Perfectly Paired Dinner at Charleston Grill and a recipe for Olive Oil Ice Cream

Then Charleston Grill’s Chef Michelle Weaver presented a Dry Aged Lamb with a Tarragon-Dijon Demi-Glace.  The lamb was aged 27 days. The aged lamb was denser and had a deeper and richer flavor than non-aged lamb.  The flavor lingered in your mouth.  Then I sipped the wine.  The wine exploded in my mouth with chocolate and berry flavors.  The mouth feel smoothed out and the the pungency of the lamb was lost in the berries and acid of the wine.  This combination brought out the best of both.

Enjoying the evening with new friends

This was truly a spectacular pairing.  As a wine collector and self-proclaimed connoisseur of wine, I have consumed a lot of wine in my time, but seldom have I enjoyed a pairing more than the Musar and Dry Aged Lamb.  Bravo!

After such a wonderful pairing you ask, how can we top that?  The next course, a cheese course, of Petit Basque with Marcona Almonds, Fig Preserves and a Brioche Cracker, was paired with Broadbent’s Colheita (Madeira) 1996.  This wine was also served with the dessert of White Chocolate Cake, Meyer Lemon and Dark Chocolate Tart with Olive Oil Ice Cream.  These two courses were created by Charleston Grill’s Pastry Chef, Emily Cookson.

Madeira, Cohleita 1996

For those not familiar with Madeira, it is the wine that won the Revolutionary War.  Our founding fathers drank Madeira as a staple.  George Washington attributed the warmth of Madeira for his troops surviving the crossing of the Potomac River that cold Christmas night in 1776.  Ships captains stored casks of Madeira as ballast in the ships sailing from Portugal to America where the wine was eagerly purchased by  Americans like Thomas Jefferson.

Madeira is a fortified wine, like Port or Marsala wine, and is produced in a variety of styles from dry, that can be consumed by itself, to a sweet wine that is often paired with dessert.  Once again, it was the pairing of the wine and food that made this so spectacular.

We all talk about matching wine with food to bring out the best in both.  Charleston Grill, Bartholomew Broadbent and Rick Rubel brought this to the ultimate level.  I just wish they could bottle the technique because I would like to bring cases of that skill home with me.

Thank you to Mr. Bunkycooks for a well-written and informative article on our dinner and the wine pairings that made for a very special evening.

Pastry Chef Emily Cookson, of Charleston Grill, has shared her recipe for Olive Oil Ice Cream from our dinner so that I can share it with my readers.  I prepared this recipe and it tasted exactly like the ice cream we had that evening at the wine dinner.  It has a surprising flavor that most guests would not immediately recognize. 

The olive oil flavor is subtle and pairs well with many Mediterranean  flour or cheese desserts.  I can just imagine the flavor combination of a Cannoli complemented with  a quenelle of this luscious and creamy ice cream!  I used a nice olive oil with a subtle taste, Colavita’s First Cold Pressed Extra-Virgin Olive Oil.  If you use a stronger olive oil (such as a Turkish or Greek olive oil), it will be noticeable in the ice cream. 

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Chocolate Biscotti and Marsala

This ice cream is perfect in small amounts to pair with other flavors for a dessert.  I suggest that you try some of your own wine and dessert pairings and see how it will impact the flavors of the dessert as well as a dessert wine.

Bon Appétit!

Small amounts of this ice cream are delightful when paired with other flavors

For more information on Chef Michelle Weaver and Charleston Grill and the 2012 Charleston Wine and Food Festival, please refer to the following articles:

Interview with Chef Michelle Weaver

Charleston Wine and Food Festival – Part One

Charleston Wine and Food Festival – Part Two

Olive Oil Ice Cream

Paired with several other dessert flavors as a tasting, this ice cream is delightful for a special dessert. It is best when served with a lovely dessert wine.


1 1/3 cups Whole Milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
6 egg yolks, at room temperature
1/2 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil


1. Bring milk, sugar and salt to a boil. Whisking constantly, slowly temper the milk mixture into the yolks. Once incorporated, return it to the pot and cook (stirring constantly with a wooden spoon) over low to medium heat until it reaches nape. Nape is 170 degrees or when the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in heavy cream. Whisk in olive oil.

3. Chill mixture and churn in an ice cream machine.

Recipe courtesy of Pastry Chef Emily Cookson
Charleston Grill
Charleston Place Hotel, South Carolina

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