Radio Personality and Renowned Chef Les Kincaid Brings Wines du Jour to Rosarito and the Rosarito Beach Hotel.
by Jack George
World-renowned Chef Les Kincaid brought a new dimension to the Casa Blanca Restaurant at the Rosarito Beach Hotel, when a full-house attended for an evening offering Baja’s best food and wine and a discussion of Baja’s gastronomy. It began just when the clock reached 6:56 p.m., the speakers blaired “4-3-2-1 Test, 3-2-1- Test.” Kincaid prepared to broadcast his international radio show.
Many of us had arrived at 6 p.m. We were fortunate we did, as we then had the opportunity to be entertained by singer Maryam Malak. Standing on a small stage, dressed in an elegant gown, there is no doubt she is one of the sensational singers in Baja. Her rich voice was flawless as she performed a variety of songs. She sang again after the radio program concluded, including a beautiful rendition of Time to Say Good-bye. The song, made popular by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman, was as good as it gets.
Seven o’clock arrived and Les Kincaid welcomed the guests. He then introduced the hotel’s Master Chef Eric Saenz. During the introduction Kincaid said, “When the chef walks into the kitchen everyone kind of bows. He is an outstanding chef.” Both men were welcomed by thunderous applause.
He continued his show, Wines Du Jour, when the first of three wines — all of which were from Adobe Guadalupe in the Valle de Guadalupe in Baja — was served. Uriel 2012 is a blend of Tempranillo, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Barbera, and Muscat grapes. This was the perfect pairing to go with the starter course…a scallop tournedo with olive sauce. accompanied by a slice of watermelon and a tangy goat cheese.
Just before the break and more thunderous applause, Kincaid said, “The people, the food, the wine – everything is good here in Baja.”
Soon the second wine was served: Gabriel 2010 is a blend of Merlot with Malbec, Cinsault and Cabernet Franc. Chef Saenz noted that, “It is well balanced and blended.” He paired this with a tongue taco and, although I was a bit skeptical about eating tongue, I must admit the overall taste — with the selection of onions, herbs, and a special sauce, not to mention a great wine pairing — provided for an intriguing bite.
The third wine, Kerubiel 2010, is a serious red (Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache, Cinsault, Tempranillo, Merlot and Viognier). Kincaid suggested we swirl it in the wine glass 10 times, take the glass to our noses for sniffing, and then taste. He said the swirling would stir the ‘floral notes’ causing the fruitiness to come out. Guests were then served an interesting Ensenada fresh tuna sushi with Valle de Guadalupe cream cheese, avocado, and a mixture of Baja vegetables along with a fusion of Thai-Baja demi glace. The sushi offered an enjoyable taste of sweetness along with a blend of flavors.
As the radio show continued, Kincaid had to ask the audience to quiet down. There is no doubt we all were guilty of talking with our neighbors as we discussed the variety of food and wines. Our voices had raised to a ‘noisy’ level much like a classroom of youngsters enjoying a Halloween party. We all calmed down as the fourth course of chicken kabobs was served. — a serving I really enjoyed. The interesting taste derived from the coconut rice and Baja Thai reduction sauce. The final course offered grilled peaches stuffed with a mix of cheese and topped with slices of prime rib and grilled pork topped with chipotle marinade. This was definitely a crowd-pleaser.
During the show, Kincaid, a Las Vegas resident said, “If you want to go away for a mini-vacation you need to check out Baja California. The media is not as bright as they claim to be. They tell you how dangerous it is to come across the border. That ain’t true at all when you come to Baja.”
Kincaid’s love of Baja is easily apparent – I would not be surprised if he one day becomes a member of our community.
Here’s more about the show, and about the wonder of Baja’s gastronomy, straight from Les Kincaid’s keyboard: ”Wow, what a great time we had taking Wines Du Jour on the road over the weekend! Great hospitality provided by Rosarito Beach Hotel owner Hugo Torres, outstanding cuisine from Master Chef Erick Saenz, and of course a special thanks to Luis Garcia from Adobe Guadalupe Vineyards for providing the wines for the show. A SOLD OUT crowd of 100+ enjoyed tasting five pairings instead of our usual three along with pre and after show entertainment by Maryam Malak. http://
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