STUFFED. On Friday Sept 24, my sister and I went to the 2nd annual Le Grand Fooding at PS.1 MoMA. This year with a thematic theme: throw down San Francisco vs. New York City chefs / West coast vs. East coast. With chefs including from New York City David Chang from Momofuku, April Bloomfield from The Spotted Pig and chefs from San Francisco Laurence Jossel from Nopa, James Syhabout from Commis. This theme derived from David Chang’s comment earlier ” $#*! every restaurant in San Francisco is just serving figs on a plate with nothing on it. Do something with our food.” – Look who’s talking? Unfortunately, I did not get around to taste Chang’s Beets, goat cheese, walnuts dish so who am I to judge, but the combination of Beets, goat cheese, and walnuts… how innovative (sarcastically).
Food was spectacular at the Le Grand Fooding though waiting on lines after lines with the cost of our admission was absolutely annoying and disappointing. I suppose the wait is considerably reasonable in comparison to how some of these participating chefs requires advance reservations for their restaurants up to 6 months to 1 year? -whoo I was really excited to finally try April Bloomfield’s The Spotted Pig cooking. The only female chef of the evening. She created an exclusive dish for the event, cheese inspired a Beef, Bleu D’ Auvergne and Suet Pie. I mentioned earlier that I don’t eat beef but I’m not a strict no beef diet person and it’s April Bloomfield! To the fashionista she’s a Diane Von Furtensburg and to the graphic designers she’s a Paula Scherr. April Bloomfield reinvented the British gastropub cuisine with a sophisticated modern comfort food twist and the Beef, Bleu D’ Auvergne and Suet Pie was amazing! The Beef, Bleu D’ Auvergne and Suet Pie were served pipping hot from the oven in a average muffin sized tin. The pie had a quiche and pot pie essence. With the exterior similar to a quiche topping off with grated Bleu D’ Auvergne cheese with a swift of Bleu Cheese aroma in the air. A bite into the Beef, Bleu D’ Auvergne and Suet Pie the braised beef brisket was cooked to tenderness. The proportion of cheese, crust and beef filling was cooked to perfection with layers of excitement and the taste was flavorful.
Events like Le Grand Fooding needs to be strategized. We enjoyed April Bloomfield’s pie while on line for Laurence Jossel from Nopa (SF), Wood-grilled Pork ribeye, smoked tomato jam on artisinal bread. The choice of tomato is very clever as it is one of the most seasonal fruits or vegetable however you like to classify it. The dish was served bruschetta style on a nicely glazed extra virgin olive oil toasty artisinal bread with a generous couple of quarter inched sliced wood-grilled pork ribeye topping with tomato jam. The tomato jam was excellent and overall it was fresh and every component and every flavored shined.
Next we waited on line in anticipation for the wine and pizza pairing from Pizza Moto (NY) and Pizzaiolo (SF) . Unsure which was by whom. There was a seasonal heirloom tomato pizza and a calamari pizza. Both pizza were delicious though I prefer my pizza cheesy and both lacked the cheesiness. To end the evening, we finished off with James Syhabout from Commis (SF) Scallops with smoked stone fruit emulsion licorice herbs. The line was the least longest but looks can be deceiving. Chef Jams Syhabout has the execution all planned out and the scallops were very fresh and meaty.
Several dishes I did not get around to or were disappointingly out of: David Chang’s Beets, goat cheese, walnuts (NY) ; Rich Torrisi Pickle salad (NY); Jeremy Fox’s Vegetables on a plate (SF) and Robert Newton’s Tennessee-style fried chicken. (NY)
San Francisco or New York City? Hmm… I was born and raised in New York City and have lived here for over twenty-two years of my life but I also love San Francisco, the one and only west coast city I have gone back more than once and had considered in moving to. The food in San Francisco is incredible. San Francisco being closer to the Mexico border and to South America and to the Asian countries, the multicultural flavors are bold and are generally authentic. Whereas New York City is a greater population of melting pot of multicultural and with the influence of the old inspiring the new creativeness. Thanks to April Bloomfield’s Beef, Bleu D’ Auvergne and Suet Pie, I would give the title to New York City. Her dish was awe-inspiring and I always appreciate chefs who cooks their food rather only having their name under their dish.
To end the week and the final weekend of September 2010 is my weekly eats at the New Amsterdam Market. For this week of Sept 26, I had to try the weekly vendor Brooklyn, Home/Made‘s signature goat cheese on foccacia and at Home/made served coffee brewed by Brooklyn’s Kitten Coffee. The goat cheese spread on foccacia is highly recommended and by far the best chevre cheese I have had or perhaps ever. The goat cheese is not overly pungent but with the fresh goat cheese taste still in existence and pairing with the freshly baked foccacia bread with the right amount of consistency and thickness is absolutely heavenly delicious.
I sampled the remainder ice cream flavors at the Early Bird Cookery from Cocheton, NY which was Blueberry and the oddly unusual but favorable beer & pretzel. It was towards the end of the day so the ice cream were not as frozen. The beer & pretzel flavor an obvious adult ice cream is surprisingly good and will definitely stir up a conversation with the process of developing the beer & pretzel flavor with the vendor just like in those black and white western cowboy films at the saloon with a draft beer and a friendly conversation with the bartender.
At it’s seasonal peak, I bought a bundle of fresh beets from the farmer John Pahucki Do Re Me Farm located New Hamptons, NY. I am very excited to attempt in cooking raw beets for the first time. I usually buy the packaged beets from Trader Joe’s which are convenient, healthy and delicious. With some advice from local experts I am confident to attempt a better version of David Chang’s beets, goat cheese and walnuts. HA.
New Amsterdam Market/// South Street between Beekman Street and Peck Slip, New York NY 10271 – near the old Fulton Fish Market. (Every Sunday 11-4pm, next market is Sunday Oct 3, 2010)
Home/Made /// 293 Van Brunt Street Brooklyn NY 11231
Early Bird Cookery /// Cochecton, NY
Do Re Me Farm/// 342 Maple Avenue New Hampton, NY 10958