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USA Dinner

[Bailliage of Orlando, Florida] November 10, 2012

A Floridian sunset soirée

The sun was just setting, glimmering through the palms, when we arrived at Orlando’s Little Lake Conway where Professional member, Bill Trippler, and Beverley, his wife, had graciously opened their home for a fall lakeside event.

A guitarist’s smooth strumming added to the mellow mood as we clinked glasses and abosorbed the heady aromas of hors d’oeuvres prepared by Orange Lake Resort's Executive Chef Lonny Huot and his culinary staff.

Simply-prepared seasonal appetisers including smoked shrimp on a chive infused baguette, prosciutto di Parma wrapped Maytag Blue stuffed dates, and pan-seared beef tenderloin with caramelised shallot and tomato confit. All were perfectly paired with a Crémant de Limoux Rose from France, a Washington State Isenhower White Paintbrush 2011, and a 2008 Torii Mor Hawksview Pinot Noir from Oregon.

At the mooring the pontoon boat ‘Odyssey’ awaited us for a relaxing sunset cruise on the lake. On our return, gourmet tasting stations emitted intoxicating aromas. Vice-Echanson Peter Burke and Chef Lonny Huot quickly gathered guests to distribute the evening’s menu and explain the accompanying wine pairings.

Our first starter, a sautéed pork tenderloin served with a sweet potato and plantain hash with a cilantro chimichuri, was deliciously partnered by a 2009 L'Ecole no 41 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, Washington State.

A succulent pan-seared diver scallop melted in a smokey butternut squash puree and parsnip hay was sublime with 2010 Panther Creek Pinot Gris from Oregon. Lastly, a beautiful braised beef short rib was arguably the star of the evening. The served wine, a 2010 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red from Columbia Valley, Washington State, was equally praised.

As the evening wound down the Tripplers opened their dining room to a table filled with a selection of small shot glasses of Chocolate Pumpkin Mousse, Mango Key Lime and Apple Crisp desserts.

We ended the event with a gift for our hosts and recognition and applause for Chef Lonny Huot and his culinary staff. It was an extraordinary evening of celebrating great friendship, fine wine and sumptuous food in true Florida style.

Ellen M Hutter, Vice Chargée de Presse