Bryan Voltaggio’s Pairing Menu with Banfi Wines

Chef Bryan Voltaggio is one of the most recognized and influential chefs in contemporary American cooking. From his website:

As a finalist on Top Chef Season 6 and Top Chef Masters Season 5, Voltaggio is the first chef to compete on both Top Chef and Top Chef Masters.

As a father and chef, Voltaggio is a passionate philanthropist and supports Share Our Strength (SOS) in their fight against childhood hunger. He has raised over half a million dollars over the last five years to support innovative school breakfast programs, meals for achievement, and the national No Kid Hungry campaign

His philosophy as a chef is: service to the local products he uses and dedication to making people happy.

Chef Voltaggio created a special menu at EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival during a “Food for Thought” presentation, in which celebrity chefs offer guests delectable bites as they share culinary tips and stories from their life in food. During Bryan’s session, he paired his delicious three-course menu with several Banfi wines: Castello Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio, Castello Banfi Centine Rosso, and Rosa Regale Sparkling Wine.

Fortunately for those who didn’t make it to the event, Chef Voltaggio has generously shared his creative recipes and pairings. Menu and full recipes follow.

Bryan Voltaggio’s Pairing Menu – with Banfi Wines

Local Mushroom Stew with Peanuts

Castello Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio Toscana

Coffee Barbeque Pork Shoulder with Pumpkin Sauerkraut, Cast Iron Fried Brussels Sprouts and Buttermilk Biscuits

Banfi Centine Rosso Toscana

Red Velvet Cake with Chocolate Stout Ice Cream

Rosa Regale Sparkling Wine


Local Mushroom Stew with Peanuts

Yield: 6-8 servings

2 ounces Onion

2 ounces Shallot

.5 ounce garlic

3.75 ounces Carrot

2.75 ounces Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms

.88 ounce Worcestershire

24.5 ounces Cremini Mushroom

Mushroom stock, recipe follows


  1. Add onion, shallot and garlic and sweat until translucent.
  2. Add carrot and sweat until translucent.
  3. Add celery and sweat until translucent. You will be tempted to throw all of the aromatics into the pot at once but don’t do this because with this dish we are trying to build layers of flavors.
  4. Add shiitake and sweat until the juices start to come out of the mushrooms. Once the pam is cooked until almost dry deglaze the pan with .88 ounce Worcestershire.
  5. Add the Cremini and cook until the mushrooms release their juice and become soft and aromatic.
  6. Add 24oz. of warmed mushroom stock to the pot and turn the heat to high.
  7. Reduce the liquid by ½ and taste for seasoning.
  8. Add salt if needed. Do not season before you reduce or the stew will become too salty.

After the seasoning has been adjusted, it’s time to puree. Doing this while still warm will make it easier to obtain a better texture, but do use caution when blending hot liquids in a blender. Puree mixture on high speed for a minimum of 3 minutes. After adjusting seasoning, pour into your favorite vessel and serve with a drizzle of shiitake oil.


Shittake Oil

3.5 oz. Blended olive oil or neutral oil

4 dried shiitake mushrooms



  1. Pour oil into a small stockpot and bring up to 350 F.
  2. Once the oil has reached this temperature, drop shiitake into oil and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Once cooled, place the infused oil in the refrigerator and keep until ready to use where it will last for up to 2 weeks.


Mushroom Stock

.35 ounces Extra Virgin olive oil

6 dried shiitake mushrooms (blended into powder)

.15 ounce black peppercorns

52 ounces cold water

5.5 ounces celery

5.5 ounces carrots

2 ounces shallot

2 ounces garlic

4 ounces sweet onion

5 fresh shiitake mushrooms

1.25 ounces Cremini Mushrooms

.2 ounces sea salt


  1. Add extra virgin olive oil to a stockpot on medium heat.
  2. Toast the shiitake powder and black peppercorns until aromatic.
  3. Add the aromatics and root vegetables together and sweat until translucent.
  4. Add the shiitake and cook until the juices come out of the mushrooms. You will be able to see and smell the process.
  5. Add water and bring to a simmer and cook at a lazy bubble for 45 minutes.
  6. Season with sea salt. Once seasoned and still warm add the shiitake and Cremini mushrooms too steep in the stock.
  7. After cooling strain though a fine mesh sieve.

