Perfect Pairing Wine Dinner Pop Up ~ Carlsbad

So, as someone who has hosted 4 Chefs’ Dinners in North County, I come into these events on two levels. The first is of course the food, the second the execution

I will admit I come in with a little bit of defensiveness / chip on my shoulder and what I mean by this is I have a very small skill set but what I do I do very well and it is near and dear to my heart., but I think that is equally measured with empathy for what goes into these events and the level of detail and work that goes into the execution.

Now, the Perfect Pairing crew have a couple of advantages, in the older incarnation of the restaurant tasting menus are what they specialized in, also you have in my opinion a Someiler who I would put up against anyone on pairing ability..

The disadvantage, no seasoned Chef. Did not matter they pulled it off. Impressed and a bit humbled…don’t worry not that humbled:)

perfect pairings pop upThe Pop Up Dinner.


The set up

So the dinner was five courses with wine pairing. The theme was blends. I love blends some of my favorite wines…and I added a few to my list tonight. The reason I love them is they are either genius or horrible. Either it is a Wine maker trying to salvage something or trying to create something special and when the latter happens it is a wonderful thing.

perfect pairings Aaron

This is Alex Morrison, not only a really nice guy but a bad ass. Someiler, Played Pro Hockey, Worked in the NFL, and now runs a great restaurant in North County. I need to get him, Roddy from Flying Pig, Chris Lobo from Native Wines, and luke Girling together…gonna be like herding cats.

perfect pairings pop upGreen Godess

Green Goddess Salad ~ Bibb lettuce, heirloom tomato, endive

Great salad the produce was as good as it gets and the balance and amount of dressing was spot on.

perfect pairings pop upGreen Godess with wine

This was paired with a 2013 Wirtz Garden Edelzwicker, Willemette, OR

Great wine, a blend of reisling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztaminer, and Sylvaner

perfect pairings done course 1

This was pretty much the result of every course…that and empty wine glasses.

perfect pairings salmon

perfect pairings salmon 2

Baked Salmon ~Dijon, fennel pollen, fennel, brioche crumbs.

Good dish, the choice of fennel was brilliant. Did it need something else on the plate? I’m going to say yes, did I enjoy it and eat it all? Yes.

perfect pairings salmon fin

Wine Pairing ~ 2014 Vina Ardanza Roija Reserva, Roija DOCa Spain

Another (see, right here I could say “Perfect Pairing ” but we are both better than that)

perfect pairings duck 2

Duck Confit ~ Yellow Summer Squash, roasted red beats.

The duck was perfect, moist and full of flavor. I would of liked a little jus just to tie everything together but that is a minor point.

Wine Pairing ~ 2012 Esprit De Tables Rouge, Paso Robles

This wine came up when I asked Alex to name his go to wine under $100. This was it and he compared it to his $500 wine pick. I agree, I had a glass of this before the dinner as well with the duck.

perfect pairings the dish

Chipotle Braised Short Rib ~ Glazed carrots, whipped potato.

Dish of the night, the short rib was braised to perfection, the potato and carrots …just a perfect dish.

Wine pairing ~ Artistry 2011 Red Blend, Napa

At this point I do not remember much about the wine , other than it was good and I drank it:)

perfect pairings the dessert

Creme Moulee ~ Red pear, basmati, warm spice, apricot glaze, savory cream, buttermilk

If you know me I am not a sweet dessert person so this was right up my alley.  Pssst Creme Moulee is a really fancy French, Chefy word for custard.

Wine Pairing ~ 2012 Bella River King Valley White

This wine was great, a Reisling and Mascato blend that was not sweet but would work with both savory desserts like here or cut the sweetness of others.

******Slight rant and language up ahead*******

Douche bag note ~ I am pretty non pretensions so I hate when people are…especially when they are in an environment where they know said person they are being an ass hat to can not really speak freely.. While standing in the kitchen a guest (who’s car is probably worth more than I make in a year) comes up to one of the staff…by the way who are top-notch and were busting their ass all night and asks about the region the wine is from , where in Australia. She answers it perfectly “I do not know but I will find out for you” his answer ” You guys should be on top of this”  …It took me so much not to jump in because I know exactly where the wine region is ( I’m obsessed with Australia)  This just goes back to two things …money and class are two different things and do not ever be a dick to the wait staff. If this was my event I would have stabbed the MF with a spoon…but that’s just me:)

***** End of Rant ****************

So running long but I wanted to include pictures of the Kitchen Staff. No commentary needed I think the dedication and passion comes across.

perfect pairings Kitchen staff focused

perfect pairings staff

perfect pairings carrots

perfect pairings Kitchen staff focused 2

Been very lucky to have had some of the best food I have had in North County this last 7 days. Gotta love it.

Hats off to everyone involved..great job guys.

Also go to craft Burger it is really good and get on their mailing list because these Pop Ups are kind hush hush.

Craft Burger / Perfect Pairings

300 Carlsbad Village Dr #120,

Carlsbad, CA 92008


This is just for Ken…and maybe Alex if he pulls his head out of his ass and stops drinking everything Stone:)


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