Considering how ambitious Maude was for four years, it’s no wonder that chef Curtis Stone decided to scale back in Beverly Hills. An in-depth exploration of a different ingredient each month must have been logistically and creatively demanding, and eventually gave way to a quarterly focus on one of the world’s great wine regions. First up: Rioja.
I started with “Snacks in the Cellar” in an upstairs wine loft and proceeded downstairs to the dining room for a series of dishes featuring Rioja ingredients paired wine Rioja wines, all fueled by a research trip from Stone and his team to…Rioja.
After receiving a glass of 2015 Vinaspre Xerico Rioja, I experienced a tribute to Dinner with Juan Carlos Sancha inspired by a memorable winery meal in Baños de Río Tobía, Rioja Alta. Caparrónes, earthy red kidney beans endemic to the region, was stewed with chorizo and draped with melting jamon Iberico gelée studded with rosemary flowers.
“But wait, there’s more.” My server presented a glass of red wine from Senorio de P. Pecina, along with a delicate panko coated potato croqueta filled with bursting consommé of jamon Serrano and jamon Iberico, served atop rosemary.
I haven’t been to dinner with Juan Carlos Sancha, but if this is the type of hospitality that young winemaker displays, and the type of food and wine he serves, I’d also be inspired to pay tribute.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.