Sorry for the lag in posts. been on vacation the past two weeks and just needed to not worry about food, work etc.....
But now I'm back, getting ready to return, refreshed, motivated and with plenty of new ideas and thought running through my mind. Spring Menu needs to be finalized and menu items tested and tweaked before we try and roll out the new menu in a couple of weeks(that's the goal but I'm thinking were 3-4 weeks out)
Spring is one of my favorite seasons here in New England, people just seem to have a better outlook on life, in the kitchen we are getting ready to see some of my favorite products to works with.
Spring Dug Parsnips, Fiddleheads, Ramps, Green Almonds, Morel Mushrooms, Stinging Nettles, Spring Garlic Scapes, Asparagus, Radishes, Cardoons, Cherries, Fava Beans, Peas, Rhubarb, Turnips.......I think you get the point.
The weekend started off with a flat tire 45 minutes into the trip to NYC with a few hundred pounds of food weighing down the back of the truck. After a rapid (almost pit crew worthy) tire change and a stop at the Bombster Scallop Boats to pick up our scallops in Stonington CT. we were on our way!! A quick stop at the New Haven Taco Trucks for some Beef Tongue Tacos and fresh churros (if you find yourself on route 95 in New Haven make it a point to stop and enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine from the original gastro pods) and rest of the weekend was a hit.
The dinner was sold out...the wine was flowing (Thanks Jorge & Jack the Man!!!) the kitchen was cranking without missing a beat , the Beard staff was on point, I mean you couldn't have asked for a more perfect situation.
I could go on and on but I think you get the point, a wonderful evening that I will never forget. Cooking in the home of an American culinary icon, working with my friends side by side, having my wife, cousins and mom along with some old friends and new ones in the dining room....on of the best nights in my professional career.
As soon as we get some photos of the cuisine back, you will be the first to see them.
Our First Trip to the James Beard House April 2009
3 days of prep, triple checking the list to make sure everything is packed and in the right coolers, make sure that we have all the needed non food items, last minute calls to our vendors asking where the hell is the one and only thing that I need today that cant wait until tomorrows delivery! Oh, and of course we decide to cut off the reservations at 65 people and we are at 77 with a last minute phone call asking if we can please take 3 more!!!!! 80 it is....
Our second trip to the James Beard House seems just as stressful as the first one, only we know what we are walking into this time. It seems that we have cut down on the amount of food and extra "whatever" it was that we took with us on our first trip. This time around I am happy to be cooking with Matt (Chef de Cuisine) and Imani (Sous Chef) along with Jose "Pepe" Rodriquez (my chef de cuisine at Havana Blue during my St. Thomas days as the Executive Chef of Blue Shore Grill Restaurant Group) and James Messinga the Executive Chef/Owner of Crazy Chefs Catering and Loco Tapas Bar in Easton MA. A kitchen full of chefs that all are humbled to be working together to put out a meal in the home of the father of American gastronomy.
I'm just as nervous, just as excited and looking forward to a amazing night cooking with friends and cooking for friends and family who made the trip from their homes to join us in NYC.
A special thanks to my wife Nicole, for putting up with the stress and long hours that went in to making this dinner possible.
I will post pictures of the dinner and the food, and maybe some crazy moments or two next week.....