Day 2 in the Big Apple
Tuesday, October 20
This is the first day the chefs have to prepare a meal for guests and these aren't just any guests...they are "the press". There are folks from magazines, print media and bloggers. Cooking in the kitchen are Jeff (Mall), Josh (Silvers), me, Josh's wife, Regina Silvers and our God-send, Noah Senitz. Noah has worked with us on the farm, has worked catering jobs with us, now lives in San Diego (my home town) and paid his way to fly to NYC to cook with us. He kept laughing as we thanked him, and as he laughed he shook his head and told us he couldn't believe we were thanking him for crashing our gig! Guess it is all the way you look at it!
The site of the event is the Astor Center. It is the most amazing event space with state of the art equipment, great dishes, a well stocked kitchen and all very new! That is saying a lot for a kitchen! We had to do a little shopping before we got there and arrived with Noah outside the venue waiting for us!
The theme of the event was, of course, the cookbook, Down Home: Downtown - Seasonal Recipes from Two Sonoma Wine Country Restaurants. The chefs each prepared items which were reflective of their personal styles. Here is the menu: (Jeff is Down Home, Josh is Downtown)
Tray Passed Items
Down Home - Fried Green Tomatoes topped with El Rancho Dressing (we picked, and packed our very own green tomatoes!)
Downtown - Potato Latkes topped with an Apple Fennel Slaw
Paired with Rodney Strong Chardonnay
Down Home - Mixed Greens with Bellwether Farms Pepato Cheese, Pickled Onions and Candied Pecans
Downtown - Simple Green Salad that is wrapped in a cucumber with goat cheese and enoki mushrooms and flower petals
Paired with Rodney Strong Sauvignon Blanc
Down Home - New Orlean's-style Red Beans and Duck Cassoulet
Downtown - Deconstructed Cassoulet
Paired with Rodney Strong Symmetry (Rhone-style blend) and Syrah
Down Home - Apple Upside-Down Cake with Salty Caramel Sauce
Downtown - Buttery Apple Cake with Mascarpone Ice Cream
I didn't get any pictures of the food because I was too busy helping to shop and cook! I was able to get pictures of diners, and of the chefs and guests. Here they are:
*Photographer Alan Campbell is standing to the left in this photo
The "fun" part of cooking at the Astor Center, the chefs are reminded that they are mortal. This my way of saying that they can't skate out of there...they have to help clean up! Here is proof:
The next posting: The Big Event at the James Beard House!