You ever have four desserts for dinner? No? Sure, probably two or three but four’s kinda crazy. Well, lock me up and throw away the key. Because I was recently invited to hang out in The Georgian Restaurant, a lovely dining room housed inside Seattle’s Fairmont Olympic Hotel, where I was treated to four sweet creations from the hotel’s talented and creative Pastry Chef, Chloe Lee.
What could make this even better? All four courses were paired with sweet wines selected by Master Sommelier Joseph Linder.
Ok, could it get even better? YES! Because my pal Denise Sakaki was able to join me. All the wonderful photos are courtesy of her. You should check out her fantastic blog Wasabi Prime. Denise is the undisputed queen of the roundup post. I mean, just look at this epic retelling of her eating and drinking adventures in Alsace. And besides writing and photography, Denise is also a talented graphic designer and illustrator. Hire her!
A few words from Chloe herself about the sweet items she prepared:
Yuzu Cream, Raspberry Jelly, Lemon Curd, Parsley-Mint Cake Crumble, Honey Veil
“The desserts for this tasting were all renditions of Georgian menu items. This summer I have been fortunate to have a lot of beautiful herbs and flowers to use, which was the inspiration behind the anise-hyssop sorbet. The flowers were candied in Sambuca sugar to enhance their natural flavor. I love the familiarity of the licorice and the bright green of the finished product.
“We use honey harvested from our rooftop apiary religiously in The Georgian, I can’t think of a dessert I make that doesn’t contain it in some capacity. The caramelized honey gelato is an ode to our dedicated beekeeping team who supply it for our every whim.
“I am a savory girl at heart, and I can never go without good salt and good fat, so those things carry me into a lot of salt-laced dessert components like the olive oil pudding (which I adore and eat by the spoonful), and the parsley-mint cake.
“Balancing color on my plates is so easy in the summer with all the amazing berries, herbs, flowers, and fruit we have in season. I am always motivated to stay true to Seattle’s culture and to utilizing Washington’s abundant produce. The chai pickled cherries are a nod to both those inspirations and are an item we use often in savory applications as well as dessert.”
So without further ado:
Dessert I: Yuzu Cream, Raspberry Jelly, Lemon Curd, Parsley-Mint Cake Crumble, Honey Veil
Wine Pairing: Mission Hill Riesling Icewine 2001
Notes on the wine: Joseph mentioned that the acidity of the wine is more pronounced when the wine is colder. It definitely changed as it warmed up. Also, I can’t say I’ve had an ice wine this old. Holding up very nicely.
Dessert II: Blackberry Mousse, Anise Hyssop Sorbet, Candied Anise Hyssop Flowers, Blackberry Sauce
Wine Pairing: Chartreuse de Coutet Sauternes 2004
Notes on the wine: This bottle laughs at a decade of age. A pittance of time!
Dessert III: Almond Granite, Caramelized Honey Gelato, Chai Pickled Cherries, Toasted Almond, Salted Caramel
Wine Pairing: Bodegas Hidalgo “Alameda” Cream Sherry
Notes on the wine: Sweet sherry is sooooo goooood. Do you want to learn more about Sherry, in all its forms? Have a look at these posts:
How I Overcame Sherry (Wine) Anxiety
The Versatility of Sherry With Master Sommelier Chris Tanghe
Halloween Candy and Dessert Wine Pairing on Serious Eats
10 Fascinating Things I Learned at a Sherry Seminar
Dessert IV: Dark Chocolate Cake, Olive Oil Pudding, Milk Chocolate Olive Oil Crunch
Wine Pairing: Dow’s Vintage Port 1994
Notes on the wine: This is from a killer vintage and is a wine that will probably outlive us all. (Not to be morbid, just stating a fact.)
Finally, Denise and I were sent home with a jar of blackberry sambuca jam. Which Denise used to fill some tart shells. I, however, just spread it on toast. A dish I call the Bachelor Tart.
Thanks to everyone at the hotel for providing all the food and wine and for hosting a most memorably sweet evening. See you next time…for some salad.