© Quentin Bacon
Well, that headline doesn't actually mean much, but it was hard to resist. The point is, I've discovered my new favorite wine snack: the beef jerky that chef John Schenk (F&W Best New Chef '95) has added to the bar menu at the Strip House steakhouses in Houston and New York—and will in theory soon be adding to all the other Strip Houses around the country.
This tiny photo doesn't quite do it justice. What Schenk does is take prime strip loin, cut it into strips, pound it lightly till it's thin, then marinate it in minced garlic, ground coriander, curry powder, dark brown sugar, black pepper, soy sauce, oyster sauce, thyme, chopped cilantro, lime juice, and red wine vinegar—whew—for at least 24 hours. He pulls it out of the marinade, dries it in a 200 degree oven for somewhere up to 40 minutes or so, cools it, refrigerates it, then fries it to order in goose fat. (Because, you know, why the heck not fry it in goose fat?) And it's served with fried onions. It's slightly sweet, tender and chewy at once, excellently beefy, much more reminiscent of Hong Kong-style beef jerky than of the leathery, black, mesquite-smoked stuff I remember from being a kid in Texas. And I can tell you, it goes fantastically well with a big red wine.
If it sounds intriguing, you have two options: go to Strip House and order it, or, if you just have a general hankering for jerky, wait till our June issue when we're running a whole jerky article. Your call.
There's been plenty of buzz about this in the past day or so, but it's still such an oddball concept that it bears—well, I'm not sure what it bears. But anyway, some company called Innovation Spirits has released a Hello Kitty line of wines, complete with that ultra-kawaii kitty cat on the label (on the sparkling wine, it's dressed in what looks like pink-leopard-print footie pajamas with a hood, a bit like Kenny's outfit on South Park—but we all know what happens to him). I haven't tasted them yet. I suppose it's my duty as a wine journalist, but I have to admit I'm kind of terrified.
© Tina Rupp
© Jordan Salcito
Daniel Boulud and Michel Troisgras share an Oscar.
On a drizzly Friday afternoon, I started my La Paulée weekend at a vertical tasting featuring dozens of Burgundy producers in the elaborate ballroom of the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. That’s where I bumped into famed Burgundian chef Michel Troisgros, who offered me the chance of a lifetime.
It turned out Michel would be cooking with Boulud that night for a private wine dinner featuring the storied wines of Domaine Dujac. “Why don’t you cook with us?” he asked me. That night, while we prepared squab stuff with foie gras and bok choy and Thai pheasant sausage with lemongrass, my husband, wine director Robert Bohr, snuck back with glasses of wine for the cooks to try—1985 Domaine Dujac Clos St-Denis and 1989 Domaine Leflaive “Les Pucelles.”
Then something unexpected happened. A tall, lanky gentleman walked into the kitchen with a gold statuette.
“Is it real?” everyone wondered.
“It is,” said the man.
It was Pete Docter, a dinner guest, who had recently won an Oscar for his animated film, Up. He praised Daniel, Michel and all of the winemakers and sommeliers at the dinner that night. “You all deserve the Oscar!” he announced.