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Palate Pleasers

Posted on May 01, 2018 in James Beard Foundation , Jim Shirley , New York City , May-June 2018

Chef Jim Shirley and his staff paired wines from the Wilson Daniels portfolio at the James Beard Foundation dinner in New York City. Photo by Kreg Holt Photography

Seaside chef and restaurateur Jim Shirley’s culinary teams from Great Southern Café and The Bay served wines from the Wilson Daniels portfolio at a recent dinner in New York City hosted by the prestigious James Beard Foundation. The chef’s farm-to-table focus has revolutionized the regional restaurant scene and put Seaside on the map as a culinary destination for fine food and wine lovers around the country.

Chef Shirley’s wine professionals and kitchen staff worked together to pair several of their signature cuisines with these beautiful expressions of varietal and history, all of which are available for purchase at 45 Central Wine Bar in Seaside. 45 Central’s meticulously curated selection of hard-to-find specialty wines pair effortlessly with Chef Shirley’s fresh, locally inspired fare, making this a natural partnership for the high-profile dining event.

Diners started off the cocktail hour with a sparkle, sipping flutes of Bisol Crede Prosecco Brut 2016 — a sparkling wine from the first family of Valdobbiadene, dating back to 1542 — and Royal Tokaji “The Oddity” Dry Tokaji 2015 from Hungary’s most famous wine region. Both paired perfectly with smoked Panhandle mullet dip and fried oysters, as well as local blue cheese ravioli.

The seated dinner echoed the James Beard Foudnation’s mission of establishing a more sustainable food system, with the waste-conscious and bycatch-friendly additions of shrimp cioppino featuring crab from nearby Choctawhatchee Bay and snapper collar gougères. Poured alongside were a stunning selection of several of Wilson Daniels’s most food-friendly wines, like Arnaldo-Caprai Grecante 2016 — one of the most appreciated and enjoyed white wines in all of Umbria — and Domaine Laroche Chablis 2016, the flagship wine of France’s heralded Domaine Laroche. Both wines are ideal accompaniments to a luxurious seafood-centric dinner.

The meal continued with Couvent des Thorins Moulin-à-Vent 2015, whose grapes are sourced from the terroirs of la Delatte, les Rouchaux, and les Maisonneuvesin — and Château Gassier Esprit Gassier Rosé 2016, whose crisp notes of floral peach, apricot and other summer fruits highlighted the fresh, briny Florida shellfish.

Look no further than 45 Central Wine Bar for these bottles next time you’re planning a seafood feast — Jim Shirley’s Great Southern Café and The Bay have generously done all the pairing work for you.