FINE DINING IS AS MUCH of an art as fine cooking. The Chaine des rotisseurs is an international association dedicated to preserving both arts, with an impressive track record of doing so. How many associations can trace roots back to the 13th century?
|Dale Miller. Photo by Tim Raab|
The Chaine and Dale Miller’s Stone Ends Restaurant were made for each other. Miller believes fine dining is an experience that should excite all the senses, and he’s eager to roll up his sleeves and show what he can do. The Chaine dinner provides that opportunity. He’s done it before, and done it well enough that they don’t even worry about tasting his menu samples. Besides, the menu is cooked up well ahead of time.
“I have to start six to eight weeks beforehand,” says Miller, who flew to California in July to visit Robert Mondavi’s winery in Oakdale and sample the wines that would be featured on the menu. “I had the Mondavi association in the back of my mind since the last Chaine dinner I did in April 1990. I wanted to prepare food that would be perfectly matched with each wine. Using Mondavi wines also allows me to serve American wine with American food.” Pairing food and wine is another art, one that can drown in pretentious mumbo-jumbo but, when approached without stuffiness, results in a pleasant, exciting enhancement of flavor.