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Le Bailliage du Greater Washington, DC Chapter

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Basking in the Bountiful Splendor of Spring in the Countryside

May 14, 2014

By Judith Mazza, Vice Chargée de Presse, Bailliage of Greater Washington, D.C.

The Winter of 2014 was indeed brutal and the Bailliage of Greater Washington was ready to shake off the winter doldrums and enjoy the bountiful splendors of Spring. We thought of no better place to emerge from our cocoons than to the delightful hamlet of Clifton, Virginia in southwestern Fairfax County, Virginia in order to enjoy a sumptuous meal prepared by our Bailliage’s own Chef Rotisseur Austin Fausett at Trummer’s on Main. Executive Chef Fausett, a winner of the Midatlantic Regional Jeunes Commis Competition and former Sous Chef for both Patrick O’Connell of the Inn at Little Washington as well as for Michel Richard of Citronelle and Central, was eager for us to experience his locally sourced seasonal cuisine.

A tasting committee consisting of Vice Echanson Ellen Kirsh, Tony Clifford, Vice Conseiller Gastronomique Thomas Walsh, Vice Argentier David Burka, Dame de la Chaîne Rebecca Burka, Vice Chargée de Presse Judith Mazza and Chevalier Allan Kam all gathered to taste the menu and pair the wines.

Trummer’s on Main is located in a grand Victorian house right on the main street, in a town so small, that it doesn’t have a stop light. We had the pleasure of enjoying the delightful passed hors d’oeuvres on the lovely wrap- around balcony which overlooked the picturesque town. We began with Romesco frico with fried artichoke, a delicate house cured Arctic char with dill cucumber, a cucumber soup “shooter” with chamomile yogurt and perfectly balanced whipped artisan cheese crostini with herbs and jam while enjoying Bollinger Brut Special Cuvee NV (Champagne, France).

This was a most unusual dinner, as it was going to be combined with an Induction. One of our incoming members, Chanelle Gutari, was unable to attend our induction in April and was eager to receive her ribbon; and two young Sommeliers (Diana Roderique, Sommelier for Trummer’s on Main, and Morgan Fausett, a Sommelier at Proof Restaurant in Washington, D.C. and the wife of Austin Fausett, the Executive Chef at Trummer’s) recently were invited to join our Bailliage, and were also to be inducted. Midatlantic Chambellan Provincial/Washington, D.C. Bailli Paul Haar conducted the Induction ceremony, striking the right balance between the importance of the ceremony, educating new members about the Chaîne, and humor.

As soon as the Induction finished, we were served our first seated course of Spring Hill salmon carpaccio anointed with a curry crème fraiche, cardamom and dill vinaigrette and a sesame tuile. It was probably the most upscale and delicate “bagel and lox” that any of us have ever had. This was accompanied by a Thierry-Merlin Cherrier Sancerre 2012 (Loire Valley, France). This course was followed by the essence of Spring in a composed salad consisting of hearts of palm, warm morels and the first local asparagus of the season, perfectly complimented by the lemon, endive and fried capers and paired with the Hall Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (Napa Valley, California). The next course was delightfully complex with Cape Cod Bay Mussels and potato gnocchi (that were light as a feather) served with macadamia nuts and fiddlehead ferns in a bacon and espelette broth. We were thoughtfully served a few slices from a lightly toasted baguette to “sop up” the sauce at the bottom of the bowl. The Breton Bourgueil Rose “LaRitournelle” 2013 (Loire Valley, France) completed the dish.

We eagerly awaited the bourbon glazed veal sweetbreads served with peach butter, ruby chard and smoked potatoes, and were not disappointed. In fact, those who have enjoyed sweetbreads in the past said these were the best that they had ever tasted and those who had never had sweetbreads before, vowed to add them to their repertoire. They were perfect, crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside. The Silvio Messana Montesecondo Chianti Classico 2011 (Tuscany, Italy) stood up to the dish perfectly and its deep cherry flavors were delightful with the peach butter. Our final savory course was the braised lamb osso bucco with flageolet beans seasoned with harissa and gaufrette potatoes with rosemary salt. This was a tender and highly flavorful dish with the Tenuta Col d’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2008 (Tuscany, Italy) marrying with it in a lovely way. The wine was fruit forward and very complex. Executive Chef Austin Fausett explained each dish and Professionnel du Vin Diana Roderique shared her thoughts about the wine pairings.

With great satisfaction, we looked forward to dessert. However, there was one more event to take place at this dinner, the Mondiale Induction! Both Professionels du Vin, Diana Roderique and Morgan Fausett, took the Mondiale oath as Midtlantic Chambellan Provincial/Washington, D.C. Bailli Paul Haar, Vice Conseiller Culinaire Provincial (Honoraire) Chef Francois Dionot, and Vice Chargée de Presse Judith Mazza, outfitted in the traditional Mondiale robes, welcomed them into La Société Mondiale du Vin.

The kitchen staff came out to great applause as the luscious dessert of dulce de leche coulant served with manjari sorbet and avocado puree arrived, along with Chateau Coutet 2004 (Sauternes, France). Vice Conseiller Culinaire Provincial (Honoraire) Chef Francois Dionot discussed the meal, giving it great praise, and presented Executive Chef Austin Fausett a ceremonial Chaîne plate. Many members said it was one of the best meals they had ever had, said the wine pairings were “spot on,” and asked if we could make a dinner at Trummer’s an annual event! We left feeling that this will not be the last time we visit Trummer’s on Main.

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