Eaman Hai, General Manager at Martini, thrives on developing his team, giving back to the restaurant community and sharing his passion for the hospitality industry. “In this industry, passion is necessary,” he commented.
Eaman interned at Cameron Mitchell Restaurants’ Home Office while studying Hospitality Management at The Ohio State University. He worked in several area restaurants, working his way up from a dishwasher to a manager, and held several management roles before returning to the Cameron Mitchell Restaurants’ family to open Del Mar SoCal Kitchen. After several months, he was offered the General Manager position at Martini Modern Italian. “Cameron Mitchell Restaurants has always held a special place in my heart. The core values, culture and philosophy are things that I’ve practiced in my career, so coming back really feels like coming back home,” Eaman says.
Eaman feels Martini Modern Italian is an “exciting and thriving restaurant – who can say that after more than 20 years? We strive to give guests experiences that become lifelong memories. Recently, a couple who got engaged at Martini came back to celebrate their one-year anniversary. We got some rose petals and flowers and decorated their table before they arrived. It’s an easy thing to do and we told them how special it was they were sharing this anniversary with us. That’s the stuff that I love!”
Eaman is equally committed to his team’s personal and professional growth. “I love developing people. It’s one of the most rewarding aspects of this job – to see people grow and realize their potential and become the best version of themselves. I like to say we’re not in the food business – we’re in the people business.”
Eaman is excited to give back to the industry that has given him so much. “I’m participating in several networking events with Ohio State’s Hospitality Management Association (HMA) – a student-led organization within the Hospitality Management program. HMA hosts events like speed networking and alumni networking to connect the community. It’s an amazing opportunity for students to connect with some of the best and brightest in the industry.”
Chef Sonny: The Crispy Skate at Del Mar is my favorite seafood dish on the menu. It is dipped in a light tempura batter then flash-fried. It comes with marble potatoes, pickled Fresno chili, remoulade, & black pepper honey drizzled over top and around the fish. This is my favorite dish on the menu because of how all the flavors complement one another. The pickled Fresno peppers and fresh lemon juice on the herbs give a freshness to the entire dish. The remoulade just brings all the components together to really highlight the skate itself.
Chef Matt: The ‘Bristol’ scallops are served with parsnip purée, fresh peas, local heirloom baby carrots, an orange/carrot vinaigrette and garnished with shaved baby carrots and carrot greens. As much as it features the beautiful heirloom carrots, the scallops themselves are really the star. As much as we try to work with local farmers and purveyors we also do as much as we can to source our seafood domestically and responsibly. Bristol scallops are hand harvested and cleaned in Portland, Maine by Maine fisherman from the Bay of Maine. This dish showcases how we put our best foot forward sustainably and culinarily.
From shareable plates and appetizers, to fresh daily catches, to more traditional craveables, we’re savoring the season’s best seafood. Check out some of our chefs’ suggestions for their favorite seafood indulgences.
The Avenue Steak Tavern Grandview
When it comes to seafood, The Avenue Steak Tavern has something for everyone to enjoy – from appetizers, to more casual fare to upscale entrées. One of Executive Chef Kaitlyn Sharbo’s favorite seafood dishes is the Atlantic Salmon. This pan-seared fish is served with sautéed spinach and a unique fennel confit and is finished with a reduced chardonnay butter sauce. The aromatics of this dish are unforgettable.
If you’re looking to enjoy something a little more casual, Chef Kaitlin recommends their Fried Fish Sandwich. Cod is flown in fresh daily to The Avenue and is tempura fried, which makes the fish extra tender and juicy, and the coating is light and crispy. Then, it’s finished with muenster cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a delicious homemade remoulade.
Did you know that The Avenue’s Shrimp Dejonghe is inspired by Henry de Jonghe’s famous dish at the 1892 Chicago World’s Fair? The tender shrimp is sautéed in wine before being blanketed in garlicy, buttery breadcrumbs, and is baked until it’s golden brown. While this is served as an appetizer, it’s hearty enough to be enjoyed as a main course.
