Dominique Crenn, the Chef Behind movie “The Menu” on a global foodie adventure.
Chef Dominique Crenn, the first and only female chef in North America with three Michelin stars, helped the filmmakers of the horror movie “The Menu” bring to life the perfect menu for the main event which has been described as a real 9-courses culinary and artist masterpiece.
And now there is an opportunity for an intimate group of guests to meet, dine and discover with Dominique in person in France
Enjoy Dominique Crenn for 5 days in France for a Hosted Experience with Satopia Travel
As the chief technical consultant for The Menu film, Dominique Crenn was responsible for advising on all aspects of food preparation and presentation to bring to life the concepts of the menu based on Seth Reiss and Will Tracy’s screenplay.
Crenn is known for her creative approach to cooking
She has been working closely with Mark Mylod, the director and producers to ensure that the film accurately portrays the culinary world.
Her menu is inspired by her travels and experiences around the world
Crenn is known for her creative approach to cooking, and her menu is often inspired by her travels and experiences around the world. Dishes that Dominique Crenn designed as a consultant are presented with the slow-motion pomp and string accompaniment of a “Chef’s Table” episode. Indeed, the food-worshiping Netflix series, which featured Crenn in season two, was an inspiration for “The Menu”.
There is an incredible opportunity for an intimate group of like-minded travelers
There is an incredible opportunity for an intimate group of like-minded travelers to meet chef, icon and activist Dominique Crenn.
In collaboration with Satopia Travel, Crenn conjures up five magical days and evenings where creativity and nature converge. Our most inspired Hosted Experience is a wonder to behold for our guests. Combining the magnificent culinary delights of triple Michelin star chef Dominique Crenn with the stunning backdrop of an ancient French chateau is certain to ignite your palette and spirit.
Dominique Crenn brings her soul to the feast
Dominique Crenn brings her soul to the feast, transforming ingredients through the poetry of gastronomy. Those fortunate to share her table and her stories will discover a world of passion and gratitude for food, community and life. You’ll create and share unforgettable memories.
Ancient olive groves, crisp French linen, the vintages of Cognac and the sound of boisterous laughter under a starlit sky. Step into a magical world of natural beauty, wonder and awe.
Booking is now open. Book before the 1st of January to take advantage of the holiday rates before prices increase.
About Satopia Travel
Satopia Travel (www.satopiatravel.com) specializes in unique experiences, led by world-class hosts. Providing guests with unprecedented access to some of the most extraordinary people on the planet, Satopia hosts world-class leaders who champion the potential for the future of humanity, creating meaningful connections through shared experiences. Every hosted experience has an element of giving back, either to a local community, social or environmental cause close to their heart.
About the AuthorJoe Wehinger (nicknamed Joe Winger) has written for over 20 years about the business of lifestyle and entertainment. Joe is an entertainment producer, media entrepreneur, public speaker, and C-level consultant who owns businesses in entertainment, lifestyle, tourism and publishing. He is an award-winning filmmaker, published author, member of the Directors Guild of America, International Food Travel Wine Authors Association, WSET Level 2 Wine student, WSET Level 2 Cocktail student, member of the LA Wine Writers. Email to: Joe@FlavRReport.com
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DC Foodies Top the list: Curious about Plant-Based Honey Taste? Mellody’s Darko Mandich reveals the SurpriseBy Joe Winger — 8 months ago
DC Foodies top the list — curious about Plant-Based Honey taste, Mellody’s Darko Mandich reveals the surprise.
DC Foodies are a different type. Hungry and always eager to try something new. Known for its adventurous foodies and curious eaters. Plenty of people are already in line to try plant-based honey, but what does it actually taste like?
People might worry there’s a “laboratory” flavor? Has it lost its texture? Vibrancy? Is there a “diet” feel to it?
Exclusive Interview with Mellody Food’s Darko Mandich.