Best if paired with:

Castello Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio Toscana


Coffee Barbeque Pork Shoulder with Pumpkin Sauerkraut,

Cast Iron Fried Brussel Sprouts and Buttermilk Biscuits

1 8-10 pound pork shoulder

Coffee barbeque rub, recipe follows

2 pounds prepared sauerkraut

15 ounces canned pumpkin puree

3 medium onion, peeled and sliced

1 quart apple cider



  1. Put the pork shoulder into a large bowl. Rub the shoulder all over with the coffee BBQ rub. Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the shoulder overnight, 12-18 hrs.
  2. Pre-heat an oven to 250. Remove the pork shoulder from the refrigerator.
  3. Put the prepared sauerkraut and its juices, pumpkin puree and sliced onions into a roasting pan. Use a spoon to stir the pumpkin puree into the sauerkraut and onions.
  4. When the mixture is evenly combined put the pork shoulder on the bed of sauerkraut, onions and pumpkin. Pour any juices and spices from the bowl over the pork and spread evenly over the top.
  5. Put the roasting pan in the hot oven and cook for one hour.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and stir the sauerkraut, onions and pumpkin mixture. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the pan so nothing begins to stick and burn.
  7. Put the shoulder back in the oven and cook for another hour.
  8. Remove the shoulder from the oven and stir the apple cider into the sauerkraut, onion and pumpkin mixture.
  9. Put the shoulder back into the oven and cook for 2 hrs.
  10. Remove the shoulder from the oven and stir the vegetable mixture and scrape the sides of the roasting pan.
  11. Put the shoulder back in the oven and cook for 1 more hour.
  12. Remove the shoulder from the oven. A rich crust will have formed on the shoulder. The bone will be loose but not falling out of the meat. The vegetable mixture will be ab Autumnal orange.
  13. Put the roasting pan in a warm place to rest for 35-45 minutes. Do not skip the resting step. Walk away from the meat.
  14. When the meat is rested, carve the shoulder and serve with the pumpkin sauerkraut.


Coffee Barbeque Rub

100 grams brown sugar

50 grams fine sea salt

20 grams ground coffee

20 grams smoked paprika

5 grams ground ginger

5 grams red pepper flakes



  1. Put the brown sugar, salt, coffee, smoked paprika, ginger and red peppers into a bowl.
  2. Use a whisk to stir together.
  3. Reserve the rub in a covered container for up to a week


Buttermilk Biscuits

.75 ounces sugar

1.5 pounds all-purpose flour

4.5 teaspoon baking powder

1.5 teaspoon of baking soda

2 tablespoons salt

5 ounces cold butter, diced

17 ounces buttermilk

3 egg yolks

.5 cup of chives



  1. Cut cold butter into flour and combine with the rest of the dry ingredients, combine milk, yolks, and buttermilk separately
  2. Pour wet ingredients over dry and fold in gently and chill. Roll out dough to a ½” thick sheet, fold into thirds turn a quarter of the way around and fold into thirds again.
  3. Rest for 10 minutes and roll out to ½” thickness again and cut into 1½” squares.
  4. Brush with egg wash and bake at 375 for 8 minutes.

