This is a story of two people who changed their whole lives for love-the love of food and wine, that is.
After a successful career in the world of high finance, Deborah Baldwin and her husband, Justin, purchased 160 acres of land in the beautiful Adelaide Hills, 15 miles west of Paso Robles in California's Central Coast region. They set up shop as Justin Vineyards & Winery, and planted 72 acres of full-bodied Bordeaux grape varietals, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. In addition to managing the winery, the couple also run a highly regarded country lodge on the property, the Just Inn. "It's beautiful. It's undiscovered," declared the Los Angeles Times. Sunset Magazine called the grounds "spectacular," and the folks at Bon Appètit concurred. "None enjoy a more beautiful setting."
In the mid-70s, Michele Duval, a pre-med student at the University of New Hampshire, was introduced to a certain Jim Dodge, who was then a chef at The Wentworth by the Sea Hotel and also an apprentice baker. On Sundays, Dodge would make brunch for his friends, and Duval would often help him. As it turned out, the woman who would be doctor had to break the "unfortunate" news to her parents that there would be no M. D. in the family-a chef was what she intended to be. So at 19, Duval set out looking for kitchen work, and found it (ouch) washing dishes. She spent the rest of her time in the library, poring over cookbooks with the intensity that only a former pre-med student could have. She rose through the ranks-from sous-chef to head chef-at several of the best restaurants in the New Hampshire/ Maine seacoast areas, staying true to her roots, studying and cooking the foods that define New England coastal cuisine. But these days, she does more than just lead the kitchen at the Cape Neddick Inn: she is also the co-owner and executive chef.
As for that happy ending? Reserve for this dinner and find out for yourself.
Oyster Pan Roast on Toast
Pan-Fried Pork and Quince Pemmican
Smoked Maine Lobster on Johnnycakes
New England Corn Pudding with Maine Lobster Sauce
Codcakes with Boston Baked Beans, Pickled Beets, and Steamed Brown Bread
"Surf and Turf"-Yankee Pot Roast with Pan-Seared Maine Scallops, Bone Marrow, and Parker House Rolls
Salad of Boston Lettuce, Maine Blueberries, Massachusetts Great Hill Blue Cheese, Cob- Smoked Bacon, and Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
Venison Mincemeat, Cranberry, and Apple Pie with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
"Sea Glass" Candy Salute