Pictured from left to right at the Washington Wines Festival: Managing Partner Nicolas Kassis of The Capital Grille; Mikel Rogers, Co-Owner of Pearl Bar & Dining; Pearl’s Executive Chef and Co-Owner Bradley Dickinson; and Executive Chef Paul Vigil of The Capital Grille. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Larin, The Bellevue Scene
Mikel and I recently had the opportunity to support a great cause – We were involved with the Washington Wines Festival to support Camp Korey for the third consecutive year. What an amazing event! Dozens of premier wineries from Washington working alongside chefs and restaurateurs to prepare a food and wine feast for the patrons supporting the “Wine Weekend”. By the time all was said and done, over $850,000 was raised from this year’s event.
Pearl teamed up with The Capital Grille to present an amazing meal. We were lucky enough to get paired with DeLille Cellars, Sparkman Cellars, Va Piano Vineyards and the Reynvaan Family Vineyards. What a great collection of wines, and, of course, we had to sample most of them throughout the night to ensure that they matched up well with the menu.
The weather was warm (90 degrees at 5 p.m.) and we were lucky enough to have the air-conditioned bungalow for our venue. The most unique aspect of this event is how the restaurants team up to cook dinner. Usually in our business, there is a little friendly rivalry between chefs, but not this night. Our job was to work together and coordinate an amazing experience. We had met several weeks in advance to review the wines and talk about the pairings. We both wanted to show off some of our signature dishes while trading off courses. Chef Paul from the Capital Grille is very talented and pretty easygoing so we helped each other out and got along just great.
Chef Paul got things started with a twice-baked parmesan soufflé, Pearl followed that with an heirloom beet salad and then our famous miso-honey Sablefish. Paul kept things rolling with a chanterelle crusted filet and fennel-roasted rack of lamb. Dessert was presented by Pearl and featured strawberries picked that morning alongside a delicious bread pudding. By the time I was explaining the cheese course, everyone was about to burst!
The weekend also included an auction, antique car show, dancing under the stairs and much, much more. But my memories will be of the new friends we made at the Bungalow while supporting Camp Korey!
-Executive Chef Bradley Dickinson