Eating the Road: Dotty Griffith gives her spin on last weekend’s Buffalo Gap food & wine summit
Cowboy chef TOM PERINI has plenty of reasons to smile this week. Not the least of which is the just completed, more successful than ever, 7th annual Buffalo Gap Wine and Food Summit. He’s also on this month’s cover of Texas Monthly.
Perini’s is the kind of wine and food event we all dream of attending. Lots of up-close-and- personal time with winemakers and chefs; wonderful wines to taste; fabulous dishes to relish and wonder “how’d they do that?” There was definitely a party going on last weekend at Perini Ranch Steakhouse which Tom runs with his wife, LISA, in the historic town of Buffalo Gap, near Abilene.
World renowned chef JACQUES PEPIN and his daughter, CLAUDINE PEPIN, put on a couple of cooking demonstrations. They had fun. So did everyone else watching them burn an apple charlotte. Hey, things can happen to anyone in the kitchen, even the great Jacques Pepin. And the Pepins, father and daughter, danced to the big band sound of the Hardin Simmons University Cowboy band in the tent following Dallas superstar chef Stephan Pyles incredible five-course dinner that kicked off the event on Friday evening. Three to five wines – from Texas, California or France – accompanied each course.
Saturday morning’s “blind tasting” guided by Master Sommelier Guy Stout, featuring wines and winemakers who use varietals of the Rhone Valley. We really loved Delas Freres Cote Du Rhone Rouge 2008; Coquerel Family Wine Estates Terroir Coquerel Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2007 and Fall Creek Meritus Texas 2009.
Afterwards, Perini served a lunch buffet of justifiably famous fried chicken, so down-home delicious that it could make an Abilene grandmother jealous. Saturday evening was the dine around with chefs from Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin as well as old and new world wineries such as Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard, ; E. Guigal, France; and Becker Vineyards of Stonewall, Tx.
Chefs and their dishes included chef Tim Byres of Smoke and chocolate diva Katherine Clapner of Dude, Sweet Chocolate shop, both located in Dallas. Byres served bring-you-to-your-knees smoked beef short ribs; Clapner featured her wondrous chocolate truffles wrapped in smoked cotton candy. Grady Spears of Fort Worth’s Grady’s Restaurant offered chicken fried steak that had people standing in line for one last morsel.
Mark your calendar for next April, but better go on line in February if you want tickets because this intimate event with its limited space, ranch venue can only accommodate so many folks.
Dotty Griffith write about food, spirits and restaurants for Modern Luxury Dallas magazine. She’s a former Food Editor and Restaurant Critic of The Dallas Morning News.
Photo courtesy of Rick Turner Photography.