By J. Fung Dec 19, 2020
2020 has been a year of adapting to change. A year of social distancing and spending more time virtually as we try to stay safe from COVID-19. The Food & Wine Classic is Food & Wine Magazine’s signature event held annually in Aspen, Colorado. A food event bringing passionate culinary explorers together with talented chefs and wine experts. Unfortunately, the event was canceled this year due to the pandemic. Thanks to Food & Wine magazine as they brought the community together virtually for a Holiday at Home Edition of the event. A passionate team of food and wine experts took us on a virtual food & wine journey. We were invited into their home kitchens and wine rooms as they shared their insights and culinary creations.
Author and Culinary Director-at-Large, Food & Wine Magazine
Justin Chapple was our host for this festive culinary evening. Justin is the Culinary Director-At-Large for Food & Wine and host of the video series Mad Genius Tips. He is the author of two books, Just Cook It! and Mad Genius Tips. He introduced us to 11 culinary and wine experts sharing their recipes, culinary techniques, and insights for wine and whiskey.
Executive Wine Editor, Food & Wine Magazine
How many bubbles are in a bottle of champagne? Zero, only when the bottle is opened there are 20 to 40 million bubbles released. Live from the Wine Vault at Food & Wine, Ray shares his insight on sparkling wines, glassware, and wine chilling. He compared a flute, wine glass, and coupe for drinking sparkling wine. Ray shared his insight on 3 sparkling wines and his humor on wine pairings as he brought out his potato chips, beef jerky, and jalapeño with hot sauce.
Three sparkling wines featured:
- Raventos i Blanc Blanc de Blancs
- Bollinger Brut Special Cuvee Champagne
- Lini 910 Labrusca Lambrusco Rosso
Creative Director and Author, That Cheese Plate Will Change Your Life
Marissa followed her passion for cheese plates and has been an inspiration to many. Her Cheese by Number Method shows us how to creatively make our own cheeseboards. Steps 1 thru 6 include selection and placement of Cheese, Meat, Produce, Crunch, Dips, and Garnish.
Her Cheese Boards created below include a board for Appetizer, Entree, and Dessert featuring Kerrygold Cheese.
Cheeses: Dubliner, Reserve Cheddar, Aged Cheddar with Whiskey, Cashel Blue, and Skellig Sweet Cheddar
Produce: Apricot, Roasted Potatoes, Olives, Strawberries, and Raspberries
Crunch: Seeded Crackers, Mixed Nuts, Toasted Bread, Dark Chocolate, and Candied Pecans
Dips: Fig Jam, Butter, and Honey
Garnish: Thyme, Rosemary, and Rose Petals
Food & Wine Best New Chef 2020 and Owner, Mida in Boston
Chef Douglass Williams invites us into his home kitchen to create an amazing slow roasted salmon with banana parsnip puree. His technique for this culinary creation is noteworthy. He starts by buttering the salmon on all sides to give it a butter jacket to create a very moist salmon. I’m ready to try this the next time I cook salmon for dinner! He recommends using peppercorn and thyme as part of the seasonings for this dish. After the moist salmon has baked, he finishes this dish with a banana parsnip puree and sprinkles crushed potato chips to top it off. It’s a very creative technique to inspire a home chef!
James Beard award winning Author, Chef, and Restaurateur
Alexander Smalls is the only Chef, Author, and Restaurateur that has won a Tony & Grammy. We were delighted to hear his holiday singing as he prepared a mint julip tea in a mason jar. After his cocktail creation, he showed us his devil crab corn muffins that he already prepared. Both recipes can be seen in the October issue of Food & Wine Magazine.
Chef, Santa Margherita Wines
Chef Vittorio Marzotto invited us into his home kitchen and took us on a culinary journey inspired by Italy. He prepared 3 types of Bruschetta and recommended wine pairings.
