Select members of the Cincinnati Bailliage met with Cincinnati State Technical College representatives on July 17, 2014, prior to the school sponsored wine dinner to witness the donation of $5,500 to the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Irwin and Barbara Weinberg Culinary Scholarship Fund. This fund was established to assist deserving young students in the pursuit of the culinary arts at the Midwest Culinary Institute. In honor of Bailli Honoraire Irwin and Barbara Weinberg, who have generously supported the culinary arts for many years in Cincinnati, this scholarship is made possible through contributions from our local chapter. These contributions consisted of $2,725 from 43 checks from individual members, one check for $1,000 from the National Chaîne Foundation, one check of $500 from the Cincinnati Société Mondiale du Vin, and one check from the Cincinnati Chaîne des Rôtisseurs annual auction of wines left over from Chaîne dinners throughout the year. Attending the check presentation were Bailli George Elliott, Bailli Honoraire Irwin Weinberg, Barbara Weinberg, Vice Chargé de Mission Clint Haynes, Cincinnati State President Dr. O’dell Owens, and Director of Development for the Cincinnati State Foundation Elliot Ruther.
After the presentation as we enjoyed the wine dinner prepared by Chef Sean Kagy and his MCI students, we were reminded of why we continue to support this worthy cause. This dinner was not a Chaîne event but was one of many dinners hosted by the MCI students and staff throughout the year. Professionnel du Vin Carmen Parks and spouse Paul Parks have been vital in assisting in organizing and hosting these dinners and they welcomed all of us in attendance. Also present at the dinner was Vice Chargé de Mission Clint Haynes who works closely the MCI staff and helps to sponsor our annual Young Chef Competition every November. This competition allows our members to see the talented students in action as they compete to win the honor of moving on to the regional competition. Chaîne members joined other supporters from the community for this four course dinner which paired wines from Bodegas Riondo with selections prepared by Chef Kagy and the students. Representing Bodegas Riondo was Jill Leslie who described the individual wines as they were poured. Each food course was ceremoniously brought from the kitchen, served, and described by a different MCI student.
We started with Riondo Pink Spago Argento sparkling wine to be enjoyed with passed appetizers including goat cheese cake, cashews, and strawberry jam. The sweetness of the jam was offset by the salty cashews and the goat cheese. We were then seated and served branzino, capers, lemon, and parsley beurre blanc paired with Riondo Cantina del Castello Soave Classico. The second course was one of Chef Kagy’s famous BLTs consisting of polenta cake, arugula, heirloom tomatoes, pepper bacon, roasted garlic aioli, and homemade potato chips paired with Riondo Sangiovese Toscana Insieme IGT. Our third course was smoky BBQ, eggplant, zucchini yellow squash, and mozzarella paired with Riondo Chianti Classico DOCG. The evening was then topped off with grilled peaches, pistachio ice cream, and a cayenne chocolate cookie paired with Riondo Moscato D’ Asti.
Monthly wine dinners like these give local Cincinnatians a chance to experience affordable wines paired with gourmet cuisine prepared by hard working MCI culinary faculty and students. The students enjoy sharing their talents with the community and we are blessed with well-trained local talent that will keep our city immersed in rich culinary experiences for many years to come. This is the sixth year of our partnership with the Midwest Culinary Institute and we are very proud that we have been able to contribute a total of $28,305 to the education of our local students. We thank our membership for their continuing support and hope that we can contribute even more in the future through the Irwin and Barbara Weinberg Culinary Scholarship Fund.
Graig W. Smith, MD, Vice Chargé de Presse