Darko Mandich is a food entrepreneur in San Francisco. After spending almost a decade in the European honey industry as a business executive, Darko committed to reimagining the honey industry to become sustainable. Darko immigrated from Europe to California to launch Mellody, the world’s first plant-based honey brand. Darko is an advocate of saving the bees and wild pollinators.
Recently, I had a chance to talk with Darko for nearly an hour.
Let’s talk about the honey. What’s the taste profile?
There are three aspects of products that people care about. Number one by far is taste. Number two is price, and number three is nutrition.
In terms of the taste, what we’re really after is the best tasting honeys that are made by bees.
The taste has to match rare honeys that you would find in parts of Europe; France, Italy. Very high quality Acacia honey, specifically.
If we talk about New Zealand, Australia, that’s Manuka honey; and we’re matching that.
So no compromise there.
Moving to the price, I grew up in poverty and I really want to make sure that everybody has access to this product at some point. But it’ll take us some time. So right now it’s premium quality, but it’s also premium price.
In terms of nutrition, we wanna do better than honey coming from bees. How? First and foremost, honey made by the bees contains a certain bacteria that’s called Clostridium. With our product, without the bees [there’s no Clostridium] bacteria.
I’m really proud to say that our product is allergen free; and that for people with allergies to honey and pollen, this is gonna be neutral.
Finally in terms of super ingredients or superfoods, our honey has more than what’s usually found in some of the honey types made by the bees.
The sugar profile is the same, the calorie content is the same, but the twist is there’s a little bit more of certain powerful active compounds that come from the plants.
That’s absolutely incredible. It’s enhanced honey. Is there a better word?
I like to call it a plant-based honey. And that category of plant-based honey is already elevated to the level of being enhanced compared to bee-made honey.
I’m really happy that Melody is starting this category. We are the world’s first plant-based honey.
There’s exactly one same sentence that we get to hear across 5,000 people that were involved in tasting this before it hit the market.
That sentence is: It’s honey.
People taste it, they’re amazed with it, and they say, “Oh my God, it’s honey.”
There are certain plant-based products that have their heart in best place in terms of mission and impact, but are just not delivering on [flavor] expectations. We just want to make sure that people across different categories of nutrition say that this is honey and that they love it.
Is the honey currently available at Eleven Madison Home?
Yeah, the honey is currently available. The Specialty Tea and Honey Box launched for the Mother’s Day collection and Earth Month.
It’s a specially curated box of artisanal teas coming from different parts of the world with honey and also amazing, shortbread cookies. All plant-based, also made with our honey. That’s available right now
Sometime very soon a standalone jar [of honey] will also be available to Eleven Madison Home.
Tell us again what’s available, how to find it; and how to follow you and support you.
Yeah, follow us on Instagram and TikTok at MellodyFoods
In terms of purchasing, head to ElevenMadisonHome.com and you can purchase it there.
Saving the bees is learning more about them. Learning more about pollinators and you can do that on our social media.
And finally, if you’re equally passionate about bees and plants as we are, ask your favorite restaurant to reach out to us to offer Mellody in your favorite restaurant. It can be a vegan restaurant on non-vegan.
We are gonna work with all the restaurants that reach out to us where people ask to see our product offered, either on the menu, either within a meal, or just if you order a cup of tea and you want a side of Mellody.Post Views: 3
By Bill Hardwick — 2 years ago
Ambar Capitol Hill serves small plates with rustic Chic flair
Ambar on Capitol Hill is the seven-year-old birthplace of a Balkan and Mexican restaurant empire now sprinkled across the DMV.
Its mezze-focused flagship operation (523 8th Street SE). The 3,000-square-foot Balkan oasis is twice as large, with a new pastel-hued patio.
The rooftop welcomes guests 365 days a year with movable, teal slats that open up and close at the push of a button.
Its first-floor patio can fit dozens of diners across the two outdoor areas.
As you walk in, guests are surrounded by visually bold floor-to-ceiling stone walls.
Four separate dining areas create a vibe with their own names and themes:Chef’s Room, Rakia Bar, The Wine Cellar and Garden Room.
