Posts Tagged ‘sommelier’

Smokey Pineapple Tequila and Mezcal Cocktail Inspired by the Spirited Happy Hour at Bastion in Celebration of Music City Food + Wine Festival!

Your missing out if you haven’t yet had a tequila and mezcal cocktail!

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Photo by www.LaylaMaysPhotography.com

Get your tickets today so you can experience the fabulous 4th Annual Music City Food + Wine Festival held in Nashville. 

Every year before the Music City Food + Wine Festival, there’s always a celebration that takes place at one of our fabulous local restaurants that showcases our immensely talented chefs. This year we all gathered at Bastion, Chef Josh Habiger’s newest culinary and cocktail experience for all of us to enjoy. Josh is also one of the talented chefs who will be at the Music City Food + Wine Festival in September. Bastion is located in the Houston Station area of Nashville with a casual yet chic vibe in ” a warehouse-style digs with trendy, restored decor.”

If you’ve never had tequila in any other cocktail other than a margarita, you are missing out. And, when it’s combined with mezcal and pineapple juice, it creates a cocktail on a whole new level of refreshment and enjoyment.

Here’s my inspired version of my new favorite cocktail!

This is a cocktail that is a blend of all the flavors we love which are sweet, salty, savory, spicy with a touch of smoke. It simply has it all.

Immediately, I fell in love with the layers of flavors. Smoke from the mezcal, slightly sweet tropical flavors of pineapple juice, fresh ginger, tart lime, shaken and poured into a glass that’s coated with spicy BBQ seasoned salt. I added a touch of demerara sugar, cardamom and smoked paprika to balance out the flavors.

This cocktail is called Toy Soldier at Bastion. We just call it that “awesome smokey tequila cocktail” that changed my concept of a cocktail for ever.

CHEERS!

 

 

28

08 2016

My Paella Travels: Weekends Are Better with a Mixed Paella and Lodge Cast Iron Pans

Mixed Paella with Seafood and Sausage 

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photo by www.LaylaMaysphotography.com

Before I began cooking paella professionally, there were many weekends that I enjoyed practicing and perfecting my paella cooking skills to create the best authentic Spanish paellas around.  My friends enjoyed it too. When I moved to Nashville over 25 years ago,  I quickly found out that it was a challenge to get the ingredients and fresh seafood needed. Well, Nashville has come a long way with a burgeoning culinary scene and I now have the freshest ingredients and spices to create an authentic Spanish paella that will keep you craving for more.

Recently, Lodge Cast Iron, a product from Tennessee, sent me a paella pan and I am now creating authentic paellas with a Nashville culinary spirit. Creating any meal from local ingredients means that you will have the freshest ingredients that reflects the local culinary scene. Why not create your masterpiece from the local Tennessee product that has proven its quality and durability since 1910.

Cooking your paella is best when you have the time to leisurely cook and enjoy the experience from beginning to end, which usually takes about 45 minutes. My Lodge Carbon Steel 15 inch Paella Pan is perfect for generous portions for about 6 people. This version of My Paella Travels paella is loaded with Seared Scallops, Jumbo Shrimp, Chicken, Mussels atop tender and crusty bomba rice layered with asparagus, squash, broth, saffron and a touch of smoked paprika.

Socarrat is the crusty rice formed at the bottom of the paella pan, if the paella is cooked properly. Luckily, the Lodge Cast Iron paella pan is great at creating the most prized part of the paella.

Be sure to pop open a bottle of Cava (Spain’s bubbly wine) for a perfect weekend pairing.

27

08 2016

“My Paella Travels” to Brentwood for a Spanish Paella Birthday Party and Momma Nik’s Cheesecake for Dessert!

My Paella Travels creates magical evenings for celebrations which will bring the signature dish of Spain to you for a casual backyard gathering that you and your guests will rave about!
 

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My Paella Travels brings the heart and soul of Spain to any celebration. Paella, the most popular and well known dish of Spain, is a vibrant rice dish often cooked outdoors.

An authentic Paella Party is a great reason to celebrate with family and friends which will be centered around a large paella brimming with vibrantly tinted Bomba rice and locally sourced vegetables with succulent meats, seafoods and mouthwatering aromas of spices. My paellas are made with authentic Spanish ingredients and prepared with traditional Spanish techniques just the way they make them in Spain.

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Set up is easy. I bring it all. You and your guests will enjoy the experience of watching the preparation and cooking of the paella before your eyes.

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With every event, the best part of the experience is watching everyone enjoy themselves which is evident with smiles and laughter. I provide the main course, wine selections and tapas (if requested).  My paellas  will feed a large crowd and allows the guests to enjoy their guests while I do the cooking!

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Part of what I do to help create the optimum experience is help with wine selections to pair with the paella and tapas event. For years, I have been studying wine and obtaining several certifications with the WSET and the Court of Master Sommeliers which focus on wine knowledge and pairings. Some of my favorite wines to pair are white, red and sparkling Spanish and Portuguese wines but it just begins there. Spanish foods pair very well with many wines and I would love to show how!

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It takes about 45 minutes to create the paella from scratch. Guests have a chance to savor tapas and enjoy the wine selections while gathering around the paella pan. Your friends will have fun learning about the history of paella, what makes an authentic paella implementing authentic techniques and quality ingredients.

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Momma Nik’s Cheesecake has paired up with My Paella Travels to create the best dessert experience ever. Momma Nik’s Cheesecakes are locally and creatively made offering a variety of flavors and sizes.

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Momma Nik’s are especially great for birthday celebrations!

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25

07 2016