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V’s wins second consecutive ‘Taste’ award

V’s executive chef Chris Bocchino (left) poses with V’s owner, Vassil Pertchinkov after winning The Taste of Malibu. Photo by Chris Bashaw/22nd Century Media
Sandra Hamilton (left) is poured a glass of wine by Dawn Notagiacomo of Malibu Family Wines.
Pictured is Duke’s Malibu’s blue crab cake with mango slaw and citrus aioli.
Pictured is The Godmother of Malibu’s tomato bisque.
Pictured is Nikita’s burrata cheese on strega bread.
Pictured is V’s duck confit with a soft polenta and umami butter.
Pictured are slices of bundt cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes.
Chris Bashaw, Assistant Editor
3:19 pm PDT June 16, 2014

With a variation of its duck confit, V’s Restaurant and Bar took home the Taste of Malibu award for a second year in a row at the Chamber of Commerce’s 11th annual Taste of Malibu event on Thursday, June 12, hosted at Duke’s Malibu.

The award-winning dish was a debut from V’s chef and Malibu resident Chris Bocchino, who prepared a duck confit over a soft polenta mixed with umami butter and shallots that were pickled in tarragon vinegar.

Bocchino said the duck meat is cooked in duck fat for three hours at a low temperature to ensure it’s tender enough to fall off the bone. 

“We do the duck confit at the restaurant, but this is the first time I combined everything together in this one dish,” Bocchino said. “Hopefully when someone tries this dish, it hits on all of their taste senses – sweet, sour, salty, savory. That’s what I was going for.”

Bocchino added that there is a “good possibility” that the dish could make its way onto V’s regular menu in the future.

Restaurateur Vassil Pertchinkov, owner of V’s, expressed enthusiasm over winning the Taste of Malibu award for a second year in a row.

“All of our hard work pays off and it’s very rewarding,” he said, relinquishing credit to Bocchino and his wife Kristine, who is V’s pastry chef. “We spend countless hours to ensure everything’s up to perfection and to get these results, and it just feels fantastic to get this support from the residents of Malibu and the Chamber of Commerce.”

The Chamber of Commerce’s Taste of Malibu event featured five local restaurants including V’s, Nikita, The Godmother of Malibu, Duke’s Malibu as well as Nothing Bundt Cakes.

Eight Malibu vintners also showcased their wines; Colcanyon Estate Wines took home “Best Red” for its 2009 Cabernet while Dolin Estate Wine won “Best White” for its 2011 Dolin Chardonnay.

Mark Persson, executive director of the Malibu Chamber of Commerce, said he found it gratifying that the event gives Malibu residents the opportunity to uncover new foods and wines in Malibu.

“We’ve been hosting this event for a long time and there’s been people attending it for a long time, but they’re still discovering delicious bites and award-winning wine that’s being grown in their neighbors’ backyards,” he said. “That’s a lot of fun that we can surprise people like that.”

Persson added that the event also gives Malibu residents the unique opportunity to interact with local chefs and find out what went into crafting their dishes.

What’s more, Persson said the event provides a forum for local chefs and vintners to network and discover which wines pair well with certain foods.

“There’s an opportunity for a vintner to connect with a chef and find out their food goes really well together, and maybe that’s something they want to help promote,” he said.

Although the event was held on Duke’s home turf, the restaurant’s special events manager, Madelina Silva, said showcasing the variety of local restaurants in Malibu is a way to bring more business to Malibu.

“More restaurants with good food is good for business,” she said. “We’re going to attract those people from Santa Monica, Thousand Oaks and the San Fernando Valley, and they’re going to see there’s so much to do in Malibu with so many restaurants and they’ll want to make a day of it . . . When we hear a new restaurant is coming to town and they’re really good, we see that as a positive thing because that means more people are going to be coming to Malibu, and may discover us on their way to wherever it is they wanted to visit.”