Archives for posts with tag: education

January Wine Dinner

TOUR OF NAPA & SONOMA
Friday, January 25th, 6:00 p.m.

Join the acclaimed chefs of Amuse at The Essex Resort & Spa for a showcase of fine wines from Napa and Sonoma. Compare and contrast each region with selections including:
Domaine Carneros Brut
Benziger Chardonnay
Sequoia Grove Chardonnay
St. Francis Cabernet
Cakebread Cabernet

FIRST COURSE
Kaffir Lime & Coconut-Poached Scallop
‘Forbidden Rice’, Hearts of Palm & Callaloo Salad

SECOND COURSE
Pan-Seared Bay Scallops
White Anchovy Provençal, Black Olive Tapenade, Eggplant Caviar

THIRD COURSE
Local Lamb Neck Ravioli
Lamb Consommé With Poached Salsify

FOURTH COURSE
Sous Vide Local Lamb Loin
Lingonberry Demi-Glace, Cauliflower Latkes

COFFEE & DESSERT

$65.00 per person, plus tax and gratuity.
Please call 802.764.1489 for reservations.

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Dear Friends,

With recent news of the consolidation of New England Culinary Institute (NECI) and the “closing” of their Essex Campus – we realize that there has been some confusion about what this means for The Essex Resort & Spa.  We’d like to take this opportunity to provide clarity to our friends.
First and foremost, we fully support NECI in their endeavors of closing the Franklin Street campus in the village of Essex Junction.  This is a well thought out, strategic move for NECI that supports their Culinary College theme.

This consolidation does not affect the ongoing operations of our resort food and beverage services.  NECI trained Chefs and student interns will continue to provide the exceptional cuisine we’ve been proud of for the last 20 years!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have and click below to read more about NECI’s consolidation.  We appreciate your continued support!

Jim Glanville
General Manager

NECI

Jeff Baker, Beer & Wine Manager of the Winooski Beverage Warehouse came in to The Essex to interview Chris Benjamin, Food & Beverage Director for The Tavern and Butler’s Restaurant about featured brews in the two restaurants!

The Essex staff tries to create worldly, yet local tastes throughout their overall culinary experiences by pairing specific culinary creations with the world-class brews and wines of course.  Although food pairings are most often associated with different wines— beer and food pairings are really quite a treat and will shock your taste buds in delight!

Click below to read Jeff Baker’s blog on his experience at The Essex, other stories of micro-brews, fine wines and Vermont beverage news!

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The party planning season is coming around full-swing and The Essex is proud to announce their newly renovated ballroom as of this month! Whether it is a large company gathering or a pleasant wedding reception the ballroom can fit up to 130 guests. A rehearsal dinner or brunch with all of your closest family and friends would be perfect for the space!

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Featured above is our NECI Wedding Coordinator, Stacy Elwell. She is one of the party planning ladies from the entire Essex Resort and Spa! She will coordinate your visit and be a part of every aspect throughout the planning process to being a part of the harmonious event you dreamed of having.  Site tours, menu tasting with the New England Culinary Institute and outdoor adventure opportunities can be a great adventure.  Your wedding should be the time of your life!

Visit the special Weddings & Catering section on our Web site!

By Maggie Kerin

Mexican Adobo Paste
Yield 1 ½ cups

Abobo is a word that has been carried from Spain to the Philippines with a major layover in Mexico. It is deriver from the word adobar, meaning to “pickle” or to “marinate”. This flavorful paste will keep for several weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Rub, grill, and serve!

1 clove
10 peppercorns
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 bay leaves, broken
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup garlic oil
8 dried ancho chilies, seeded, toasted, dehydrated, and drained
4 dried chipotle or morita chilies, seeded, toasted, dehydrated, and drained
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup sherry vinegar

Put the clove, peppercorns, and cumin in a dry skillet and toast over medium heat until fragrant and slightly smoking, about 1 minute. Transfer to a spice grinder, add the bay leaves, and cinnamon, and finely grind. Transfer the spice mixture to a food processor or blender and add the garlic oil, the drained chilies, oregano, thyme, salt, and vinegar. Puree until smooth. Reserve in your refrigerator, or immediately rub on to your meats or fish. Grill and serve!

*This recipe works fantastic on veal chops, pork, chicken, and fish.

By Chef Courtney Contos

As I was writing a speech the other day, I started reflecting on whether we’re running a resort or a “university” – or both, at The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa!

Here’s a partial list of educational and experiential programming I included in my presentation:

  • Our chefs conduct tours of the Institute and their gardens.
  • Our chefs are available to narrate and demonstrate at group culinary experiences.
  • Our chefs accompany group tours of farmers markets, farms, orchards, cheese factories, microbreweries, vineyards and specialty food stores.
  • Many guests come for our Cook Academy hands-on culinary classes in our theater kitchen.
  • Our new spa will offer personal training as well as group classes in all manner of lifestyle disciplines.
  • We’ve recently opened our Orvis-endorsed fly-casting pond and academy.
  • Golf instruction at our Links at Lang Farm is second to none.

