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A few weeks ago, I was treated to one of THE BEST grilling bonanzas and wine pairings I’ve EVER experienced.  And since I love gratuitous food pictures just as much as the next girl, I couldn’t help but bring back some shots to share with you all.  The best part? It’s actually possible for anyone that lives around the greater Seattle area to try some treats from the same kitchen crew as I did, just head up to The Tulalip and find out how you can stalk Chef Perry around until he feeds you. Simple, no? 🙂

Yeah, HI! Who wouldn't want to curl right up on that couch with a glass of wine, plate of grilled salmon tacos and a hot date?!

And here was my hot date, my dear friend Danae!

Girls night out!!!

A little birdie/foodie friend of mine sent me an exclusive invitation to join him at the Tulalip Casino and Resort up North, which was exciting because I’d never been and have heard the resort service (and linens) are to die for.  So obviously I cleared my schedule and headed North for an afternoon of food, vino and great company….

The chefs couldn't grill it fast enough! The salmon was perfectly done, super moist, and the perfect side kick to the flank steak you see keeping it warm on the grill. YUM

Before I walk you through the seventeen plates I tasted (okay, maybe not that many plates, but my stomach couldn’t tell the difference!) you need a little context about the origin of the meal.  The resorts did themselves a solid by finding a super talent in Chef PerryMascitti, who had this to say about the menu he put together for the event with the Mi Sueno Winery:

One my last visit to Napa in September 2010 during the crush season, one of our stops was the Mi Sueno Winery.  As we were talking to the staff, I was getting the whole picture of what Rolando Herrera was all about.  He was a great success story with humble beginnings.

“Growing up in California, it was often common to see large Hispanic families gathered in the public park around the grill having a lazy “Sunday after church” gathering and supper.  The smell of grilled carne asada, pollo and camarones were abundant.  The ladies were cutting up tomatoes for salsas and patting out fresh tortillas and placing foil tins of rice and beans on their rustic picnic tables.  The grill seemed to be the focus with the family gathering closely around it and taking the grilled meats and seafood and placing it on their tortillas.  It wasn’t a one-time-sit-down dinner thing, it seemed to be an all day communal thing with these families. 
“I can assume that this is was part of Rolando’s humble roots, fresh food off of the grill in an all day celebration of family and friends.  That is how I wrote this menu.  I took this base way of thinking and added some upgraded twists that would match his highly rated wines.  We want our guests to feel as if they are in an old California-Mexico border town center having a fiesta and enjoying great food, friends and wine as that lazy Sunday passes by.
“Mexican heritage, family, fresh sharp flavors, and GREAT wines is what this Mi Sueno Winemakers day will be all about.”

Myself and Rolando enjoying what I think was the BEST glass of wine of the night - The Herrera!

And here’s a bit about the wines we sampled:

Rolando Herrera, owner and winemaker of this boutique winery that is Spanish for “my dream”, will be the featured guest at the wine and dine evening.  Mi Sueño, located in California’s Napa Valley, has been honored to have a wine served on three separate occasions at White House state dinners.  At Tulalip, guests will have the opportunity to taste six of Herrera’s wines from the silky Los Carneros Chardonnay to vibrant Pinot Noirs, dark fruit Cabernets and the tantalizing El Llano Cabernet and Syrah blend.

Okay, so now that you know HOW this menu came together, here’s WHAT was on it:

A  Festival of Tastes from México and Pacific Coastal Regions

To Refresh
Jamaica and Horchata Juice Bowls (I forgot to take a picture of the Horchata because I was SO busy drinking 5 glasses of it. How’d I have room for anything else??)

For Tradition

These are the little corn tortillas that sent the most enticing baked corn scent wafting through the patio....you don't see any flour tortillas because I ATE THEM ALL!

Freshly made to order corn and flour tortillas
Grande Salsa Bar  ten different styles of salsa

On Ice

The haute couture of the evening, literally made to order, one of a kind every time. Whatever you want (added in or left out for that matter), and as much as you could stuff in your purse. WHAT?!

Fresh Fuerte Guacamole – Barista made to order (above)

The ceviche was so tender and fresh, with just the right amount of spice from the fresh peppers and citrus. Just the way to warm up your palette before diving into the tacos and salsas!

Ceviche Bar – raw seafood with lime, tomato, garlic, serrano, green onion
Seafood Cocktail with shrimp, scallop, squid in spicy chile sauce

On the Mesquite Grill
Mesquite Pollo ~ California Citrus Glaze

Flank Steak Carne Asada ~ Adobada Spice Rub:

So many salsas to top your flank steak, and yet it would have been perfection even if it stood alone...

Camarones Skewers ~ Tomatillo Sauce

Grilled Salmon ~ Roasted Chile-Honey Mop:

A little mango salsa, a lot of salmon and homemade flour tortilla down the hatch!

 

To Stuff
Tortas de Carnitas Bar, Cacique cheese, roasted salsa, white onion, avocado, crema

For a Sweet Ending
Caramelized Flan ~ Kahlua Sauce (I missed this, but there’s no way I had room anyway….)

Buñuelos ~ Mango:

Bring me all the desserts. On one plate. Immediately.

Mango, Pineapple and Papaya ~ Lime, crushed raw sugar, chile powder (seen in the glass above, a perfect balance of spicy, sweet and refreshing)

Mexican Wedding Cakes:

That was just my plate. Just kidding. um, not.

Of course we were so stuffed, we stayed the night and hit up the pool and hot tub for a little R&R before retiring to our rooms where we melted in the BEST. SHEETS. EVER.:

Note to self: Order in BULK!....I wonder if it comes with turn down service at home?

And watched the Mafia Marathon on AMC. Classic.

In the morning, we had fully recovered and hit up the cafe in the resort for breakfast, where we split a fruit tray (with the sweetest blackberries I’ve had all year, honestly) and a veggie Benedict with extra crispy hash browns:

Done and................

.....done!

So, that was my food field trip! I laughed (Rolando is a sweet and funny guy!), I cried (when I couldn’t eat anymore), I stuffed my face like a bear facing hibernation…Thank you so much to Chef Perry and his team, and Rolando and his team for coming together and creating what will honestly be one of the best cook outs I’ll ever remember!

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