Balkan spirts and wine are poured at all four bars on-site.
A second-floor wine cellar, lined with a 360-degree assortment of vintage bottles, plans to evolve into a bar that hosts educational tastings.
Ambar ran a series of virtual wine classes during the pandemic to help build up a following for the less-known wine region.
Ambar is mbest-known for its small plates menu: familiar spreads, salads, Serbian small plates, flatbreads, and lamb lasagna.
$25 per person at lunch and $35 per person at dinner with a two-hour time limit.
A takeout menu for two ($39) includes mains like wild mushroom risotto or beef short rib goulash.Post Views: 2
Oregon Wine’s Incredible new vintage Re-Invents the Rules with Winemaker Aaron Lieberman from Iris VineyardsBy Joe Wehinger — 6 months ago
Oregon Wine shares incredible new vintage with Winemaker Aaron Lieberman from Iris Vineyards
Sure, Oregon Wine is world-famous for its Pinot Noir. And rightly so, as the area produces incredible expressions of the varietal. But that’s not all they can do.
Award-winning winemaker Aaron Lieberman wants the world to taste and discover all of the incredible wines from the area including Iris Vineyards’s new Pinot Gris which has won acclaim several years in a row.
Today, Winemaker Aaron Lieberman from Iris Vineyards sits down over zoom to talk about his inspirations, his favorite wines, food pairings and what’s next for Oregon Wine.
The conversation has been edited for length and clarity. Find the whole conversation on our YouTube channel.
There’s so much to go over with you because you’re in a great area of Oregon.
Last year we had the privilege of covering the 2022 McMinnville Wine Classic, your Pinot Gris won Best in Show and Best White varietal.
According to press announcements it’s the first time ever for a Pinot Gris. What was it about that bottle and that year that brought you so much acclaim?
The vintage we won that on was the 2020, and I think our Pinot Gris is fairly consistent. So I actually personally felt that the 2021 vintage was better than the 2020. What I think is going on there is that in our growing area Southwest of Eugene we have our vineyard in what’s called the Lorane Valley. We’re a relatively high elevation vineyard compared to the rest of the Willamette Valley. We get a lot more hang time on our Pinot Gris, which allows more flavor development and preservation of acidity, as well as slower and lower accumulation of sugar.
So we ended up with a higher acid, lower alcohol wine that’s very expressive in terms of fruit flavors.
I wanna let our audience know a little bit about your background and what brought you to where you are today. Your education in soil and winemaking, but I hope you’ll touch on your Peace Corps time, and your work in Guatemala with soil education.
As I was finishing up my Bachelor’s Degree at Oregon State University, I became involved with a couple of different grad students, helping them with their research projects, basically. At the beginning of my junior year [I had already] switched my major from Pre-Vet to Crop and Soil Science.
So the projects I was working on with these grad students involved soil research. One of these grad students had been in the Peace Corps and talked about it frequently and also had a professor who had been in the Peace Corps. They both inspired me to look into it and do it.
I ended up going to Guatemala. The project I worked on was called Corn and Bean Seed Improvement and Post Harvest Management. We were trying to counteract the invasion of commercial corn seed into Guatemala and Latin America. It’s replacing the land raise varietals or the traditional varietals of corn. We were working with those traditional varietals to improve their performance in the field by selecting the plants that were growing well and were the most disease resistant.
The program started four years before I got to Guatemala, so I was the third volunteer and we were really showing some really good results.
Something I love about winemaking is such a mix of science and magic, or science and artistry. And it sounds like science is very strong with your background and the magic that you bring to the bottle.
Yes, I would agree with that.
So let’s switch back from Guatemala. You’ve got some great soil types. Let’s talk about how you use the soils in your region to bring such delicious flavor, characteristics and aromas.
In our vineyard, we do have some Jory soils, and I think most people who know about the Willamette Valley know that Jory is the preferred soil in the region particularly for Pinot Noir.
