For wine aficionados, the Berkeley-based Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant shop needs very little introduction, thanks to its founder, California native Kermit Lynch, whose passion for wines with character and authentic terroir has gained him two James Beard awards and a Legion d’Honneur from the French government.

All of this is thanks to Kermit’s dedication to highlighting small winegrowers who continue to use sustainable Old World farming practices. These painstaking techniques produce wines that fully embody their terroir, emphasizing Kermit’s belief that great wine is made in the vineyard, not the cellar.

Kermit Lynch berkeley wine shop

Photo courtesy of Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant

 

Not long after Kermit opened his Berkeley wine shop opened in 1972 with thirty-two cases of wine, the shop began exclusively selling imports directly from domaines in France and Italy, focusing on artisanal Old World wines, especially from lesser-known regions. Now also a wine importer and wholesaler, Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant is co-managed by Kermit’s son, Anthony, who continues to uphold the business’s commitment to only importing wines that they themselves drink and enjoy.

So what do you do when you’re asked to cater private events for a business like Kermit Lynch, a business literally known for its taste? Naturally, you just do what you do best, which is create a unique and memorable gastronomic experience, curating and cooking food in a way that complements Kermit Lynch’s own attention to flavour.

 

Kermit Lynch corporate picnic company event catering outdoor event

Photo from Kermit Lynch picnic event, courtesy of Yuni Kim

 

For Kermit Lynch’s 2023 fall staff picnic at Wildcat Canyon, we pulled out all the stops to get together a decadent picnic spread that reflects Kermit Lynch’s (and Anaviv’s) commitment to good wine, good food, and good company. We wanted to complement the Old World wines that Kermit Lynch is known for and chose Mediterranean dishes with ingredients that we could source locally.

Our menu included a charcuterie display with selections from Fatted Calf, a gorgeous little gem salad with persimmons, and olive oil tasting station. We also brought over our mobile wood-fired oven to make our famous pizzas; and of course, what is a Mediterranean menu without a fall vegetable ratatouille Provençal?

Kermit Lynch corporate picnic company event catering outdoor event

Photo from Kermit Lynch picnic event, courtesy of Yuni Kim

 

Kermit Lynch corporate picnic company event catering outdoor event

Photo from Kermit Lynch picnic event, courtesy of Yuni Kim

 

Kermit Lynch corporate picnic company event catering pizza

Photo from Kermit Lynch picnic event, courtesy of Yuni Kim

 

Kermit Lynch corporate picnic company event catering ratatouille

Photo from Kermit Lynch picnic event, courtesy of Yuni Kim

 

We do think that the picnic de résistance was our grilling station, where we had agneau à la ficelle (roasted lamb leg) and bistecca alla Fiorentina with Porterhouse steaks from one of our favorite local vendors, Stemple Creek. 

Kermit Lynch corporate picnic company event catering

Photo from Kermit Lynch picnic event, courtesy of Yuni Kim

 

Kermit Lynch corporate picnic company event catering

Photo from Kermit Lynch picnic event, courtesy of Yuni Kim

 

Kermit Lynch corporate picnic company event catering

Photo from Kermit Lynch picnic event, courtesy of Yuni Kim

 

Kermit Lynch corporate picnic company event catering outdoor grill

Photo from Kermit Lynch picnic event, courtesy of Yuni Kim

 

Kermit Lynch corporate picnic company event catering roasted lamb

Photo from Kermit Lynch picnic event, courtesy of Yuni Kim

 

Kermit Lynch corporate picnic company event catering roasted lamb

Photo from Kermit Lynch picnic event, courtesy of Yuni Kim

 

If you’re looking for French or Italian wines that are more off the beaten track, you’ll do well to browse Kermit Lynch’s curated selections at their shop in Berkeley or online. We also highly recommend subscribing to Kermit Lynch’s charming monthly newsletter, which is still written by Kermit himself, and shares all of the wisdom and joy he’s gained from his fascinating life.

If you want to take a look at our indulgent Kermit Lynch picnic catering, check out our Instagram below for some mouthwatering videos.

 

 

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