Epicurious Entertains Chicago Recap

This past Saturday, we had the pleasure of attending Epicurious Entertains Chicago.  It was a blast, we sipped on wine, cocktails, tasted chocolates and learned a thing or two about flower arranging and herbs.  The presenters included Katrina Markoff of Vosges Hout-Chocolat; Alpana Singh, Master Sommelier; Mike Ryan of Sable Kitchen & Bar; Mike Hines of Epoch Floral, and Chris Cerveny, Gardening Expert.

Some Epi-insights:
Alpana Singh
1. If you smell baking scents (nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves), it means the wine has been aged in oak.
2. Riesling is the perfect summer white, amen!

3. The thinner the grape skin the lighter the wine.  A thinner wine is more appropriate for summer.
4. Citrus whites (with green things: apples, limes, pears) are great to pair with Asian foods.
5. Reds should be chilled in the summer, to prevent it from heating up to room temp, and becoming too acidic.

Katrina Markoff
How  to taste chocolate:
1. Warm it up between your fingers
2. Smell it
3. Bite into the chocolate
4. Press it down on your palate
5. Eat it
6. With your mouth closed, inhale through your nose and 'chew  the air' and register the impression that makes on your palate.

Mike Ryan
Best Beer-Cocktail: Left Hand of Darkness
Ingredients: 1/2 oz clear creek pear brandy, 1/8 oz st. Elizabeth allspice dram, 3/4 fresh lemon juice, 1/2 oz simple syrup
Instructions: Shake, strain into goblet 

Best Herb-Cocktail: Last Dance in the Ica Valley
Ingredients: 2 oz Encanto Pisco, 3/4 oz fresh lime juice, 3/4 oz simple syrup, 2 sprigs fresh tarragon, 2 dashes grapefruit bitters
Instructions: Shake, fine strain, serve up.  Garnish with 1 tarragon leaf

Mike Hines
1. When you take flowers home put them in warm water, to break up the sap, after sharply cutting the stems (either angled or straight).
2. You don't need to add anything to the water, no plant food packets, but to keep the water from turning murky: avoid direct sunlight, and add a drop of bleach
3. Tulips are the exception to the warm water rule, they go in ice cold water.
4. The tighter the bouquet, the more friction it creates, preventing growth and keeping your flowers alive longer.
5. Tuesday and Fridays are the best days to shop for flowers.
6. Roses: remove the thorns and leaves (they will absorb the water and prevents water from absorbing into the actual rose).
7. Re-hydrate hydrangeas by sticking them upside down, blooms first, into a bucket of warm water for 30-40 mins.

Display created by Mike H. 

Vosges Chocolate Tasting - My favorite: Olio d' Oliva

Us at Epicurious Entertains Chicago
 Photos via Instagram {@PraveenMPatel}

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