Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cook Pairs Food and Right Wine

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cook Pairs Food and Right Wine

Article excerpt

ASK JOANNE PARRISH what's cooking, and you'll probably get a two-part answer. In Part I, she'll tell you what's in the pot. In Part II, she'll suggest a wine to go with it.

Parrish enjoys playing matchmaker to fine foods and wines as much as she enjoys volunteering. Sometimes she even manages to bring about a marriage between those loves.

For example, when she was on the board of the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, she was instrumental in producing the "Opening Night Entertaining" cookbook set, which features appetizers and desserts from local restaurants, complete with suggestions for complementary wines.

Five years ago she was chairwoman of a wine auction for the St. Louis Symphony Music School Auxiliary, a fund-raiser she is helping to bring b ack for an encore on Feb. 3. Proceeds from the event will benefit the general scholarship fund of the auxiliary, which Parrish heads.

This year's auction and dinner will be at the newly renovated theater of the Symphony Music School, 560 Trinity Avenue in University City. The evening begins with a wine tasting at 6 p.m. The auction begins at 7 and will feature some 150 foreign and domestic wines in all price ranges, including collectibles valued at more than $600.

"There will be something for everyone at the auction," she said, including trips, wine dinners, jewelry and artwork.

The wines served with the dinner are up to Anthony Bommarito, honorary chairman of the event. His A. Bommarito Wines is supplying the wine for the meal, catered by Butlers Pantry. "I can't wait to see what he comes up with to go with the dessert," a chocolate shell served with English trifle on a pool of white chocolate espresso sauce, she said.

Tickets for the black-tie evening, which includes "Memories of the Muny" with Marty Bronson and Kathleen Neimeyer, are $100 a person, $150 for patron status. For invitations or information, call 534-3523.

Parrish learned much of what she knows about wine-and-food pairings when she belong to a gourmet club - which, she noted, once devoted a meeting to matching wines with sandwiches. She and her husband, Henry, belong to the Knights of the Vine wine group and try to participate in the wine dinners as often as they can. However, Parrish admits that she has as much fun cooking at home as she does dining out.

Her first attempts at cooking were at re-creating things she remembered her Italian mother and grandmother making when she was a child in New York. She also learned by following the directions in her first cookbook.

"They say ignorance is bliss, and I certainly was ignorant," said Parrish, who "jumped right into it" by choosing a book by Julia Child.

Later, Parrish fell in love with the works of Marcella Hazan, so much so that she followed the noted cookbook author to Italy to attend one of her cooking classes.

Although many of her favorite dishes have an Italian accent, Parrish is as international in her kitchen as she is in her travels. …

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