|Iron Vintner's Round 2 elimination round - Grand Slam Lamb! Dish by Team Covington Cellars - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
I've had the pleasure of attending the last few Iron Vintner (IVC) challenges, where local winemakers duke it out for culinary supremacy and badass bragging rights. It's held in one of the most idyllic places -- Willows Lodge is a beautiful boutique hotel nestled in Woodinville Wine Country, surrounded by a lovely garden and walking/bike paths. Not nearly the place you'd think would become a total Food Fight Club, complete with sharp objects, fire, and talkin' smack. Since this year was the final IVC, this is more like Iron Vintner All Stars -- every IVC champion from previous years challenge one another. It's basically like the Hunger Games where Katniss has to fight all the other champions -- and in this case, no hunger or weapons of deadly destruction are involved. The previous IVC champions, starting from Year One are: Darby English, Lisa Baer, Chris Gorman and Morgan Lee. They all make impressive wines, so it just makes you envy them more for being such amazing cooks. This isn't just throwing hot dogs on a grill -- these winemakers know their stuff.
|Willows Lodge's garden peacefulness belies a culinary warrior's spirit - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|Impressive secret ingredient, equally impressive dishes - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|All you need is mad cooking skills and lucky Lincoln socks - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|Time ticking down -- plate up, the final countdown is on - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|The fires of competition burned hot - a Round 2 champion was named: Morgan Lee of Covington Cellars! - Photos by Wasabi Prime|