Fire and Ash Wine Dinner presented by The Red Barn
It reminds us of simpler times.
Before there were crowded restaurants and Snapchat filters and traffic that makes you late to the reservation you had to secure months in advance. Back when food came directly from your own farm – milk from the cows, vegetables from the garden, fruit from the groves of luscious trees.
Even if we never lived like that, many of us are nostalgic for it.
Enter Millennium Barn.
It may be in the middle of Costa Mesa, Calif., but it’s a bright red towering hunk of charm – a barn that looks exactly like the kind you probably drew as a child.
On Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, some of that nostalgia will be brought to life in an exclusive farm-to-fork dining experience – a Fire and Ash Wine Dinner featuring talented chefs, special guests and a multi-course dinner paired with elegant wines.
To start, the event will feature live-fire exhibition-style appetizers, sparkling wines provided by Orange County Wine Society (OCWS) and tours of the farm and garden at 6:30 p.m. Guests will get a chance to experience Centennial Farm – a three-acre working farm located at OC Fair & Event Center and open year-round – in a lovely evening glow, decorated with twinkling lights and lovely flowers and greenery.
The Millennium Barn doors will then open at 7:30 p.m. for the wine dinner curated by Chef Annie Morgan, of KOCI Radio’s Pots and Pans with Jack and Annie. Executive Chef Jesse Lopez, of Spectra Food Services, will present a menu showcasing California’s bountiful produce and artisan meats cooked exclusively on an open fire in ash.
The live-fire cooking style is not a new trend, but it has become more popular in the last year or so as restaurants throughout the country are swapping out gas for wood. Bon Appetit wrote in June: “It’s funny to call this return to cooking with fire a trend. If it is, it’s certainly the oldest trend in the book. And yet there is no arguing that the burning hearth has of late gripped the restaurant world, seeming to bestow the imprimatur of ‘serious chef’ on anyone who embraces it.”
Cracklin’ wrapped porchetta will be served with blistered fingerling potatoes, and a grilled, split Cornish game hen will go well with fall succotash straight from Centennial Farm’s own garden. An ash-roasted autumn squash trio will feature rosemary, garlic and honey, while lemon-wilted spinach sides beef steak Portobello. Need more to get your mouth watering? View the entire menu at ocfair.com/redbarn.
At this Fire and Ash Wine Dinner, the food won’t be the only star at the table though. Wines from California producers Angeline Vineyards, Martin Ray Vineyards & Winery and Courtney Benham Wines have been artfully curated by Irv Wnuck, COO of Seize the Vine, to pair brilliantly with each dish.
The event will be topped off with a grand finale of grilled butter cake s’mores over open firepits, and affogatos to give you a little boost as you head back out into the bustling streets of Orange County.
But hopefully, if even for just a couple of hours, you’ll have soaked up the fire-rich smell and tasted all the toasted treats you can handle – and maybe even pet a goat or pig while touring the farm – and can return to real life with more appreciation for the glory days of local farming.
Tickets to this exclusive event are $125 per person (available on Ticketmaster), which includes dinner, wines, gratuity, tax and parking. Guests 21 and older are welcome. A complete list of the event’s special guest speakers is also available at ocfair.com/redbarn. Support of The Red Barn dinner provides year-round educational opportunities through Centennial Farm, Heroes Hall and Imaginology, and helps fund our community give-back programs.