Celebrating World Chaîne Day 2021 with Mazza Restaurant
By Sue Geary, Vice Charge’ de Presse, FWS, IWS, SWS
Members of the Salt Lake Bailliage could not have enjoyed a more fitting celebration of World Chaîne Day than to sample the cuisine and wines of Lebanon with an elegant dinner prepared by Mazza Restaurant. This is a dinner that was planned for another time and another place. Bailli Sheral Schowe had met with Mazza owner Ali Sabbah over a year ago to plan the dinner that was to be held last spring. Ali placed a special order of wines for this event, and the Chateau Musar in our cellar had been waiting for this meal. Members of the board were excited to gather for an event in the beautiful dining room of the newly-opened Mazza of Sandy, the restaurant that had replaced the Mazza at 9th and 9th. And then, the growing Covid-19 pandemic brought our plans to a jarring halt. More sadly, Mazza of Sandy became a casualty of the pandemic.
Resilience can be a brutal requirement for restaurateurs. During the year of the Covid shut-down, Ali and his staff shifted to providing only take-out meals from the original Mazza Restaurant which opened 20 years ago in the unique 15th and 15th neighborhood. (Some of our Bailliage members are of an age to remember Smokey’s Records which occupied that space.) Our event planning with Ali resumed in February for our April 24 dinner, and to say that the dinner was worth the wait would be a gross understatement.
Several board members were on hand that afternoon to distribute the carefully-packaged meals in front of the restaurant. Bailli Sheral Schowe dispensed color-coded bags of wines from the back of her car. And thus began her new fantasy of driving around in a bright pink truck delivering wine.
Speaking of wine, participants for this event were given the choice of two wine selections with three wines in each. Echanson Kasey Dubler gave a most-informative and interesting presentation on the wines of Lebanon including the long history of viticulture in that part of the world, some of the premier winemakers, and the influence of Bordeaux on the Lebanese red blends. Kasey also described some of the grapes that are indigenous to the area, including Obaideh and Merwah that comprised the blend of the Chateau Musar Blanc 2010 in our offerings.
Ali joined us for this our last event via Zoom to describe the exquisite menu items. The meal began with an appetizer of prawns in spicy garlic and herb sauce. The multiple layers of flavor paired beautifully with both the Chateau Musar Blanc and the Barkan Classic Chardonnay 2018. Ali introduced the Lebanese crunchy garden salad and explained the tradition of eating the salad throughout the meal for a contrasting texture and a means of cleansing the palate between courses. The next course of most delicious lamb meatballs in tomato pomegranate sauce was accompanied by a Chateau Ksara Sunset 2017 Rose’ that carried us to the jeweled rice with fava beans, nuts, and dried fruit. The final course was a duck schawarma with tahini sauce and pita that deserved the Chateau Musar Rouge 2006 and the Chateau Ksara Reserve Du Couvent 2016.
This was the best-attended in our year of remote events, and we are still hearing rave reviews of this beautiful meal. We are grateful to Ali Sabbah for making this such an exceptional event under such challenging conditions. We all look forward to dining at Mazza in person.
Bartolo Pasta Dinner and Italian Wine Pairings
On Saturday, March 20, 2021, we enjoyed a spectacular dinner from the newly-opened Bartolo Restaurant. Bartolo’s of Salt Lake, which borders the Sugarhouse and 9th and 9th Neighborhoods, is the second restaurant for owners Alex and Rhia Bartolo following their first opening in Park City. Each location was designed to be “an artisanal neighborhood spot with an Italian inspired kitchen specializing in pastas and serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” The Salt Lake City restaurant includes a rooftop dining area with panoramic views of the city and surrounding Wasatch Mountains.
During the week before our scheduled dinner event, we were able to view a delightful and informative YouTube demonstration of Chef Alex making pasta by hand. Alex’s careful instruction could easily be followed by the cooks in our group who want to make authentic pasta at home. And for those of us who are not as ambitious, we learned that Bartolo’s sells its freshly-made pasta in addition to its menu items.
Alex Bartolo joined us for the four-course event to describe the three pasta choices, each from a different region of Italy. The wines were selected and presented by Charge’ de Presse Sue Geary, who is also an Italian wine instructor. In response to requests we had received from some of our members, Sue recommended wines at two price points for each of the entrée options.
Bailli Sheral Schowe welcomed our members and guests as we enjoyed the appetizer of house-made focaccia and ricotta cheese with red wine-poached pears, toasted pine nuts and rosemary. Our first wine-- Terredora Di Paolo Corte di Giso Irpinia Falanghina 2018 from the Campania Region--paired nicely both with the appetizer and with the beautiful and delicious Beet Tomato Burrata Salad.
