Regarding the blog entry below, I was speaking to Susan during a dinner at the Beard House. I try to go there whenever I'm invited, which averages slightly more than once a month, because my job is to write about food trends nationally. The Beard House, where chefs come from all over the country to cook, allows me to check out a wide array of chefs without leaving town.
Usually the restaurants themselves invite me. That was true last night, when Anthony Bombaci from Nana in Dallas was cooking. But I also was at the Beard House the night before, as a guest of the Sullivan family from Denver, who own a few restaurants, including Ocean. Troy Guard’s the chef there. I don’t know him well, but I’ve known him for years, ever since he was executive chef at Roy’s New York, which opened in 1999 (and which is, in fact, still open, by the way; you never hear about it, but it’s there; closed briefly after 9/11, but had reopened by February 2002).
Strangely, I ate at the Beard House twice the week before, too, once as a guest of Hurapan Kitchen, and once as a guest of the Sylvie Forest on behalf of the James Beard Foundation itself.
Sylvie is on the foundation’s programming committee, which means she scours the country in search of interesting chefs and invites them to cook at the Beard House.
By “invite” I mean she asks them to cook there; they have to pay their own way, which costs them thousands, or sometimes even tens of thousands, of dollars, to fly out with their staff, often shipping much of their food, stay in hotels and visit New York restaurants. We could get into a whole discussion about why chefs do it, but I don’t have time at the moment. Feel free to start it yourself by adding comments to this entry.
Time is short, because I have family in town to celebrate my 40th birthday, which is today. There will be a relatively big party tonight (60 people), but today we are going to the Statue of Liberty.
I’ve already told you what I ate at the Beard House during Songkhran with the Hurapans. But here are the menus for the other three nights.
April 14, chef Keith Rudolf of Deep Blue Bar and Grill in Wilmington, Del. (Keith proposed to his girlfriend at the end of the meal, getting on one knee and asking her if she would “walk through eternity” with him. Isn’t that a nice way of putting it?):
Thai-Marinated Beef and Monkfish Liver Rolls with Sake–Soy Glaze
Bay Scallop Ceviche with Cucumber–Mint Salad and Strawberry Gazpacho
Tuna Tartare with Avocado Mousse, Pineapple–Chile Nage, and Tobiko
American Caviar Cromesquis
Domaine Barmès Buecher Crémant d’Alsace 2005
John Dory Tartare with Smoked Oyster and Yuengling Lager Jelly
Domaine des Dorices Muscadet de Sèvres-et-Maine 2005
Grilled Lobster with Foie Gras–Persimmon Salad and Mango Vinaigrette
Weingut Freiherr Von Heddesdorff Halbtrockener Riesling 2005
Sautéed Skate Wing with Duck Confit Risotto, Glazed Green Asparagus, White Asparagus Sabayon, and Black Truffle Cream Sauce
Domaine Daniel Rion & Fils Côte de Nuits-Villages le Vaucrain 2004
Bison Tenderloin with Goat Cheese Gnocchi, Port-Glazed Sweetbreads, Morels, and Arugula Coulis
Germano Ettore Langhe Rosso Balàu 2004
Peach Dégustation > Bruschetta, Consommé, and Semifreddo
Jean Fillioux Pineau des Charentes Blanc NV
April 18, chef Troy Guard from Ocean restaurant in Denver (joining me was my excellent friend Andy Battaglia, who works for The Onion but is really so much more than that):
Crispy Rice Flour–Crusted Kisu
Pepper Crab Potato Chips
Champagne Taittinger Brut Prestige Rosé NV
Hamachi Terrine with Sushi Rice, Avocado, Shiitakes, and Kumquat–Jalapeño Syrup
Don Olegario Albariño 2005
Diver Scallop Sandwich with Soy-Braised Kobe Beef, Potato Purée, and Tangerine Mojo
Domaine Louis Jadot Moulin-À-Vent Château des Jacques 2005
Hickory-Smoked Sturgeon–Potato Tart with Grilled Eggplant, Goat Cheese, Chicory, Haricots Verts, and Beet Reduction
Foley Rancho Santa Rosa Pinot Noir 2005
Surf and Turf > Seared Barramundi and Crispy Pork Belly with Curried Israeli Couscous and Coriander–Lime Broth
Abadia Retuerta Selección Especial 2003
Chocolate–Banana Cream Crumble with Truffle Ice Cream and Walnut Gremolata
And from Anthony Bombaci on April 19 (I also convinced their publicist to invite my friend Clark Mitchell from Travel + Leisure, because dinner is more fun if he’s around. It’s not my custom to suggest that restaurateurs who already are spending a fortune to cook at the Beard House invite my friends as well, but they asked me for suggestions of other food writers who might enjoy the meal):
Baked Potato Soup Shooters with Lobster and Sour Cream Foam
Green Apple Spaghetti with Oysters and Tellicherry Peppercorns
Foie Gras Brochettes with Sweet Cashew and Star Anise
Four Story Quail with Soy–Sesame Glaze and Chives
what you want to italicizeBaron Philippe de Rothschild Bordeaux Blanc 2005
what you want to italicizeBaron Philippe de Rothschild Bordeaux Rouge 2004
Green Apple Cru with White Apple Soup, Celery Sorbet, Smoked Steelhead Trout Caviar, and Wild Rice Popcorn
Château de Jau Muscat de Rivesaltes 2005
Chicharrón en Tinta with Seared Scallops, Green Onions, and Ginger Aïoli
Goldwater New Dog Sauvignon Blanc 2006
Pan-Roasted Veal Sweetbreads with Brown Butter Purée and Air, Capers, Sherry Vinegar Gelée, and Caramelized Pearl Onions
Amisfield Pinot Noir 2005
Venison Saddle a la Plancha with Caramelized Bananas, Thai Peanut Sauce, and Cilantro
Domaines Barons de Rothschild Quinto do Carmo Reserva 2002
Tomato Marmalade with Bulgarian Yogurt Sorbet and Texturized Olive Oil
Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé NV