Hudson 29 Kitchen and Drink Upper Arlington
Hudson 29’s menu features a collection of great flavors and influences from the Hudson River Valley and Napa Valley, and the seafood dishes on its menu definitely reflect these influences. For something that reflects the East Coast influence, Sous Chef Bryan Ely recommends the Blackened Snapper. This mild white fish is paired with one of his favorite sides: a unique brussels sprout quinoa finished with a bright mustard vinaigrette.
A dish that reflects the Napa Valley influence is the light and bright Hawaii 5-0 roll. This guest favorite sushi dish features spicy ahi tuna, sweet crab salad, creamy avocado, scallion, and salty tobiko.
Harvey & Ed’s
One of Executive Chef Geoff Baumberger’s favorite seafood dishes is the Latke Royale, which features house-cured lox on a house made potato latke. This shareable plate is finished with creme frâiche, fennel and green apple to complement the wonderful salty flavors of the smoked fish.
Smoked Fish Platters are uniquely Harvey & Ed’s. These delicious plates feature several types of fish (Chef Geoff loves the house cured salmon and whitefish). Each plate comes with local favorite Block’s bagels and tons of other options—think cream cheese, capers, and more. This dish is great for lunch, but the Harvey & Ed’s crew likes getting different platters to split with friends as they enjoy a memorable night together.
The Matzo Cracker Crusted Whitefish is a classic fish dish with a Harvey & Ed’s twist. This whitefish’s crispy matzo crusted exterior reveals a tender, flaky, mild fish and is finished with a bright lemon caper butter sauce. This delicate dish is paired with with creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes, sweet glazed carrots, pearl onions, and crisp green beans.
New to shellfish? Executive Chef Jon Deutschle suggests heading to their Thursday oyster night to enjoy oysters raw, baked or fried for $2 each, and $5 oyster shooters with your choice of Vodka, Gin or Tequila. A great oyster excites the palate and is the best way to begin an unforgettable meal. Chef Jon encourages guests to ask their server about how different regions bring different flavors to oysters!
If you’re looking for something more traditional, Chef Jon suggests The Pearl’s Great Lakes Fish ’n’ Chips. This dish takes a pub favorite and kicks it up a notch – the tender and flaky fish is hand dipped in a house made Great Lakes beer batter and is paired with Malt Vinegar fries and creamy house made coleslaw.
Guests have come to know The Pearl for its Daily Catch. The chef team finds the freshest seafood available and provides a creative seasonal preparation, full of unforgettable flavors.
Each chef is driven, motivated and inspired by something different in his or her culinary career. In honor of National Culinary Arts Month, we’ve highlighted some of our talented Executive Chefs here at Cameron Mitchell Restaurants. Read on to see what motivates them and find out what sage advice they have for others considering careers in culinary arts.
Jennie Printz- Cameron’s American Bistro
Her advice to those interested in pursuing a career as a chef in the restaurant and hospitality industry is to never stop learning and proper technique is everything in the kitchen.
Ryan DeConnick- Molly Woo’s
Ryan attributes his success to being lucky enough to wake up every day truly loving his job.
Adam Polisei- Ocean Prime Tampa
“Once I really started cooking and I realized that creating something in a kitchen could bring so much joy to someone’s day and make a lasting memory on their lives, I was hooked,” says Polisei.
Sonny Pache- Ocean Prime Dallas
Chef Pache attributes his success in the kitchen to his co-workers, who teach him something new every single day.
Jon Deutschle- The Pearl
Deutschle’s advice for aspiring chefs – “If you want to be the best, you have to work harder than the best.”
Jennifer Grosskruger- Ocean Prime Philadelphia
Her interest in cooking began when she was a child; she loved preparing simple meals for her family.
Kaitlin Sharbo- The Avenue Grandview
Her advice for aspiring chefs is to continue learning as much as possible about the craft as it’s everchanging. “Work hard for yourself and harder for the people around you,” says Sharbo.
Jason Shelley- Ocean Prime DC
Chef Jason is excited to be executing memorable experiences for guests in the nation’s capital at Ocean Prime DC.
Looking for a refreshing cocktail to enjoy this summer? Your search stops at The Guild House in the Short North Arts District. You can indulge in the House Gin Cocktail, made with Guild Series Chamomile Flavored Gin. This gin, created in collaboration with Columbus’ own Watershed Distillery and the beverage team of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, won “Best Flavored Gin” and received the Double Gold designation at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition in April. The Double Gold designation is awarded to the few entries that receive gold medal ratings by all members of the judging panel. With this year’s competition garnering more than 2,200 entries, this award is truly an honor!
