If you still had Christmas shopping to finish on December 16th, you missed our fabulous Holiday convivium. What can be better than delicious food, delightful conversation, tummy-warming spirits . . . all around a fifteen-foot sushi boat? Yup, we celebrated in style at Taste of Temecula’s inaugural Evenings at the Estate.
Firstly, Chef Charles McKee of Aki Sushi and his two assistants prepared Nigiri Sushi, Spicy Tuna Rolls, Crunchy Rolls and a stately favorite, the California Roll. Our guest chef de cuisine assembled and rolled in one of the estate’s two gourmet kitchens while guests were treated to a fine-tasting, ultra smooth Rock Sake, an Oregonian rice wine. The undistilled version, “nigori” sake, is roughly filtered and slightly opaque in appearance. Considered the most traditional form of sake, it contains no preservatives, sulfites, and is gluten free. Thank you, Rock Sake!
After our first course of prepared sushi, savory teriyaki, and distinctly flavored fried rice, our host, Steven, gave us a tour of his music studio, movie theater and a quick peek outside (yes, it was cold!) to see his 50-foot waterslide that dropped into a beautiful pool. As we mingled and jingled through the entertainment areas, Taste of Temecula’s Ian Blafer explained to us about the many events that are planned at the Estate. We will hold wine education classes and pair-ups, Culinary Adventure cooking classes, Movies at the Mansion, and “Get Acquainted” Singles Evenings, which will bring together eight couples dining, dancing and romancing. And he’s just getting started. The ideas are a-flowin’ and spring and summer are right around the corner (think Jacuzzi parties). Stay tuned to our Taste of Temecula website for your Daily Pairing, as we “Pair You Up” with our one-of-a-kind exclusive offers.
For the encore of the evening, Chef McKee brought the tools of his trade – bamboo mats, chopsticks, seasoned rice, ebi (shrimp), vegetables and “long-distance” nori – for a hands-on class for making our own sushi. With twenty or so guests at the Estate, each made at least six rolls featuring shrimp, crab and tuna. The chef’s assistants lovingly placed the assorted delectables around the large boat and topped with sweet and spicy sauces for dipping. It was truly a hedonistic feast!
The first Evening at the Estate was a grand success as it gave each of us – and hopefully you, the reader – a great idea of what to expect when Taste of Temecula hosts each new event in these stately confines. Stay tuned for the next one – it’ll be happening before you know it!
Have a fun and safe New Years and we’ll see you in 2011…