The morning was filled with an early mushroom hunt up at Las Posadas State Park guided by David Campbell, owner of Mycoventure, a mushroom specialist whose experience is Mycology – the study of fungi, including their genetic and biochemical properties, and their use to humans as a source for tinder, medicine, food and entheogens as well as their dangers such as toxicity or infections. It was adventurous and entertaining learning experience on fungi.
At Noon, looking forward to the delicious meal to come, we headed over to the spectacular grounds and winery at Silver Oak Cellars. We were in for another truffle influenced luncheon prepared by Michelin Star Chef, Ryan McCaskey, of the restaurant Acadia in Chicago. McCaskey describes his style as simultaneously contemporary and classic. Born in Saigon, Vietnam and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, he became the family cook by age 14. He traveled extensively throughout his childhood and was exposed to many different cultures and flavors. He takes on a global approach in his kitchen today.
Chef Ryan along with commentator “Foodie Chap” Liam Mayclem entertained the luncheon attendees in the spacious special event room at Silver Oak with a cooking demonstration of the preparation of the First Course on the day’s menu – Yukon Gold Potato Risotto. Chef does his own version of traditional risotto and substitutes Arborio rice with rice sized pieces of potato. It was certainly a delicious twist on a traditional recipe.
A quick rendition of McCaskey’s demo started with Yukon Gold potatoes cut and diced very small, butter, a little water, sliced leeks. Sauté the potatoes with the butter water and leeks. Take the leek infused heavy cream and reduce it over a low simmer for 30-40 minutes. While it is reducing, cut the apple in small pieces to use at the finish. These are classic winter flavors of leek, apple, potatoes and truffle. When it is ready put the mixture together, add your fresh herbs, a bit of chives, truffle butter, little olive oil, lemon. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with Tarragon, Chervil and apple. Then shave a copious amount of Truffle on top and Voila!
After introductions by Robert Chang and Dr. Paul Thomas, they introduced Silver Oak Executive President, Tim Duncan who indulged the audience in the history of Silver Oak and his family. He also introduced his wife Roo who was in attendance at the sold-out Truffle Festival Event.
For more than thirty years Tim’s humble nature and unrelenting focus on the customer experience have been driving forces behind the culture and success of Silver Oak & Twomey Cellars. Today, along with brother and fellow owner David Duncan, Tim develops business strategy for both wineries and brings his personal passion for building relationships to his role overseeing domestic and international sales. A son of Ray Duncan, co-founder of Silver Oak in 1972 with Justin Meyer, Tim’s teenage years were spent Silver Oak’s original dairy barn, dragging hoses and rinsing barrels. With summer jobs behind him, he officially joined Silver Oak in January of 1986 as California Sales Manager, cutting his teeth selling wine to restaurants and retail accounts. “I had a map and a car, and just started calling on accounts,” says Tim. “Early-on I learned that if you focus on selling wine and miss the needs of people, you’ve missed the point.”
Then the Amazing Lunch at Silver Oak Cellars was served…
Menu was prepared and created by Guest Chef Ryan McCaskey and Winery Chef Dominic Orsini.
The Menu and Wines
Yukon Gold Potato Risotto
Green Apple, Leeks, Chives, Truffle Butter and Fine Herbs
Paired with Twomey, Pinot Noir, Bien Nacido Vineyard 2015
Black Truffles & Cauliflower
Sous-Vide Egg, Pickled Chanterelles & Micro Lettuces
Paired with Twomey, Merlot, Napa Valley 2013
Poussin Presse, Perigord Truffle Farce
Mustard Truffle Jus, Confit Yukon Potato, Parsnip Puree, Rutabaga Mostarda & Mache
Paired with Silver Oak, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 2013
Goat Gouda Truffle Cremeux
Beet Caraway Sponge, Truffle Powder, Borscht Puree
Paired with Silver Oak, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2012
Afterwards on the Patio
Foie Gras & Pickled Cherry Jam
Dynie Sanderson – “NapaFoodGal” is the Food and Flavor Editor for Napa Valley Life Magazine with over 15 years as a contributor. Editorial features focus on food, wine and travel.
Dynie has written for a variety of regional lifestyle publications and was the founding Publisher/Editor of Napa Valley’s GuestWest Magazine.
Active member of International Food Wine and Travel Writers and Bay Area Travel Writers