One of the most delectable events to tempt Temecula’s taste buds — the 5th Annual Pechanga Wine Festival — has been nearly three months in the making for Pechanga Executive Chef Duane Owen.
The festival with its two-day Chocolate Decadence fest is planned for Mar. 8-9 at Pechanga Resort & Casino.
According to Owen, the detailed preparations are necessary but not all that uncommon.
“We’re already looking ahead to Mother’s Day,” Owen said, noting that feeding up to 13,000 people on an ordinary day at Pechanga Resort & Casino is something to which he is well accustomed.
The key ingredient to making this year’s festival a success?
“We strive to give the customers what they want,” Owen said.
Owen, along with Pechanga’s award-winning chefs, will be pairing the wines with selections from their menus, including The Great Oak Steakhouse, Paisano’s, Blazing Noodles/Bamboo, Seafood Grotto, Kelsey’s and Journey’s End.
Menu items include pan seared lamp chops with a Boursin and potato fondue and seared tenderloin of beef skewer with a whiskey glaze and pancetta crumble garnish from The Great Oak Steakhouse, grilled shrimp on sugar cane from Bamboo and Peking Duck from Blazing Noodles.
Owen said that guests will appreciate the authenticity of the flavors.
Pechanga’s new chocolatier Frania Mendivil will serve up a vast array of extravagant treats crafted in all manner of perfection and hiding some sweet surprise of raspberry, apple or caramel inside.
Mendivil said she also likes to incorporate savory, salty tastes into her dessert creations.
“I am very excited for the event,” Mendivil said, adding that preparations are underway.
The Chocolate Decadence will feature more than 30 premium wineries pouring domestic, sparkling, late harvest, Zinfandels, Syrahs and ports.
The two-day extravaganza will begin with the dessert, wine and music celebration Chocolate Decadence from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, March 8 inside the Pechanga Ballroom. Musical accompaniment at the Chocolate Decadence includes piano virtuoso Sebastian Sidi. The event cost is $45 per ticket.
The Pechanga Wine Festival, featuring hundreds of varietals poured along with great food pairings by Pechanga top chefs and a performance by famed “American Idol” contestant Casey Abrams is planned from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Mar. 9 also in the Ballroom. The Wine Festival is $65 per ticket.
To learn more, visit pechanga.com.
Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor of Southwest Riverside News Network. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.