Sunday, November 1, 2009

Recipe & Pairing From The Denver International Wine Festival

Recipe from The Best Chef of The 2008 Denver International Wine Festival

My absolutely most enjoyable event of the year is The Denver International Wine Festival's Taste of Elegance Chef's Competition.

We provide only Gold Medal winning wines from the Denver International Wine Competition to 14 of Colorado's Master Chef's. Each Chef is assigned two different Gold Medal wines just one week before the event. Their assignment is to create a custom paired dish to go with each wine. At the Taste of Elegance, they create 400 appetizer portions to serve some of Colorado's most devoted food and wine lovers.

Our 2008 "Best Chef" was Jean-Luc Voegele, the Executive Chef of The Westin Tabor Center Hotel in Downtown Denver. Jean-Luc is a French native and may have been fed wine with his Cheerios as a youngster. His pairing at the event was one of the most unusual combinations, yet it worked quite deliciously!

Roasted Beets Salad with whipped Goat Cheese served with a
Tomato-Ginger Vinaigrette

Paired with R&B Cellars, Zwingville Zin 2006

By Executive Chef Jean-Luc Voegele, Westin Hotels

Serves 12

Roasted Beets Salad Ingredients:
3 Lbs. Red Beets
1/2 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Banyuls Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Chopped Chives
1 Tbsp. Chopped Italian Parsley
2 Tbsp. Chopped Shallots
1 Tbsp. Dried Cherries (Blanched and Chopped)
1 Tbsp. Macadamia Nuts (small pieces)
1 Tbsp. Fresh Ginger Minced
1 cup Tomato cubes peeled & seeded
2 T. Kosher Salt
1 T. White ground pepper

Goat Cheese Mixture Ingredients:
1/2 c. half & half
1 Lbs. Goat Cheese (Logs)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. White ground pepper

Tomato Vinaigrette Ingredients:
1 cup Tomato cubes peeled & seeded
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup Banyuls Vinegar
1 Tbsp Chopped Italian Parsley
1 Tbsp. Chopped Shallots
1 Tbsp. Chopped Chives
1 Tbsp. Fresh Ginger Minced
2 T. Kosher Salt
1 T. White ground pepper

Garnishing Ingredients:

12 ea. Italian parsley springs
12 ea. Cherry tomatoes cut in half


To prepare the beets salad:
Wash the beets in running water and scrap off all the dirt. Drain them and wrap the beets in aluminum foil and bake in 350(F) oven until soft, approximately2- 3 hours.
After they cool down, peel of the skin. Then shred them.
In a large bowl mix with a whip the oil and vinegar with the salt & pepper like a vinaigrette, then add chives, parsley, shallots, dried cherries, ginger, tomato, Mac nuts. Check the seasoning.
To prepare the goat cheese:
Mix the cheese with the half & half in a kitchen aid mixer and add the seasoning. Let it get smooth. Then reserve it in a piping bag with a star tip.
To prepare the vinaigrette:
In a bowl mix oil, vinegar, salt and pepper with a Wisk to emulsify the vinaigrette. Then add all the other ingredients and check the seasoning.

Assembly of the salad:
Use a 3 inch round circle and start filling it up ¾ with the beet salad, then add the goat cheese. Drizzle the vinaigrette around the plate and decorate with cherry tomatoes and a spring of parsley.

Note: Chef Jean-Luc Voegele returns to the Denver International Wine Festival, Taste of Elegance on Thursday November 12, 2009 at The Mile High Station. I can't wait to taste his new pairings! For tickets visit:

Additional Information & Resources:

The Denver International Wine Festival

The Denver International Wine Competition

R&B Cellars Wine Information:

R&B Cellars homepage:

The Westin Tabor Center, Denver Colorado

Story and photos (C) 2009 by Christopher J. Davies, All rights reserved.

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