Hot Dish

Hot Dish: Feb. 4, 2010

BY February 4, 2010
Inside the Gulfshore’s Dining Scene.
Seven Delicious Courses at This Chef Boulud NWWF Vintner Dinner
The 38 guests who attended the Naples Winter Wine Festival Vintner Dinner co-hosted by Shirlene and Bob Elkins and Marie Copley-Andrews enjoyed a seven-course dinner by the famous Executive Chef Daniel Boulud.

Shirlene Elkins

They sipped Delamotte champagne—provided by Jean-Baptiste Cristini of Champagne Delamotte—aboard the Double Sunshine boat on the way to the Elkins’ Naples home.

Double Sunshine

“While we’ve never had Chef Boulud’s food before, our son said he’s a great chef, and this will be phenomenal!” said guest Tom Bringardner.

April and Tom Bringardner.

The Elkins, founding chairs of the Naples Children and Education Foundation and the Festival, warmly welcomed guests to their home—decorated in midnight blue and silver to the theme “Blue Skies”—with glasses of fine wine from renowned European vintners Peter Sissek of Spanish Dominio de Pingus (Pingus is his nickname) and Laurent Ponsot of Domaine Ponsot.

I noticed a lone man in sparkling whites walk outside to the grill and put seasoned racks of veal to hot steel, sending sparks and flames leaping upward. My jaw dropped as I realized it was Chef Boulud, one of my two “culinary gods,” beaming a 1,000-watt smile. Boulud is one of only five chefs in the United States to earn the culinary world’s highest restaurant honor of a Michelin three-star rating. (In 2009, there were only 40 Michelin three-star restaurants in France.)

Chef Daniel Boulud

The wines from Ponsot and Sissek were paired with the dinner’s four hors d’oeuvres and seven courses. Chef Boulud, a determined dervish in action, personally cooked all aspects of the dinner’s seven courses. His assistants then helped plate and garnish the 38 guest’s plates under his hands-on supervision.

When asked why they chose Boulud for their dinner, Shirlene Elkins said Boulud is “the love of our lives. We’ve known him for over 20 years, and he’s just a very dear, precious man who’d do anything for a good cause.” 

Some appetizers and courses included:

Foie gras torchon with date jelly and Marcona almond
Chicken curry with coconut
Wood fire-grilled yellowfin tuna
Maine lobster civet over celery root
Bone-in veal with crispy sweetbread and Swiss chard
Apple tart tatin with pecan-bourbon ice cream
Mint-chocolate coupe glacée with vanilla peppermint Bavaroise, served with Chateau d’Yquem 1975

Sea bass ceviche wrapped in bibb lettuce with caviar

Mango and radish tartar in cucumber cup


Mosaic of capon, foie gras and celery root with black trumpet mushrooms


Chicken “Demi-Deuil”  in “half-mourning” with black truffles

Let’s broaden our choices of great Southwest Florida restaurants together. Post your hints and experiences below or e-mail me at

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