Deer Marinated in Shiraz

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food odyssey

Deer Marinated in ShirazMay 26, 2007

DEER MARINATED IN SHIRAZ

Saturday Night Wilding
With the local elections halting Log Cabin's Saturday dinner buffet 3 weeks in a row, the usual suspects (expat regulars with yours truly) were in a state of near-mutiny. Saturday buffet is our social night...our weekly night on the town. It's the occasion we satisfy our gastronomic indulgences, gather around the fireplace, shop talk and just chill out in a relaxed and familiar atmosphere.

Wild Young Deer
Well, this night was not a disappointment. In fact, it blew my doors with a vengeance. Main entrée was wild deer marinated in Argentinian Shiraz, of course, prepared by no less than Sagada's resident French chef, Aklay. It was a treat like no other. Even by Log Cabin dinner buffet standards, this is truly exceptional. The last time wild deer was served was the New Year's Eve dinner 2 years ago.

Repertoire
The deer took 48 hours to tenderize in red wine to release its wild flavor without the pungent gamey aftertaste. The condiment, blueberry jelly spiked with whole peppercorns, held its own and paired magnificently with the deer's imposing delectation. It was a perfect match only a seasoned chef could muster. The rare cuts topped with civet blood gave Black Angus steak a run for its money.

UP Mountaineers Rule!
What better way to complement good food than with fine company. I was stoked sharing the table with my UP Mountaineers friends - adventure racer extrordinaire, Dennis Lopez and Sally Cabral (with friends Amy and Thui). With just an overnight stay, they lucked out with such impeccable timing.

Ending Thoughts
The past few dinner buffets admittedly left a little to be desired. As much as I am the chef's biggest fan, I am perhaps his harshest critic too. But tonight is special. Perhaps it's the 3 week hiatus and Aklay's weeklong hike into the hunting grounds that brought about his creative juices flowing again. Occassions like this make me feel part of an exclusive club...not unlike the dinner guests in the epicurean movie, Babette's Feast. To Aklay, I tip my hat one more time.

--- TheLoneRider

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