Epicurean mystery tour at Gracia
" The journey began watching the sun descend into the Pacific Ocean whilst enjoying an exquisite aperitif "
Located in Costa Rica’s Guanacaste region is Playa Flamingo. Surrounded by pristine blue waters and endless natural beauty is Gracia Restaurant. Here Maître Rôtisseur Frankie Becker and his wife, Maître Restaurateur Stephanie Becker, take Costa Rican gastronomy to new levels of distinction.
Gracia, which means “grace and elegance”, is a favourite of locals and travellers alike. Success is attributed to passion and love of the art of cooking also the joy of bringing people together to celebrate life. Gracia.
Our event, themed an “Epicurean Mystery Tour” to delight senses and awaken imagination, was embarked on by 33 members and guests. The journey began watching the sun descend into the Pacific Ocean whilst enjoying an exquisite aperitif, Vina Indomita Espumante Brut Pinot Noir/Chardonnay from Chile’s Casablanca Valley.
The theme came with was a challenge, a mystery, to guess the country and region of origin and type of each wine based on body, flavour and food pairing. Throughout dinner we were encouraged to discuss wine pairings.
Guests were put to the sommelier's test. A white envelope arrived with every course containing the answer. Only once guesses had been recorded could envelopes be opened. Good mysteries always have clues to evoke ideas. Music was a clever hint. Yet another element to elevate the experience assisting in “solving the case”.
Roero Arneis from Piedmont in Italy paired Parmesan-crusted sea bass and pepperonata. Gérard Bigonneau Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley in France was a favourite. Delicate citrus and exotic fruit notes partnered shrimp Saint Jacques, chopped mushrooms, local Nicoya shrimp, and Gruyère garlic cream created a fusion of elements.
A Central Coast Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands in California accompanied smoked pork belly berry barbecue. It was down to Argentina for Amancaya Reserve Blend Malbec/Cabernet-Sauvignon from Mendoza enjoyed with organic coffee-rubbed grilled beef with house chimichurri. Crisp clear Peter Winter Kanzler Spätlese from Nahe, Germany, was perfect for rich German-style chocolate cake made with Costa Rican chocolate and toasted coconut.
Frankie and Stephanie were awarded a Certificate of Excellence by Bailli Délégué Alain Taulère. Everyone gave their grateful approval to their brigade and “family”.
Finding unique ways to bring members together has been the National Bailliage’s mission. As a result, it has emerged as a culinary authority throughout the country striving to build lasting relationships through great culinary traditions that connect us as one.
Chargée de Presse Provincial
Photos courtesy of Alex & Steff (www.alexandsteff.com)
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