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Rate and Review
International Food & Wine Festival
September 30 - November 13, 2011
Table Fifty-Two, Chicago
Art & Soul, Washington, DC
Southern Art, Atlanta
Bryan Del Bondio,
Markham Vineyards, St. Helena, CA
Deviled Eggs and Garden Refrigerator Pickles
Markham Vineyards 2010 Sauvignon Blanc
Duet of Southern Chicken Dish featuring
Chicken and Dumplings with Mixed Green
Salad and Vinaigrette
Markham Vineyards 2009 Chardonnay
Southern Style Pot Roast
Markham Vineyards 2007 Merlot
Lemon-Sour Cream Pound Cake
Review by John Bowers
Art Smith grew up in North Florida and for a time was personal chef to two Florida governors, Bob Graham and Jeb Bush. Subsequently Art became personal chef to Oprah Winfrey. Art now has three restaurants: one in Washington DC, one in Chicago, and his newest one, Southern Art, which recently opened in Atlanta. Art was the Guest Chef on November 4, 2011, for the Kitchen Memories event at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.
Bryan Del Bondio was our wine expert. Bryan is President of Markham Vineyards in the charming town of St. Helena, CA.
Growing up in the South with a grandmother and mother who cooked, Art knows his Southern cuisine. We started with Deviled Eggs and Garden Refrigerator Pickles. The pickles are easy to make, and deviled eggs is a true Southern delicacy. Art said when there's a big get-together in the South, lots of people bring plates of deviled eggs. They write their name on the underside of the plate, so if you want to gossip about whose eggs were the best, you just peek at the name on the bottom of the plate! We also had a few pieces of cheese, and some andouille sausage.
Bryan poured us the Markham 2010 Sauvignon Blanc. Wine with dill pickles! You don't see that too often. The wine is a blend of 89% sauvignon blanc and 11% semillon. The semillon makes the wine juicier and gives it just a little bit of melon flavor. A lovely pairing with the deviled eggs, the cheese, and the andouille. It even was OK with the dill pickles. Who knew?
Art's new restaurant in Atlanta is called Southern Art and Bourbon Bar. I forgot how many bourbons they feature. Something like 70. Art said we Southerners like our bourbon and we like our whiskey, sometimes we just don't like to let people see how much of it we're drinking!
We had not one, but two main courses. The first one was a Duet of Southern Chicken featuring Chicken and Dumplings. The chicken and dumplings was actually a soup, and it was so comforting it almost made you wish you had a head cold. The other part of the chicken duet was (all you Southerners out there, get ready) Buttermilk Fried Chicken. The words 'fried chicken' are almost sacred to us Southerners, and they certainly are to Art. "We eat a LOT of critters down South," he said. Along with the chicken and dumplings and fried chicken, we had a biscuit and a lovely mixed green salad. He didn't give us the biscuit recipe, but he said you can find it on his web site. The internet is chock-full of great Southern-style biscuit recipes, as a matter of fact.
Art was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes several years ago, and has since lost 120 pounds, which means a lot less fried chicken in his life. But he made it for us.
Bryan paired the Markham 2009 Chardonnay with the chicken. A very easy-drinking wine, it tended a little toward the apple-and-pear side of the flavor spectrum, which I thought complemented the chicken better than a citrusy chardonnay would have. A nice combination indeed.
The second main course was Southern Style Pot Roast. Slow cook a bottom round roast in a Dutch oven with some carrots, celery, and tomato puree. Nearly as comforting as chicken and dumplings. And for a side dish with the pot roast? Grits. Art asked Bryan "Do y'all eat grits out there in California?" Bryan hesitated a minute. "We call it polenta," he said. Art didn't include his grits recipe, but making grits is easy. Go on-line to somewhere like Anson Mills and get some heirloom grits. Don't get those instant grits in the grocery store, Art said. "Quick grits" will do if you're serving a crowd, but true grits aficionados go for the heirloom kind.
Bryan poured the 2007 Markham Merlot with the pot roast. And I thought it was the best choice of the day. Merlot has had a tough time in America for awhile, ever since the 'merlot craze' of 20 years ago or so. Remember that? Everyone would go to TGIFriday's and say "give me a glass of merlot!" Merlot was so popular that wineries in California churned out oceans of bad merlot. Bad or not, give me a glass! Then the movie 'Sideways' body-slammed the merlot business. It's not easy to find good merlot for a reasonable price, but Markham has done it. You should be able to find it for around $20 a bottle, and it is well worth it. It has that cherry, blueberry, wonderfully soft taste and feel, just delightful. Seriously, go get some.
Art was full of stories. His best 'fire' story was when he was making lamb and rice one time for Oprah Winfrey's puppies. Yes, he reiterated, her puppies like lamb and rice. He had to leave the kitchen for some reason, and the smoke alarm went off. Somehow the fire department got called, and he said half of Chicago's fire trucks raced to get a chance to see the inside of Oprah's house.
Our dessert? To top off a Southern meal? Pound cake. I understand pound cake is very tricky to make. Art's is made with sour cream, butter, and eggs, so you know it's rich. And a tangy lemon syrup to drizzle on top. Oh my goodness, it was wonderful. Just take a look at that picture! Those are pear slices alongside. I think they were poached. He didn't give us the recipe, but by this time everyone's eyes were too glazed over with delight to even ask.
Bryan chose a Martini Prosecco to pair with the pound cake. A very lightly sparkling wine from the Veneto region of Italy, it had a nice lemony flavor that was a perfect match for the poundcake.
Art has been part of the Food and Wine Festival for many years. He always brings graciousness and charm to the events he hosts. It's easy to see how special being at Disney is to him. He told us to cherish our families and our friends and the good times we have when we share special meals. "Whatever you have in life that's special to you, is special to another person."
