Experiencing Travel Themes While Staying at Home and Supporting a Good Cause

by Teri E. Popp, Tastemaker in Residence

I love to travel!  And I do it a lot.  But sometimes, it's nice to stay home and celebrate the cuisine of a foreign country at our own dining room table.  These experiences help foster an understanding of the culture and tastes of distant shores, but can be shared with friends and neighbors nearby.

Recently, my husband purchased an auction item at an event in support of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities.   That auction item included a delectable dinner donated by Lord Fletcher's Old Lake Lodge located in Spring Park on Lake Minnetonka.  In addition, Kowalski's Markets donated a wine tasting at the BBBS event and they kindly agreed to pair wines for our dinner party.

I carefully planned the evening around a Parisian inspired theme with chef/owner Thomas Pivec.  I encouraged guests to dress in French themed attire for the evening.  After months of planning, he, along with Angela Piper from Kowalski's, crafted a superb menu!

Bonjour (a welcome drink)--Blanchet Pouilly Fume, Loire Valley 2013
Amuse Bouche--Kaluga River Beluga Caviar, Buttered King Crab, Egg, and Micro Chervil served with Veuve Cliguot Brut N/V
Fowl Course--Confit Duck, Harvest Fall Grains, Trumped Mushrooms, Tiger Figs, Arugula, Lingonberry Vinaigrette, and Humbolt Fog Goat Cheese served with Jeanne Gaillard Roussanne, Rhone Valley 2012
Fish Course--Poached Dover Sole Wrapped in Scallop Mousse, Juilienne Vegetables, Fernand Point Sauce and Pea Shoots with Olivier LeFlaive White Burgundy 2012
Sorbet--Frozen Pear Shooter
Meat Course--Duo A9 Miyazaki Wagyu Beef Tenderloin with A5 Miazaki Wagyu NY Striploin, Sweet Potato Gratin, Chantrelles, Fresh Shaved Summer Truffles and Demi Glaze, served with Chateau D'Arsac Margueax 2010
Plat a Dessert--Chocolate Feuillentine paired with Chateau Tuyttens Sauternes 2009

Needless to say, everyone had a tres magnifique evening!!  Viva la France!!