Benefit for James Beard Foundation Centennial Celebration
With two projection screens and surrounding big plasma televisions guests were treated to a pre-recorded one on one interview with each chef prior to each course. Celebrity Chef Mario Martinoli of "The Mario Martinoli Restaurant Show" of KFI AM-640 was on hand for each chef to formally present his course.
Fighting through the organized chaos, the "kitchen" set was more like gourmet culinary camping. Racks, steam ovens, warmers and three rows of stainless steel tables were team Ritz Carlton's digs for the night. A fascinating team of about 30 chefs prepped, cooked and plated for over 250 excited guests.
Executive Chef Christian Rassinoux brought his team from Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel to prepare a first course of yuzu marinated white salmon, hiijiki with fresh Hawaiian hearts of palm followed by the second course of artic char on duck confit cannelloni, turnips, kumquats, teeny spinach and al'orange sauce by Ritz Carlton Huntington Hotel and Spa led by Executive Chef Denis Depoitre.
Not to be out done, a show stopping third course of roasted apple blossom pumpkin soup with shaved burgundy truffles served in a mini-pumpkin adorned the table and was beautifully presented by Executive Chef Xavier Salomon of Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay.
ne course out doing the other, guests were treated to a mouth watering explosion of "sweet, savory and salty" with hot foie gras, spicy pickled huckleberries, crouton, infused apple reduction vanilla bean sauce featured by Executive Pastry Chef Jean Pierre Dubray and Chef de Cuisine Ron Siegal of Ritz Carlton San Francisco.
Host chef Troy Thompson presented a Summerfield veal loin matsutake that not only pleased the palate but was served in a towering center surrounded by the delicate matsutake sauce.
To complete the dinner, Executive Pastry Chef Patrice Caillot and Executive Chef Stephen Marshall of Ritz Carlton Las Vegas brought the true west to Los Angeles with a warm exotic petit gateau with coconut sorbet and a cellophane-like sliver of dried mango.
With each chef trying to out-do the other one, all were practically upstaged by the traditional tuxedo-clad, white gloved wait staff who gave "never seen before" service with a white napkin draped over their arm, a front of the line table parade for each of twenty-five tables had guests roaring with applause and thrilled for course after course.
If the dinner wasn't enough to keep everyone's tastebuds tantalized, guests were treated to an elaborate post-dinner reception that featured chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. A buffet table with two chocolate fountains, all the accoutrements, petit fours, truffles and espresso machines for freshly made Italian coffee, cappuccino, lattes to sip on while purusing the elaborate displays.
Host chef Troy Thompson did an amazing job coordinating this enormous event along with Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey Director of PR, Tracy Jardin. All monies raised benefit the James Beard Foundation in New York.
For more information go to: www.jamesbeard.org