Chefs & Champagne New York – If you can’t stand the heat, cozy up to cold champagne
On Saturday the most successful ever Chefs and Champagne® New York to benefit the James Beard Foundation defied the heat and with the cold champagne flowing, the tent at Wolffer Estate Vineyards in Sagaponack was the chic place to be.
Taste buds were watering with delectable dishes from 37 fine chefs from Amagansett to Anguilla, most based in the New York area, happy to srut their culinary stuff.
Champagne La Caravelle, Lanson, and Nicolas Feuillatte pleased the crowd as well as fine wines from Wolffer Estate Vineyard and ice cold Belgian beers Hoegaarden, Leffe Blonde and Stella Artois. Esteemed winemaker Roman Roth commented, “It’s a good day to be a grape,” and predicted that 2010 could be a record season for the vines.
Like children, it’s hard to publicly choose one over another, but one of our favorite dishes was Wesley Genovart’s of Degustation in NYC Octopus Terrine with Trempo Salad and Pimientos de Padron Vinaigrette.
The Crab Taquiots with Habanero, Mango, and Thai Basil were mucho delicious from Julian Medina of Yerba Buena Perry in NYC.
We saw honoree Martha Stewart stop by to savor Nicolas Cantrel of Bistrot Bagatelle in NYC’s Tuna Tartare (no pressure or anything.)
Heather Carlucci-Rodiguez of Print in NYC wowed with her Watermellon and Whipped Flan Parfait.
This year’s honoree Martha Stewart is a personal hero of mine. I grew up just down the way from Martha in Connecticut, and she was my first exposure to cooking which went beyond heating a frozen mini crab quiche to go with the martinis. I bought her book on entertaining and it changed my life right down to the white ruffled shirt I bought to imitate her cover photo. I still refer to that book often not only for the recipes but as a reminder how beautiful a plate, table, and life can be.
Martha commented that before her role model Julia Child, there was James Beard who made America the focal point for good cuisine. She congratulated the chefs and noted how important the James Beard Foundation is to nourish and take care of culinary art in America. Keep an eye out for her new TV show Martha Bakes.
Andrea Wolffer also gave a heartfelt tribute to her father Christian who was dedicated to his winery, believing wine to be a fine complement to great food in a unique and inspiring setting. She presented a culinary scholarship in his name to Christina Murillo.
As usual the silent auction for dining near and far had more people hovering than East Hampton’s airport on a Friday night. The cookware, fine dining, and culinary adventures were in high demand. We kept close tabs on Yosemite’s Chef’s Holidays at the Ahwahnee but our VISA limit couldn’t keep up with the bidding.
A healthy fantasy life of course helps and especially when checking out the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, the modern day gull wing which at $183,000 is apparently in that 200k sweet spot for luxury car buyers. No problem – stillettos in the trunk and flats to put the pedal to the metal. The day was after all about the best of the best.