Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Fairmont Copley's Celebrity Chef Program
So, after all the social media hoopla that followed yesterday's post, today we actually get to talk about the food. Chef José Duarte of Taranta kicked off the 16th annual Celebrity Chefs Culinary Program at the Fairmont Copley Plaza last weekend by preparing and presenting three great dishes for the crowd. The program benefits the Boston Center for Adult Education and has long been one of the most elegant settings for a cooking class one can experience in Boston. It's a great way to meet some of Boston's great Chefs up close while enjoying a delicious lunch.
I have to admit the Fairmont Copley Plaza sets out one of the most beautiful tables in Boston with a level of service you'd expect to go with it.
The first course was a Maine Lobster Causa. Riced potatoes with amarillo paste, lime juice, lightly salted, are layered with a mayonnaise including chopped onions and shallots then a layer of avocado, chopped eggs and olives. Topped with a generous chunk of lobster meat, it was a delicate, balanced flavor.
The first course was paired with a Martin Codax Albarino, a Spanish wine stored in stainless steel. Did you know that it leaves less of a carbon footprint to ship a wine to Boston from Spain by boat than to ship a Californian wine by truck? Wines were provided by the Martignetti Company.
The second course was Pan Roasted Cultured Blue Mussels. This was my particular favorite. The mussels were perfumed with a Sicilian Marsala and tossed with diced pancetta and balsamic roasted shallots. Cultured Blue Mussels are rope grown, requiring much less work cleaning the beards, etc. Simple and delicious.
The second course was paired with Cliff Edge Shiraz. The oak aged, Australian wine sells in the $20-$25 range but can be difficult to find.
The third course was a Yucca Gnocchi with Peruvian Style Lamb Ragu. The Yucca Gnocchi was hand made and handled as little as possible to maintain a light, fluffy texture. It definitely was a lot lighter than many potato gnocchi dishes I have had.
The third course wine pairing was Frei Brothers Russian River Valley (Sonoma)Chardonnay.
After the presentation attendees are encouraged to ask further questions of the Chef.