Welcome to the Food & Wine Chef Showcase
Food & Wine greeted us at the door with the cover of its latest magazine.
Trenchermen represented with a little fried ball of chopped liver, accompanied with tart yuzu apples and egg yolk jam.
Tony Mantuano and Sarah Grueneberg rocked a bite of bay scallop, purgatory beans (yes, that's really what they're called), black garlic, and Italian fish sauce.
Takashi Yagihashi was on hand to serve an umami-heavy tortilla crisp topped with soy marinated salmon, anchovy mayo, creme fraiche, tomato, cilantro, and red onion.
A Sea of Wine Glasses
You know what a lot of wine glasses means? A lot of wine!
Wines of Germany
The wines of Germany were just some of the many wines available for sampling during the event.
The slow-cooked beef shortrib had a refreshing fennel slaw and lemon aioli to cool it all off.
Sepia brought the noise with what they called a Pot-au-feu "Rossini": Foie gras royale (basically a foie gras custard) with beef, truffle gelee, and beef fat powder. It was served with a hot consomme that cooked the beef as you stirred it.
Andrew Zimmerman from Sepia
Executive chef Andrew Zimmerman served the hot consomme on top of each cup of his Pot-au-feu "Rossini."
The description read: Nutella, roasted hazelnut, and creme Anglaise. And that's exactly what it was. What else do you need?
This one packed a powerful and earthy punch with blue cheese cornbread on top of mushroom soil, accompanied with several other forms of mushroom and bacon.
Jason Vincent from Nightwood had a fermented foie gras with apple, maple brioche, celery puree, and homemade fish sauce. This was the boldest sample of the night.
Graham Elliot's restaurant served a Roquefort panna cotta on a pie crust with mustard seed caviar, ham hock, and pear prepared three ways.
Parmesan "Peanuts" from Moto
These aren't real packing peanuts; the little curly foam you see is actually a little parmesan puff that was paired with carbonated grapes. The puff was dipped in liquid nitrogen (yes, it was safe to eat), so when you munched on it, you'd blow steam out your mouth and nose exactly like a dragon. Or like Cheech and Chong. You pick.
What's a party without some liquid nitrogen?
Black Truffles from Boka
I resisted the urge to grab this whole plate and hightail it out of the museum to sell them on the black market. It was difficult, but I did it.
The black truffles were shaved on top of a small bit of Scottish hare, roasted cauliflower, along with some carrot and a Burgundy reduction. Sorry, Bugs Bunny. You were just too delicious.
GT Fish & Oyster
GT Fish & Oyster represented with a dessert labeled simply as chocolate banana ganache with cashews. I had people stop me to tell me it was one of their favorite items of the evening.
The Girl and the Goat
Stephanie Izard's infectious smile was behind the table as she doled out goat chili with "poofs." Perfect for a cold night.
The Bristol served an elegant trout rillette with smoked roe on wheat thins.
Balena's little bite was a rich cured mackerel, chermoula, endive, and currants.
Table 52's bite was a duck rillette on top of a duck fat puff pastry with a cider reduction and celery root puree. Art Smith greeted fans as he helped serve the plates.
bellyQ served simple little cups of comforting smoked turkey broth with roast chicken, green lentils, and thin noodles. It was a turkey-chicken noodle soup that your grandma probably doesn't make, unless Bill Kim is your grandma.
The Purple Pig
The Purple Pig served a silky and creamy polenta covered in a pork neckbone gravy. I would gladly sit in a bathtub full of this dish.
Wolfgang Puck's catering division brought a smoked pheasant push-up with sweet potato, apple butter, wild rice, and cider. Nothing like a direct-injection delivery system of food into your mouth. It speeds up the process.
This picture of North Pond's sign means that I was too slow to get to the table before everything ran out. The sound you hear is me crying. It's a sad sound.
Paul Virant said hi to folks as his team served up a plate of unbelievably meaty walleye pike over a pile of house-canned corn relish.
As always, Mindy Segal didn't disappoint with a large spread of pastries and sweets.
Nothing says "fancy dinner occasion" like raw red meat. In this case, it's lamb tartare with roasted maitake mushrooms, chestnuts, cranberry yogurt, and Miner's lettuce.
I spotted fellow Serious Eater Huge Galdones snapping away at the event. He moves quick. And like that...he was gone.