Chef Alex chose Agnolotti alla Piemontese as representative of the Monferrat District of Piemonte. The delectable sauce of beef, brown butter, and Parmigiano-Reggiano was paired with a choice of two Barbera wines from Asti appellations: Vietti Barbera D’Asti Tre Vigne 2018 and Michele Chiarlo La Court Nizza Riserva 2016.
The second of our pasta entrée options was Firenze’s signature dish, Pappardelle al Cinghialle. This delicious wild boar ragu with tomatoes and pecorino welcomed the Sangiovese wines selected: Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico 2016 and Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino 2015.
The vegetarian pasta presented was Macaroni alla Norma, which originated in Italy’s southern and more agricultural regions of Sicilia and Catania. Chef Alex prepared a most exquisite version of this dish of fried eggplant, tomatoes, basil, and ricotta salata. The wine offerings were Morgante Nero D’Avola Sicilia 2018 and Alta Mora Etna Rosso 2017.
The dinner’s grand finale was Chef Alex’s own approach to Tiramisu. His lighter use of lady fingers allows the Brandy mascarpone, coffee cream, and chocolate to blend most delicately. The meal could not have ended more perfectly. Our only challenge now will be in deciding which menu items to sample on our next visit to this welcoming neighborhood restaurant.
Losing a Legend: A Tribute to Tony Caputo
By Sue Geary, Vice Charge’ de Presse
Confrerie de La Chaîne des Rotisseurs of Salt Lake City
Earlier this week, we read about the death of Steven Spurrier, author, wine merchant, founder of L’Academie du Vin, organizer of The Judgement of Paris, and overall champion of French wines. Members of the Confrerie de La Chaîne des Rotisseurs of Salt Lake City who are students of wine, wine educators, culinary artists, or who simply enjoy fine wines knew Spurrier by his reputation and were stunned by the loss of such a giant.
And then . . . we learned of the sudden death of Tony Caputo. Tony was someone we knew not just by reputation for his prominent role in bringing fine artisan foods to our community. We knew Tony for his insistence on quality and authenticity in the foods he imported and the cheeses he made. We knew Tony for the warm smile with which he greeted every one of his customers as well as the many strangers who recognized him and said “hello” whenever he was around town. We knew Tony for his wit and playfulness, most recently as one of the “Old Coots Giving Advice” at the downtown market. We knew Tony for his generosity in giving a leg up to other small business owners. We knew Tony and Mary who, especially since their retirements, seemed never to be apart.
Tony’s knowledge of Mediterranean foods (gained from his work at Granatos Deli and Kitchen), his pride in his Italian heritage, and a genuine love of people converged in his decision to open his own Italian market in 1997. Against the advice of some, Tony settled on a location in a neglected area of Salt Lake City’s downtown across the street from a notorious park. The success of Caputo’s Market and Deli transformed the area with a devoted customer base, attracted more specialty food stores, provided an incubator for other small businesses, and launched a weekly Farmer’s Market at that park. Tony was also a leader among Salt Lake City’s local businesses in promoting responsible environmental practices and taking action on issues of importance to our community’s under-represented populations. His son, Matt and daughter-in-law, Yelena, continue all of those traditions at Caputo’s now four locations.
As our Bailli and owner of Wasatch Academy of Wine, Sheral Schowe, recalls, “I used to teach wine classes at his original market in town and he was always so welcoming and warm when I would see him at fundraisers, at his market and at the Saturday Farmer’s Market… [Caputo’s] has supported our Chaîne events as well as my Italian Wine Scholar classes for years.” In just the past seven months, our Bailliage has enjoyed two events with Caputo’s beautiful artisanal meats, cheeses, olive oils, and chocolates delivered to our doors. Although we will continue to rely on Caputo’s quality products and expert staff for many events to come, Tony Caputo was one-of-a-kind whom we will dearly miss.
L’Amore – Chaîne et Mondiale Induction
The Salt Lake City Bailliage held it first event of 2021 with cocktails and inductions on the eve, not of the new year, but of Valentine’s Day. Under the leadership of Bailli Provincial Phil Kress and with the help of Bailli Sheral Schowe and Vice Chancelier Argentier Richard Pater, we welcomed four new Chaîne and Mondiale members:
Dame de la Chaîne Rebecca Doersam
Professional du Vin Cheryl Mansen
Chevalier Tim Peterson
Dame de la Chaîne Jessica Wacker
We were honored that Chancelier des Etats-Unis de L’Amerique Rufus Cressend was able to join us for the induction. We were pleased to have Phil Kress’ wife, Daryl, at this event. This is the second induction ceremony we have held by way of ZOOM. We wish we weren’t getting so good at it. There is reason to hope that the next one will be live once again.