Here at The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa (& “University”), opportunities for newly grasped skills and life-long memories, is an important element of our rich, guest experience.

By David Hakins

4 pork loin chops
4 strips bacon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Braeburn apples, unpeeled and cut into wedges
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons Banyuls vinegar

Wrap each pork chop with a strip of bacon, not around the sides but around the surface area so that it crisps when in contact with the pan, season well with salt and pepper.

Preheat a 12 inch skillet over a moderate heat add butter and then chops. Cook for five minutes on the first side, then turn over and cook for 5 minutes on the second side. Remove pork chop from pan and set to rest.

Turn sauté pan up to med high and add apple wedges, sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Return chops and any liquid from them to the pan; add syrup, vinegar, and thyme continue to cook until the syrup has formed a nice glaze.

The pork should register 145 to 150 degrees on your meat thermometer when done.

Enjoy the seasons freshest flavors and check back for more great and easy recipes!

Chef Courtney Contos

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Great news that we’ve confirmed our tennis stars again for summer 2009! For the fourth time, we will have Mats Wilander and Mikael Pernfors join us for a Fantasy Tennis Camp hosted by New England Tennis Holidays.  The weekend is slated for August 27-30, 2009 with package details found here.

For those that don’t know….From 1982 through 1988, Mats Wilander won seven Grand Slam singles titles (three at the French Open, three at the Australian Open, and one at the US Open), and one Grand Slam men’s doubles title (at Wimbledon). He won three of the four Grand Slam singles events in 1988 and finished that year ranked World No. 1. Although he never won the singles title at Wimbledon, Wilander twice won the Australian Open when that tournament was still played on grass courts. This makes Wilander one of only four men (along with Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi, and Rafael Nadal) to have won Grand Slam singles titles on grass, hard, and clay courts. He now resides in Sun Valley Idaho with his family, captains the Swedish Davis Cup Team and coaches Paul-Henri Mathieu, who finished in the top 35 in the world last year. Mikael Pernfors was the only player in the history of NCAA tennis to win back-to-back singles championships. The titles came in 1984 and ’85 and in that second year he led his Georgia squad to the team championship as well. Pernfors was a finalist at the French Open in 1986, losing to Ivan Lendl. He played Davis Cup for his native Sweden in 1986, ’87 and ’89, helping his team reach the final in 1986. Mikael achieved this highest rank in singles – No. 10 – in 1986. His pinnacle in doubles came when he ranked No. 32 in 1988. During the course of his career, Pernfors had wins over Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker, Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, Mats Wilander and John McEnroe. Today, Mikael resides in Vero Beach Florida and Atlanta and is a consistent threat on the Champions Outback Tour which travels the globe. We are thrilled to have these two great champions back and look to have another fantastic weekend! It’s always fun to say that you took a point off a Grand Slam Finalist….but trick is….you actually have to do it to say it – and this weekend gives you that chance!

My inbox is filling up with emails requesting “Girlfriends Weekend Getaways”. Women are coming two, four, six, even eight groups of friends  at the same time from all over New England, Middle Atlantic States and Eastern Canada to take a very short vacation away from life.  They generally share our value-priced traditional two-bedded rooms, keep our room service staff hopping, dine casually in The Tavern and Butler’s (they’re loving our award-winning wine lists, BTW), take Chefs Courtney and Kerry’s Cook Academy classes in our beautiful theater kitchen (addicting!).

Request in-room massages, shop Essex Shoppes designer outlets next door, and enjoy the Burlington area’s sophisticated range of fine and performing arts. “Girlfriends Weekend Getaways” will really pick up when our spa opens mid-May and our warm season sports, golf, tennis and fly-casting, get underway. In fact, we have just joined the premier private golf course in Vermont at the Country Club of Vermont which offers the most spectacular views one can find on a golf course.

Hey, men! How about “Guys Getaway Weekends” at The Essex? Call me at 800-727-4295,  I’ll custom-design a fabulous experience for you and your friends!

By Dave Hakins, Director of Business Development

Although it was a few weekends back, Valentine’s  weekend was full of love and fun cooking! We loaded up on rich and decadent dark chocolate Fondue in our Fondue Demo that was open to the public on Saturday! We dipped hazelnut wafers, ginger molasses cookies, and soft chocolate chunk cookies! Later in the day I taught a class how to make Fettuccine Alla Carabonara in “Ticket To Rome”. On Sunday, I taught a brunch class where we prepared poached eggs, made herb hollandaise sauce, and the best ever fennel & pork breakfast sausage!


Enjoy the recipe and let me know how it comes out for you.

Fennel & Pork Breakfast Sausage

Makes 16- 2 inch patties

2 pounds fine ground pork
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 ∏ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 ∏ teaspoons fennel seed
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
∏ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

Mix all ingredients well. Form into 1 inch rounds. Refrigerate and use within one week or freeze for up to 3 months.  To cook, heat a cast iron pan or similar heavy pan to medium low. Cook about 10-15 minutes or until brown on both sides and cooked through.

We have classes almost every week, incorporating local and seasonal foods and creating our own spins on the tastiest international and traditional foods.

See you in the kitchen!

By Chef Courtney