Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Joel Viehland - Cornwall Covered Bridge Dinner

I had the honor of attending an intimate fairytale-like culinary adventure filled dinner with Joel Viehland of Community Table in Cornwall Connecticut. 13 of us boarded a bus from Pier 40 in NYC for a 2 and 1/2 hour ride to join others who drove. It felt like we were in a movie scene as we got off the bus and it magically disappeared. As I looked ahead I saw the picturesque landscape around this beautiful "Cornwall Covered Bridge", built over the Housatonic River around 1864. A four piece band played music as we enjoyed Krug Champagne, Clos Dubreuil and a "special" Covered Bridge Cocktail. Chef Joel Viehland talked briefly about his Farm to Table approach to cooking and Lisa Simon of the Garagista Group spoke about the wine "Clos Dubreuil, St-Emilion Grand Cru 2010". and the wineries and Family that produced this magical elixir! (remember it is a fairytale-like culinary adventure) I mingled by the River and had some wonderful passed hors d'oeuvre and a table full of cheeses, nuts, honey and breads. 

Dinner: As I approached the entrance of this beautiful Covered Bridge I took a deep breath and smiled. Every attention to detail taken care of from the simple lights and table scape created by Michael Trapp. I was in a movie scene and wanted to enjoy everything from the smells to the sights. I believe there were 85 people from all over and with such diverse lives and stories. The food was a like an orchestra each plate, each taste, each ingredient composed By Chef Viehland was a symphony being felt through every part of your body to transcend you to a place where you have never gone before; well at least I have never been before. 

Desserts: A perfect ending to a Symphony, these works of art we call desserts, were the most talked about pieces. We were all saying we ate a plentiful amount but not really feeling "full" and these beautiful works of art appeared and we ate it all. My favorite dessert if I had to pick was the buttermilk custard, concord grape, yuzu, buckwheat, st. george gin ice cream! There was a silence at our table as it arrived, then the look over I turned the dish as to delight in every angle. I next put a taste of buttermilk custard in my mouth and it went to the top of my mouth and the taste of fresh buttermilk lingered I spooned in for some gin ice cream and concord grape the tastes were divine. You want to know where the buckwheat fits in? To me it was the fairy pixi dust placed on the side to bring a certain tiny crunch to it all. The textures, the design, the placement....and the Taste total Divinity! 
It was time to say goodbye to friends whom we had just met hours before. As I boarded the bus back to New York City I turned around and smiled goodbye thank you for the memories.
Thank you Chef Joel Viehland and everyone who helped with this event! 

Special Covered Bridge Drink 

Joel  Viehland and Lisa Simon

Michael Trapp Tablescape

Chilled Cucumber & Champagne  Soup with a piece of smoked John Dory fish
Served with: Krug Grande Cuvee NV

Home Made Bread

Connecticut Royal Red Shrimp, White Currants, Fresh Milk, Dill, Tarragon
served with: Krug Grande Cuvee NV

Heirloom Tomatoes, Burrata, Aged apple Vinegar, Olive Oil, Basil & Onion
Served With: Clos Dubreuil, St-Emilion Grand Cru 2010


Lamb Asada, Aji, Mint, Black Garlic, Smoked Potatoes, Caper Anchovy Aioli,
Kale, Peaches, Grilled Red Onion
Served With:  Clos Dubreuil, St-Emilion Grand Cru 2010

My Plate

Buttermilk Custard, Concord Grape, Yuzu, Buckwheat, St. George Gin Ice Cream

Cannoli Hazelnut, Ricotta Gelato, Rye, Nutella

Champagne Chocolate Mignardises
Served With: Haut Charmes, Sauternes 2009

Eventbrite:  All tickets sold benefit the Cornwall Volunteer Fire Department!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

MY NY - DKNY and influenster perfume launch

Sorry I have been missing this Summer. I really meant to blog but then time just got away from me. I have received many e-mails asking if I was ever blogging again and so I thought I would share some Summer fun first.