Looking to craft the cocktail yourself? Lucky for you, both The Guild House and Watershed Distillery sell this tasty citrus, chamomile and rose petal gin. Here’s everything you’ll need:
1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice 1 oz simple syrup 1.5 oz Guild Series Gin Muddled rosemary & yellow raisins Serve in a highball with crushed ice and garnish with a lemon peel and rosemary.
The name Harvey & Ed’s pays homage to my father and uncle – best friends and brothers-in-law. They were World War II veterans who could often be found at their favorite delicatessens, enjoying one another’s company over a good cocktail and shared plates of food. There was always laughter at the table as they reminisced about our family and life.
Similarly, I had the opportunity to travel with our Founder, Cameron Mitchell, across the country during the past 20 years. It was always a highlight for me to be able to introduce Cam to these great restaurants from New York to Boston, and from Chicago to Beverly Hills.
It was during these travels that we were inspired to create this Modern American restaurant inspired by the classic Jewish delicatessens across the United States. So, when I told Cam I would like us to try to create this concept he said why of course “Yes is the answer.” Harvey & Ed’s captures our culinary vision and we are very excited to share this experience with you.
So, be a mensch and enjoy some nosh with your family and friends.
We would like to say a big thank you to all of the incredible women who are valued members of the Cameron Mitchell family.
We strive to create a culture of support and empowerment for all of our associates – and we are grateful to all of the women who make our company better.
We had a chance to catch up with some of our female leaders. Here is what they have to say:
General Manager at Martini Modern Italian
Sheryl Sandberg says that “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” I live by this mantra daily in both my professional and personal life. As a leader within this company I am empowered and blessed to have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the people’s lives that I come into contact with on a daily basis, whether it is a friend, co-worker or complete stranger. I encourage my team to do the same with our guests through genuine hospitality, delectable culinary creations, attention to detail and getting to know our guests as individuals and creating lasting memories.
I have grown as a leader because of my tribe- the amazing women that surround me, encourage me, raise me up, cheer me on and applaud my successes. I am grateful for this role and excited to see the growth and development in the future of the women that will follow in my footsteps and those who I have followed.
General Manager at The Avenue Grandview
I feel blessed to have been surrounded by strong women since I was born. I grew up with the mentality that I could be or do anything that I want. That mentality was fostered by my mom, dad and numerous aunts while I was growing up. I always felt encouraged to explore whatever dream or idea that I had, no matter how big or small. As a young adult entering college, I was working in the food and beverage department at Embassy Suites and was unsure what my focus of study would be. I vividly remember sitting down with the Food and Beverage Director, Ann, and she encouraged me to go into hospitality. I admired her passion and commitment to provide meaningful and memorable events, not only for the guests, but for the team around her. From that point forward, I knew that I wanted to be involved in hospitality. I was so fortunate to join the CMR team and have found that part of the beauty of working for such a diverse and progressive company such as ours, is the privilege of working side by side with a number of strong leaders. Taking advice from each of them has given me strength that I draw on each and every day. I am passionate about my profession as it has given me some of the most meaningful and valuable relationships in my life.
My favorite quote is – “If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader” –Dolly Parton
General Manager at Molly Woo’s
I’m inspired everyday by the people I work with.
My parents have always been the people in my life that have inspired me the most. They have raised my two sisters and I with integrity and character. I am grateful to have been given such wonderful people to learn from. We have such a strong bond, and I know that because of them as leaders in my life, I have been given the foundation of what it takes to be a great role model for not only my son, but the associates that work with me every day. Anytime growing up when my sisters or I would complain about something or get down, my dad would always say “It’s good for you, it builds character.”
General Manager at Ocean Prime Denver
My favorite quote is – “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” Eleanor Roosevelt
When I think about leadership, I always think about leading with love. As a leader I must be approachable, compassionate, driven, and strong- a little bit of everything. I am very fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing team of managers and associates that have become my family. They know that I have their backs, and I would never want to let them down. Over the years, it has been my privilege to promote associates and help them achieve their dreams and goals. Watching and assisting these team members reach for the stars is my passion. I try to always lead by example, never get flustered, and give my all. I host an amazing party every day and I love every minute of it.
