Huge apologies for the lack of updates. As most know, I moved out to Healdsburg, CA last week. Though most all updates will be posted and hosted at www.murphygoodewinery.com/hardy We are still building out the pages and it should be rolling out this week.
As opposed to a week in review (which would be way tooooo long), I'll just say- It was AWESOME. Put what ever hyphenated cuss words of your choice infront of "awesome" and that sums it up. (extra points if one of the words is pig or crab)
As part of the whirlwind of my week, I was picked as a judge for Vision Cellars annual collard greens cook off. Yes, a collard greens cook off in Sonoma County. This is a small chef and wine driven event that pulls some local superstars out of the woodwork. This year's professional category featured greens from Chef Josh Silvers of Syrah Bistro , Chef Harold Rogers of the Red Rose Cafe, Chef John Franchetti from Rosso Pizzeria (formerly of Tra Vigne), and Kendall-Jackson Executive Chef Justin Wangler.
All were freakishly good. For a bunch of hippies on the West Coast, these guys did alright with greens! In the end, Chef Wangler took 1st place and Best in Show, but I give enormous props to Chef Harold Rogers for doing one of the hardest things in the kitchen- nailing simple.
In the crowd, I bumped into former South City Kitchen Chef Dean Dupuis. Dean know rocks chicken and ribs in Oakland at Pican.
Describing this event is tough... Down home, no frills, no pretense, good wine, good food, amazing people, and what fully feels like a family reunion (where you love all your relatives).
Mac at Vision Cellars is larger than life. The event is open to Vision Wine Club Members-- Though Mac's wines are great, It is worth joining the club to go to this...
Huge thanks to Jeff Mall at Zin restaurant for not only getting me a slot as a judge, but for delivering the tastiest brisket I've ever experienced.
Video of the event is coming, but in the meantime, here is a slide show from the event.
Apologies in advance. In the midst of scrambling out of Atlanta, I left a few crucial cables back in the Dirty South. Primarily the one to transfer video and stills off of my video camera... Wundebar!
In the meantime, I've been busy lifestyling and corresponding in my new town (which includes a heavy dose of getting settled).
On Sat afternoon, about 90 Murphy-Goode wine club members showed up for a welcome BBQ and a Liar's Dice Tournament.
It was really incredible to meet with everyone, to share some BBQ, and to kick back for a few hours and just play some games. My skills need to improve greatly, if I'm going to walk out of Healdsburg with any money left.
I have two speeds- On and Off. Last night as I pulled into Healdsburg it was as if an internal transformer blew.... Pow... and then just a step above comatose... I did make it to the grocery store for a few quick staples- but when I came back, I was too wrecked to put any to good use...
Instead, I cut open a baguette, smeared on some goat cheese and opened some of our Fumé Blanc while I watched TV shows from Hong Kong. I understood nothing, but all was right with wiped out and simple.
Half Slab of Ribs at Oklahoma Joe's BBQ in Kansas City
With only a few minutes to type before leaving for Denver, I feel like I was hit by a Kansas City bus of gastro-greatness.
My day in KC started being whisked straight from the plane to NBC studios for a live interview with Jeff Vaughn. Jeff and I discussed social media and my event at The American Bistro. This was a fun interview with a guy who gets it.
From NBC, we ended up at Oklahoma Joe's BBQ. Oklahoma Joe's is in a gas station... and beautiful. I defend Atlanta to the core, but when it comes to BBQ, Kansas City is the Andre the Giant of smoke and pork. Anthony Bourdain listed it as one of the 13 places to eat before you die... It is really really really good.
Reversing directions-- Our next stop was our Murphy-Goode tasting and Social Media event at The American Restaurant. A great crowd of about 50 people showed up to talk Social Media, sip Murphy-Goode wines, and eat some of Chef Debbie Gold's killer food. This was a great event. GM and Wine Director James Jamison hosted the event and brought together an energetic crowd.
Besides the great food and wine-- One thing stood out-- The American Restaurant is a 5 Star restaurant, Chef Gold is a James Beard Award winning chef, and they are embracing Social Media to communicate with their customers and the community. Not only are they doing it--they are reaching out to learn to do it even better.
After the event, my KC sheppard of greatness, Al Samuelson, made the executive decision that it was time for more food and wine. Chef Gold brought out a few plates that just rocked my world...
Scallop Crudo.... I will not forget you! Lamb Belly you will haunt me with lamb-y greatness. There is really good, and then there is beyond great... This meal rocked.
From The American Restaurant, we headed to an amazing speak-easy style temple of mixology--- Manifesto. Buzzed in a back door we entered a dim room of comfort and amazing drinks- Old school, made with care, homemade ingredients-- Ryan Maybee makes killer drinks. His Sazerac is out of control good.
Garcia fan or not, no one summed up Jerry better than Bob Dylan:
“There’s no way to measure his greatness or magnitude as a
person or a player. I don’t think any eulogizing will do him justice.
He was that great, much more than a superb musician, with an uncanny
ear and dexterity. He’s the very spirit personified of whatever is
Muddy River country at its core and screams up into the spheres. He
really had no equal. To me, he wasn’t only a musician and friend, he
was more like a big brother who taught and showed me more than he’ll
ever know. There’s a lot of spaces and advances between The Carter
Family, Buddy Holly and say Ornette Coleman, a lot of universes, but he
filled them all without being a member of any school. His playing was
moody, awesome, sophisticated, hypnotic and subtle. There’s no way to
convey the loss. It just digs down really deep.”
A lot of America poured out through that man-- all mixed up and rolled into one unique and undeniable sound. Thanks for the memories!
No stranger to a strange land. I'll be in "The Dot" on 8/11 at The American Restaurant.
4:00-5:00 PM Trade Tasting (Members of the Trade Only) 5:00-5:45 PM Meet and Greet, Snacks, Wine 5:45-6:30 Hardy presents on social media, his journey to "A Really Goode Job" and how businesses can use social media to move forward.
6:30- ???? Questions and assorted heckling.
Call the American at 816.545.8000 to register. The fee will be $5 in
advance or $10 at the door. For friends of ours on Facebook, just
mention the secret code “Hardy” and your fee is $5 at the door.