Chef’s Choice Wine Dinner at Culpepper’s Invoked Spring

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by Steven Doyle

Few are as passionate as chef Chad Bowden at Culpepper’s in Rockwall. Sure, it is a little bit of a drive for those of us deep in Dallas, but the actually short and easy drive is well worthwhile. The steakhouse itself is an amalgam of add-ons to the building, and is interesting, and with plenty of character, much like the chef himself.   Chef Bowden started culinary training in Colorado working at Four star rated country clubs and restaurants. He then relocated to Texas where he became Sous Chef at the The Grape before moving on to be exec sous at 2900 Restaurant where they were nominated for a James Beard Award, one of the nations top culinary honors. He also won the 2006 Rising Star Chefs award. In 2007 he became the Executive Chef of Culpepper Steakhouse.

It is here where we pick up on one of the many wine dinners the chef hosts at his restaurant. Often Bowden will bring in friends who own wineries that he meets during his travels to California. Some top names in the industry have made the trek to Rockwall to spend time with the chef and his guests.   

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Last night was something of a departure from the regular wine dinners Bowden hosts, and actually worked up a special menu to pair with some of his favorite wines he has listed on the menu at Culpepper. He took advantage of some of the new Spring harvest which is just now taking a peek at many of the menus across town, including a bounty of mushrooms and even the very first sighting of the famous fiddlehead ferns which have an extremely short season.

Not to be outdone, pastry chef Rachel Jeske hand picked peach blossoms to pair up with her extremely rich dessert of a Texas honeyed green tea almond ice cream.

Be sure to add Culpepper’s to your Facebook so you can keep up with future wine evenings, and do not be afraid to make the short drive to Rockwall, just off the shores of the beautiful lake.

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Baby kale, bramble berry vinaigrette, blonde morels, smoked duck breast and Capriole O’Banon cheese paired with a 2009 Ancian Pinot Noir Carneros

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Spiced diver scallop, micro sea beans, fiddlehead ferns, cashews and roasted plum sauce paired with a 2010 Wattle Creek Red Blend Alexander Valley

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Wok fried chicken tikka, coconut black sticky rice, hericot verts and Thai basil salad paired with a 2011 Ravenswood Teldeschi Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley

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Foie gras stuffed hickory smoked prime rib, sour cream and chive potatoes, charred peas, carrots, pea tendrils paired with a 2012 Girard Petite Syrah Napa Valley

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Honeyed green tea almond ice cream, candied Texas citrus zest, peach blossoms served in an almond pizzelle bowl and paired with a 2010 Cap Rock Winery Roussanne

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