The Big Night
The Big Night
Merely weeks away, The Big Night on September 14th….yikes, I mean…. woohoo!!! This year will feature some of the same chefs as last year and a couple of new chefs to add to the experience. This year I wanted a broader culinary experience for, not only the chefs, but for the guests. Morocco, Greece, Spain and Tunisia will be added, to name a few. Today I want to feature one of our new additions (chef and country).
Laurie will be our Cyprus Chef at the big night. I will admit that she made me drool a bit with her menu submissions, so I can’t wait to try her dishes. This year she will be making 3 items for the Antipasti tent and a dessert. All of her items sound so delicious that I’m not sure what to highlight here, obviously I can’t tell you all of them, we need some surprises for the dinner. Two of her appetizers will be
Kalamaria-Squid tents stuffed with Greek rice and pine nuts
Sarthella-Heirloom tomato & roasted cauliflower salad with anchovy garlic and lemon oil
YUM, I can hardly wait!!
Executive Chef Laurie Kennedy
Wine O’Clock Bistro and Wine Bar
Laurie Kennedy’s love affair with the culinary world began at age 10 when her father began to share his passion for fine dining and epicurean delights. Born in El Paso, Texas, Chef Laurie has worked in restaurants since age 15. She learned the industry from the bottom up. And ultimately her passion led her to the Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Arizona where she graduated top of her class. Laurie fine-tuned her craft in New York City with an internship at the renowned Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Plaza. It was here that Laurie discovered what she really wanted to do as a chef, focus on quality rather than quantity. Laurie was drawn to the more boutique style restaurant and after her internship she worked at a small fusion restaurant in the East Village called First Restaurant. It was the success of this New York City establishment that landed her in The Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas to open a sister restaurant. She was drawn back to New York where she fine-tuned her pastry skills at an Upper-East-Side Bistro, Butterfield 81, Tri-Becca’s Montrachet, and The Coach House on Martha’s Vineyard.
What better place to ignite her passion of Farm-to Table food sourcing than the Pacific Northwest. It was this simple concept that brought her to the Gathering Together Farm in Oregon as head chef. Working closely with owners John Eveland and Sally Brewer, Laurie was able to develop a greater appreciation and real understanding of food from the ground up. After the birth of her son, it was ultimately the draw of family that brought her to the Yakima Wine Valley. In Prosser, Washington, she met Susan and Ron Bunnell of Bunnell Family Cellar. Laurie has been Executive chef for almost five years at the Bunnell’s Wine O’clock Bistro and Wine Bar. Laurie and Susan source the freshest ingredients to create a menu that changes every week. They then pair each course with Ron’s award winning wines to create an elevated dining experience. Wine O’clock Bistro and Wine Bar has become one of the culinary must stops in Yakima Valley.