General Manager at The Pearl
Across the globe, many women and men inspire me daily with their confidence, dedication and perseverance through adversity. Close to home, my mother, sister and mentor inspire me greatly. My mother is one who is calm, level headed, strong yet sweet. She has provided me with the support and confidence to be who I am today, and to continue to grow. My sister has an unbelievable drive. Anything she puts her mind to she will achieve, despite any obstacles. My closest male mentor consistently pushes to make sure us female leaders rise, are treated fairly and with respect, and reach our fullest potential. It is refreshing to see a man who wants the women he supports to succeed so badly.
A quote that both my sister and I refer to on our tough days is to ‘Embrace the Grind’. It is a short yet sweet reminder to embrace the hard work you are putting in, and when you do, you will find yourself reaping the benefits.
General Manager at Ocean Prime Philadelphia
My inspiration comes day to day and week to week, but all starts with the support of my family. I have always lived by the quote, “Life ends at the beginning of your comfort zone.” I have never been content with complacency or mediocrity. I am inspired daily by my leaders and peers who consistently exhibit true leadership and CMR culture.
Executive Chef at Ocean Prime Philadelphia
There are so many great women in the world today who inspire me. Though the woman who inspires me the most in my career would have to be our very own, Heather Buck. Her unwavering dedication to the highest standards inspires me to constantly challenge myself as a leader. I genuinely cherish the opportunities I’ve had to work closely with her, even in the least glamorous of settings. As for quotes. “The sky is not the limit anymore.” It speaks to me in how I set my goals.
General Manager at The Barn
I want to recognize my Dad for being an inspirational person in my life. He taught me about having a great work ethic and trying my best at everything that I do. An inspirational quote I like is “There are not secrets to success. It is the result of hard work, preparation and learning from failure.” -Colin Powell
General Manager at Hudson 29 Upper Arlington
I am inspired every day by successful women who have achieved balance in their lives and have become stronger leaders as a result. I’m inspired by the idea of betterment in all areas of my life- both personally and professionally. I strive to be the best version of myself in every role I play whether it be GM, wife, friend, or family member. I believe that I am a better leader for my team professionally when I am maintaining a happy and healthy life. This lifestyle allows me to keep up my drive, passion, and spirit to better support the growth of my business and those who I have the honor to lead. This is a quote that inspires me every day on my journey to be my best self:
“We need women who are so strong they can be gentle, so educated that they can be humble, so fierce they can be compassionate, so passionate they can be rational, and so disciplined they can be free.” – Kavita Ramdas
General Manager at Hudson 29 New Albany
One of the biggest lessons I have learned is the difference between managing and leading. Some people get this very confused but there is quite a difference. Leading is moving forward as a team and I believe seniority is not a factor as long as you can all move towards the same goal.(“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”) A lot of leadership is learning not only who you want to be, but who you don’t want to be and being able to make your own style and what works best for you. I think one of my biggest inspirations in this company has been Kelly Nordstrom. I would not be who I am today, without her leadership and guidance. One of the biggest lessons I have learned from her is “big picture thinking.” It opened a whole new light for me and my career.
One quote that has always stuck out to me is “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”
General Manager at The Avenue Dublin
My favorite quote is – “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt
I remember starting with CMR, and thinking to myself that I had finally found a group of restaurant professionals that I could be proud to work with. At the time, I didn’t know it was the beginning of an 18 year (and counting) career with the company. I have had the opportunity and pleasure to work with countless talented individuals that have provided me with motivation, inspiration, and support to be the best version of myself as a leader in the company. I am inspired by the idea that we work in the people business, which happens to be in a restaurant setting. I am most fulfilled by providing our guests with genuine hospitality to create memories that they will never forget. In addition, the relationships and bonds I have formed with my fellow associates are long lasting and life changing. I have grown over the years in my leadership style, coming to realize that the success of the team is most important, and to be able help those team members reach their professional goals has been extremely gratifying. I know the future of our company is bright because of the great people we have on our team.
