Evan Elsberry is a chef who enjoys creating original dishes for food competitions. His imaginative menus have won numerous ribbons at the California State Fair over the years. Last year, he was among the top three winners in the Ultimate Clubhouse Sandwich contest at the Scottish Rite Center, and in the second annual Sacramento Tomato Fest at Town & Country Village.
Elsberry is partial to pairing ethnic cuisines with matching wines. So far this year, he has hosted Italian-, French- and Spanish wine-pairing dinners at his restaurant, Evan's Kitchen. Now he's geared up for a Mexican-themed dinner, with accompanying Mexican wines.
Wines from Mexico? Yes, especially from the Baja Peninsula. The wine industry there has taken huge strides in recent years, surprising critics and casual imbibers alike. Some of those wines were featured in the "Mexico Issue" of the high-end food magazine Saveur. Go to www.winesfrombaja.com.
Meanwhile, "A Taste of Mexico" is planned from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 17. The cost is $75 per person, with reservations at (916) 452-3896. Tip: The previous themed dinners filled up fast, so...
Evan's Kitchen is at 855 57th St., Sacramento, in the Antiques Mall; www.chefevan.com.
The Mexican wine dinner looks like this:
First courseDungeness crab Guacamole with lentils and garlic chips
Served with Monte Xanic 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, Vina Kristel, Guadalupe Valley, BC
Second courseAncho tamales with Yucatan pork, charred tomatillo sauce and criolla cebolla (jalepeno, cilantro, onion, lime juice and extra-virgin olive oil)
Served with Vinas de Garza 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Guadalupe Valley, BC
Third courseRoasted chicken breast with poblano cornbread, charred pineapple and red chili sauce
Served with Xikbal Baja 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah & Carignan, Guadalupe and Santo Tomas Valleys, BC
Fourth courseBeef tenderloin mole, refried beans, rice with crema and Ibarra chocolate shavings
Served with Tres Valles 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Guadalupe and San Vicente Valleys, BC
DessertPay de limon (creamy lime pie) with fried plantains
Served with 2011 Hogue Late Harvest Riesling