French Chefs, Porc and Pinot

— By Design Furniture & Interior Design presents dsmDining —

Above: Chefs from the Loire Valley return again this week to teach and share insights with lovers of French cuisine.

By Wini Moranville

Each year for more than 20 years, selected young chefs from France’s Loire Valley have landed in Iowa to teach French cuisine for two weeks in the culinary arts program at Des Moines Area Community College. And each year, there’s a culinary gathering to celebrate their visit and showcase their work.

For this year’s event, Friday, Nov. 16—titled “Porc and Pinot”—the chefs will highlight cinta senese pork (a rare breed of heirloom pork from the Tuscan region of Italy), cured meats from La Quercia as well as pork from Iowa’s Berkwood Farms. Tastes of these products will be offered at charcuterie, carving and sauté stations throughout the evening. In addition, the two young French chefs—who won a rigorous competition that brings them to Des Moines—will offer a cooking demonstration using the featured products.

The event also will include a tasting of wines from Balletto Vineyards, a family-owned estate winery in California’s Russian River Valley. Owner John Balletto and winemaker Anthony Beckman will be on hand to present a rare taste of their “Burnside Road” pinot noir.

With music performed by Tanner Taylor, the event lasts from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the River Center (340 S.W. Third St., 515-330-1517; rivercenterdsm.com). Tickets, along with more information on the evening’s festivities, are available at MidwestTix. The 21-and-over event costs $60 per person in advance or $75 at the door; a portion of the proceeds goes to support CultureAll, which promotes diverse cultural programming in Central Iowa, and to the Association des Cuisiniers de la Loire, the French chef’s organization that sends these young chefs our way.
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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