The third jewel in a crown of Perfect Pairs Dinners, presented by the Privy Groupe, in partnership with Chase, exceeded expectation initiated by the first event held in Los Angeles. San Francisco proved an exciting, interesting setting, with an impressive guest list. In tandem with masterful wine pairings, chosen to enhance the exquisite blend of flavors inherent in Chinese cuisine, the evening was a landmark event that earned a place of elite status. The lyrical notes from modern day balladeer Tim Be Told announced early that the evening would prove magical.
As Chinese cuisine learns to dance with the flavors of compatible wines, wonderful new pairings arise and favorites emerge, introducing a dynamic element into this highly regarded culinary palate. The Privy Chase dinner unfolded as an elegant setting to further pairing knowledge with contemporary Chinese dishes.
As the restaurant at M.Y. China filled with guests, the power list took on an incredible luster, welcoming San Francisco Ballet’s principal ballerina Yuan Yuan Tan, Miss California and Googler Crystal Lee, KNTV/NBC reporter Stephanie Chuang, Partner Kstartup, Miss LA Chinatown Judy Ly and Miss Korea Yoonjin Chang, and KRON-TV on-air reporter Anny Hong.
Gracing the crowd with their community leadership, Executive Director of the 1990 Institute Monica Lee and Li Fung Capital and Center for Asian American Media executive Michael Hsieh attended, along with Restaurateurs Hanson Li, Managing Director for Hina Group and Investor in the Michelin rated Saison; and nightlife impresario Albert Chen, Owner of 5A5 Steak House.
The Financial community was well-represented by Binary Capital partner Jon Teo, Gabriel Ventures’ Scott Chou, West Summit Capital’s Jason Lin, FFL Partners’ Greg Lau, and DN Capital’s Linda Tong.
The elite members of the Tech Community included Uber, Twitter, Xiaomi, Square, Foursquare, and Flipboard CEO, Operator and Investor Robin Chan; CEO Operator and Early Facebook engineer Phil Fung; Rotten Tomatoes and Hobo Labs’ Patrick Lee; Lithium Technologies founder, Gamers.com and CEO Hobo Labs’ Lyle Fong; Head of Facebook Mobile Erick Tseng; and SVP of Ooyala, Chris Wong, notable for the sale of three companies.
Mixing in with the crowd were several CEOs from Coco, Gather, Clearmob, NerdWallet, Keaton Row, Three Trees, and MeowChat. Guests commented that the event provided the first-ever opportunity for all of these executives and personalities, from so many different areas of business and culture, to meet under one roof for a delightful social evening.
Entertainment by Tim Be Told was very engaging, drawing in guests with superbly crafted lyrics and masterful music. Influenced by artists of an earlier era, Stevie Wonder, U2, The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, Queen, Journey, and others could be heard in Tim Be Told’s Mighty Sound.
Chef Tony Wu performed his culinary skills for guests, reflecting the M.Y. China menu Executive Chef Martin Yan has become famous for. Pairing wine knowledge with Wu’s food expertise, Ted Glennon, CMS, Food + Wine Sommelier of the Year 2012, provided wine selections perfectly matched to each of the six courses.
Recognizing that beginnings are important, Chef Wu delivered a delightful duo of Sea Urchin and Black Truffle with Dan Dan Noodle, and Spicy Crystal Scallop Roll. Mr. Glennon poured a light but frisky 2010 Gratien and Meyer Brut Rose from the Samur District of the Loire Valley in France, as well as a divine 2013 Leth Gruner Veltliner, Steinagrund Vnyd from Wagram, Austria. The bubbles of the Gratien and Meyer, with notes of strawberry, cassis, red cherry, lemon, green pepper, radish, lentil, and celery, lightly graced the highlights of the dish, finishing with a clean, off-dry palate. The Gruner Veltliner proved focused and refreshing, giving lemon, melon, green peppercorn, red apple, honey, and crushed stone highlights.
The first course found Seasonal Seafood Pumpkin Soup with Shrimp, Scallop, and Squid attentively presented at each place setting. Guests were introduced to a 2012 Brooks Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley of Oregon to showcase the seafood and compliment the characteristics of the wine. From a respected family of winemakers, the Pinot Noir’s exceptionally balanced flavors of bright cherry, pale strawberry, green plum, radish top, bitter chocolate, violet, mushroom, and wet stone were simply the right choice for Chef Wu’s sensational first course.
Chef Wu prepared an HK Style Australian Lobster Tail Dotted with Berries and Mango for the second course. To ensure guests enjoyed the subtle flavors of the dish, a beautiful white 2011 Pithos Bianco crafted by Cos from Sicily was selected by Mr. Glennon, providing a decidedly delicious match. A biodynamic winery, Cos fermented the vintage in 400-liter, in-ground amphorae, employing the entire grape cluster for seven months, then sent it to the bottle unfiltered for a truly exceptional texture.
The Egg Tart Abalone Cup with Guangdong Flavor Oyster Sauce was Chef Wu’s choice for the third course, meeting with hearty approval of the guests. Paired with a 2010 Nebbiolo from the Piedmont Region of Italy, the Produttori del Barbaresco winery vintage proved a popular wine selection by Mr. Glennon. An acclaimed region for the Nebbiolo grape, this medium bodied wine burst with tangy fruit, then settled into sweet, bright florals hinting of white violets and roses.
Special Braised Quail in Shan Dong Style Soy Sauce with Baby Bok-choy starred in the fourth course as a stylish signature dish from Chef Wu. Paired with a 2010 P’tit Paysan Petit Pape Grenache from Mourvedre, San Benito, California, each component would be delicious on its own, but together, the dish and the wine combined to enhance the experience. The Grenache, a Rhône-style vintage with notes of cherry, red currant, bacon, spice and herbs, presented a complex nature that matched exceedingly well with Chef Wu’s quail creation.
The fifth course delivered a stunning Chef Wu dish in Knife-Cut Noodle with Kobe Beef in Beijing Bean Sauce, winning immediate approval of the guests. Paired with a 2008 Hestan Estate Stephanie Carbernet Sauvignon from Napa, this powerful, balanced wine brought spice, depth, and classic Cabernet tannins to entertain Chef Wu’s Kobe Beef.
The sixth course, an absolute vision, set an ethereal tone for the finish with a truly beautiful Sugar Egg Puff by Chef Wu. Complemented with a 2007 Castelnau de Sudiuraut Sauternes from Bordeaux, France, the world’s most treasured dessert wine met the world’s most treasured confection. Adding deep tropical flavor with candied citrus, honey, ginger, and saffron, the elevation of the palate, ending on a high note, was simply superb.
After the event, comments from guests extended profuse thanks for collecting such an impressive group for such a flawless dinner, along with appropriate accolades for Chef Wu, Mr. Glennon, Tim Be Told, and of course, for the Privy Groupe’s flawless attention to detail.
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