Traveling, Experiencing, and Tasting Translate Into Better Service.
Chef de Cuisine at Marcel’s
Chef Paul Stearman has had the opportunity to taste wines throughout Bordeaux with Christophe Chateau, director of the Cinq Côtes Association, and run his dogs with the cows at the Martin’s Farm off Route 66. He is constantly sourcing and tasting new products.
Seeing ingredients in the ground and learning about a producer’s level of commitment gives me an extra edge. I talk to the guests in the dining room all the time, so it’s important that I know the stories behind the ingredients I work with. I visit a lot of local wineries and cheesemakers. I have witnessed the whole farming operation at New Frontier Bison and Chapel Hill Farm. It comes down to literally getting your hands dirty, learning about everything from the grass to the soil, and talking specifically about what I need to work with in the kitchen.
We have guests who have access to some incredible bottles of wine, and since we offer an exceptional level of cooking, they want to honor their wines by having us do the pairings. It’s what I do almost daily, and it’s what Marcel’s is known for. Anyone can pair red wine with meat and white wine with fish, but being able to create a pairing where the food makes the wine sing is very special. When you get a pairing just right, each sip will make you want to take another bite of food. So having those experiences of going out and touching the soil, eating grapes off the vine, seeing the whole process, and then tasting the finished product allows me to recognize those extra levels in a wine and better understand its complexity. With that, I can best prepare the food as simply or as intricately as it needs to be.