The induction ceremony was followed by a Mondiale Cocktail Class expertly led by Cole Johnson, Vice Charge’ des Medias Sociaux, French Wine Scholar, and passionate mixologist. With a nod to our Valentine’s Day theme, most of the seven cocktails that Cole selected had shades of pink or red. We enjoyed Kir Royale, French 75, Sazerac, Aromatic Gin and Tonic, New York Sour, and Old Fashioned. Cole guided us through the process of mixing each cocktail while he also presented some of the history, folklore, and origin of each drink. Participants enjoyed the snacks we each made from recipes that Cole shared prior to the event. Many of our members had been asking for an event focusing on cocktails. Thank you, Cole, for making it happen!
Salt Lake City Bailliage Gives the Gift of Food
The Salt Lake City Bailliage’s current Board of Directors--installed in July--has yet to hold an in-person event. Yet, out of necessity and with a good deal of pluck, we have found new ways of bringing our members together by offering a variety of activities. For the months of November and December, in lieu of dinners we opted for events with minimal cost and for modest registration fees with the goal of generating a cash donation for a charitable cause. Vice Echanson Kasey Dubler masterfully prepared and conducted both events: a Beaujolais and Thanksgiving Wines Class and a Champagne Brunch.
We have felt an urgency to find a way of giving to our community. As we have watched the cumulative effects of a growing and sustained pandemic, we have mourned the closures of many local restaurants and the resulting loss of jobs among the culinary work force. For the broader community, this pandemic has only intensified the shocking disparity between those who have enough and those with far too little. School closures and after-school program suspensions have disrupted this critical source of weekday meals for children and youth. The economic ripple has stressed food budgets for hard-working parents who have lost employment with more families than ever experiencing food insecurity. For these reasons, the Board voted to direct the funds we raised to the Utah Food Bank, where every dollar donated generates another eight dollars.
The Utah Food Bank, founded in 1904, has been a critical source of food for many families. According to Executive Director, Ginette Bott, the pandemic of 2020 “caused hunger on a scale we’ve never seen before.” The need has increased by 160,000 Utahns, and the number of children experiencing food insecurity has grown from 1 in 7 to 1 in 5. In response, Utah Food Bank increased its mobile pantries by 113% and provided 474,000 meals for kids.
We are extremely proud of our members and friends for their generosity by which we raised $1,000. The $8,000 our donation generates will provide meals for 40,000 individuals. We look forward to holding more events for charitable giving in this new year.
Bott, G. A Look Back at 2020, January 1, 2021. utahfoodbank.org.
“Do” Try This at Home: Beginning with a Sabrage Salt Lake City Bailliage Enjoys a Remote Champagne Brunch
Our eagerness for an end to the year 2020 can not be over-stated, so we popped some corks to say good riddance and celebrated the New Year with our December member event. Vice Echanson Kasey Dubler took charge of this fun and educational remote gathering starting with a sabrage demonstration. Kasey then gave an excellent presentation on Champagne including its history, production, grapes, winemakers, and recommendation of some exceptional Champagnes. We took two side tours to highlight other sparkling wines, Prosecco Superiore DOCG of Veneto, Italy, and Raventos Cava of Catalonia, Spain.
Members who registered for this event received a list of Champagnes and other sparkling wines available through our local, state-operated wine stores and some recipes for quiche. We made our own brunches and dined together via Zoom during the presentation. All of the registration fees we collected became part of a donation to the Utah Food Bank.
It was fun to toast one another and salute our endurance as a bailliage through the challenges of this year. We greet 2021 hopeful that we will soon be able to meet again in person to enjoy fine dining, fine wines, and fine friendships!
Salt Lake City Bailliage Prepares for Thanksgiving
By Sue Geary, Vice Chargée de Presse, FWS, IWS, SWS
Wine trivia question for the season:
Which wine is released for shipment every year at 12:01 am of the third Thursday of November?
There could not be a more perfect wine to feature for our November gathering than this young wine which is a perfect match for Thanksgiving Dinner. Our Vice Echanson Kasey Dubler could not have done a finer job of taking us on an educational journey through the Beaujolais Region of France. Kasey’s spotlight on Beaujolais Nouveau was delightfully informative. It was also bittersweet given that one of our many losses of 2020 was Georges Duboeuf, the wine merchant turned winemaker who started a global ritual around the nouveau wine thereby elevating the Beaujolais Region as a whole. Duboeuf died of a stroke on January 4 at the age of 86, but his nouveau wines with the bright floral labels graced the wine store shelves again this year.