- Anchovies and parsley, paired with Pinot Grigio
- Smoked Salmon with Sicilian capers, paired with Prosecco Chardonnay
- Mushroom on whole wheat, with olive oil, cheese, and truffle oil paired with Red Blend Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon
Food & Wine Best New Chef 2019, James Beard Winner, and Author of Notes from a Young Black Chef
Kwame Onwuachi shared a great quote, “The Holidays means Family”. He shares great memories of his mom making Shepherd’s Pie for his birthdays growing up. Kwame created his version of Shepherd’s pie using soft-boiled Russet potatoes, lamb, stout, Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and peas. His technique of letting the steam release moisture from the potatoes and then ricing the potatoes ensures a rich mashed potato layer. He bakes his pie until the potatoes are topped with a golden brown finish. He encourages all to make a Shepherd’s Pie your own. You can customize your own version and make a Fisherman’s Pie with seafood selections or a Vegetable Pie version.
Award-Winning Author, Speaker, Wine Consultant, and TV Host
Leslie Sbrocco took us on a journey of the 4 S’s of Wine Tasting. See, Swirl, Smell, and Sip. Cozy Winter Reds are perfect for the Holidays. Leslie shared her insight on 3 Red Wines. Leslie’s passion for wine can be seen from her detailed insight on the color, scent, taste, and knowledge of wine regions. She shares inspiring stories behind the wine, such as Susana Balbo, the first female in Argentina to start her own winery in Mendoza.
- Diora La Petite Grace, Pinot Noir from Monterey County, California
- Ramon Bilbao ‘Limited Edition’ Crianza from Rioja, Spain
- Susana Balbo Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendoza, Argentina
Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Actor, Star of Modern Family, and Author of Food Between Friends
Jesse Tyler Ferguson recently co-authored a cookbook with Chef Julie Tanous to pay homage to modern California food with Southern and Southwestern spins. Jesse showed us how to make Green Chile Pimento Cheese Rollups. His combination of spices include garlic powder, cayenne, mustard power, and pepper. His selection of cheeses include sharp cheddar, parmesan, and cream cheese. He then combines all ingredients with mayonnaise and pimento cheese. Two tablespoons of pimento cheese is spread on each tortilla. The green chile is added on top and then you’re ready to roll.
North America Brand Ambassador, Dewar’s
Gabe shared with us his insights on Dewar’s 15 year old whiskey. He shows us the importance of it’s golden color and the history of its double aging process. Dewar’s whiskey is aged in hand selected cask barrels for further maturation. This process gives a level of smoothness.
It’s golden color indicates what to expect on the palate and nose. Scents of toasted oak, vanilla, and coconut will immediately come through. Another innovative addition coming in January is a Port Cask Whiskey from Dewar’s. Please visit the Dewar’s website for further information. Cheers!
Linda & Drew Scott
Co-Host of Property Brothers, HGTV
Linda and Drew Scott invited us into their kitchen to make a Holiday Mint Dessert. It’s made with crushed chocolate wafers, melted butter, milk, marshmallows, peppermint, and whipped cream. Linda and Drew enjoy various methods of crushing the chocolate wafers. Punching bags, rolling pins, and any demolition method to crush it into cookie crumbs. They are used for the base of the mint dessert and a few saved for topping. After all ingredients are combined and added on the cookie base, it is chilled in the freezer before dessert time.
Winner of Top Chef Season 14 and Chef/Owner, Playa Provisions
Brooke welcomed us into her home kitchen to share how to make one of her all time favorite desserts, Sticky Toffee Pudding. She started by making a date paste as creamy as possible. Sticky Toffee Pudding is a Date Cake. After baking in Ramekins, Brooke creates an orange bourbon toffee sauce to pour over the pudding. A 45 minute sauce to create that is worth the wait!
Editor in Chief, Food & Wine Magazine
Spitzbuben – The popular German Christmas butter cookies with a tart jam in the middle. They are the cover star of Food & Wine’s December edition. Hunter Lewis joined us to share details on the Cook the Cover Contest. To enter the contest, post your best photo on Instagram of your baked Spitzbuben and hashtag #fwcookthecovercontest. You can earn a chance to win prizes and to be featured on the Food & Wine Instagram page.
Food & Wine and Family
It was the perfect time for a virtual food & wine event. The Holidays are all about bringing family and friends to spend time together. The Food & Wine Classic at Home Holiday Edition kept this spirit alive as we saw that even with a pandemic we can still keep the food & wine community together virtually.