The Dining Divas: Taylor’s Kitchen

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Guests: Jennifer Shaw, Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals board member, and her guest, Alayna Schroeder; both are attorneys with Shaw Valenza LLP. The latter filled in for Shaw’s mother, Susan Schepker, who was unable to attend.  Completing the guest list were Carolyn and Chris Hunt, who attended Kibble & Bids, a fundraiser for Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary. Carolyn is a commercial escrow officer with First American Title; Chris is a general contractor.

Where
: Taylor’s Kitchen, 2924 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento; (916) 443-5154; taylorsmarket.com

Benefiting organizations: Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary, and Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

1-second review: “Inspired, fresh food with surprising flavors,” summarized Jennifer Shaw. Diva Peg Tomlinson-Poswall put it this way: “This is a perfect example of using the best-quality ingredients—how can it lose?”

The food
: Everything was great, including lamb skewer appetizers; mega slices of sautéed zucchini with pine nut sauce; roasted bell pepper salad; dry-aged rib-eye steak with Stilton cheese and sweet potato-sunchoke mash; lemon- and herb-roasted game hen with saffron couscous; and Five Dot burger with skinny fries. For dessert, we had vanilla crème brûlée with chocolate ganache; Meyer lemon cornmeal cake with rhubarb strawberry compote; and vanilla cheesecake with pistachio crust. And something special: individual baked Alaskas, made with papaya ice cream.

Wine time
: Diva Gayla Mace performed wine duties, choosing Kuentz-Bas Pinot Blanc and Balletto Pinot Noir.

A special day
: Taylor’s is open only for dinner Wednesday through Saturday, but catering manager Jay Donnelly can make it available for special occasions, such as the Divas lunch.

Quote of the day
: “Well, we didn’t come here to paint” was Diva Joan Leineke’s comment after one of the guests expressed surprise that we would be sampling the entire menu.

Chatter
: Alayna Schroeder subscribes to a produce delivery company, receiving a box of produce every week. She says it can be challenging to figure out not only what something is but what to do with it. (Purslane and mizuna were two of the puzzling items.) Mostly, the produce tends to be standard stuff, although there are a lot of turnips.

The Dining Divas—Gloria Glyer, Paulette Bruce, Bernice Hagen, Joan Leineke, Gayla Mace and Peg Tomlinson-Poswall—have been wining and dining together since 1993. Every month, they lunch at an area restaurant, taking as their guests people who placed winning bids at charity events. To date, they have raised more than $298,000 for local charities and nonprofits.

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