Honors to Restaurateurs, Wine Pros

— By Design Furniture & Interior Design presents dsmDining —

Above, from left: Winefest executive director Natasha Sayles, Iron Somm champion Kelsey Seay, competitor Blair Zachariasen, and Jay Syverson, president of Winefest’s board of directors. (Photo: Christopher Maharry) 

By Wini Moranville

It was a night of firsts at the fourth annual Thrivent Financial Iron Somm. Saturday night’s event was the first time the competing sommeliers were both women: Kelsey Seay of Best Case Wines and Blair Zachariasen, wine pro at Fourth + Court Hy-Vee. It was also the first year that the defending champion held the title—Seay, who took the honor last year, won this year’s close match. A standout dish of the evening was Centro chef Derek Eidson’s study in duck, with foie gras, roasted duck breast, duck leg crepinette and duck bacon (that final touch had people clapping and cheering the chef as the recap of the evening’s food was announced).

Other recent awards and accolades:

David Baruthio has been named a Maître Cuisinier (Master Chef) from the Maître Cuisiniers de France organization. The title goes to French citizens who uphold high standards for French cuisine, regardless of where they are cooking in the world. This is not a crowd-sourced honorific: Master chefs within the organization choose the new inductees. Baruthio joins the ranks of fellow Frenchmen Daniel Boulud, of New York City’s acclaimed Daniel restaurant, and Sylvain Delpique of that city’s famed 21 Club. See Baruthio’s listing here.

Christina Moffatt, owner of Crème Cupcake and the director of Small Business Development at the Greater Des Moines Partnership, is the first recipient of the Ivy Women of Business Inspiration Award by Iowa State University. The award recognizes women dedicated to encouraging other women along the path to success. As a food journalist, I have often been impressed by the way Moffatt often shines the spotlight on her staff (rather than herself) at Crème. As an example, when asked to offer up a recipe for our magazine, Moffatt insisted that  pastry chef Holly Evans be the featured pro in this story for dsm magazine.

Wini Moranville writes about food, wine and dining for dsm magazine and dsmWeekly. Follow her on Facebook at All Things Food–DSM.

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