I was in NYC on Monday doing a fundraiser for the 911 memorial museum. What a great event. It was put on by one of my favorite chefs Jonathan Waxman of Barbutto. The other chefs were Aaron Sanchez, Bobby Flay, Joey Companaro and Jimmy Bradley.
We raised over $400,000.00 in doing the dinner. It was $25,000.00 a seat for 22 ppl (only in NYC...lol) and the food was just terriffic. Aaron did a snapper ceviche for the first course, that was garnished with crispy plantains and yucca. The second course was fire roasted oysters with a salsify puree and a truffle sauce by Jimmy Bradley. Joey did the third course which was seared halibut topped with a crab salad over wilted escarole. I was up next and did braised beef cheeks with pickled fennel, chiles, blood oranges and crispy marrow. Next was Bobby with crusted venison, bluberry sauce and a sweet potato tamale and lastly a grapefruit panna cotta by JW. The meal went off without hitch and the people were thrilled to be there. All in all a great event.
I do quite a few fundraiser type dinners a year and they are all great but this one was pretty special. First off, it is a great cause and you really get to see were the money being raised is going. Also the mayor was there for the dinner which was quite cool and very refreshing to meet someone who is so down to earth and has such a great vision for the present and future of NYC. Lastly, these are 5 of my favorite chefs in the country. Not only is there food great but they have absolutely no egos and are just great to work with. The common tie between all us is JW as he has mentored this entire group in one way or the other. Whether it be from working with him or just advice on how to deal with the daily grind of being a chef.
Being around all this great food and great chefs got me to thinking. If you could pick who could cook your final meal who would it be. Mine would probably be Jonathan, because i know it would be drop dead simple and seasonal and it would definately include fries!! Love to hear some of your picks, MS