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Vinegar Inspired Eats, Sips, and Unforgettable Dishes with Chez Montier & The Front Porch Gourmet

Leaning Ladder Premium Olive Oil private tasting

There’s nothing I love more than getting to try fresh recipes and exceeding my taste buds’ expectations. The art of culinary creation is truly fascinating! I experienced one of these moments at an exclusive spring media dinner I was recently invited to at Leaning Ladder Premium Olive Oil in Woodstock, GA. Our hosts were Chef Juan Montier of Chez Montier and Melissa with The Front Porch Gourmet — and I truly couldn’t have asked for better hosts!

Leaning Ladder Premium Olive Oil private tasting
With Melissa of The Front Porch Gourmet

To start things off, we were welcomed to sip on some tasty “Saketine” drinks, garnished with lychee, honey ginger, and balsamic vinegar. Now I know what you’re thinking… Vinegar in a drink?! Trust me — this cocktail went down so smoothly, you’d have no idea there was vinegar involved. We also had the chance to sample a dish called Amuse Bouche, which was curry shrimp and blond raisins.

Next up to taste were the appetizers: crab finger tossed in a wasabi remoulade and drizzled with a Tuscan herb oil. It was served on a bed of shredded daikon. I felt very spoiled with this yummy dish, because the chef was not shy with my portion! Thanks, Chef Juan! 😉

Leaning Ladder Premium Olive Oil private tasting
Chef Juan Montier of Chez Montier

Leaning Ladder Premium Olive Oil private tasting Leaning Ladder Premium Olive Oil private tasting Leaning Ladder Premium Olive Oil private tasting Leaning Ladder Premium Olive Oil private tasting Leaning Ladder Premium Olive Oil private tasting

While we enjoyed our tasty drinks and appetizers, Melissa guided us through an olive oil and vinegar tasting. Let me just say, I never appreciated olive oil and vinegar as much as I do now! First Melissa gave us a little presentation, then walked us through the store to sample all the wonderful types of vinegar’s and oils. I had so much fun tempting my tastebuds with tasty new flavors like blueberry, peach, and key lime. Yummmm!

Leaning Ladder Premium Olive Oil private tasting Leaning Ladder Premium Olive Oil private tasting

After the taste session, Chef Juan plated our salads with arugula, asparagus, and whole bamboo shoots with sesame oil and ginger dressing — a delicious take on an Asian summer salad. Next on the menu was the main course: yucca and potato-encrusted Chilean sea bass with wild mushroom wontons that laced the plate in a miso broth that would make any food-lover fawn! What’s not to love? I especially enjoyed the seared sea scallops — they were truly delicious! Also adorning the plate were colorful carrots with sautéed field greens, and crawfish, all drizzled with garlic olive oil. This dish was so amazing that I had to focus on taking slow bites in order to savor every single flavor! 😛

Leaning Ladder Premium Olive Oil private tasting Leaning Ladder Premium Olive Oil private tasting Leaning Ladder Premium Olive Oil private tasting Leaning Ladder Premium Olive Oil private tasting

To round out the meal with dessert, we were served honey sweet ginger and lemon granita with Sicilian lemon balsamic vinegar. OMGeeee!!!! It was the perfect blend of flavors to complement an amazing dinner experience full of pleasant surprises! The night overall was so much fun, complete with plenty of laughter and uh-mazing eats. Chef Juan even made it a family affair, with his son Austin and wife Judith assisting him with the meal. And, I couldn’t think of a more filling way to end the day than with a gift bag filled with a few flavorful tidbits like sweet treats, Sprouts Farmers Market sauces to whip up your own meals, and vinegar & olive oils to kick things up a notch.

Leaning Ladder Premium Olive Oil private tasting Leaning Ladder Premium Olive Oil private tasting Sprouts Leaning Ladder Premium Olive Oil private tasting

I couldn’t have asked for more delicious food or a more entertaining night. I learned sooo much and walked away (although reluctantly) with a more fonder appreciation for vinegar. Who’d have thought?! A very special thank you goes out to the lovely sponsors and hosts who made this all possible: Chef Juan Montier of Chez Montier, Leaning Ladder Premium Olive Oil & Vinegar, The Front Porch Gourmet, TKGourmet, Sprouts Farmer Market, Astor Chocolate, Gimmee Jimmy’s Cookies, and Southern Vines Distribution.

Leaning Ladder Premium Olive Oil private tasting

Nikka Shae The Undercover Socialite

Do flavor a favor and visit www.chezmontier.com to see Chef Juan Montier infuse food and design into everyday lifestyle.

Also, you can learn more about Leaning Ladder online at www.leaningladderoliveoil.com. Leaning Ladder is located in historic downtown Woodstock at 105 East Main Street, Suite 126 Woodstock, GA 30188.

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  1. The food looked amazing. I have been known to drink vinegar, so I would love to try the cocktail.

  2. What an amazing event, I would never have thought you could add vinegar to cocktails before. The food looks totally appetising and glad the chef was not shy with the portions

  3. WoW! The food looks awesome, and l mean everything. I would have loved it. Apple cider vinegar is also a natural remedy for lowering blood pressure and l have used it before, l think l would like it in a cocktail 🙂

  4. That food looks so delicious I’m salivating over here lol! I’ve never had a drink with vinegar in it so I bet that was interesting.

  5. Why wasn’t I invited? 🙂 All of the food looks so delicious and the plating is amazing. I would try every single dish set in front of me. Looks so appetizing. The photos are great, too!

  6. I never knew you could make drinks with vinegar like this!! I would love to try this cocktail!

  7. What an amazing place! The ambiance and atmosphere seems so classy and comfortable. And the food – WOW!

  8. Some of these meals totally sound outside of my box. The presentation is so beautifully done though. I would move past my mind and all of this vinegar in things that shouldn’t have vinegar and enjoy the moment.

  9. Those dishes and desserts do sound really good. It’s so cool that they were able to use vinegar so creatively.

  10. That looks good! I do apple cider vinegar occassionally and i dont mind it at all…sure its was all delish!

  11. These look like delicious ideas, I had no clue you could use vinegar in so many ways!

  12. That meal looks delicious. I would especially enjoy the Chillean Sea Bass.

  13. Everything looks so yummy. This is my kind of outing.

  14. Those meals look so tasty! I love seafood, especially crab, lobster and sea bass

  15. What a great and fun event. All the food looked delicious and the Saketine sounded yummy.

  16. A vinegar cocktail! Girl, you are giving all kids of ideas!

  17. You go to the coolest events! I need to just follow you around for a week or so LOL. This sounds like it was a blast! I love seafood, so I’m eyeing that lobster.


  18. Oh my word! Everything looks absolutely delicious! My mouth is literally watering right now.

  19. I’ve done a few olive oil and vinegar tastings and I always enjoy them. Key lime sounds really good. The food looks soooo good! What a great event! Now, I’m hungry. Thanks. 😉

  20. All this food looks so interesting and yummy. I’ve never really tried anything different before but would love to try some of these.

  21. Everything looks so amazing! Love the seafood dishes. What a night you must of had. Extremely jealous!

  22. That looks amazing and delicious. I love olive oil though. You always have such fun looking adventures!

  23. Everything looks delicious. Now this is my kind of event to attend. Great food and drinks. Can’t beat it.

  24. This looks and sounds like a fabulous event! The food looks so delicious, and the presentation is everything!

  25. I would have to be reading this as my stomach is growling. Lol!
    What an awesome event. Everything g looks so good! Great pics!

  26. What a great spread! It looks like there were a lot of interesting flavors. It’s awesome that they gave you a goodie bag to take as well.