12 large eggs
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced sweet pickle
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Hot red pepper sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Paprika for garnish
1. Place the eggs in a large saucepan.
2. Add cold water to cover by one inch.
3. Bring to a boil over high heat.
4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Carefully drain and rinse under cold water.
6. When the eggs are cool enough to handle, but still warm, peel them.
7. Cut each egg in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and place them in a medium-sized bowl.
8. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, pickle, and Worcestershire sauce. Season to taste with
salt, pepper, and hot sauce.
2 cups cider vinegar
2 teaspoons plain (non-iodized) or pickling salt
1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 cucumbers, scrubbed but not peeled, and cut into 1/4 inch rounds or sliced into spears
1 small onion, cut into thin half rounds
1 cup yellow or red grape tomatoes, or a combination of both colors
8 garlic cloves crushed under a knife and peeled
1/4 cup (packed) sprigs of fresh dill
1. Bring the vinegar, salt, coriander, and peppercorns to a full boil in a medium
saucepan over high heat. Cool completely.
2. Sterilize a 1-quart glass canning jar by immersing it in a pot of boiling water for 10
minutes or by running it through a full cycle of the dishwasher.
3. The jar should be hot when adding the vegetables. Layer the cucumbers, onions,
tomatoes, garlic, and dill in the hot jar. Pour enough of the vinegar to cover them
4. Refrigerate for at least 3 days.
Chicken and Dumplings
One 3 to 3 and 1/2 pound chicken cut into 8 pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 carrots, sliced into rounds
2 quarts water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
1. Place the chicken pieces, onion, celery, and carrots in a 5-quart Dutch oven or covered
casserole and add the water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
2. Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface.
3. Reduce the heat to low and cover tightly.
4. Simmer, occasionally skimming the broth, until the chicken is tender, about 50 minutes.
5. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a platter (keep broth and vegetables simmering)
and cool until it's easy to handle.
6. Discard the skin and bones and cut the meat into bite-size pieces.
7. Increase the heat under the broth to high and cook until the liquid is reduced to
8. Skim off any fat from the surface of the broth.
9. Stir the chicken back into the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
1. Place the flour, salt, and oil into a medium bowl and gradually stir in the water to
make a stiff dough.
2, Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly.
3. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness.
4. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1-inch wide strips.
5. Slide the strips into the simmering soup, placing them next to each other without
stacking or crowding.
6. Cover tightly and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the dumplings are cooked
through and tender, about 10 minutes.
7. Sprinkle the dumplings with parsley. Serve from the pot, breaking up the dumplings
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
10 ounces mixed baby lettuces
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
Scant 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
1/4 cup unsprayed edible flowers, such as johnny-jump-ups, pansies, or nasturtiums
1 cup grape tomatoes or Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. To make the vinaigrette, whisk the vinegar and shallot in a small bowl
2. Gradually whisk in the oil.
3. Toss the lettuce, parsley, mint, tarragon, basil, and flowers (if using) in a large bowl.
4. Add the vinaigrette and toss again.
5. Heap the salad in the center of the plate.
6. Arrange the tomatoes around the salad.
7. Sprinkle each salad with salt and pepper to taste.
One 3 and 1/2 pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup self rising flour
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1. Place the chicken in a medium bowl and add the buttermilk and salt. Stir well and
refrigerate for one hour.
2. Add enough oil in a deep large skillet to create a depth of 1 inch.
3. Heat over medium-high heat to 360 degrees F.
4. Mix the flour, paprika, pepper, and garlic powder in a shallow bowl. Remove the dark
meat from the buttermilk, shake to remove the excess, and roll in the flour to coat.
5. Shake off the excess flour and place in hot oil. Cook over medium-high, turning
occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes.
6. Adjust the heat as needed so that the oil bubbles steadily around the chicken. It
should not brown too quickly.
7. Drain on paper towels.
8. Reheat the oil to 360 degrees. Repeat with the breasts and wings, cooking for about
9. Serve the chicken hot, or at room temperature within two hours of cooking.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 3 and 3/4 pound bottom round beef roast
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 medium celery rib, cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup dry red wine, such as Zinfandel or Shiraz
1 28-ounce can tomatoes in thick puree (chopped)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
2. Season the roast with salt and pepper.
3. Brown the roast on all sides in the Dutch oven, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes.
4. Transfer the roast to a plate.
5. Heat more oil in the Dutch oven if needed. Add onion, carrot, and celery, and cook,
stirring often, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.
6. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
7. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes and their puree, oregano, and basil.
8. Return the roast to the pot and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and
cover the pot.
9. Simmer, occasionally turning the roast in the sauce until the meat is fork-tender,
about 2 hours.
10. Transfer the meat to a platter. Remove the pot from the heat, and let it
stand for about 5 minutes.
11. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface of the sauce.
12. Carve the meat and pour the sauce on top. Serve hot.
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grated zest of 2 lemons
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
1. Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees.
2. Butter and flour a 10-inch fluted tube (bundt) pan, and tap out the excess flour.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together; set aside.
4. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a hand-held electric mixer on high speed
until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla and zest.
6. On low speed, add the flour in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of
sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour, and beat until smooth.
7. Scrape down the sides of the bowl often with a rubber spatula.
8. Spread evenly in the pan. Bake until wooden skewer inserted into the center of the
cake comes out clean, about 1 and 1/4 hours.
9. Meanwhile, make the syrup. Bring the lemon juice, zest, water, and sugar to a boil
over high heat and cook until it is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes.
10. Allow syrup to cool before drizzling onto the cake.
11. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Drizzle half of the syrup
over the cake.
12. Invert onto the rack and brush with the remaining syrup.
13. Cool completely.