Our vineyard is dominated by Bellpine soil. Bellpine is kind of an analog of Jory, but it’s formed in sedimentary rock rather than basaltic rock or volcanic rock. So there’s some significant differences in the chemical makeup of the soil that contributes to the flavor difference in our Pinot Gris compared to some others.
The last time I visited, what I heard overwhelmingly from the winemakers is you have to be okay with inconsistency year after year.
I want my wines to represent the area that they’re from and the varietal from which they’re made and different weather during each growing season as part of that representation.
So based on the weather and the level of ripeness of the fruit and what we’re tasting in the grapes before we bring them in, we will make some adjustments to how we do the vinification to try to push it in one direction or another, to be at least somewhat consistent.
Let’s talk about the wines themselves.
Let’s start with the Pinot Gris. The comment I hear the most is white peach. That’s new. I usually hear pear, red apple peel, quite a bit of citrus.
Commonly I get stone fruit comments on our Chardonnay. Whether it’s our still Chardonnay or our Blanc de Blanc.
Then there’s the Brut Rose, the Pinot Noir 2021, the House Red Blend. A lot of people will remember 2020 and how that vintage went for us. I refer to that year as the worst year of my life.
Let’s talk a little bit about what made it such a bad year.
We had beautiful weather during bloom. I started to feel like it was going to be a really great vintage. We’re seeing a really modest crop load and smallish berries, which leads to more fruit forward. Right around Labor Day, the major fires started. Smoke came into the valley for about two weeks which was extremely disheartening.
In the Willamette Valley that was really our first experience with that level of damage to the fruit. So a lot of people were scrambling, worried, and ultimately didn’t produce Pinot Noir in 2020.
We made less than we had planned. We applied some techniques to mitigate the smoke effect.
Can we talk about what you did to mitigate?
Well, there are two things that helped the most. One, we sent some grapes to California to go through a process called flash. It’s a kind of thermovinification method where the must is heated to 80 degrees celsius and then pumped into a vacuum chamber that boils at a much lower temperature. The water and the skins of the grapes “flashes” to steam in the the vacuum chamber. That steam carries away a lot of bad things. Those things are responsible for the bulk of the smoke effect that you might find in a wine.
Then following vintage and some aging, we did some reverse osmosis to remove the smoke effect from the rest of our wine.
At the tail end of vintage, I had surgery for appendicitis. As I was about recovered from that, I got covid right at the end of 2020.
Fortunately ’21 and ’22 were very similar to 2020 and how the vintage started and ended up, we had some really beautiful fruit and beautiful wines. I’m really excited about ’22 based on what we have in barrel right now.
Some people approach wine from a food and wine pairing point of view. I’m not sure if you are a chef or a home cook, but do you have any suggestions for great food pairings for some of your bottles?
I think with our Pinot Gris, I really enjoy seafood.
It’s really good with salad. Brut Rose, I always say if you’re making a dinner and you’re not quite sure what wine to serve with your dinners sparkling wine is always a a crowd pleaser. It’ll go with dishes from salad to steak or pizza. The acidity of sparkling wines makes them really versatile in any kind of food. Fatty foods in particular pair well with more acidic wines, kind of a palette cleansing.
For our Pinot Noir, traditional pairings like salmon and chicken.
When you’re going through a year, from growth to harvest, what are the traits or elements that get you excited saying it’s gonna be a good year?
Last spring we had a couple of fairly severe frosts after bud break and it was an interesting year because of that. We ended up, to everyone’s surprise, with a vintage that was quite nice and yields that were not really affected by the frost. The vines bounced back with their secondary and tertiary buds set fruit, set a really good crop. We got a nice batch of wine out of it.
If we get into harvest in the rainy season, sometimes your hand is forced and the grapes start to get ripe, the skin softens an they become more susceptible to botrytis and other bad things that you don’t want.
But ’22 was nice. We weren’t really forced right up until the end. Around October 20, we had the first big rainstorm come in. 20% of our fruit still hanging. We brought most of it in before that big rain.
