

Perry Hoffman’s Roasted Snake River Farms Zabuton Beef, Smoked Heirloom Tomato Sauce, Snap Peas, Sweet White Corn, Nasturtium. Paired with Kendall-Jackson Highland Estates Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Our own Pastry Chef, Robert “Buttercup” Nieto made the fabulous desserts for the evening. They were:

Basil Corn Cake, Candied Pine Nuts, Balsamic Caramel Gel, Roasted Tomatoes, Tomato Pâte de Fruit. Paired with Kendall-Jackson Late Harvest Chardonnay

Smoke Chocolate Bon Bons, Lavender Bon Bons, Rosemary Shortbread, Coffee Caramel Macaron and Passion Fruit Marshmallow.

Here’s to a truly spectacular event. How often do people have the opportunity to sit down and wine & dine with this many talented chefs under one roof? Hope to see you there next year!