The highlight of the weekend was the Assemblage Reception and Gala Julia Child Tribute Dinner. And, yes, I can confirm that Bruce Liebert is the highest ranking Chaine in this whole region:
Bruce is wearing that costume only for the very formal induction ceremony. You can appreciate that champagne is prominent in the process.
I was rather negligent in taking photos during the meal, so our first course, gougere of gruyere cheese and seared foie gras, will be shown if someone on my table someday sends a shot. Qi Marie and John White might respond. The wine was an excellent 1996 Lamothe Guignard Sauternes. Most on the table questioned the appropriateness of a sweet wine at the beginning, but I thought the perfect balance with the foie gras was ideal. Then came a coquilles Saint-Jacques a la provencale, fortunately for me because this dish is built around scallops, and these were rather large. However, I was halfway through when I finally remembered to take a photo:
A super 2009 Long Depaquit Moutonne Chablis Grand Cru, a French, meaning no oak storage, chardonnay, was served. While they pour around 3 ounces, you can always later ask for more, which I did on several of these wines. This is the point where a sherbert comes, and the presentation was exceptional:
The premiere was a boef a la bourguignonne, beef braised in burgundy wine, which I found amusing because this was also the final entre at the Pacific Buddhist Academy dinner last night.
The Kahala version was smaller, not as dark brown and much, much saltier. I preferred the previous night dish far better. The wine was a Burguet Gevrey Chambertin Mes Favorites VV (a pinot noir, or burgundy).
A University of Hawaii colleague, Kusuma Cooray, in the culinary arts, sitting on our table, won a gold medal for extraordinary service to the organization:
You get something to place on your ribbon for various events, and my slate is nearly empty:
We then went upstairs for dessert (fruit flambé) and a 2008 Huet Moelleux Trie Vovray, a nice sweet wine. Had an extended chat with Christel Yount about her travels.
But this was not all, for the next morning I ordered a Japanese meal, not as expensive as my $100 and $60 Four Seasons Hualalai breakfasts, but close:
You can only barely see it, but in the middle bottom is a small bowl of something called natto. This is fermented soy beans. I've avoided this foul-smelling and sticky breakfast item all my life. However, I courageously today followed the advice I remembered from Kenji Hotta of Nihon University about stirring the beans a hundred times. I did, tried it and was pleasantly surprised. The smell was not the best, but the taste reminded me of soy beans, and a tad bitter. Finally, note the beer. This is a 17 ounce Koshihikari Echigo from Niigata, Japan. I did not realize that some beers are made from rice, and this one from Koshihikari, which is the #1 brand in the world.
The weekend was just fabulous. Return next week for the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Michel's and La Mer.