Kasey also took us north to the explore the ten crus of Beaujolais. These are the more elegant, complex, and age-worthy wines of the region. Beaujolais is unique in that its wines are almost exclusively made from the Gamay grape. The differences in the wines’ characteristics are largely attributed to differences in the soils of the northern and southern parts of the region.
For the second part of our pre-Thanksgiving event, Kasey described some wines that pair especially well with the many foods of a traditional Thanksgiving feast. Chaîne Board members submitted their favorite Thanksgiving wines and Kasey completed the line-up with a few wines that aren’t always associated with this holiday meal. A new section of our Chaîne Salt Lake City website titled Education includes all of the slides that Kasey prepared for this event.
Once again, it was so nice to see some of our members (from the waist up, at least) thanks to Zoom. We were delighted that Ashby Decker, who served an incredible 23 years as our Bailli, and his wife, Anne Cullimore Decker, were able to join us for this event. We appreciate everyone’s continued support during these most challenging times.
Salt Lake City Bailliage First Online Member Event a Great Success
Not to be dissuaded by a just a little global pandemic, the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Baillage de Salt Lake City held it first member event of the season on Saturday, August 29. The dinner was well-attended and, although we gathered by way of Zoom out of necessity, it was so nice to see everyone.
A beautiful four-course dinner was provided by Royal Street Café of Deer Valley. Chef Chris Gibson went the extra distance by helping to assemble each dinner-to-go from our new distribution center, which doubles as Vice Conseiller Gastronomique Sammie Doyle’s garage. Chef Gibson even provided instruction on the plating of each course for every person who picked up their food and wine. Then he joined us for the dinner to describe each exquisite course of mostly locally-sourced ingredients.
Vice Echanson Kasey Dubler selected three single-variety white wines for this dinner. The first course of Castelvetrano olives and charcuterie was accompanied by Astobiza 2019, an Ondarrabi Zuri from the Arabako Txakolina DO of Spain’s Basque country. The second course, a summer burrata salad, was paired with Tasca d’Almerita Regaleali Rose 2019 made from the Nerello Mascalese grape of Sicilia. The pairing that was voted as the evening’s favorite was the marriage of the Olivier Leffaive Bourgogne Les Setilles 2018 with the Maine Lobster Tower.
Thank you to Chris Gibson for providing such a lovely meal under challenging circumstances! Royal Street Café remains open and offers outdoor dining so its guests can enjoy stunning mountain scenery throughout the Fall season. Chef Gibson and his staff have more menu items well worth sampling.
Upcoming Charity Events
Bailli Sheral Schowe announced that our board voted in support of her recommendation for our balliage to sponsor some activities dedicated exclusively to giving. Vice Conseiller Culinaire Jodie Rogers is working on an event to benefit the Utah Food Bank to be held around Thanksgiving. Vice Charge’ de Missions Cessily Johnson and Tarja Pater are planning for our baillage to sponsor a tree for the annual Festival of Trees, which supports Primary Children’s Hospital. Tarja explained that they will be collecting wine corks for use as ornaments. So, if you find that for some reason you have a surplus of corks, please plan to donate what you can for this project. Richard Pater, our Vice Chancelier-Argentier, generously offered an alternative for anyone who does not have extra corks. You can give a few nice bottles of wine directly to Richard who will then extract the corks over a few weeks’ time and donate them on your behalf!
We all recognize how very fortunate we are to be able to gather to enjoy elegant meals and fine wine while others in our community struggle with too little. We realize, too, how the culinary industry has been impacted by the coronavirus.
A Tour of Italy by Caputo’s Market and Deli is scheduled for Saturday, October 26, 6:30-9:00 pm
Salt Lake City Bailliage Really Has a “Handle” on Virtual Events
By Sue Geary, Vice Chargée de Presse
Never to be deterred in our quest to gather as a bailliage to enjoy beautiful food paired with the perfect wines, we are getting more comfortable with pandemic-forced virtual meetings. Our participating chefs are getting ever more inventive at assuring that each course-to-go looks and tastes as it might at their restaurants. Vice Conseiller Culinaire Jodie Rogers arranged for our October member dinner to be provided by Handle Restaurant of Park City, with meals distributed from HSL (Handle Salt Lake). Chef Briar Handly provided written instructions for the final preparation of the exquisite four-course dinner.
