The Edge Outer Banks 2000.2001 Home

Text by Linda Lauby — Photos by Gayle T. Tiller
Plans for this issue’s wine dinner seemed solid enough: take an offshore fishing trip, catch some Gulf Stream fish, and plan a spectacular meal around the day’s catch. Those plans didn’t quite materialize. Charter trips were planned, deposits made, cameras loaded. The trips were scrubbed because of hurricane threats. We didn’t even get out on our own boat; it sat in dry dock throughout the fall.
During Hurricane Floyd, while the storm’s eye granted us brief respite from the wind and rain we’d been experiencing, a number of neighbors took advantage of the hour of calm and stood on a dune deck, watching the ocean and discussing the storm. As we talked about various ways to grind coffee beans without the benefit of electricity, the idea began to form for an alternative wine dinner plan.
Powerless Presentations is a dinner made without the benefit of electricity (or even gas for that matter). Our cooking appliance was a Weber grill, and we employed a lot of candles.
the Menu...........................
S o u p
{Gazpacho garnished with jumbo lump crabmeat, chives and sour cream}
A p p e t i z e r
{Sushi-grade tuna on mesclun greens with wasabi cream}
E n t r é e
{Tenderloin fillets stuffed with bleu cheese, with dried cherry demi-glace and grilled onions}
D e s s e r t
{Grand Marnier-injected strawberries and Amaretto-injected pineapple dipped in melted Lindt chocolate}

Sushi-grade tuna on mesclun greens with wasabi cream

As we did in last year’s wine dinner article, we solicited recommendations on pairing food and wine from a local restaurateur, a wine retailer and a wine purveyor, and assigned different price ranges for each course. Even though our panelists sometimes strayed from their price assignments, you’ll basically find a wine under $15, one priced between $15 and $30, and one over $30. Our panel has also chosen musical accompaniments for each course. Even though you may look longingly at that Mark Levinson system with the Martin Logan speakers when the power is out, a battery-operated boom box will do the trick just fine.
We asked Ann Runnels from Miriam’s restaurant in Corolla, Kris Mullins of The Good Life Gourmet in Kill Devil Hills, and Outer Banks wine purveyor Liz Mackler to suggest libations. Liz and her employer, Mark Yonce, of Mark Yonce Wine Merchant, approached their assignment as a team, while our own sales director, Greg Bailey, jumped in with recommendations as well.

Ann Runnels, chef-owner of Miriam’s restaurant in Corolla, has an interest in food that goes way back to her roots in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rumor has it that even as a child, she preferred excerpts from Larousse Gastronomique to more traditional bedtime stories. All night, visions of souffle, beurre blanc and veloute danced in her head. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Ann has worked with such masters as Chef Larry Forgione in Manhattan and Chef Mark Milatello in Miami. She owned and operated Osprey Gourmet in Duck for six years before opening Miriam’s in the summer of 1996. Kris Mullins has a degree in graphic design, although he succumbed to the restaurant business’ siren call 15 years ago. Originally from San Diego, Kris moved to the Outer Banks 10 years ago, and is co-owner of The Good Life Gourmet, The Blue Point Bar & Grill and Ocean Boulevard.

Greg Bailey, sales director for Outer Banks Press, has also had an illustrious career in the restaurant business. Greg gets thoroughly into the spirit of our wine dinners, lugging heaping armfuls of herbs, crockery and cutlery, musical selections, camera equipment and of course, wines, to each event. He wouldn’t have missed the chance to participate in the following recommendations.
Elizabeth Mackler, wine sales consultant for Mark Yonce Wine Merchant and veteran of 19 years in the wine business, is a graduate of Boston College’s Graduate School of Social Work. Liz finds that her background in social work uniquely qualifies her for selling wine on the Outer Banks. When not selling wine, she’s swimming with the dolphins.

Mark Yonce, owner of Mark Yonce Wine Merchant, is a wine and beer importer/distributor for North Carolina and Virginia. Based in Durham, North Carolina and in the wine business for 23 years, Mark is a graduate of UNC and has owned his own distributorship since 1989. Among Mark’s passions are tennis and college basketball – as well as drinking fine wines and micro-brews.

Doug Brindley, president of B&B on the Beach, provided us with fine accommodations for preparing and enjoying our meal, and went so far as to create our artichoke candleholders! Getting into the full spirit of the event, he chose a Pine Island oceanfront house named Oz.
Ken Whidbee of Wanchese Produce supplied us with all manner of greenery and edible flowers for the meal. He even whittled the black and natural bamboo skewers we used in our tuna appetizer.

Gazpacho garnished with jumbo lump crabmeat, chives and sour cream

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