Sunday, September 11, 2011

Star Fine Foods Dinner at Greek Village Inn

What Star products do you have in your pantry? Star is not a brand name that instantly pops into your head, and yet I'll bet you have a few of their products. Perhaps one of their olive oils, a white or red wine vinegar in the global bottles, or a jar of olives or capers.

Just this month they have introduced the first mass produced California extra virgin olive oil. Up til now, all olive oils have been imported from Europe and elsewhere and/or blended with California olive oil. This new California EVOO is produced from three varieties of olives: Arbequina, Arbosana, and Koroneiki.

I was privileged to be contacted by Star Fine Foods last July. They were doing marketing events with food bloggers and restaurants throughout the state. Would I be able to help them in Sacramento. They asked that I choose a restaurant to have the event and that it be Mediterranean, Italian, or Middle Eastern. The chef would be asked to create a menu around Star products.

I chose Greek Village Inn. I thought that it was the appropriate size and has an excellent reputation. I also thought the chef might be flexible enough to create the menu. Owner Cathy Tsakopoulos and chef Matthew Martinez were happy to work with us and created the menu below.

We started with tasting the olive oils. Set out were the new California EVOO, the garlic olive oil, and the Mediterranean blend that Star has carried for years. What a difference between the California and the Mediterranean! The CA blend is fruity and light and contrasts significantly with the Med version. I will definitely buy it over the other now. It will be wonderful over salads or drizzled as a finisher on any dish. Another great discovery was the garlic olive oil. I had never noticed it on store shelves before and discovered that the roasted garlic flavor was significant and wonderful to have just on bread by itself.

gifts included mini bottles of product

We had three fabulous appetizers, including the third one, flambeed at table

We also had a salad, lamb shank entree and a dessert of grilled fruit that had been brushed with olive oil.

The menu was paired with wines from Sean Minor Wines. I don't drink, but some sounded definitely interesting. Those that tasted said they found some new and unique wines.

Lastly, we finished our wonderful meal with some ouzo.

Keep an eye out for the new California Extra Virgiin Olive Oil. It's arriving on store shelves now.
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