Where Local and Global Appetites Collide
Dinner with Chefs at Casino Del Sol

Dinner with Chefs at Casino Del Sol

…and what a dinner it was. I was invited by author and blogger Rita Connelly to accompany her (actually do the driving) to the monthly special Dinner with Chefs event. Last night’s chefs were Ryan Clark who is now the well-deserved executive chef of Casino del Sol and Travis Peters, owner/chef of The Parish.

reimagined michelada

Dinner began with a welcome aperitif – a reimagined Michelada but instead of the clamato juice; concentrated chicken broth was the base along with agar agar, a bit of beer (this is solely from memory so I could be wrong) and chile salt around the rim with a slice of lime. Refreshing, yes, but so deftly concocted than none of the ingredients were discernible. Aaron DeFeo, top mixologist, got the credit for its incarnation.

The concept of these dinners is to use all the meat on the cow (steer) with 24 different cuts of beef prepared over 12 months from 12 guest chefs.  No repeats.

First Course:  Dry aged eye round carpaccio – beautifully presented was the thinly sliced carpaccio arranged in a circle sprinkled with red coal charred Red Bull vinaigrette that resembled tiny vitamin E pearls. Chef Peters explained the making but after the third or fourth inventive step, I forgot what the first step was. Culinary science, for sure.

Also on the plate was beet pickled egg, cauliflower bits, baby arugula and Barrio Bread crostini.  This course was paired with 2014 pinot noir, Sea Smoke, Southing, Central Coast.

I must add that I rarely to never eat beef. I have cut way back on consumption as a way to lower my cholesterol (which hasn’t worked so far).

Second Course:  Marinated smoked beef belly – Dr. Pepper marinate, warm kimchi Brussel sprouts, crispy taro root, in a path of buttery mashed potatoes while reigning in a light broth. OMG! OMDG! This plate of food was beyond masterful. The beef belly was reminiscent of my mother’s brisket — only better. So many flavors and textures…my taste buds danced the Conga. Paired with 2013 cabernet franc, Cosentino, the franc, Lodi.

Third Course: Peanut butter mousse – This dish was so much more than a mousse. First, there was a smear of meringue sprinkled with black pepper (it worked), two kinds of cakes (chocolate cornflakes and gingerbread-ish) that Chef Clark said was made in a microwave, caramelized bananas and a tiny scoop of gelato. Paired with Williams and Humbert, Dry Sack, Solera 15-year Oloroso.                                            

Thank you Chef Clark and Chef Peters.

The next guest chefs to look forward to:

  • April                Maria Mazon
  • May                 Brandon Dillon and Tyler Fenton
  • June                Devon Sanner
  • July                 Jonathan Landeen
  • August            David Soloranzo
  • September      Ramiro Scavo
  • October           Paulo Im
  • November       Kyle Nottingham
  • December       Kenneth Foy


These dinners are private and intimate, with limited availability. The three-course meal costs $65 per person, which includes three wines plus one cocktail.

For more information, visit http://casinodelsol.com/events/dinner-with-chefs. To make your reservation, call PY Steakhouse at 1-855-SOL-STAY (765-7829).

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