Executive Sous Chef at The Avenue Grandview
My favorite quote is – “Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” -Sara Blakely
I am inspired most in my career by the people around me everyday; at home and at work. Food always has and always will be a uniting force that brings people of all backgrounds together, whether you are eating it or preparing it. We have the good fortune of working in an industry that draws people from all cultures and backgrounds to one common ground. It gives each of us an opportunity to learn about each other through the food we are passionate about. The restaurant business is a difficult one to work in and succeed in but I believe it is the ever evolving and changing, often unknown terrain of it that keeps us interested and passionate!
The women in my family and in my life are all incredible cooks and incredible people. It was from them that I learned how to bring people together with food. They inspired me to follow my dreams even though it was very much unknown to me at first and not an easy career. I’ve been fortunate to have such strong female role models in my life to show me that you can have both a career and a family.
General Manager at Marcella’s Short North
I have many inspirational women in my life. My first inspiration is my mother; she is such a giver and a fighter all in one. She has worked her whole life from being born on a farm to raising a family and working the entire time. She has also fought cancer and has a new lease on life now as an amazing grandmother. Speaking of grandmothers my grandmother is my second inspiration. She came to Ohio on a covered wagon and has made a great life running a dairy farm with her two of daughters. Talk about strong women. Family is extremely important to me and my inspiration to be who I am for them and myself.
Vice President of Corporate Affairs
It’s pretty easy to look back on what has inspired me in my nearly 25 year career at CMR and that all started with Cameron and the fact he had the 8 points of our philosophy written out and posted in the construction trailer before the first restaurant even opened! That spoke volumes to me about what a great working environment we would have because there was a level of genuine caring that made it feel so welcoming I just knew I had to be a part of it. I have been absolutely blown away ever since then by the power of our culture emphasizing: Associates First, the Value of the Team, a Positive Attitude, Fun, Quality, Open & Honest Communication, Creativity and a Commitment to Growth.
Those foundational beliefs have guided us and inspired us as we have built 13 unique concepts and nearly 90 restaurant locations in the last 25 years.
Although Eleanor Roosevelt has a treasure trove of inspirational quotes which I love and encourage anyone to look up and study, I found a perfect quote from Steve Jobs that I shared with my son as he was nearing completion of his college degree that I think perfectly sums up how I feel about the career path one takes in life:
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” -Steve Jobs
Vice President of Finance
My fellow female coworkers at CMR are my inspiration. Some of them are older than me and I’ve learned that the “been there done that thing” really does matter. Additionally, younger females in our office think and communicate differently than I did at their age. They are so creative, collaborative and absorb information like a sponge. Both of these groups of women make coming to work so much fun and rewarding.
My mother in law once told me, “The power people have over you, you give them.” I’ve had to remind myself of this quote numerous times during my career. I started for this company as a young female CFO. Along the way, I had people doubt my ability, but kept a strong belief in myself. Additionally, it reminds me to take criticism and feedback in a positive manner and helps me curtail naturally getting defensive. Now I often find myself telling this same quote to my daughters!
Director of Human Resources
Starting with CMR nearly 17 years ago, I was given a quote by my mother that I still have hanging in my office “The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism” by Norman Vincent Peale. This quote has guided me through the years, in knowing I will only get better if I know how to get better, which is feedback given to you by your colleagues. Praise and recognition is great, but it doesn’t help you be better tomorrow than you are today. Awareness of your weaknesses has been something I try to focus on each and every day of my career. In order to succeed, you have to know your opportunities and then change the opportunities into successes.
My mother is a big inspiration for me. She worked throughout my childhood and she was and is passionate about her career and her family. She tried very hard to find a balance- I am sure she never did, as we all never do, but her efforts were huge. She is a pediatric nurse and takes care of children day in and day out, many of whom come from low income and under developed areas. Her heart is huge and if she could fix the world for every single one of them she would. I find it heartbreaking, but she does it every single day.
Daily I am inspired by two people in our company, Walter Carpenter and Heather Buck. They are wonderful mentors who are always inspiring me to be better. I look to them for advice both personally and professionally and they have been a huge part of my growth in this company.
What I find myself saying to my team members frequently these days, “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.”