Yield: 20 Biscuits


Cast Iron Pan-fried Brussels Sprouts

4 cup Brussels sprouts

6 tablespoons of pimenton (smoked Spanish paprika) infused oil, recipe follows

½ teaspoon sea salt

Toasted sunflower seeds, recipe follows

Golden Raisin Pickle, recipe below



  1. In a large mixing bowl in your sink thoroughly wash the Brussels sprouts to remove any dirt.
  2. Cut the hard stem off of the sprout and slice in the half lengthwise. Pat dry with kitchen towels.
  3. Take a sheet of aluminum foil and fold over the edges to make a lid for your 14” cast iron pan and set aside until needed.
  4. Place your cast iron pan on your largest burner of the stovetop and turn the heat to medium.
  5. Add your pimenton infused oil and place Brussel sprouts cut side down in the oil.
  6. Season with the salt and cover the product with the lid you made earlier. Cook for 15-17 minutes until Brussels have fully cooked and are now crispy. Do not over crowd pan or the Brussels sprouts will not get crispy.
  7. Combine the toasted sunflower seeds, raisin pickle and Brussels sprouts in the pan they were cooked in on the stovetop and serve.


Golden Raisin Pickle

1/3 Cup golden raisins

¼ cup water

2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

¼ teaspoon sea salt



  1. Combine all ingredients in a microwave for 2 minutes and let cool to infuse.


Toasted Sunflower Seeds

¼ cup raw sunflower seeds

1 teaspoon pimenton oil, recipe follows

1/16 teaspoon sea salt



  1. Combine all ingredients and toast in a small sauté pan until aromatic and slightly browned over medium heat 3-5 minute and cool.
  2. This process can also be done in an oven at 350 over a parchment lined sheet pan for the same amount of time.


Pimenton Oil

6 tablespoons Canola/vegetable oil

½ teaspoon pimenton



  1. Place spice and oil in a small non-reactive saucepan and infuse pimenton into oil over medium heat until fragrant about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Strain the oil mixture through a fine sieve lined with paper towel.
  3. Once done, squeeze the paper towel with your hands and remove any oil that did not drip through.

Best if paired with:

Banfi Centine Rosso Toscana

Red Velvet Cake with Chocolate Stout Ice Cream

1 cup (2 sticks) Butter

2 teaspoons vanilla paste

3 cups sugar

4 eggs

4 ½ cup cake flour

4 tablespoons Cocoa powder

2 teaspoons Baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 cup Buttermilk

2 tablespoons red food coloring

2 teaspoons White distilled vinegar

2 teaspoons Baking soda



  1. In the bowl of a tabletop mixer, cream together butter, vanilla, and sugar until light and airy.
  2. Add one egg at a time
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix together the butter milk, food coloring and vinegar and alternate mixing in with the dry ingredients until smooth.
  5. Divide into two spiral greased Bundt pans and bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes; rotate and bake for another 15-20 minutes.


Cream Cheese Frosting

1 pound Butter

8 cups 10X sugar

2 vanilla beans

5.7 grams salt

½ lemon, juiced

8 ounces cream cheese

8 ounces ricotta



  1. In a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, 10X sugar, vanilla salt and lemon juice until light and airy.
  2. Place ricotta and cream cheese in food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Fold together the two and set aside until ready to ice the cake.


Chocolate Stout Ice Cream

8 oz. 70% chocolate (221 gram), chopped

3 cups stout

2 cups heavy cream

12 egg yolks

½ cup sugar

¼ cup corn syrup

¼ cup malt syrup



  1. Put the chopped chocolate in a large heatproof bowl.
  2. Put the stout and heavy cream in a medium saucepot set over medium high and bring to a simmer.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks; granulate sugar, corn syrup and malt syrup.
  4. Once the liquid comes to a simmer, slowly whisk 2 tablespoons at a time into the egg yolks until you have added about 1 cup and the mixture is warm.
  5. Whisk the egg mixture into the remaining liquid in the pot and set over medium heat.
  6. Cook until the mixture reaches 162 and then immediately pour it into the bowl with the chopped chocolate.
  7. Let it rest for 1 minute to melt the chocolate, and then slowly whisk until smooth.
  8. Try not to incorporate too much air into the mixture.
  9. Let it cool and then refrigerate in a covered container for at least 4 hours to chill the ice cream base.
  10. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  11. Then transfer to a covered container and let harden in the freezer for at least 4 hours before scoping.

Best if paired with:

Rose Regale Red Sparkling Wine

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