- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Soon the honey bees will be buzzing all over them.
And soon will be the third annual "The Feast: A Celebration with Mead and Honey," formerly known as the "Mid-Winter Beekeepers' Feast."
Sponsored by the Honey and Pollination Center of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, "The Feast" will take place Friday night, Friday, Feb. 6 in the Sensory Building of the Robert Mondavi Institute, Old Davis Road, UC Davis campus.
"A Mediterranean-inspired menu is being created by Ann Evans, author of the Davis Farmer's Cookbook, and Kathi Riley, caterer and former chef at Zuni Cafe, San Francisco," said Amina Harris, director of the Honey and Pollination Center.
The event begins at 6 with mead cocktails, softened by candlelight and music by the UC Davis Jazz Trio. Next a four-course meal, and the night will end with the "after dinner mead flight" led by legendary Darrell Corti.
What's mead? Basically, honey wine, an ancient alcoholic beverage.
"It's a fermented blend of honey, water and often fruits, yeast, or spices," Harris says. It dates back to at least 7000 BCE or Before the Common (Current) Era. Ceramic shards found in Jiahu, Henan Province, China held a mead-like residue, according to Patrick McGovern, leading authority on ancient alcoholic beverages.
Meaderies are rising in popularity. According to the BBC the number of meaderies in the United States within the last 10 years has spiked from 30-40 meaderies to more than 250.
To attend The Feast, the cost is $125 per person or $1250 for an eight-table sponsorship. If you want to learn more about the specific honeys served in the four-course meal, you can sign up for an "early bird"--er, "early bee"--tasting activity. Harris will lead a honey tasting of the menu's varietal honeys. The "Early Bee" activity, limited to 35 sign-ups, is free with dinner purchase.
Bon Appétit! (Or would that be Bee Appétit?)