This is hugely important to me because I never want to get too comfortable. I encourage everyone to step outside of their “zone”. If it scares you, run to it. There are very few things that are actually as scary as they seem, but you will never find out if you are hiding from them!
Executive Pastry Chef
I would say most of my inspirations came from my teachers. Ever since elementary school I wanted to be a teacher. Of course my passion for art also influenced me later, and my teaching took a slight turn to the Culinary realm. But it was always my teachers who I looked up to, that pushed my love for reading and creativity. My teacher for Culinary arts high school vocational program, Ms. Campos, would tell me she believed in “life long learning” and that I should never stop my pursuit for knowledge. This has been my motto throughout my career, as I love to seek out new skills and continue to read and grow. In turn, I have also become a teacher of sorts in training the bakers in each of our restaurants. My favorite part of my job is hosting CMR Culture classes where all associates, front and back of the house or even from the home office, are invited to learn a new cooking skill or learn about the food we cook and where it comes from. This year I am hosting a cake decorating class, back by popular demand, and my now yearly tradition of an associate and family apple pie workshop.
My favorite quote that has shaped my life, personally and professionally, is from Maya Angelou. “If you get, give. If you learn, teach.”
I am proud to work for a company that does so much to give back to its community and help teach our future leaders. I hope I can continue to give and teach in the future as well.
Director of Training & Guest Services
Who inspires me? Anyone who is doing it for the betterment of themselves and those around them. What inspires me in my career? Our industry has no bounds-anyone can be successful regardless of their education, language, gender, color, etc. I love that hard work still counts and we have the honor of being part of people’s lives AND livelihoods. We celebrate life moments with our guests and have the ability to ensure our families are taken care of too . . . powerful.
Managing Director Cameron Mitchell Premier Events
I have always been inspired by strong women! I love reading biographies and my favorites I’ve read are about Eleanor Roosevelt, Empress Alexandria, Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and many others. Their stories of perseverance, resilience, inspiration and selflessness by women and women who were strong, tough (in their way) and thinking of others and how they leave the world better was always something I knew I wanted to try to emulate in any small ways I could, to ideas of large impact I could maybe make someday.
A couple quotes I love are:
“You May encounter many defeats but you must not be defeated.” -Maya Angelou
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but they won’t forget how you made them feel.”-Maya Angelou
“One person can change the world.”-Rosa Parks
“If you are going to change things you have to be with people who hold the levers”.-Ruth Bader Ginsburg
My mother and grandmothers were always strong influences for me with their love and nurturing that helped instill in me the love and urge to want to take care of people.
I would have to give a shout out to some men too- my Dad, my husband, Cameron Mitchell, David Miller, Chuck Kline and Jim Torski and my two boys. My husband has taught me over the last 20 years to not focus on being a woman ‘competing’ in a man’s world but to be me, believe in myself and give everything my all. He keeps my thoughts about myself positive and strong. Cameron, David, Chuck and Jim Torski believed in me as a young woman early in my career. They have allowed me to learn, grow and drive myself and my team. Their belief in me fuels my strength! My two sons are proof that anything can happen and the miracle you pray for may not be the miracle you get. They look at me and trust my love and my ability to take care of our family. I’ll never let them down and that really keeps me strong as I strive in my career.
I am very lucky to have always had a strong foundation, strong and understanding people in my young career and the most amazing people everyday today believing in me as I continue to strive to motivate, inspire and unite my team, my students and any young people looking for an interesting mentor.
While February 18 is observed annually as National Drink Wine Day, Ryan Valentine, our Director of Beverage, gives us plenty of reasons to celebrate this holiday all year long. Here are some of his predictions for 2018 wine trends:
Rosé will continue to bloom. Whether you enjoy a rosé wine or champagne, rosé has become popular in recent years. Sparkling wines are some of the most versatile wines to pair with food. They’re incredibly refreshing, dry, crisp, and light, and are typically not too expensive. We saw the trend for sparkling wines start a few years ago with prosecco, but with the increase in quality of rosé over the years, we’ve seen our guests notice the difference and start to ask for rosé instead. This wine used to be just a summer selection, but due to demand, these wines appear on our menus year-round.
