We’re a fistful of days deep into 2015 and we’ve already been reminiscing about the extremely fun and fortunate year we’ve had. Maybe we’re just sentimental schmucks, but looking back on 2014, we are humbled by all that we were able to accomplish last year and entirely grateful to all our collaborators, partners, friends and family that supported us.
Some highlights of last year can be read about in our previous posts recapping our amazing summer, The launching of Deerblood Rose in collaboration with Bodkin Wines was a huge success and quantities sold out lightening fast. (With 2014 in a bottle, we will be hosting an epic release party soon so stay tuned!) Yes, spring was a success but our autumn proved to be just as fruitful.
There are some things you just don’t say no to; (1) another drink, (2) late night cheeseburger after said drink , and (3) getting the opportunity to work with someone you admire and respect. Although the first two opportunities may come up more frequently, the latter is sometimes a once in a lifetime chance. So when the California Waterfowl Association approached us to take part in their annual dinner and fundraiser, co-hosted by none other than Hank Shaw, we had no choice but to accept it.
Creating a menu with Hank Shaw was an absolute treat for us. As long time followers of his James Beard award winning blog, Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, Hank’s approach to honest food and the connections we have to food and hunting are things that resonate with the Stag Dining mission and beliefs. There is a certain kind of intimacy and honor that goes into a meal prepared after a hunt that Hank very eloquently captures in his numerous essays and writings that mirror what Stag tries to create with meals that we share with the public. Also, Hank’s blog is one of the top online resources for field to table and wild food preparation. It was an honor for our chefs to share a kitchen with him for the evening. The 7 course menu featured recipes from Hank’s book Duck, Duck, Goose, with slight modifications by the Stag chefs, and was all locally harvested and foraged.
The event took place at the Pacific Rod & Gun Club on the shore of Lake Merced, where attendees got the chance to shoot clay targets with History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 winner Chris Cheng. Chris, who also has a book coming out this month, gave tips and pointers to avid shooters. Others got their copy of Hank’s book signed and snacked on charcuterie and wine supplied by Red Stitch Winery. (It should be mentioned that one of the owners of Red Stitch Winery is David Roberts, former Boston Red Sox, whose “Steal of the Century” floored both Jordan and Matt back in 2004.)
After a dinner featuring wild-caught grilled tuna, duck country pate and Hank’s wild boar lasagna, auction and raffle winners were announced over dessert. Stag Dining staff did not leave the evening empty handed from the night’s event. Chef Jordan went home with one of the evening’s most coveted prize, a Remingtion 11-87 gifted as an auction item from the Bohemian Club’s Bohemian Grove in Monte Rio.
We were also extremely grateful to work with world renowned French chef and TV personality Chef Jacques Pepin. During his 14 year partnership with KQED, Chef Pepin called The Prescott Hotel in Union Square home. In present day, the Prescott and the hotel’s restaurant, Postrio, has been home to Stag Dining headquarters for the past 4 years. So in celebration of The Prescott Hotel’s 100th anniversary, we felt it only fitting to partner with the hotel in a dinner honoring Jacques’ impact in the home kitchens as well as restaurants over the years by showcasing a meal centered around Chef Pépin’s recipes featured on KQED.
Chef Jordan and other esteemed Postrio-alumni created a 5 course dinner inspired by the elegant simplicity of Chef Pepin’s recipes of his most beloved dishes. Before he even wanted to be a chef, Jordan recalls watching Chef Pepin on TV as a child and was fascinated by Jacques’ voice and what delicious things he was making. The menu included Squab a l’Orange, our modern take on the chef’s classic Duck a l’Orange, and a beautiful Crepe Suzette served with brown butter ice cream and meyer lemon curd. At the end of the evening our gracious guest of honor spent time speaking with diners and signing copies of his books for attendees.
So yes, Diners and Culinary Adventurers, to say that 2014 was a remarkable year for us would be an understatement. And although we take pride in our growth as we reflect on the journey that has brought us to where we are, we are also humbled by the opportunities and support that we’ve had to get to this point. In 2015, we promise to bring on our A game, and continue to create amazing meals, amazing experiences for us all to enjoy in partaking in. We’ve got some great events coming up, like our Beer vs. Wine dinner with Almanac Brewery and Bluxome Street Winery, a book signing and cocktail reception for our Brooklyn-based friends at Ovenly, and let’s not forget that SF Beer Week is coming up in February! In 2015, we’re also expected to expand our wine brand offering, working with some of the winemakers that we have partnered with in our clandestine dinner series. We’re excited to share our new endeavors with you and hope that you share your 2015 with us!
Also, some very special 2014 shout outs and thank yous to: The Bold Italic,Airbnb, Not For Sale, Google, Shelter Co., Alison Events, Western Editions,Fine & Rare, Ted Wilson, Drake’s Bay Oyster Co., Bodkin Wines, Ashley Tepplin, Prescott Hotel, Martini Bird, Michael Jordan Frog Design, Cavalier,Good Food Awards.
One of our fondest moments was reuniting with our good pal and grammy nominated artist, Aloe Blacc. We got to shoot a video for Culinary Beats and we did a show at SXSW together. The true highlight was our BBQ tour with the entire Grand Scheme Band in Lockhart Texas #meatsweats.