We kicked off our 2017 event season with a fun night at The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte. The Ritz has been great to us bloggers over the years - letting us sip on cocktails at The Punch Room and gorge on sweets at Bar Cocoa - but this was our first event as an organized group.
The evening got off to a great start as we sipped glasses of champagne and toured the new Hidden Wine Room. What was once a closet for the hotel's valet service is now a quaint wine room where guests can purchase bottles to enjoy in their rooms or where walk ins like us can enjoy a bottle. Wine and cheese pairings are also available from 2 - 10 p.m. on Wednesday through Saturday.
Photo credit: Sarah @BucketListTummy
Next we invaded the Cocoa Lab for a cooking class taught by Executive Sous Chef Juan Pablo de la Sota Riva. Things started off well but got off track pretty quickly when we discovered the octopus. It's probably safe to say there was more photography than cooking going on in the kitchen that night. We were also distracted by the Micheladas, tamarind margaritas, and chips and guacamole with roasted tomatillo salsa that we had to snack on. Oh, and we wore our chef hats wrong.
Photo Credit: Kristen@amindfullmom
Photo Credit: Rachelle @beergirlcooks
After we finished up in kitchen, we headed out to the Kinship lounge to enjoy some more cocktails and the food we helped prepare. Dinner started with a shrimp and octopus ceviche. We all commented on the flavor that was not overly citrusy and full of heat from some jalapeno. Chicken enchiladas with green sauce that will change your life came out next. Pro tip from the Chef: blanch your tortillas in cooking oil before stuffing them with your fillings so they don’t break apart when you roll them up.
Last but not least, we enjoyed Crema Catalana served over orange preserves for dessert. To say it was a lovely evening is an understatement. A big thanks to The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte for hosting us and to the staff who made this event so very nice.