Last week I spent an unforgettable evening dining at Wimbledon, as the guest of world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic, celebrity chef Lisa Faulkner, and leading Australian winemakers, Jacob’s Creek.
This was dinner with a twist; the menu had been created by the guests. Food bloggers, Jacob’s Creek executive chef Veronica Zahra, Novak Djokovic, and Lisa Faulkner had all chosen dishes that celebrated the people, passion and places that make us who we are.
With the most famous tennis club in the world as our backdrop, we started with a Jacob’s Creek wine tasting session and learnt about their aim: to celebrate bringing people with a love of food and wine together around the globe.
In partnership with Jacob’s Creek, Novak has made two films for their ‘Made By’ film series, revealing memorable meals that have shaped his life.
My favourite film, “First Date”, describes Novak and his wife Jelena’s first dinner date; it’s so personal and funny, take a look:
It was fascinating to listen to Novak talking about his passion for food. It goes way back to his childhood, and his second film, “Tradition”, shares his memories of special meals that his family celebrated together.
To quote Novak, “Food is a huge passion of mine, and has always played a big role in my life so it’s a pleasure to share it with others.”
Take a look at the dishes we ate, the memories behind them, and the accompanying Jacob’s Creek wines.
Our starters were accompanied by Jacob’s Creek Reserve Sauvignon Blanc ’14 and Jacob’s Creek Reserve Pinot Noir ’13, and it wasn’t long before the memories were flowing.
Alison from Not Another Mummy Blog shared her Scallops with Crispy Pancetta and Pea Purée, explaining that it takes her straight back to happy memories of her first wedding anniversary.
Next, We The Food Snobs presented a Charcuterie and Cheese dish, and shared how the dish brings back memories of catch ups with dad during family visits.
Poppy from Poppy Loves told us her memories of Mackerel Pâté. A flatmate misjudged the quantities when making it as a starter and they ate it for five days!
Our mains were accompanied by Jacob’s Creek Reserve Adelaide Hills Chardonnay ’15 and Jacob’s Creek Reserve Barossa Shiraz ’14.
Novak’s Zucchini Lasagne is a featured dish at his new restaurant, Eqvita, in Monaco and celebrates nature and all that he and Jelena love about food.
Meanwhile, we’ve all got a comfort food dish, and Lisa Faulkner named her Tarragon Chicken as her favourite dinner in the land.
She told us how her mum used to make it when she’d had a bad day, or in celebration of things like passing exams or being in the school play. “To me, it’s love on a plate.”
Jacob’s Creek Executive Chef Veronica Zahra served Frenched Lamb Cutlet with Rocket, Caramelised Figs and Balsamic Reduction.
For her this dish is reminiscent of the home of Jacob’s Creek, Barossa Valley.
The memories and wine kept flowing as we moved onto dessert, accompanied by Jacob’s Creek Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir NV and Jacob’s Creek Classic Shiraz Rosé ’15.
If ever there was a place to associate with strawberries, it’s Wimbledon. Lisa Faulkner’s Pavlova reminds her of watching Wimbledon and the Henley Regatta with her mum.
The dish I chose for the menu was my No-Bake Lemon Curd and White Chocolate Cheesecake.
It’s inspired by my first date with my husband, where we split half a lemon tart and vanilla cheesecake between us. The tart lemon and the creamy cheesecake were a perfect pairing and that, you might say, is when love blossomed!
Lucy from Food Goblin shared her memories of Sticky Toffee Pudding.
This dessert brings out a special camaraderie between her and her dad, as her mum and sister prefer chocolate desserts.
By the end of the meal, we all had the warm feeling that comes from sharing delicious food, fantastic wine, and positive, emotional memories.
It was a truly memorable evening, and wonderful to hear so many stories of food helping to create a bond, a passion, a personality.
What dishes celebrate the things that have made you who you are? Could you turn them into a memory-filled dinner party?
I’ll be doing just that this weekend, holding a dinner party at my home, using the evocative meals I chose in my previous post. I’ll let you know how it goes!
This is a commissioned post for Jacob’s Creek