Guests’ travels are influencing their choices. As our guests have more interest in globetrotting, their wine palate is expanding. The world market has opened up, and we’re starting to see different spices, fruits, and flavors coming onto the scene. You will see more wines from around the world come into play, and more selection in grape varietals from wine producing countries. For example, you will see other noble grapes coming out of Malbec-heavy Argentina going forward in the U.S.
Good wine can be appreciated at any budget. Dollar for dollar, Spanish wines are the best value for 2018. Over the years, Spain has modernized its wine production from the vineyard to the bottle. As a result, the quality of these wines is noticeable – the wines have a lot of character and quality – but are still affordably priced. Three Spanish wines I would try are Roijas, Garnacha and Albariño.
Wine is becoming a personal choice. As younger audiences are embracing wine (nearly half of all wine consumption in the U.S is by millennials), finding the right wines for you should always be a personal choice. Some people are intimidated about wine because they think it’s too complex. Don’t worry about what the “experts” are saying – be open to trying different wines, and find what flavors and experiences suit your palate. Always trust your palate.
On December 7, our Cameron Mitchell Restaurants culinary team, led by Senior Vice President of Food & Beverage Brian Hinshaw, hosted the Ultimate Surf and Turf dinner at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City. The dinner highlighted our Ocean Prime/Mitchell’s Ocean Club concept with an indulgent showcase of seafood and steak dishes paired with exquisite wines and cocktails selected by Director of Beverage Ryan Valentine and Beverage Manager Andrea Hoover.
The beautiful and historic James Beard House, located on West 12th Street in New York City’s charming Greenwich Village, provided the perfect backdrop for the elegant dinner. James Beard was a renowned American chef, cookbook author and teacher. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs. Today, the James Beard Foundation continues his legacy by celebrating and honoring chefs making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse and sustainable for everyone. The townhouse was James Beard’s primary residence prior to his death in 1985 and has since been artfully converted for top-notch dining experiences such as this.
At 7:00pm, guests began to arrive and were greeted with Champagne and hors d’oeuvres with paired cocktails including Hamachi Crudo (Coriander-Infused Tequila Cocktail), Steak Tartare (Ginger-Infused Don Pancho Rum Cocktail), Caviar Blinis (Watershed Gin Cocktails with Lillet Rose and Lemon) and a striking shellfish display atop a glowing Ocean Prime ice sculpture.
At 7:30pm, 85 guests who traveled from near and far were seated across three levels of the four-story townhouse. Director of James Beard House Programming Izabela Wojcik introduced Cameron Mitchell, who spoke briefly about what an honor it was to host a dinner at the James Beard House, followed by Valentine, who described the wines that would be served alongside each course.
Dinner was then served, and guests were treated to the following:
First Course: Maine Lobster Bisque paired with William Fevre Chablis 2016
Second Course: Goat Cheese Ravioli with Golden Oak Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Basil, and Garlic Juspaired with Feudi di San Gregorio Greco di Tufo 2015
Third Course: Ahi Tuna Rossini with Seared Foie Gras, Carrots, Brussels Sprout Leaves, and Truffle Reduction paired with Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin 2014
Fourth Course: Prime New York Strip Steak au Poivre with Green and Black Peppercorns, Nueske’s Smoked Bacon, Creamed Spinach, Roasted Forest Mushrooms, and Cognac Cream paired with Chimney Rock Elevage 2013
Fifth Course: Carrot Cake with Pineapple Compote and Double Chocolate Torte with Frangelico paired with a Manhattan cocktail
A not-so-secret after party followed at Ocean Prime New York and nearly everyone in attendance joined in on the celebrations of a job well done!
From menu development to media outreach, preparation for the five-course dinner took nearly a year and involved many instrumental individuals. In addition to Hinshaw, the culinary team included the talents of Regional Chefs Jamie Kline and Ian Rough, Ocean Prime New York Executive Chef Eugenio Reyes, as well as Executive Pastry Chef Summer Schott. Cameron Mitchell Restaurants fans who were not able to attend the sold-out dinner were able to watch the preparations on Instagram stories and in real-time through the live kitchen camera at the James Beard House and through Facebook Live. The dinner was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that everyone involved will cherish for years to come.