As you may know I have just returned from NYC where I was cooking at the James Beard House in the trendy community of Greenwich Village, near SoHo. The Beard Foundation, as it is known by most foodies, was created in 1986 after the death of Oregon native James Beard. Julia Child encouraged his estate to create the foundation to celebrate the man who many remember as a teacher, journalist and gastronome.
To be asked to cook in this prestigious venue is for many chefs a milestone in their career. On this occasion it was John Newman of Newman’s 988 in Cannon Beach, who was asked to the Beard House for the third time, no less! I was part of John’s team to assist and schlep as needed. More than happy to oblige, I packed my knives, whites and checkbook and boarded a plane heading east. To be perfectly honest, I was so excited to go back to this culinary mecca that John didn’t need to ask twice! Deli was the first on my list, Matzoah Brie to be exact. This concoction does not include “brie cheese,” but rather consists of matzoah crackers (Jewish unleavened bread) soaked in eggs and then scrambled with a little caramelized onion and top it off with a potato pancake that only Arnies’s on Broadway can make and voila, breakfast is served. The meals that followed were as diverse as the cultures that surrounded them. From the dim sum off Canal Street to Italian near Chelsea Market my meals were quintessential NYC; that is to say, served as is, no excuses and no special requests! The highlight of my palette pleasing excursions was at the Alain Ducasse Restaurant in the Essex House on central park. Ducasse is well known in the industry as the only chef to be given multiple stars by Michelin in two locations, Monaco and Paris. His New York scene was phenomenal! From start to finish, every course was executed with finesse and precision often equated with a symphony performance. I could go through each course but that is for another time. Suffice it to say that if you ever find yourself in the Big Apple, and want the ultimate food and wine experience, just go for it!
Oh and for the record, John Newman’s dinner at the Beard House was stellar! Way to go John! And we all can experience his talents right here in CB!