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Mardi Gras came early to Temecula

Photo by Natalie Mills

A lucky few were able to attend this years sold-out New Years Eve gala at Wilson Creek Winery. The night started with a Sparkling Wine reception in the Wilson Creeks elegant foyer.

The ballroom itself was awash in a riot of color and Mardi Gras decorations. The dinners enjoyed a seafood bar featuring shucked oysters, shrimp, crab legs, gravlox, all prepared by Executive Chef Clay Blake. Also circulating through the room was a seemingly endless procession of tray-passed appetizers including cornettes, stuffed mushrooms and several canapes kept everyone at bay while waiting for the meal-proper to begin.

The meal featured a pear salad, followed by a deconstructed gumbo, which featured ‘dirty rice’ fried oyster, pickled okra and poached shrimp. The main course was a fillet mignon, with a truffled demiglaze topped with a piece of Hudson Valley Foie Gras. Dessert was an assortment of cakes and pies.

Overall everything was well presented, although the flow of courses would have been more enjoyable if the food was kept to one theme, some items felt as if they were added haphazard.

Photo by Natalie Mills

In typical Wilson-style the party was the talk of the town. The guests were provided with plenty of beaded necklaces and feathered Mardi Gras masks for the Masquerade Ball.

Be sure to join Wilson Creek on January 23 when they host the Temecula Valley Slow Food Association 100 Mile Dinner, which features five local Chefs, with all proceeds going towards school garden programs. See temeculavalleyslowfood.org (http://www.temeculavalleyslowfood.org/images/100mile2010_flyer.jpg) for more details.

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