Front Runners September 2015: Perennial Epicure
Over the past eight years, chef Joshua Schwartz has developed a serious culinary program at Del Dotto Vineyards in Napa Valley, including a 6-acre kitchen garden and house-made salumi that has earned raves from the sausage king Bruce Aidells. This year, the winery began showcasing Schwartz’s talents with a pairing menu ($75), and from September 18 through 20 it will offer a series of Del Dotto Vineyards Harvest Garden Lunches ($275 per person, deldottovineyards.com). Schwartz, who worked with Thomas Keller for a decade, will lead an afternoon that begins with appetizers in the garden and barrel tastings in the winery’s cave. The menu will be based on what is ready to pick, perhaps herb-roasted lamb with pickled ramps and smoked potatoes, and sorbet made from freshly pressed grape juice.