Launched in the spring of 2005, the Mayo Family Reserve Room is the collaboration of vintner, Jeffery Mayo and Chef Billy Oliver.
Chef Oliver is a graduate of New York's Culinary Institute of America.
"I appreciate the artisanship of wine and realize it is a key to the enjoyment of fine cuisine," he
points to the style of late 19th century French culinary master, Auguste Escoffier, as an influence.
This is evident once you experience what he
creates on the plate.
Chef Oliver studies the multi-layered structure of Mayo's wines, from the tropically aromatic "nose" of their creamy Viognier down to the firm, earthy tannins of their gold-medal winning Meritage Red.
The complete concept is this: Chef Oliver pairs seven of Mayo's Reserve wines properly with "hand crafted, bite-sized portions of food".
practices two philosophies when it comes to pairing; complementing the subtle flavors and aromas of the wine or contrasting off of the wine's acidity and tannins.
"People now are more open-minded to the relationship between food and wine.
They are looking for different dynamics," says Oliver
The magic and mystery of this relationship certainly are captured through Chef Oliver's design.
Although the amount of food may be petite, the flavors are explosive.
Chef Oliver takes full advantage of the fresh, locally grown organic produce and designs original menus each season.
With approximately eight different menus annually, he
often joins the latest Mayo wines to the changed food pairings.
Chef Oliver isn't always tucked away in the kitchen either, often greeting the guests and answering questions for the home cooks.