Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Annie Gunn's Re-Creates Missouri Wine Dinner

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Annie Gunn's Re-Creates Missouri Wine Dinner

Article excerpt

The May issue of Feast is dedicated to exploring our region's complex and thriving wine industry. In the feature story "Rook's Reprise," Feast goes behind the scenes with Annie Gunn chef Lou Rook III as he re-creates a Missouri wine-centric dinner previously presented at the James Beard Foundation in New York.

Rook and Annie Gunn's wine director Glenn Bardgett collaborated on the Beard House event, which took place in October. Just as they do when orchestrating their frequent winemaker dinners at the restaurant, they worked backward when designing the Beard House dinner, allowing the wine to lead them to the food.

"Putting great wines with great food carries an aspect of art," says Rook. "There have been a few times in my career where I have had that 'wow' moment, a food and wine pairing that just worked in a way that went above and beyond anything I had had before. Now with every menu and every pairing, that is our ultimate goal."

While Missouri wine had been poured at James Beard dinners in the past, they had never before been the sole wines offered and used as inspiration for an entire menu. "Missouri wines are incredible food- pairing wines by nature. They don't get the credit they deserve, and I wanted to show that you can do so much more with them than most diners and even chefs realize," says Rook.

Bardgett adds, "The biggest misconception about Missouri wines is their quality. They resemble European wines ... in style, and therefore, they are much more inclined toward food."

Pick up the current issue of Feast to learn more about the reprise of this locally focused dinner.



Yield: 10 to 12 servings

For the chops

3 to 4 16-ounce rib or loin chops

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Granulated garlic

3 tablespoons rubbed sage

Extra-virgin olive oil

For the Black Raspberry Soy Caramel

cup sake

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 cups brown sugar

cup black raspberry pure or black raspberry jam

cup blackberry vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper

For the Champ

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled

1 quart heavy cream

pound plus 4 ounces unsalted butter, divided

2 ounces fresh minced chives, garlic or scallions

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1. Make the chops. Remove chops from refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Fire up the grill and, when hot, clean and season grill. Bring grill to medium-high heat, about 400 degrees. Season chops to taste on all sides with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and sage. Rub each side with olive oil and place on grill. Grill chops for 15 minutes per side to allow proper searing. Cook to an internal temperature of 142 degrees and allow to rest a minimum of 10 minutes before carving or serving.

2. Make the Black Raspberry Soy Caramel. Add sake, soy sauce, brown sugar, puree or jam and vinegar to a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. …

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