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Patio Pink
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Guest Chefs & Recipes

#1 Charlie Palmer
#2 Patrick Ambrosio
#3 Jim Dodge
#4 Michael Dotson
#5 Christine Piccin

Chef Charlie Palmer

Charlie Palmer needs no introduction to any lover of food and wine. One of the most highly acclaimed chefs in America, Charlie began his career in the mid 1980's in New York City and almost immediately earned 3 stars from the New York Times. He opened Aureole in New York City in 1988 and now presides over a distinguished list of some of the best restaurants in America, from New York City to Washington DC,  Las Vegas and Healdsburg, California where he now resides.  Each year, Charlie generously donates a dinner at the Sonoma County Vintners Showcase of Wine and Food. In 2006, the dinner was themed Charlie's Wine Angels in reference to his Las Vegas Aureole restaurant. The first course was at Russian Hill where Ellen Mack served as the hostess.  Mr. Palmer prepared  a fabulous duck dish paired with our Tara Vineyard Pinot noir. It was an evening never to be forgotten. The twelve guests who won the auction lot had an exquisite dinner personally prepared by Mr. Palmer, a limousine to transport them from site to site, with a film crew in tow to record  the entire evening for an episode of Divine Life to be aired on Canadian television  later in the year.

Spiced Duck Breast with Endive Rhubarb Marmalade, Crisp Polenta, Meyer Lemon Infused Jus



Chef-Patrick Ambrosio

Russian Hill Estate Winery was extremely fortunate to have Chef Patrick Ambrosio in residence from 2003 until 2005. During that time, Patrick created several dishes to pair specifically with the wines of Russian Hill.

Patrick trained at the French Culinary Institute in New York City under Chefs Jacques Pepin and Alain Sailhac and later became the Executive Chef at The Tyler Hill Farm Country Inn in Pennsylvania. Patrick combines his classic French training with his Italian heritage and his new love for the Russian River Valley where he has access to the best of the ocean, the field and the vineyard.

Wild Pacific Salmon with Pinot Noir Braised Leeks

Breast of Liberty Duck with Thyme and Lavender


Chef-Jim Dodge

Bon Appétit Management Company

Russian Hill was honored to feature Jim Dodge at their 2005 Grape to Glass seminar on pairing lamb with wine. Jim created several beautiful lamb dishes which we tasted with Russian Hill Syrahs, a classic “lamb pairing”, and with our Pinot noirs, a more “new world” approach to lamb and wine. We debated the merits of each while enjoying great food and wine.

Jim Dodge is currently the Director of the Specialty Culinary Programs at the Bon Appétit Management Company.  He is a celebrated cookbook author (The American Baker, Baking with Jim Dodge) and contributing editor to Food & Wine magazine, Joy of Cooking and Cooks Illustrated.  He has appeared on many television programs including the Today Show, Good Morning America and several PBS cooking series.

Lamb and Wild Mushroom Ragout

Chef Michael Dotson

Executive Chef, Evvia Estiatorio

Michael Dotson is currently Executive Chef at Evvia Restaurant in Palo Alto and a contributing editor to PinotReport.  For 17 years, he has created imaginative cuisines in high profile restaurants from San Francisco to Santa Barbara and Lake Tahoe where he was named Executive Chef of the PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn, appeared as the focus chef on the “Taste of Tahoe” television series and received the Grand Prize Award at the Tahoe Autumn Food & Wine Festival. Michael has also extended his reach beyond California as a visiting chef at Au Crocodile, a Michelin 3-Star restaurant in Strasbourg, France.

We were extremely honored to have been selected as the site for the special “Subscriber’s Dinner” held at the onset of the 2005 Pinot on the River Festival. Russian Hill co-hosted this dinner with Hanzell Vineyards. The evening was dazzling – an evocative Greek inspired menu, the great talent of Michael Dotson and his team from Evvia, fabulous wines, and an audience appreciative of great food and wine.



Chef Christine Piccin

Christine Piccin has cooked at many well known Sonoma restaurants but now spends most of her time teaching and writing about cooking. She regularly holds classes at the Culinary Arts Center, Finley Center, Sur La Table and Relish cooking schools of Sonoma County and even teaches cooking classes in French as part of her “French Through Cuisine” course.

In August, 2006, Christine prepared a special meal for us as part of the Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Forum, a two day educational event held for sommeliers invited from across the nation.  As part of a special welcome, Russian Hill co-hosted a dinner with Merry Edwards and Williams Selyem wineries. Christine prepared a spectacular meal to pair with the Pinots of the three wineries. It was a great evening – hors d’oeuvres on the patio while watching the sunset over the vineyards, an elegant candle lit dinner in the house, and thirteen fabulous wines from three great winemakers.

Louisiana Corn Cakes with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche

Breast of Liberty Duck with Thyme and Lavender
Charlie Palmer: Spiced Duck Breast with Endive Rhubarb Marmalade, Crisp Polenta, Meyer Lemon Infused Jus
Lamb and Wild Mushroom Ragout
Louisiana Corn Cakes with Smoked Salmon and Creme Fraiche
Wild Pacific Salmon with Pinot Noir Braised Leeks