Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Early December brought two wonderful events to Aria:

Contributor: Aidan Mirisola-Sullivan
Photography from George Sanchez

On December 2nd, there were two phenomenal chefs in the Aria kitchen - our own Gerry Klaskala, of course, and the talented Chris Hastings, executive chef of The Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, AL. Together, the two cooked inspired Southern fare from Chef Hastings's new cookbook “THE HOT and HOT FISH CLUB COOKBOOK: A Celebration of Food, Family and Tradition”. Combined with Andres Loaiza's masterful wine pairings from the Vineyard Brands portfolio, the evening was a resounding success. Thanks, Chef Hastings, for bringing your creativity and passion to Aria, even if it was for just one night.

Pan-Seared Flounder with Shaved Fennel Salad
Picholine Olives and Satsuma Oranges
Hamilton Russell, Chardonnay, Hemel-En-Aarde, South Africa 07

Fudge Farms Pork and Beans with Braised Greens
Cracklin’ Cornbread and Chow Chow
Perrin et Fils, Vinsobres, Rhone 07

Chocolate Pot de Crème with Chocolate-Cardamom Cookie
Candied Peanuts
Domaine du Mas Blanc, Banyuls 07


Having the opportunity to cook with another chef is a lot like having the chance to cook with a unique ingredient. Both can inspire, lead to new preparations, or add that extra something to a traditional dish. The day after Chef Hastings left our kitchen, a new visitor arrived: fresh black truffles. Working with this luxurious and coveted ingredient, Chef Klaskala created a sumptuous five course menu. In looking to pair wine with this menu, Andrés sought out Avant Partir's Nick Montigelli. With their combined knowledge and palettes, the black truffles had perhaps the only thing that could make them any more delicious: good wine.

A special thanks to Nick and Avant Partir for helping to make the Truffle Dinner on December 3rd such a fantastic evening.

Truffled Farm Egg
Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve NV

Lobster with Celery Root, Fine Herbs and Truffled Lobster Jus
Peter Dipoli, Voglar, Sauvignon Blanc, Alto Adige 04

Breast of Pheasant, Haricot Vert, Arugula and Truffle Xeres Vinaigrette
Rocche dei Manzoni "Sorito Masconi" Barbera d’Alba 98

Chocolate Truffle with Caramelized Honey Cognac Ice Cream
Fortetto della Luja Moscato Passito, Loazzolo 03

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