Handle Restaurant became a part of Park City’s dining options in 2014, and won Salt Lake Magazine’s Dining Award just one year later. Its creative chefs focus on American cuisine of locally-sourced and organic foods. Their menu is rich with small plates of seasonal specialties as well as familiar favorites. Executive Chef and owner, Briar Handy, is joined by chefs Melissa Gray and Meagan Nash and a “rockstar” staff.
For our first course of Salmon Gravlox Mousse, Vice Echanson Kasey Dubler presented Domaine Des Baumard Savenniers as its companion wine. This Chenin Blanc from France’s Loire Region was the perfect pairing for the salmon and pepper jelly. Kasey selected Clos a Coutale Cahors, in the Southwest Region of France, for our second course of Beef Heart Tartare. Cahors is the only appellation to widely replant Malbec after the devastating freeze of 1956. To add to our bank of wine trivia, Kasey told us that the owner of Clos a Coutale invented the double-hinged waiter’s corkscrew! Kasey chose Chateau Mont-Redon Chateuneuf-du-Pape as the pairing for the Lamb Shoulder Roulade entrée. Our diners who requested vegan and gluten-free alternatives were most appreciative of Chef Handly’s excellent choices for each course.
The dessert of Thai Iced Tea was attended not by a wine, but by a lively discussion about cocktails initiated by Vice Conseiller Gastronomique Hon. Rita Paxton. The conversation generated many ideas for Mondiale events in the near future.
Most Dedicated Award: With her participation in this event, Vice Conseiller Gastronomique Sammie Doyle clearly deserves the award for Most Dedicated Chaîne Board Member. She and her husband, Sean, joined us for dinner from a hotel room, where they were celebrating their anniversary!
Our Bailli’s New Skill: We did have some technical difficulties for the first time since we have met via Zoom. Bailli Sheral Schowe’s audio became distorted early into the event, which really hampered her participation. When she spoke, her words sounded like the notes played on the keys of Linus’ piano. Nothing we tried corrected the problem. So, with all respect due to those who claim to speak in tongues, we have witnessed our Bailli speak in tunes!
Written by Vice Chargée de Presse Sue Geary PhD FWS IWS SWS
Who said we can’t travel during a pandemic? Our member event for September of 2020 was a tasting Tour of Italy provided by Adrianna Pachelli of Caputo’s Market and Deli. We were delighted that Balli Provencal Phil Kress and Ira Falk of Chaîne USA were both able to join us for this event. There are some benefits to our virtual gatherings.
The carefully-selected cheeses, salumi, olives, and chocolate were delivered to the homes of everyone who registered for this event (even those in California). Once again, we collected our wines from the home of Vice Conseiller Gastronomique Sammie Doyle. Sammie reports that, whenever someone comes to her home now, her three-year-old son asks, “Are you here for wine?” Clearly, we have a future Chaîne member!
Our virtual tasting tour began with Vice Conseiller Culinaire Jodie Rogers’ introduction of Adri Pachelli. Adri then began our journey with olives from both Liguria and Sicilia. Balli Sheral Schowe presented our first wine, Donnafugata Anthilia Sicilia DOC 2019. The first cheeses took us to Lombardia and Emilia-Romagna. Vice Charge’ de Presse Sue Geary introduced Scaia Rosato Veneto IGT 2019 to accompany our second cheese samplers, from Veneto and Sardinia, as well as a lovely prosciutto from Friuli. We traveled next to Toscana and Calabria for a tasting of salumi paired with Podere Conca Agapanto Bolgheri DOC 2017. Sheral Schowe instructed us to pop the cork of our Marenco Pineto Brachetto d’Aqui DOCG for our last stops in Piemonte and Tuscana for two exquisite chocolates.
Adri showed her knowledge of the diverse and unique artisanal foods of Italy. She also revealed her love of the country and respect for its many culinary customs. The tastings reinforced the critical role of terroir, not only for wines, but also for traditional foods. Adri gave us insight into the effort that Caputo’s makes to assure that the foods it imports from Italy and other southern European countries taste as they should. This attention to authenticity and quality was the motivation for Caputo’s to add a cheese cave years ago.
We are fortunate to have this local specialty market. Since its founding by Tony Caputo in 1997, Caputo’s has grown to three locations. Matt Caputo has taken the reins for a second generation of this local treasure. Matt continues Caputo’s tradition by showing leadership among Salt Lake City’s local businesses in promoting responsible environmental practices and taking action on issues of importance to our community’s under-represented populations. Thank you to Caputo’s and to Adri for providing an informative and enjoyable Tour of Italy!
Chaîne Salt Lake City
Address: PO Box 900727, Sandy UT 84090
© 2020 Chaîne SLC - All Rights Reserved.