Sake & Sushi at Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic 2014

Our first visit to the Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic 2014 took place on Friday, October 31

This is the fifth year for the Food & Wine Classic and I’ve attended Chad’s Sake Class every time it’s been offered, Nick’s only missed one (2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013). This is a photo blog with captions and a post-script at the end. There was so much going on that my notes are very sketchy – if you want more details about sake, follow those links or just do a search of our blog using “sake”…

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As you’ve guessed by now, the format was very different this year. Chef Cib and Chad were co-hosting “The Fine Arts of Sushi & Sake”. We arrived a bit early, we didn’t expect that Chef Cib was going to be part of the class, nor did we expect the room to decorated so nicely with so much detail.

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There were stations at each standing table with sushi making tools.

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Uh oh! We might have to work for our sushi tonight! (we were expecting small tastings to pair with the sake, guess Chad and Cib have grander things in mind)

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Sushi Chef is preparing slices of yellowtail

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A portable fish case was brought in, it’s well stocked… doesn’t it look beautiful?

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Salmon

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Yellowtail

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Eye of Tuna

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Many bottles of sake on ice, just waiting to get started …

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… rather than pour all of our sake and have it sitting on the table getting warm, we were served cold sake throughout the class

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Nick was able to get into the class space and take a lot of good photos before we started

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this was our workstation

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we each had a complete set-up

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We had a shared steamer of rice, seaweed box, and sauces…

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… we each had a sharkskin grater, a piece of wasabi root, a ball of wasabi (made from powder), fish eggs (tobiko?), cream cheese (ooh, yuck), and gari

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the recipes and the sakes are in this nice little magazine (we heard that Dustin [used to be our favorite server at bluezoo] designed these in his new position in marketing and design at the resort)

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here’s Chef Cib! Ready to get started?

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that’s Chad on the far right

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Our first sake – Hitosuji Junmai Dai Ginjo

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Joe (on the left of Chef Cib) has been at all of the Sake Classes during the Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classics

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Chef Cib surrounded by sake (not a bad place to be)

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Junmai Dai Ginjo is the pinnacle of sakes, very pure, made from rice that’s been milled at least 50%

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soy sauce and dipping cups

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“Kampai” the traditional Japanese toast means “empty cup” (you’re supposed to drink you little glass of sake in one go)

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“cooking is an art and a repetition” Chef Cib

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time to get started making sushi

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this is the eye of the tuna filet

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Nick has his tuna with a smear of freshly grated wasabi and his lozenge of rice

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I’m a quick study and I want to eat!

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(action shot) I’m making sure that the tuna isn’t going to fall off or something

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good job Nick! looks yummy!

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we each had a tray with tempura shrimp, crab, cucumber, shrimp, avocado. sesame seeds, and spicy tuna mixture

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Nick’s made maguro (tuna) and sake (salmon) nigiri

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Nora made one maguro and two sake nigiri (I’ve done this before)

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next up, California Rolls, we start by putting tobiko on the rice …

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(this is going to be a reverse roll)

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the biggest trick to making sushi rolls? don’t overstuff them!

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looks pretty good!

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Nick ate his sake nigiri – here we have his California roll and maguro nigiri

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I’ve already eaten two pieces of my nigiri (told you I was ready to eat)

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I like the looks of Nick’s California roll

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we made so much sushi in this class, that we shared with Chad and Joe when they came around

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Spicy Tuna Roll before cutting …

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another reverse roll… (we had extra spicy tuna mixture, I just ate it with the little spoon as the class progressed; I’d have liked it a little bit spicier personally)

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everyone is hard at work making sushi and drinking sake (it isn’t that hard to do)

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that California Roll is quickly disappearing

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my Spicy Tuna Roll isn’t very round, is it?

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Nick isn’t eating his sushi as fast as I am!

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Yummy! I think it may be a bit heavy on the rice

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Joe is telling us about the 4th sake (yes, I missed a few) – called Sato No Homare (pride of the village) – this sake is rich, full bodied, with hints of licorice (it’s Joe’s favorite)

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the glasses of sake are piling up (we purchased 4 tickets to this event, but couldn’t get things worked out to have another couple join us… thus, extra sake)

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my Dragon Roll (I goofed and put all of the avocado I had left inside the roll with the shrimp, it was supposed to be on the outside)

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Chef Cib told us to use the cream cheese to help hold the other fish on top (yuck) or you could use the seasoned mayonnaise

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mine isn’t pretty, I just used the fish that I had left on my tray

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Nick’s Dragon Roll is much more photogenic than mine!

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we covered it with plastic wrap so that we could reinforce the “roll” and make it easier for them to be cut

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we didn’t get to use a real knife (safety issues), so the chefs would roam the room with knives and cut our rolls for us

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Nick’s Dragon Roll is really nice!

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just lovely

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Wow! Nick made a lot of sushi

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my sushi seems to have disappeared faster

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job well done

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I gave away the shrimp head to Joe, it was too huge and a bit scary looking

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carnage

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more carnage

This event was really a lot of fun. It was much more interactive than we expected and we’d love to do it again.

Our biggest “problem” with the Food & Wine Classic (as it has evolved) – the Causeway has become so popular that we didn’t do it this year and therefore the classes are more our speed – the drawback… the classes are getting better and better and we can’t attend as many as we’d like because they’re all on Friday and/or Saturday afternoon before the Causeway. It would be really nice if some classes could start earlier in the day and others start later in the day (that way you could attend two classes in a day).

Thank you to everyone at the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic – we had a great time… and we were so full, we didn’t need to have dinner!

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