When it comes to food, I love what I do. It has to be one of the most gratifying things, next to performing on stage (which, unfortunately, I’ve not done in over 2 years–but working on that).
I receive unending requests to review this prod, taste that prod, visit this place, interview this person, and sometimes it’s quite cumbersome and overwhelming. It’s almost to the point where I need to send someone on my behalf to cover these delicious obligations. Or, atleast bring a young and enthusiastic foodie that will take notes and later transcribe. Yeah, working on that, too.
But, I’m not bothered by any of it. It lends to developing incredible friendships and business relationships with companies I’d probably not go beyond a simple “nice _____.”
In order to shift the requests from backlogged chores to fun and sexy, I decided I’d start sharing my goodies with close friends and colleagues and host interactive, social media shindigs.
I’d like to introduce my 1st of many “Eat & Tweet!” Man, o Man why didn’t I think of this earlier?! This particular one, just two weeks ago, was inspired by Montaluce Winery, my new and fave local vineyard, just north of Atlanta and a fine estate of homes, restaurants, villas and simply elegant Italian-esque romance. I met the owners when they generously offered to donate cases of amazing wines to my STIR IT 28 culinary benefit for Haiti, back in Feb. They were a huge hit at the cocktail party, leaving completely empty-handed.
My parents later visited me, shortly after mi papi’s birthday. I love to indulge my parents with their excursionary requests, so I surprised them (and my non-drinking sister) and drove up through a scenic route to the lovely and bountiful vineyards, for an extraordinary Saturday lunch. After we ate, one of the owners (whose parents I had actually cooked for early in my career, unbeknownst to me until STIR IT), invited us on a private tour of the vineyard, albeit not in harvest. We tasted immature Merlot straight from the vats and were invited back to do grape crushing in the fall.
Hosting a party with Montaluce wines was a perfect way for me to kick-off my monthly “Eat & Tweet” soirées because I had just received chocolates from a company I met here. They produce gourmet truffles that are intended to be paired with reds and whites. The have a sexy assortment of dark chocolates that are flavored with some of my favorite sabores like Bailey’s, hazelnut, raspberry and cappuccino. They also have chocolates shaped like an olive, as if you were having a martini, served on a mini skewer and all. How could I NOT bring these two brands together!
I’m all about the sexy. So, I invited friends (new and old) that are wine afficionados and love gourmet chocolate (and practice sustainability) for an evening of seduction!
This meant lots of alcohol, chocolate and my some simple dishes I prepared to compliment the delectables.
Naturally, I was running late, so my sweet friend and stealth photographer Chieu Lee, helped me prep and set up the tasting table, while I manicured and beautified myself. I swear if she hadn’t, I would have invited my guests in wearing a fuzzy robe and a towel wrapped head.
Chieu was also there to snap awesome pictures because I knew we’d all be too inebriated to properly pose for a decent picture! She tastefully shot all the appropriate and classy shots, while the rest of us took the behind-the-scenes flicks.
The tasting finally started (on time) and, oh seduction was it ever! Nicely clad men, charming ladies and my hostess hat came together to share in an evening of learning about the notes in the four wines: Risata, Merlot, Chardonnay & Cabernet Sauvignon; and about the chruffles. I spent 20 minutes explaining how to pair wines & chocolate and let everyone dig in.
(picture taken by @kenster76–the iPad show-off! ;))
While we sipped, bit and ate my picadillo and saffron couscous with shiitake mushroom & parsley, we tweeted our experience, uploaded pics, described our fave combos in 140 or less characters, making it very tricky to include all the handles & hashtag (post-it reminders plastered every where made it easy to remember).
Conversations of relationships, eating out, travel, the new Ironman movie, the iPad (which I’ve ordered twice and didn’t pick up on time–and one of my MAC geek friends brought to showoff ) and my obsession with owls, covered the topical spectrum. It’s great to see strangers (because I like to introduce new people) get along and find commonalities; but then again, after 4 glasses of wine, absent of commonalities, men and women will find anything to talk about it.
After 4.5 hours, the convo went way left and comedy ensued.
We actually did come to a conclusion on what wines and chocolates paired best. The consensus was that Merlot and the raspberry truffle were the no. 1 smashing hit! I particularly liked the Risata with the hazelnut chocolate. Individually, the key lime ganache and Chardonnay were the favorites and were completely depleted.
I was pleased, my guests were pleased and the brands have new followers and fans on Twitter & Facebook. I’ve even noticed some hook ups (both biz and personal) on Twitter with some new-comers!
The things wine and chocolate will do, ergo, a seductive evening.
My 2nd (and now monthly) “Eat & Tweet” is already planned for June and will be all about the savory palate! If you’re in Atlanta and are interested in joining us for a sexy evening of food and wine, leave a comment letting me know and I’ll send you deetz.
If you’re not in ATL, feast your eyes on our #winechocosoiree which I’m so thrilled I did and thank @Montaluce and @cholive for their support! Can’t wait to do it in DC!
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.