never cook with a wine wouldn't drink

Chef Shelly Maddocks

Chef Shelly comes from a long line of great chefs. Her grandfather was even executive chef and owner of The Brownstone in Houston, Texas! A San Antonio, Texas native, Chef Shelly's cooking is peppered with Southwestern flare - a culinary style very near and dear to her heart. Her travels have taken her all around the United Sates where she has experienced and imbibed every culinary style in the country. This experience manifests itself in her cooking - and her passion for interesting and unique American cuisine is evident in the dishes she prepares (which you can see by taking a look at her menu).

Her business, Savoring Thyme, offers both personal chef services and catering. She firmly believes that service and presentation is just as important as great tasting food. “I spend one-on-one time with you defining your expectations and creating a personalized menu. I then grocery shop, cook in your home, package your meals, and clean up, leaving your home spotless. Finally I provide detailed instructions for final food preparation. You enjoy gourmet meals in your own home and 'savor your thyme.'", Chef Shelly explains.

When not preparing culinary masterpieces, Chef Shelly works on her cookbook, due out soon. Check her website for updates!

Here's what Chef Shelly had to say:

Blend #1:
"I could really see this with fillet mignon - maybe a reduction sauce with some shallots. Thyme would also be a complimentary flavor in a reduction sauce, with perhaps some mushrooms. I'm thinking earthy dishes, like porcini mushrooms as a crust in something earthy. The wine is more earthy, but there is a nice fruit component too in the background. It's nice, I like it."

Blend #2:
"I definitely smell the Sauvignon Blanc component of the blend. I like the dryness, I taste the citrus. I find it very smooth - it's nice, I like it. I could really use this with an asparagus shrimp risotto - I think it would be very nice with that. A chicken piccata with lemon/lime citrus qualities would be very nice too. And throw in some capers with that. The saltiness of the capers would be very complimentary. This would also be great with some flounder and a bit of dill and lemon...especially in the context of a nice buttery white sauce to go over it."

Blend #3:
"I could really see this with duck...maybe with some oranges and the wine simmered all day and a cinnamon stick thrown in for good measure. I could make a great carnitas with it. Also, I think a tri-tip marinated with a bit of soy sauce would be very nice. The wine is very smooth...but I'm not sure I'd do a reduction sauce with a filet mignon for this wine...I think that might be better with the Blend #1."

Blend #4:
"I get a lot of the peach notes from this blend. I really like this. I could sit by the pool and drink this on warm summer nights! I'm really surprised...this wine tastes a lot like one of my favorite wines: a Sauvignon Blanc from Peju Winery in Napa right down the street from Cakebread. I really like this! With regard to cooking, this might also go really nicely with swordfish and a mango salsa because I'm thinking the fruitiness would be very complimentary. This would also do nicely with lamb...I'd keep it simple, just marinate it in the wine all by itself, then maybe just a little bit of salt and pepper, olive oil and rosemary and grill it quickly on both sides with a very hot grill. I think by keeping it simple, you'd get nice fruit components being absorbed by the lamb."

More about Shelly Maddocks:

Chef Shelly offers personal chef services, catering, and cooking classes through her company, Savoring Thyme. She uses whole, organic foods, and accommodates special diets.

To learn more, check out the Savoring Thyme website at!

About the ACADÉMIE Feedback Project:
ACADÉMIE wine blends are a work in progress. We are constantly improving, refining and tweaking our profiles. There is nothing we love more than feedback on how to improve our product. Because we source wines directly from other wineries, we are able to introduce wines with qualities that will highlight and emphasize certain flavors in your cooking. The result is a blend that helps you achieve flavor perfection.

An important part of this process is to solicit feedback. Everyone in the world of flavors has an opinion about what works and what doesn't. We believe it's important to get as many different perspectives as we can.

This article is one of a series of articles showcasing the opinions and feedback from people involved in creating great flavors.