But I think we had really good ripeness even at that point.
You’ve been doing in-person and zoom wine tastings, do you have a favorite part of that wine tasting process?
My favorite part, without a doubt, is just when I see somebody tasting my wine and the look on their face shows me that they’re really enjoying it. That’s a big reason why I’m in this industry, what we do makes people happy.
Do you have a certain memory of including either your wine or someone else’s wine in a great celebration?
Several memories. My father and I had a wine business of our own from 2002 to 2015. [A few years in] we had a celebration at a steakhouse in Portland. I ordered a Puligny Montrachet off the menu. I still remember that wine quite vividly and how impressive it was. That changed my mind about chardonnay in some ways.
In Oregon, there’s a lot more chardonnay coming out of the Willamette Valley now is a good thing, but it’s still been an uphill battle for producers to get that chardonnay wine passed the gatekeepers, the distributors.
You go to a distributor and they’re like, “Everybody drinks California Chardonnay or white burgundy. They don’t know about Oregon Chardonnay. And when you say Willamette Valley, everybody thinks Pinot Noir, which is great. But we’ve kind of pigeonholed ourselves with that. There are a lot of other nice things that can come out of this valley like Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. So we have some work to do on the marketing and publicity to let people know.
Any lessons your winemaking team has learned this past vintage that you can share?
I think that happens every year. Let’s not assume that I know everything because I learn stuff every year as well.
One of the things that I really stress with people who are working for me during harvest, is the importance of fermentation temperature.
It’s with white wine, with aromatic whites in particular. You really have to keep the temperature under control. Yeast likes to get hot and ferment fast, so you have to keep those ferments cool, whatever the method is if you’re in stainless with jacketed tanks or if you’re in barrel and you’re taking the barrels outside at night or wetting them down to keep the temperature down. It’s super, super important.
With the white wines, you get a temperature or a fermentation that’s too hot and you end up with a wine that’s like generic white wine. It doesn’t have varietal character left in it, that’s something I stress a lot.
Then when you talk about red wines, the style of red wine that you’re making is so dependent on a lot of things, but temperature is a big thing. So if you do a cool ferment on a red wine, you’re going to have a red wine that’s fruit forward and aromatic, but it’s not going to be very extracted. It’s not gonna have a big tannic backbone to it. In that way it would be out of balance.
Like with our Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, we do a couple of different fermentation methods that end up having different peak fermentation temperatures and then we blend them together to get a wine that is crowd pleasing, easy balanced. So one of my big things is temperature.
Are there any topics in winemaking that you wish got more attention?
The fact that I don’t do this alone. If I didn’t have a team behind me doing the right thing and supporting production in the winery, starting with our vineyard and our vineyard manager, who is amazing, grows amazing fruit, all the way through to the marketing team selling the wine or promoting the wine and the sales team selling the wine. I think it’s really important for people to understand that it’s really a team effort. I’m the winemaker, I get the publicity, I get the recognition but there’s no way I could do it by myself.
I’m sure you talk to young winemakers all the time. Is there one huge piece of advice you would give a young winemaker from all your experience?
A big thing would be, and I’ve made this mistake when I was a young winemaker, if you’re about to do something to a wine and you think you know what you’re doing, but you’ve never done it before, make a phone call.
Ask another winemaker that maybe has had the experience and has done that. You’ve got a 5,000 gallon tank of wine and you’re gonna do some kind of adjustment that you’ve never done before. Get some information first.
Building network, building community, reaching out to those with either more experience or more diverse experience.
Yes. And in most wine regions, it is a community and people are happy to share their information to help the next guy out. Because ultimately, if we’re all making really good wine in the Willamette Valley, that enhances our reputation as a region. So I think it would be a big mistake for us not to share information.
Let’s talk about where people can find more information.
So thank you again for your time, and it was, it was great to have this conversation.
Thank you, Joe. I really appreciate your time.Post Views: 1