On August 19, 2014 influenster celebrated the Launch of DKNY new Perfume #MYNY. The event was being held outside of Madison Square Park in the Flatiron District and Rita Ora, Chrissy Teigen, DKNY staff, influenster Team and Dominique Ansel were on hand for the launch. I only got to see Chrissy Teigen and Dominique Ansel. The line to get into the small space was crazy long as it was not just "influenster" invites. Everyone on the street that was in the area just got on line and so after close to 2 hours I had to go back to work. Bummer, but I did get to meet Chrissy and Dominique and get a sample of perfume and a pretzel! Dominique Ansel was the creator of the Cronut and now the pretzel Lobster Tail and made the cute heart shaped Pretzels (the shape of the perfume bottle). Amazing staff  and I loved the DJ. What fun right in the middle of the Flatiron a DJ spinning some great tunes. Going to try to figure out how influenster and their wonderful vox boxes works. xoox

They gave us water since the lines were long and very hot out

The DJ

Perfume Sample

Chrissy Teigen and Dominique Ansel

Chrissy Teigen and Dominique Ansel

Dominique Ansel's Heart shaped Pretzels 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Diner en Blanc New York

Diner en Blanc New York 2014 was my first one and hopefully I will be lucky and be invited to future ones. Diner en Blanc (Diner in White) was started in Paris  over 25 years ago by Francois Pasquier for just a handful of his friends and now his Paris "friends" include another 15 thousand people each year.

The rules: You need a table and chairs everything must be "BLANC" (white), real dishes and silverware and glasses a centerpiece is recommended and you also must wear "BLANC" (white). You carry your items in either a dolly or a grocery carriage and some choose to "carry" by hand.  If you are lucky to sign in you pick a group location in the City and when the day arrives you meet your group and leader there and wait for the announcement of your "Secret" Location. There is a Flash Mob of Blanc on buses and trains and walking through the Streets of Manhattan! I fortunately was by the Freedom Tower at Battery Park with a view of the beautiful Marina and the Statue of Liberty. When the announcement came our Group Leader just told us to follow her. Yeah she walked ahead and never saw her again the rest of the night. Fortunately we had a piece of paper what section we were and guests and a different leader from another group, Nicole helped our Group. Guests are super wonderful polite and sweet. The elegant setting and attire definitely sets the mood. My friend Marlene and I ordered food from Todd English who was the first time Celebrity Chef of the event. I set the table and hid all the carrying pieces and Marlene went to get our box of goodies. Moet & Chadon, Bordeaux and French Tuesday were at hand to make sure we had an elegant, fun "Diner en Blanc". 

My experience: Diner en Blanc was a surreal experience. It was funny listening to non dinner goers. One couple thought is was a Flash Mob wedding others wanted to know what is going on and why. At one point I said "Google" Diner en Blanc! lol Passing the Freedom Tower on our way to our "Elegant Picnic" was a feeling of blessings, So many people's lives were taken away and this is usually an area of sadness and remembrance and that night it was a celebration,  a little injection of life brought back into that area. It is definitely a lot of work but so much fun and so worth it so look at the website and if Diner en Blanc is in your state or Country look into it! Be elegant, set an elegant table and enjoy it all....Merci

waiting to hear where our "secret location" was

Statue of Liberty

We passed the "Freedom" Tower 

everyone walking with our tables chairs food and decor

Diner en Blanc

Empire State Building in the background

these head pieces lit in the dark - Fabulous

My Friend Marlene


the North Star 

Drone over head to video the event

loved the decor some people created

Moet & Chadon 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Cafe El Presidente - Tacos NYC

I was anticipating the opening of a Taco Place, Cafe El Presidente a Tacombi restaurant on 24th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue in the Flatiron, NYC (Nueva York). There were lots of pre-opening articles on line and some said it was the Little Eataly of Mexican Food. Not at all! Oh Hold on Jose it is not selling Mexican items to take home but it is so Mexican Chic and fun. The Colors of the "Jugos - Juice" Bar and exposed brick around the tortilleria - taco makers gives Cafe El Presidente the Mexican Street vendor feel. I sat at the Madison Taco Bar and watched the kitchen create little tacos.

I had Senorita Carnitas soft tacos and guacamole with fresh made fried tortillas and I drank at the suggestion of someone the Virgin Spiked Sandia which is a watermelon juice. I Cannot wait to grab some friends and go back and share with my friends.