A happy attendee at the St. Francis Winery seminar tries his hand at blending different wines.

Wow.

The 10th anniversary of the Kohler Food & Wine Experience is now just a happy memory. For three glorious days, a sell-out crowd of foodies joined some of the leading lights from the worlds of beer, wine, spirits and gourmet cuisine for a chance to taste, sip and sample themselves silly in and around Kohler’s American Club Resort. Now it’s over, and the festival tents have been lowered, the glasses and stemware washed and packed away, and the slew of culinary stars have returned to their individual home orbits.

Lynn Chisholm, Executive Chef of the Paddock Club, reveals how to prepare halibut and trout.

The weekend was a delirious swirl of sensory delights, a three-ring circus for the palette, more than any one person could do, and you just had to gratefully let it all wash over you. Each day brought a unique blend of interactive (and filling) events, from Chris Silva’s crash course in wine blending to Graham Elliot’s hilarious patter and convention-defying cooking techniques to Anne Burrell’s brassy braising tutorial.


Sara Moulton shares her tips on serving breakfast for dinner.

Anne Burrell praises the braise. The giant glass of Stella Artois was courtesy of Belgian chef Marc Stroobandt.

Graham Elliot puts a new twist on classic holiday meals.

It was also great fun to see so many of these celebrities making cameos at each other’s events, like Marc Stroobandt dropping in on Anne Burrell with a humongous glass of beer, or Chris Silva showing up with his great Old Vine Zinfandel to pair with Graham Elliot’s foie gras mincemeat pie. It underscored the idea that we all gathered together because of a bond of shared passion for the good things of the earth, and an appreciation for what gifted hands can make of them.

You saw that sense of community everywhere, in the shared smiles at tastings, in the familial closeness that overtook people in the public spaces, and in the genial rubbing of elbows at the dinner tables. Good food and drink are best enjoyed when shared, and that understanding of fellowship touched every moment of this past weekend. I can’t wait for 2011!

Gorgeous Fall weather on Friday.

Seafood made a splash at many demonstrations.

Chris Silva of St. Francis Winery offers tips on wine appreciation.

Artistically carved jack-o-lanterns add some irreverent fun to the Taste of the Vine wine experience.

Foie gras for dessert? Graham Elliot’s concoction proved it can be done.

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery demonstrates the perfect pour at The Horse & Plow.