Saturday, February 21, 2009

Best of the Best - Part II


Oh What a Night!!! I had no expectations other than good representation of food and wine and anything else would be a bonus. On arrival I was given my wrist band, book for tasting notes and my own wine glass for tasting that could be worn around my neck. With camera in hand, I made my way to the venue hall.

Tables each had Wine Spectator magazines and floral decorations.
Around the periferal of the venue were booths - plenty of booths, wine and food interspersed. Learn a little about a wine of interest, choose which one at a particular booth you'd like to sample and a representative of the vintner would pour you about an ounce for tasting. With wine in hand you stop at one of the chefs' booths where you are greeted by a table of sample plates for you to ask about, sample, enjoy. You might get really lucky and find one of the friendliest chefs in the place who will greet you with open arms.



I somehow always thought of Michael Psilakis as a very shy individual but actually found him to be warm, charming and extremely endearing. Michael is the owner of three highly successful Greek inspired restaurants - Anthos, Mia Dona and Kefi in New York, NY. He introduced his dish of Greek sashimi made with mastic. I was so excited because now I actually know what mastic is.



Everybody's sweetheart, Tyler Florence was entirely focused on making sure each and every sample dish was properly garnished. Most probably know Tyler from The Food Network where he hosts Tyler's Ultimate and My Country, My Kitchen.





Next stop was Rick Moonen's booth for an absolutely incredible taste of a fish dish that I couldn't even begin to describe short of using the word heaven. Because the chefs are incredibly busy at their booths it's near impossible to engage them other than a smile and hello.



Rick Moonen is the owner of rm seafood in Las Vegas, NV. and co author of the widely acclaimed Fish Without a Doubt.




Michael Symon, Iron Chef on the Food Network and more recently host of Dinner Impossible. Michael hails from Cleveland where he is the chef and owner of critically acclaimed Cleveland restaurants Lola and Lolita.



Michael created a beef cheek perogie and although I couldn't get a photo of it, was a treat I won't soon forget.

On the subject of photos, this was probably the most difficult challenge of all. The population in the room, plus constantly feeling like you could use one extra arm made picture taking problematic.

If I had to chose my very favourite dish, this Porcini Ravioli would be it. Ya ya, I know, the picture doesn't do it any justice but the flavour - oh my goodness.



This roasted red pepper mousse with avocado cream was feather light and silky smooth.



John Besh, named one of the top 10 best chefs in America emerged victorious against Mario Batali on Iron Chef.



If anyone ever gets their hands on the recipe for this Truffled Gnocci with shaved parmesan cheese - trust me - it would be a complete coup.



Named Pastry Chef of the Year in 1995 by the James Beard Association, it's tough to speak of fine French pastry without mentioning his name and noticing his accomplishments.







Anne Burrell created an incredible barley risotto. You probably have seen Anne as Mario Batali's right hand on the Food Network's Iron Chef America.







Susie's Scrumptious Sweets makes creating these cakes and fine pastries ...well...pretty effortness. But we know different, right? Other yummies in her repetoire were out of control dark chocolate hazelnut truffles, pecan praline truffles and white chocolate truffles with fresh raspberries or amaretto cream custard.



After this last stop I was looking for a wheelbarrow to cart me out.



This was only a sampling but I think you get the picture. StumbleUpon

24 comments:

noble pig said...

OMG I would sat on Tyler! How fun this looks!

Elle said...

Although all those people would have taken away some of the pleasure, that sure sounds like a fabulous event, with awesome food and wine and celebs! Great that you were able to get a ticket and enjoy yourself. Any good ideas for the wedding??

giz said...

Elle - ideas - tons - could I reproduce them - I better start practising right now :)

Kat said...

Sounds like such an amazing event - seeing all those great chefs and being able to sample all the scrumptious dishes!

Joelen said...

What a FAB event!!!

Bellini Valli said...

I am very envious of all the elbow swapping and delicious knoshes, not to say also of the warm sunshine of Miami Giz.O know you're having a time to remember:D

Pam said...

Wow! Thanks for letting us be there with you..at least in pictures!

Grace said...

i have an inexplicable crush on both psilakis and symon. apparently hairless michaels who cook just do it for me. :)

Peter M said...

I so envy that you attended this event. I ate at Michael Psilakis' Kefi...great food. Hope to meet him next time I'm in NYC.

Thanks for the field report.

Ricki said...

That sounds incedible. What a great experience! I'd be starry-eyed from all those celebs (and those desserts!!) ;)

Elra said...

Oh my what a fabulous event, the food the chefs..
Cheers,
Elra

kat said...

So much Foodie Star spotting, what fun!

Hopie said...

Wow, when you do R&R you are NOT fooling around! I'm drooling, hungry and jealous -- and of course happy for you ;-) Looks like so much fun for the eyes and taste buds.

Ivy said...

What a lovely experience. Next year we must go all together!!

Joan Nova said...

A 'foodie' died-and-gone-to-heaven experience! I was so bummed to have to miss it this year.

OhioMom said...

Oh yeah, died and gone to foodie heaven .. your photos were awesome!

elly said...

Wow, what an awesome evening!

angela@spinachtiger said...

Oh my gosh. I want to do this next year. I'm glad you had a good time. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I cook with my mom too. I nicknamed her "Retro Rose."

Proud Italian Cook said...

A food bloggers dream day!! Lucky you, how awesome!

Lori said...

Amazing! I love it. Thanks for sharing the adventure!

I saw something similar to those truffled gnocchi on Martha. It was a crown shaped pasta with cheese inside and had truffle oil... I just tried to find it for you, no luck. I will keep looking and let you know because I am on a quest now!

Bunny said...

OH MY GOSH I would have been in heaven! You are so lucky Giz!!

Cynthia said...

You are such a lucky woman!

Nicisme said...

How fabulous! I would have loved to go there, bet you had a brilliant time!
PS. Sorry I missed TTT3. :(

Lori Lynn said...

Whoa! What an event. Sounds like you had a terrific time.
LL

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