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Boston: Behind The Scenes at Clio's 15th Anniversary, 15 Chef, 15 Course Blowout Dinner

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

I'm not going to pretend I don't have a personal stake in writing about chef Ken Oringer's flagship restaurant Clio in Boston. It's not the first restaurant I worked in, but it was certainly the most influential.

It was the kitchen where I learned to think creatively and critically about food, where I learned that a strong work ethic and a passion for the food is more important than experience or education, and where I met many of the greatest cooks and chefs I've ever known, and as evidenced by the blowout 15th anniversary meal Clio hosted on Tuesday night, I'm not the only one who felt this way.

Final Touches

For the event, Ken invited back 15 former Clio cooks who have gone on to make big names for themselves in cities across the country. Each chef was asked to prepare one course for a four-hour, 15-course meal. You'd think with that many cooks (not to mention egos) in the kitchen, there'd be a few logistical hitches here and there getting the food out to the over 100 hungry guests (who included friends of Clio: Ming Tsai, Matthew Jennings, and Jamie Bissonette, among others), but I have never seen a kitchen run so smoothly and professionally. Every course went out without a hitch, and man, what a meal it was.

If food is really the new rock (as some claim it to be) and chefs the new rockstars, this was like the Bonnaroo of meals (which would make me the roadie of the meal, lending a hand here and there, mostly just honored to get to work with such talent). With only one course to focus on, each chef pulled out all the stops, making for a meal of one big hit after another.

Course 13: Veal Breast and Sweetbreads

Course 13: veal breast and sweetbreads.

There was no shortage of flavor (or sea urchin, for that matter) on the plates. Here's the course-by-course breakdown:

For more on the event, read a great interview with Ken, Chef de Cuisine Douglas Rodrigues, Alex Stupak, and others over on Today.com from former Serious Eats intern-turned-superstar Katie Quinn.

Peep through the slideshow for a course-by-course behind-the-scenes breakdown.

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

Printed from http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/06/boston-behind-the-scenes-at-clios-15th-anniversary-dinner.html

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