I created DoinThatRagu because of my love for food and wine. Each week I will publish new personalized recipes each with its own theme created by me. My ambition is to show the public all the fun you can have with food and how to match it up with your favorite beverage. For me that is mostly wine and not only will I publish recipes created by me with specific varietals to pair at your choosing I will also give some background on the types of foods used in the recipes but also on the wines and their regions. And, of course, some commentary on the themes themselves.
The themes will focus on some of things I am passionate about in addition to food and wine. Be on the lookout for recipes based on Classic Rock N Roll bands (not just The Grateful Dead), National Football League cities, country specific international cuisine, driving tours, golf, literature, etc. There is no limit to what kind of fun you can have creating themes for your food preparation. My aim is to show each one of my readers what you can do and get you started so you can do the same at home for your family and friends and whoever else is coming to dinner!
I must confess I knew very little about food and wine until I was well into my thirties. I was not a very good eater as a child. I did work at a very prestigious wine retailer during my summers off from college and learned a great deal about the business and developed a passion for wine but that did not awaken again until much later in life. After becoming a successful trader on Wall Street I had to add a few hobbies to my portfolio. I got exposed to some of the best restaurants not only in Manhattan but all over the country and the world thanks to working in a global environment and with the help of a few very sophisticated friends and colleagues I recognized that I too had a real taste for some of the finer things in life.
I started collecting wine from all over the world and learning more about different grapes and regions. I became increasingly interested. I just had to find the right combinations and pairings just the way the great sommeliers did. I quickly realized this was where the real fun was. But it wasn’t limited to just the right sauternes to be linked to the right dish of foie gras. What about the perfect pairing for the perfect burger or plate of macaroni and cheese? Well the truth is somewhere in between and we will have a lot of fun matching wines and other beverages with the meals I create and some I’ve already created and have been serving for years.
So now that I had all this wine in my basement I needed something to do with it. I turned to my wife and asked her how are we going to match all these great bottles to the food we eat? “Don’t ask me”, she said, “You got us into this”. So, it was up to me to learn how to prepare great meals to pair with our great wine. That certainly doesn’t happen overnight. All great chefs have a lengthy trial and error period and they all say, “Never be afraid to fail”. I tried and tried to get things right making mistake after mistake but I always found that even if things weren’t quite right the food always managed to taste pretty good. You just should keep working at it. Read books and articles either online or in publications. It’s a learning process and I am here to help you and provide some entertainment along the way.
I want you to remain curious. I want you to know the theme but always leave you guessing what’s coming next. Even if you’re not a football fan or a Shakespeare fan or whatever theme I’m currently on it has no bearing on what the next recipe might incorporate. My aim is to show you the fun you can have with preparing theme based meals and to help give you some advice in the kitchen, the pantry, and the wine cellar.
Stephen Montfort Melchior