You know what they say? The cream always rises to the top and it certainly does apply to the fine folks at Crown Valley. When we looked around for help with our annual Shop & Dine Issue, they leaped on the opportunity to make a feast for us and tore it to pieces. (You have to get used to the tiger references. It’s Tiger Ridge after all.) What I am saying is that we found much more than a great meal and it’s my pleasure to share my discovery with you. The food was one of the best Thanksgiving meals I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating, but additionally the thoughtful professionalism displayed by the entire crew at Crown Valley was extraordinary. After spending more than five hours with the team I can report that they all have a positive attitude and their meticulous work ethic shines through in all they do. It was a joy working with them. While we were enjoying the meal that was so generously offered we became curious about the most beautiful environment in which we were being served. One thing lead to another and here we have a Thanksgiving Feast rolled into a great breakfast shared with fine people at a beautiful location.The Players for the feast.Ken Viera joined Crown Valley in 2007 as an Executive Pastry Chef. He is now the Executive Chef. His quick climb to the top may have something to do with the fact that Ken’s dad was a chef for 53 years and Ken started working in his dad’s kitchen when he was only eight years old. Chef Viera serves up breakfast for some 65 people who stay at the Crown Valley Country Lodging properties located near the winery and distillery. Andy and Brittany Gegg are a dynamic husband and wife chef team from Ste. Genevieve who both attended L’ecole Culinaire school in Ladue and have been working at Crown Valley Winery for nearly three years.THE MEAL: It was a feast meant for a King. All ingredients were fresh. Nothing was overdone, oversalted, overbuttered or overcooked. It was perfectly done!The turkey white meat was moist and succulent. The Bison Meatballs were in a spicy barbecue sauce. The tasty, fine texture has set the bar high for my low-fat meat source. Of course, the main dishes were served along with an awesome stuffing and crisp green beans with almonds, baked beets with a little butter, and a smidge of herbs, which are organic and grown by Crown Valley. The pecan crusted sweet potato casserole was smooth and topped with whole candied pecans that added a little crunch. The farm fresh salad was amazing with green zebra tomato, sunkist tomato, julian bell peppers and an absolutely amazing Tahini dressing. The fresh baked rolls were so light and fluffy I could have made them my dessert—until I was presented with the perfect slice of pumpkin pie, made spicy just the way I like it.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW DIGITAL EDITION WITH PHOTO SPREAD AND VIDEO. (Nov 2014 ISSUE)