Food Festivals

SBWFF Trade Tasting Roundup

Friday's Trade Tasting event at the Grand Tasting Village on the Beach brought out salespeople, restaurateurs, and a barrage of folks tenuously tied to the food and wine industry -- a frolicking fellowship of flaks, frauds, food bloggers, and so forth.

There was no shortage of beverages -- coffee drinks, cocktails, beer, water, and of course wines, among which my favorite sampled was a 2005 Cosentino Winery Meritage called The Poet. Then again, it's possible that I was somewhat intoxicated by the name.

As for food -- very slim pickings. Marky's Caviar was spooning their namesake product and slicing beautifully marbled wisps of Iberian ham culled from the renowned pata negra; that was a hit. Lesters Deli from Montreal offered tastes of their famous smoked meat sandwich -- a hot, corned-beef cut with mustard on rye. Very, very tasty.

But the big line formed at the Plugra corner, where chef Dewey LoSasso of North One 10 was handing out an herb pretzel topped with smoked salmon and a Plugra caviar compound butter; a highfalutin' take on bagel and cream cheese. I asked Dewey if he happened to have any creamed herring to go along with it. "That's my wife Dale's thing", he said with a chuckle. "Look at my name" he continued, pointing to the stitching on his chef jacket and enunciating the syllables: "LO-SAS-SO". I was about to note the parsimonious portions of rich, delicious brioche bread pudding with Plugra vanilla butter sauce that Dewey and his crew were also handing out, but thought better of it. Instead I got back into line and nabbed a second helping.

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Lee Klein