Food & Drink

Local winery, restaurant team up for dinner at James Beard House

One of Laetitia Vineyard & Winery’s sparkling wines, Brut Cuvée.
One of Laetitia Vineyard & Winery’s sparkling wines, Brut Cuvée.

An Arroyo Grande winery and a Paso Robles restaurant are bringing Central Coast flavors to New York City.

Laetitia Vineyard & Winery, which is known for producing its Pinot Noir and sparkling wine, will present its wines at a dinner at the James Beard House on April 25. The dinner is a joint effort with chef Christopher Manning of Thomas Hill Organics Bistro and Wine Bar in Paso Robles.

The menu features a variety of seafood, duck, spring lamb, fresh vegetables, salad and dessert. Each course will be paired with a Laetitia wine such as its Brut Cuvee NV, Estate Chardonnay 2013, Estate Pinot Noir 2013, Reserve du Domaine Pinot Noir 2012, La Colline Pinot Noir 2012 & Le Galets Pinot Noir 2012 and Brut Rose 2012.

"A chance to share a taste of the Central Coast at the James Beard House is a true honor, especially in collaboration with a talent like chef Manning," said Laetitia's president and head winemaker Eric Hickey in a news release. "His cuisine and Laetitia wines say so much about the beauty and bounty of this place we call home."

The James Beard Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to celebrate America's diverse culinary heritage through educational and inspirational programs. The James Beard House is the former home of James Beard who "laid the groundwork for the food revolution that has put America at the forefront of global gastronomy," according to the foundation's web site.

Izabela Wojcik, director of house programming for the foundation, said the starting point for Beard House dinners is often the chef. However, for this particular dinner, the winery was invited to "find an appropriate chef and restaurant," she said.

"Every event at the Beard House represents a collaboration between the food and the wines, but it's a very special opportunity when we can focus on one particular winery, and tell a fuller story about the wines and showcase a closer collaboration between the chef and the winemaker," she added.

Laetitia wines were also featured at a James Beard House dinner in November 2014.

Manning, who previously presented dinner at the house as executive chef of Domaine Chandon's etoile restaurant in Napa, called cooking at the James Beard House a "one-of-a-kind experience."

"I feel lucky to be invited back, this time representing the Central Coast and Thomas Hill Organics while partnering with Laetitia and their phenomenal wines," Manning said.

Tickets for the dinner are $130 for James Beard Foundation members and $170 for non-members. For more information, visit