Chef Brian Whitmer rediscovered Kimberley vinegars a year after opening VINeleven, his new restaurant at the Napa Valley Marriott and Spa. Brian loves the vinegars because their low acidity is compatible with Napa Valley wines. He prepares many wine makers dinners and says the salad course is challenging because most vinegars are too acidic, but not Kimberley, which is perfect choice to serve with wine.
At VINeleven Brian implements all the “sacred” tenets of local and sustainable eating, including his outdoor heirloom herb and vegetable garden on the property. Brian likes a casual, “no rules” atmosphere that’s meant to be part of the dining experience; he believes in letting guests order what they like and in any order they want it.
Brian’s outstanding culinary career began at Kansas City’s famed American Restaurant before moving northeast to New York’s Tavern on the Green, The Polo Club, and Montrachet where he earned the restaurant a three star rating from the New York Times. Relocating to the Bay Area in 1989, Brian helped open San Francisco’s Campton Place Hotel. He then spent six years as Executive Chef at the Highland Inn in Carmel, CA where he ran culinary operations for the prestigious Masters of Food & Wine. Brian then departed for Montrio in Monterey, which resulted in a nod for “Best Restaurant of the Year” by Esquire food aficionado John Mariani. Brian is currently Director of Food, Beverage and Culinary Services at Hospitality Ventures Management Group in Sonoma, California.
Brian uses Kimberley Balsamic vinegar to liven up French lentils served with scallops in the following recipe.