May 9, 2011

2011 James Beard Foundation Awards

One of the most amazing things about living in New York City is the accessibility you have to some of the most magnificent experiences in the world. Its the epicenter of all-things-cultural and on Friday night I had the opportunity to extend my portfolio with a moment-in-time that blended two of my greatest passions -- journalism and being a foodie!

Now, I work in an industry where I'm surrounded by fancy things and celebrity, but even to this day, I remain awestruck when presented with these scenarios.

As I entered the eSpace venue on Friday, I was greeted with a flute of Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut NV Champagne (a WinoBee fav!) and even rubbed elbows after check-in with Ace of Cakes' Duff Goldman! As I grabbed my signature cocktail, "My Sherry Amore" (recipe coming tomorrow), the night continued and I was sharing a room with some of my favorite foodie personalities including hosts Gail Simmons of Top Chef and Food Network's Ted Allen, and even had a distant sighting of Bizarre Foods' Andrew Zimmern.

But despite the glitz and glam (and even heartfelt acceptance speeches) the night was taken over by the delectable multi-course tasting menu, which combined plates from some of the most famous chefs around the world, including:

by Michael Psilakis of Kefi, NYC (an UWS fav!)
  • White asparagus and morel salad with Marcona Almonds and Pecorino
  • Pickled White Sardine Sashimi with Cucumber Plan, Black Olive Puree, Sour Greek Yogurt, Dried Tomato and Bronze Fennel
  • Head Cheese Trotter with Three Fennel Salad, Dried Thassos Olives, Coriander and Pickled Radish
  • Paired with Stella Artois

by Ana Sortun of Oleana, Cambridge, MA
  • Salmon in Vine Leaf with Turkis Spices, Pine Nuts, Currants, and Sorrel Butter
  • Paired with Jacob's Creek Steingarten Reisling 2006 - Barossa, Australia
Cost: $24/bottle
Where to Buy: Southern Wines
Tasting Notes: Very clear, almost water-like clarity. Earth and mineral accents on nose. Grassy notes on palate with a tart bite at the finish.

by Mourad Lahlou of Aziza, San Fransisco, CA
  • Certified Angus Beed Tenderloin with Green Farro, Ras el Hanout, Ramps, and Vegetable Escabeche
  • Paired with Campo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva 1998 - Rioja, Spain
Cost: $20/bottle
Where to Buy:
Tasting Notes: Dark ruby color. Light viscosity. Dark berry and cocoa on the nose. Raisin, plum cocoa and light espresso notes on palate. Moderate tannins.

by Pichet Ong of Spot Dessert Bar, NYC
  • Green & Black's Organic Chocolate Marquis with Tapioca, Melon, Coconut and Aleppo
  • Paired with Sandeman Armada Rich Cream Oloroso Sherry - Spain
  • Served with Lavazza Coffee
Congrats again to all of the winners. Who knows? Maybe in forthcoming years, it'll be me making my acceptance speech!