Amador Four Fires is celebrating Amador County’s intertwining roots of wine and food with a lineup of outstanding chefs. Marrying open-fire cuisine with the culinary influences from the Plymouth, California, region’s Gold Rush heritage, dishes are crafted to perfectly complement the more than 200 featured wines from 37 wineries at the May 7 event.
After delighting attendees last year with herb-infused grilled lamb, chef Mark Berkner returns to the Rhone zone preparing the elegant, fresh fare that has made his critically acclaimed Restaurant Taste in Plymouth noted in publications from the Sacramento Bee to The New York Times. Rated by ZAGAT as one of the top restaurants in the nation, and invited to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City, Berkner promises Provence-inspired dishes at this year’s event.
Representing "Heritage California," Matthew Broucaret, executive chef of the Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort, is a new addition to the culinary lineup. Chef Broucaret has studied under world-class chefs Thomas Keller, Laurant Manrique, and Dan Silverman, and has cooked at the renowned Bouchon and The French Laundry in Napa Valley. Currently overseeing five restaurants with diverse menus, Broucaret combines his haute cuisine influences with the farm-to-fork ethos of Amador County.
“Creating fresh, chef-inspired dishes is what we’re all about,” Broucaret SAYS.
Swiss-born Chef Darius Somary, also of Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort, brings a multi-cultural perspective to fine cuisine. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts, he studied under renowned chefs Paul Bertolli and Paul Canales, working at the highly acclaimed Oliveto and then starting the successful Sugarloaf catering. Somary’s style pairs traditional European flavors with nouveau California for an exciting new flavor twist. Working with Chef Broucaret, the duo will serve up cuisine inspired by “Heritage California.”
Chef Beth Sogaard, proprietor of Beth Sogaard Catering and the Amador Vintage Market, has cooked around the grapevine, studying at The Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley before settling in Amador wine country. Using influences from Asia, East India, and Europe, Sogaard offers her patrons unique and enticing flavor pairings. At the festival’s Iberia zone, Sogaard will again prepare her signature sizzling paellas embellished with shrimp and chorizo.
“Food is our passion here at Beth Sogaard Catering,” Sogaard says. “We aim to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.”
Award-winning chef Carolyn Kumpe, owner and chef of Vendage & Co. Catering, returns to the “Heritage California” zone with a twist. Embracing the Gold Rush’s Chinese population, Kumpe will offer fire-roasted, Asian-inspired dishes. A long-time member of the Slow Food Society and a recent inductee of Les Dame’s d’Escoffier, Sacramento Chapter, Kumpe has cooked at such iconic restaurants as Zuni Café and the Slow Club in San Francisco.
Vowing to top last year’s whole roasted succulent hog, Hotel Sutter Executive Chef Adam Masters is a locally recognized restaurateur who will be creating delicious eats to pair with wines in the Italy zone. He took part in the top-ranked “Best Fine Dining” team at the St. George Hotel and has won multiple first place finishes in the Great Sutter Creek Chili Cook-Off and the Chowda Chomp in Volcano. At Hotel Sutter, Masters focuses on local, sustainable products creating Hotel Sutter’s signature farmhouse-influenced dishes.
Demo cards with recipes of the dishes the chefs serve will be provided as a takeaway for those who want to bring home a little Amador Four Fires cuisine into their own kitchens.
The festival takes place at the historic Amador County Fairgrounds from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 7. Tickets are all inclusive (with souvenir glass) and cost $75 in advance and $85 at the door. VIP tickets are $125 in advance and $155 at the door. Designated Driver tickets available. All tickets available for purchase online. Proceeds from Amador Four Fires benefit the nonprofit Amador County Fair Foundation and their “farm to future” mandate to revitalize the county’s beloved fairgrounds as a year-round event venue.