Dearest Friends of ZuZu,
"Sweet springtime is my time is your time is our time for springtime is love time and viva sweet love." - e.e. cummings
Wow! The scent of orange blossoms will perfume the air for a few short weeks while we enjoy this incredible time of year in Arizona. Our growing season is in full swing, and here at the Valley Ho we all look forward to the deliveries from our local organic farmers. The cartons of radishes, beets, kale, rainbow chard, carrots and lettuce are like boxes of beautiful jewels!
This month we welcome for the first time J. Lohr as our Monday Night Chef's Table guest, on March 11th. One of an early handful of pioneers, Jerry Lohr was among the first to realize the vast, untapped potential of the California Central Coast. In the late 1960s, Jerry began an extensive investigation of California grape-growing regions while searching for the ideal location. Selecting the Arroyo Seco appellation of Monterey County for his first vineyard, Jerry planted 280 acres of varietal grapes in 1972 and 1973, and unveiled his San Jose winery in 1974.
Today J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines includes over 3,000 acres of estate vineyards in Monterey County, Paso Robles and Napa Valley. From this rich and diverse palette of sustainably farmed estate fruit, J. Lohr crafts wines showcasing bold, concentrated flavors and a vibrant sense of place. My friend Brenda Boychuk of J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines will lead us through a tasting of these beautiful wines. We were lucky enough to secure some of their rare Late Harvest Riesling for a memorable dessert treat! We hope you will join us for this special evening of food & wine.
While we are on the subject of sustainability, Mr. Pat Duncan, a local pioneer of organic farming here in Arizona, will be our guest of honor at the Monday Night Chef's Table on April 8th. While this dinner will not be purely vegetarian, we will be showcasing Mr. Duncan's extraordinary vegetables in a variety of preparations paired with wines from Duckhorn Vineyards. Mark your calendar, there's more to come...
Barbara Fenzl, owner of the iconic Les Gourmettes Cooking School, has invited me to teach on March 27th and 28th. Barbara and I have been cooking together since 1991, and I cannot think of a more fun, intimate venue for the home cook to learn new recipes and techniques. These classes usually sell out fast; call 602.240.6767 for information.
Easter Sunday falls in March this year, and the one event we all look forward to is our annual Easter Egg Hunt. The hotel grounds are in full bloom and are absolutely gorgeous. If you are reading this newsletter or are planning to be a guest of the hotel, you are invited! Just show up in the courtyard adjacent to the lobby at 9:00 am sharp, we will be meeting under the balloons. Bring your camera and your appetite!
Whether you find yourself in Old Town for shopping, taking in a spring training baseball game, cruising around the Farmers Market on Saturday morning, or just hanging out, I fully expect you to stop by ZuZu for a snack and a glass of wine! The patio is gorgeous, the food is fresh, and I would love to say hello!
Here's to a magnificent spring!