November 5, 2010

Taste of the Times Event - NYC

Last night was a real treat!  I attended Taste of the Times, presented by the NY Times held at the Architects & Designers Building (in NYC).  Snaidero has a corporately owned studio in the building which is how I got my invite.  I'm always a bit leery of these big events that offer tastings of well known chefs.  There is always the concern if the chef will actually be there or how good the food can be if they are prepping for hundreds of people.  This event totally proved me wrong!  The chefs were there and the food was fantastic!  And all of the chefs seemed genuinely happy to interact with their "fans".  
Above is chef Oriol Balaguer from Born Confections.  He's known for his creativity and concepts which would be no surprise after working seven years with Ferran Adria at El Bulli!  Last night he served chocolate mouse with a vanilla truffle creme and crunchy chocolate bits on top!
Michael Lomonaco of Porter House New York was serving a really yummy beef stew over cheese grits.  It was great food for last night, totally season appropriate as well as something that would travel well.  And as usual he seemed so happy to chat it up while serving his food!
The greatest disappointment of the evening came because Dan Barber of Blue Hill didn't make it, or at least he wasn't there any of the times I stopped by...  Above on the left are little cups with fresh beets, pine nuts and homemade yogurt from Blue Hill - so refreshing!  On the right is Nick Anderer rolling some sort of fish!  He had such attention to detail while rolling and serving so many of these bites!
Above is Margo Lewis of Cake Bliss!  She's known for her floral designed cakes and real ingredients.  She brought one of her floral confections and bite size samples.  YES!! That is glitter on the frosting!  Those green little bites tasted just like red velvet cake - go figure!  
 
Francois Payard was even there!  He is now the Pastry Chef and Co-Owner of FPB down on West Houston Street.  I haven't been but apparently its a more causal bakery.   For this event he brought his signature bite-size works of art, and yes they really do taste good!! 
I loved that Michael Psilakis of Eos, Gus & Gabriel, and Kefi didn't wear a chef jacket.  He went and had his own style and did his own thing.  He served a cucumber soup with crab.  You were supposed to eat the crab first and then sip the chilled soup.  This would be beautiful during the summer as it was so refreshing!
 
There were so many different chefs and foods to taste - and don't forget the wine and cocktails!  The best part of the evening is that there were seasoned pros and newbies all side by side.   At the end of the evening I found Kori of e.e. cookies.  I think she was my favorite presenter.  She's just starting out with here own cookie shop.  Her flavors are true classics and not fussed up.  My favorite were the miniature pumpkin whoopie cookies with dried cranberries!  As soon as I finished my first bite I knew exactly what to experiment with at home!  Kori matches her cookies - vibrant & sweet!  So for your holiday parties you should totally order her cookies for dessert, they won't disappoint!
I can't wait to go next year.  There were many, many chefs that I didn't mention.  The bill is $80 a person but it includes all you can eat and drink along with a close up with celeb chefs!  It's always the beginning of November so you'll have to catch it next year!

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