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2010 Ritz-Carlton Dinner with Andre

Eighty-five members and guests from Hillsborough and San Francisco Baillages enjoyed an impressive event at Ritz-Carlton on prestigious Nob Hill on the evening of September 10, 2010. The San Francisco Ritz-Carlton is nestled in the heart of the City and its tranquil atmosphere was perfect for our gathering. The evening was hosted by Hillsborough Bailli Harry Dokouzian and San Francisco Bailli Andre Fournier. [Andre of “Dinner with Andre”]. Bailli Provincial Michael Martello and his wife were also in attendance.

We were greeted with glasses of Brut Blanc De Noirs, De Venoge, Epernay, France during the Reception. Highlight was hors d’oeuves of baked Yukon gold potatoes topped with American Caviar Crème Fraiche with traditional garnishes. So enjoyable, one was not enough! There was much camaraderie among friends and new acquaintances.

An exceptional dinner was prepared by Executive Chef Patrick Callaree. Chef Callaree, born in France, comes from Hawaii where he spent ten high-profile years at Ritz-Carlton Maui and then as owner of award winning Chez Paul Restaurant in Olowalu. He is acclaimed for his contemporary approach to classic French cuisine.

Dinner began with Ballotine of Rabbit, Consomme of Wild Mushroom paired with Riesling “Frédéric Emile” 2002, Trimbach, Ribeauville, Alsace (Note: This was a vibrant, muscular acidity, totally dry wine, unlike the familiar “sweet” Reisling wines). Following was Baked Turbot with Foie Gras and Black Truffles with Perigueux sauce, paired with Chateau Trimoulet 2005, Grand Cru, Saint Emilion, Michael Jean. (Note: This wine is a blend of 70% Merlot with Cabernet Franc 25% and Cabernet Sauvignon 5%, full-bodied, with soft tannins and a medium finish, and is slightly bitter).

A Calvados Sorbet was served with an apple cider brandy “to cleanse the palate”.

The main course was a tasty oven roasted Sonoma rack of lamb, Provencale with garlic thyme sauce. The presentation was outstanding! The wine served with this was Chateau Cantenac Brown, 2005 Grand Cru Classe En 1855, Margaux which was a perfect pairing. (Note: This wine is a full body, fruit driven wine, and The Cru Classe En 1855 refers to the famous 1855 classification which recognized 21 Crus Classés in the Margaux appellation)

In between courses Bailli Andre Fournier and Professional du Vin Meagan Simmons, described the various wines being served.

Topping off the evening was a spectacular dessert of Chocolate Sphere hazelnut Strudel topped with spiced hot chocolate sauce and served with caramelized bananas. Wait staff poured the chocolate sauce onto the chocolate sphere while we watched in awe.

The evening ended with accolades being given to Executive Chef Callaree and his staff. It was indeed a memorable evening!