Deirdre Bourdet: August 2010 Archives

New Staples For The Wine Country Kitchen

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hazcarmchard.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

I love discovering new "gourmet" products, particularly those that present ingredients I adore in exciting and different propositions. While some might say New York City is the best place to find envelope-pushing food products, California wine country is no slouch, either... and unlike NYC, most of our products are actually made in this state, too.  Not convinced?  Consider these epicurean wonders of wine country, which have recently seduced their way into my pantry:

Auberge du Soleil, Terrace des Délices

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aubergeOutsideDining.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

The terrace seating at Auberge du Soleil is an institution. Not simply for the people-watching possibilities, or for the ultra-romantic setting, or for the impeccable Relais & Chateaux service, or even for the perfectly executed and perfectly delicious cuisine from chef Robert Curry.  Dining on the Auberge terrace is special because it offers all of these in one spectacular place--and that's the reason it belongs on the bucket list of everyone who loves the wine country.

Peachy Summer Sweets

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By Deirdre Bourdet

NAPA, CA - All too frequently, people complain that it's too hot to eat dessert. While I'd agree that a chunk of bread pudding is probably the last thing I would choose to end a meal in 90+ degree heat, there are tons of refreshing sweet finales to be had around the Valley at this time of year--and many of them involve peaches, my favorite summertime fruit.

Tomato Time

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By Deirdre Bourdet

Anyone raised eating hydroponically grown tomatoes year round must, at some point in their life, attend a tomato event in an agricultural community. Conveniently, August and September bring with them numerous opportunities to taste the ubiquitous fruit in its full seasonal glory.

The first sign of tomato season is the return of Azzurro Pizzeria's locally-beloved BBLT manciata--a perfectly seasoned thin pizza crust served hot out of the oven, and topped with a mountain of bacon, blue cheese, iceberg lettuce, and tomato.  Hot, cold, salty, juicy, creamy, crunchy, meaty, cheesy, and 100% delicious, the cult following of this dish is explained with your first bite.

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