In Florida in the U.S., the Naples Winter Wine Festival raises record sums to aid disadvantaged students and children within Collier County. This January it raised $20 million in five hours, a record for any charity wine auction. The following day, Sunday, the brunch at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort (where the auction took place) included a full range of food and wines. I spoke with the pastry chef.
Kendell Barkley, originally from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania (think groundhog day) is the Ritz-Carlton Pastry Supervisor, assisted by her young assistant Phatcharamai, from Thailand. They take obvious and great pride in their superb work, which not only tastes delicious but looks like art.
Their pastries included Gold Champagne Gelee with White Chocolate Ivory Mousse, Mixed Berries Fruit Tarts, Liquid Nitrogen Coffee Ice Cream, and Key Lime Tart, . Photographed below: Chocolate Dulce de Leche Cake, and berry and meringue tarts.
With these brunch pastries, sample two white wines:
Burgundy Les Tourelles de la Crée Montagny Premier Cru, or a Shaffer Vineyards Red Shoulder Ranch Carneros Chardonnay from Napa Valley.
Hundreds of invitees (many of them winemakers) gather for this event, and most are generous, warm, enthusiastic and eager to share their vintages. The range of wines is international, and exceptional.
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