Mark Cave, winemaker for Paul Thomas winery, host winemaker dinner.

If John Wayne were alive today he could play the lead in Mark Cave’s life.

Cave has the looks of a movie star and the heart of a cowboy.  His hands-on experience has led him to the premier position as winemaker for Paul Thomas wines.

“I started as a cellar rat,” the 6’5” Cave recalled. “Flipping wine barrels, scrubbing floors, washing out tanks and filtering the wine.”

Cave, 39, is still enjoying a day full of variety, but with the added twist of being accountable for the daily decisions of running a state- of- the- art production facility.

The stainless steel winery is a reflection of Cave’s own design and sits near Paul Thomas’s 220-acre vineyard in Sunnyside, Washington.

Paul Thomas Winery, one of the Associate Vintners group, includes Woodinville’s Columbia Winery and Covey Run.

Cave smiled as he stood on the garden terrace of the India House Restaurant in Seattle.  He was hosting a ‘winemaker’ dinner where his award-winning wines were being paired with the fabulous cuisine of Chef Tapan Bose, and new owner of the restaurant.

“Tonight we will enjoy some of our special wines, a 1995 Rattlesnake Red, a Pear wine and a 1993 Lemberger.”

“These wines complement so well the mouth-watering flavors of Indian food,” said Cave “…tomorrow, I may have to spend the day in meetings or I might have to fix a pump motor, or I could be in the vineyards kicking dirt clogs.”

According to Cave he will soon become a ‘slave to the grape’ in September when every day becomes 24-hour days preparing the grapes for wine.

Cave was hired in 1986 as an assistant to the winemaker and two years later became the winemaker for Paul Thomas wines.

Paul Thomas is a recognized producer of wines that reflect a combination of excellent fruit and expert winemaking that is why Tapan Bose, himself a wine connoisseur, creates food that is designed to complement Paul Thomas wine.

“Bose specialty, “Barah Kabab” (rack of lamb) is first marinated for 24 hours in olive oil, lemon, and fresh garlic.  Then it is covered in a paste of tomatoes, onions and yogurt.  After roasting it is brushed with ginger, cumin, coriander, and dry mango powder.

Originally from Calcutta, India, Bose is as animated as he is solemn. His enthusiasm for his re-molded restaurant, new chefs, new and updated menus reflect his energy and focused purpose.

“At India House everyone is treated as guests not as customers,” said   Bose.  Then, swinging his arms to take in his restaurant, he exclaimed, ”Look at this! A showcase of Indian art and architecture and I have an exhibition Tandoor kitchen!” The Tandoor kitchen used throughout India is a rounded-top oven made of clay.

“Our oven is always at 850 degrees and it is enclosed in glass for people to enjoy as they walk by,” he explained.

Bose instructed one of his chefs to prepare “Papadam” (Indian crispy bread). The chef took the dough and slapped it directly onto the inside oven’s wall and left it to bake. In seconds, it began to bubble and brown. The chef expertly peeled it off in one piece and then sliced it into quarters.

Meats are usually skewered and thrust into the oven’s intense heat.  A chicken half can cook in less than 5 minutes.

Bose’s recipe for “Diwane” (a mixture of cauliflower, potatoes, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, green peas, green bell pepper, eggplant, and frozen spinach.

Chop the large vegetables into bite-size pieces; add all the vegetables with a little water in a large frying pan (wok works well)steam until tender-crisp.  Add fresh ginger and finely chopped garlic.

Make an onion gravy by placing finely chopped onions in boiling water, boil until all water is gone and you have an onion paste left.  Add fresh tomatoes and a little vegetable oil. Set aside.

Next, make a tomato gravy with fresh and canned whole peeled tomatoes by reducing the liquid as you did with the onion gravy until you have a paste.

Combine the tomato and onion gravies stir into the vegetables.  Add to taste roasted cumin, coriander seeds, fresh turmeric, cayenne pepper and garam masala on top.  Serve.

The India House is the first Indian Restaurant established in the State of Washington and is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, including a Sunday Champagne brunch.


GARAM MASALA: An aromatic Indian blend of spices usually features cardamom, cinnamon, cumin and cloves.  Usually sprinkled directly on food near the end of cooking or just before serving.

CARDAMOM: The seeds are dark brown and very fragrant and a significant component of Garam Masala. Ground cardamom can be less flavorful. The whole seeds can be found in the Mexican food section.

TAMARIND: An important ingredient in Worcestershire sauce is widely grown in India.  It is a seed and a sour-sweet pulp. Its concentrate is a popular flavoring in India much as lemon juice is in the states.  Used in chutneys, a spicy condiment that contains fruit vinegar, sugar and spices.

TURMERIC: A root that belongs to the ginger family. It is used often in curries and pickles.

CILANTRO: Is the Spanish name for fresh coriander. It is a member of the parsley family noted for its medium green color and flat serrated leaves, its sweet seed is the spice, Coriander.

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