Winemakers’ Dinner Update. How Does Lavender Honey Duck Breast Sound? What About Milk Jam Ice Cream?
This is just a tease for the Winemakers’ Dinner, which is happening on May 19th and is destined to be the gala highlight of Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Weekend. All the chefs that’ll be preparing the food for the evening met this morning to strategize about who would cook what (and in which order). Having looked at the Ritz-Carlton’s kitchen set up, I kinda wish I could step into my clogs and lend a hand. Because guess what? This kitchen has two actual plate conveyor belts! (Sadly, I was on the job, so I couldn’t get caught pushing random buttons to see how they worked. Drat.)
Here’s the scene behind the scenes. Looks like hors d’oeuvres will be provided by the Ritz-Carlton’s ever-affable Executive Sous Chef A.J. McCloud, who also generously offered to cater to vegetarian diners and whomever else might show up with dietary concerns. Last year, his whimsical hors d’oeuvres kicked the event off in style--we can only expect that, this year, they’ll be another perfect welcome. Chef Marc Lippman of Crabtree’s Kittle House is starting off the seated dinner portion of the night with a Day Boat Sea Scallops with Sunchoke Confit and Celery Truffle Emulsion, which is destined to be served with Champagne from Perrier-Jouet. Chef Anthony Goncalves was running late, so he was assigned the second course – Black Cod marinated in Aguardente, Soy, Ginger & Garlic Marinade, Bok Choy, Shrimp Agnolotti. Chef Ethan Kostbar of Moderne Barn is up for the third course, slinging Spring Ramp Risotto with Spiced Lavender Honey Duck Breast with Chef Peter Kelly capping off the savories with a suitably monumental “beef and a big red”: Braised Short Ribs of Aged Beef, Chili & Onion Crust, White Cheddar Grits & Parsley Oil.
Finally, the Blue Hill at Stone Barns team steps up. Chefs Joel De La Cruz and Adam Kaye will be whipping up their magic for dessert; they’re planning something (obviously) locally sourced and delicious. Poached Rhubarb with Lemon Thyme, Local Goat Cheese Cake and Milk Jam Ice Cream (Milk jam, you say? In French, that’s confiture de lait – in Spanish, dulce de leche). Any way you say it, it’s deliciously reduced and caramelized milk--I actually have a criminal history with this product, which includes smuggling across international borders. Here’s a picture of everyone at this morning’s meeting.
Left to right: Chef Joel De La Cruz (Blue Hill at Stone Barns), Chef Anthony Goncalves (42 the Restaurant), Chef Ethan Kostbar (Moderne Barn), Chef Peter Kelly (Xaviar’s Restaurant Group), Chef Adam Kaye (Blue Hill at Stone Barns), Chef A. J. McCloud (Ritz-Carlton) and Chef Marc Lippman (Crabtree’s Kittle House).