Brian and I quickly understood why Walla Walla won Friendliest Small Town in America on last year’s Best of the Road rally. As we drove into town the citizens had a bit of a scheme planned for us…a friendly police officer lit us up just as we entered town and conveninetly had us stop in front of the Canoe Winery tasting room where a gourmet food cart was waiting to wine and dine us. It was a pleasant surprise, especially knowing that we were not going to get a ticket.
After we settled into our hotel at the Marcus Whitman, we headed over to a welcoming party at the Chocolate and Wine Shop located right in the heart of town. There, a number of local chef’s who collaborated to prepare a feast for us, and all the community stakeholders. We enjoyed live music and various dishes prepared by the following chefs:
Chef Jake Crenshaw of T. Maccarone’s
- BBQ Gulf Prawns with Stonefruit Salsa and Thai Basil
- “Caprese” Shooter – Tomato Gazpacho, Fresh Mozzarella and Smoked Chili
- “Push Pops” with assorted seasonal fruit sorbets to cleanse the palate.
Chef Antonio Campollo of The Marc (the restaurant inside the Marcus Whitman)
- Smoked Columbian King Salmon with Lemon Chive Cream Cheese, Farm Eggs, Walla Walla Sweet Onion, House Made Lavash & Breads
- Cold Smoked Venison Tenderloin with Blackberry Conserve, Horse Radish Crème Fraiche,& Silver Dollar Rolls
Chef Andrae Bopp of Andrae’s Kitchen
- Local Grilled Corn Salad with Parmesan, Cayenne, Olive Oil, and Locally Made Tortilla Chips
It was such a lovely start to our Walla Walla discovery. The next day would bring amazing culinary delights and more surprises. Stay tuned.