Life in the big city, and everything in between.

Chefs & Champagne Honoring Emeril Lagasse

In Food on July 24, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Chefs & Champagne New York is the James Beard Foundation’s annual summer tasting party. It features flowing Champagne, the wines of Wölffer Estate Vineyard, Stella Artois beers, and culinary offerings from a select group of more than 30 fine chefs, many from JBF Award–winning restaurants. This year one of America’s favorite chefs and personalities, Emeril Lagasse, was being honored.

Emeril is from New Orleans in my home state of Louisiana but that’s not why I like him so much. He has a larger-than-life personality and meeting him proves that he also has a larger-than-life heart.

It was such an honor to meet one of America's favorite chefs, Emeril Lagasse.

Thank goodness for all the flowing bubbly because it was one of the hottest days yet. But the heat didn’t stop guests from enjoying some pretty amazing eats from chefs who were handpicked by Emeril to join the celebration.

Sara hard at work making her spicy chilled tomato soup with olive oil, whipped goat's milk, and yogurt

Sara Jenkin’s dish was perfect for a hot summer day. The chilled tomato soup was so refreshing or at least that’s what Richard Gere thought when he tried it.  He absolutely loved Sara’s creation. And once he walked away I had to point out who he was. After Sara realized it was him she was completely start struck. And if you know Sara you know she very rarely gets star struck by a celebrity.

One of my favorite dishes of the night came from Chef Roberto Deicao. It was grilled sea scallops with herbed new potato salad, truffle foam, and shaved truffle to top it off.  Truffles are buried in the earth like little black diamonds. Finding them is not so easy. It takes a lot of patience, persistence, and knowledge of where they grow, as they’re elusive.

Grated over a simple dish, truffles can turn anything into a blissful treat.

Another one of my favorite’s of the event was from Chef Sam Hazen who concucted the oyster escabèche with heirloom tomatoes and watermelon.

The oyster escabeche was incredibly fresh and delicious.

 Marc Forgione, of Marc Forgione restaurant and the season three winner of The Next Iron Chef  was also in attendance.

Forgione doesn't let the heat get in the way of his dish.

Chile lobster with local corn and lemon verbena from Marc Forgione.

Another JBF award winner, Marcus Samuelsson, made a delicious chilled corn soup with marinated bass and tomatillo-cilantro purée.

Just like Sara's tomato soup, this corn soup was refreshingly good for the summer heat.

Two James Beard Foundation Award winners: Emeril Lagasse and Marcus Samuelsson

I have been wanting to try Daniel Boulud’s new spot Epicerie Boulud , especially after sampling some of his scrumptious pastries.

Strawberry Ricotta Tart with violets

Apricot Pistachio Religieuse

Chef Daniel Boulud

Although it was steamy weather, it certainly didn’t dampen the mood at this year’s annual Chefs & Champagne event. I guess it takes a lot more than stifling humidity to keep a bunch of Hamptonites out of a tasting event. I think I have had my fair share of sundresses and seersucker for sometime.

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  1. These photos are scrumptous!

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