Wines of Chile had a chance to show off this week at it’s 14 annual awards, a pairing competition, held at the National Restaurant Association building in Washington, D.C.
Esteemed members of the food and beverage trade had the opportunity to eat, drink, and experience Chile with dishes from 13 chefs inspired by the South American country, each paired with winning wine. Among the crowd selecting their favorites via votes on social media were Mario Pablo Silva (President, Wines of Chile), Rodrigo Contreras (Trade Commissioner, ProChile), Myriam Gómez (Executive Director, Image of Chile Foundation), Julio Fiol (Charge D´Affairs, Embassy of Chile), Sarah Dolan (Writer), Ashley Davidson (Wine Writer), and Julio Robledo (Co-founder & President, Grand Cata).
Aside from all of the attendees tasting Chilean wines of course, there were three distinct winners of the evening: Favorite dish and wine pairing selected by the panel of judges; People’s Choice winner selected by via a social media campaign; and a randomly selected attending member of the trade. All three winners received two round trip tickets to Chile courtesy of LATAM Airlines.
Chef Jesse Miller of Bar Pilar won the Judges Pairing Choice by wowing with a Carignan & 5 Spice Beef Belly (young sheep’s milk cheese stuffed prunes with oak smoked beef bacon, honey, honey & sumac yogurt, kabocha squash, merquen, and pickled plum).
Daniel Morton from Del Frisco’s Grille Washington DC took the People’s Choice award for favorite dish of the night with his Empanadas de Pino stuffed with merquen spiced ribeye steak and prunes.
“Our 14th Annual Chilean Chef Challenge was taken to new heights last night,” said Rodrigo Contreras, Trade Commissioner, ProChile. “By pairing Chile’s finest ingredients including free range beef, olive oil, and Patagonia mussels with some of the nation’s most renowned wines selected by Wines of Chile, the event was better than ever. Nothing pairs better with great food than great wine.”
*Image credit Dan Schwartz