Slow cooked mussels in a buttery broth with celery root and sea beans.
Jelly Belly Blind Tasting
We tasted Jelly Belly jelly beans with our noses closed so that we couldn't smell them as we ate, underscoring the interaction between aroma and flavor. Without smelling, it's very difficult to identify what flavors the jelly beans were.
Lots of Flavors!
It doesn't help that Jelly Belly has dozens of flavors.
Cryo-Shucked Shigoku Oysters
Shucking oysters by briefly freezing them makes them much easier to open without losing juices. These were served with pickled wild rose in a rose and yuzu dressing.
Baby Corn Elote
Baby corn served with cotija, lime, and mayonnaise, just like Mexican street corn.
Einav Gefen's Sabich
Fried eggplant, boiled egg, pita bread, hummus, tahini, and israeli salad in one bite.
Raghavan lyer's Paani Poori
Fried bread filled with chickpeas and a spicy liquid with three separate chutneys. You open your mouth and let the chef serve you.
Raghavan Lyer's Malai Methi Gosht
Black cardamom-crusted lamb chops with a yogurt sauce.
Ted Allen Talks
Ted Allen of Food Network's Chopped hosted the event.
Einev Gefen's Knafeh
Middle Eastern pastry with cheese, syrup, and pistachios. They reminded me of Frosted Mini-Wheats after letting them soak in milk for a while.
Maxime Bilet Talks
Maxime Billet introduces all of the chefs at the event.
Jehangir Mehta's "New Vision of the American Burger"
I'm always skeptical of foofy conceptual burgers, but this one was actually quite delicious. Made with a mix of sautéed black trumpets and beef, every element contained mushroom, from the pickled oyster mushroom on top to the mushroom butter in the brioche to the dried mushroom ketchup to the fried enoki on the side. I think many folks could live with a low-meat diet if it always tasted like this.
Lara Nixon and Todd Richman's Pousse Café and Carrot Shrub
The pousse café was made with huckleberries, white pepper sake, and grapefruit-infused American Harvest vodka, while the alcohol-free shrub was fresh carrot juice, apple vinegar, pineapple, and spicy bitters.
Elizabeth Falkner's "Apocalypse Caviar"
The concept was a little bit baffling (after the apocalypse we're going to have to stick our hands in ant nests to get caviar?), but it was a fun station. Behind the ant-covered poster was a macro video of the inside of an ant nest with a bowl of tobiko in front of it.
Chef Falkner had you reach in with rubber gloves before squirting on some crème fraîche (post-apocalyptic, no doubt) and bread crumbs, which you ate off of your hand.
Dan Felder's Beef Tataki
One of the more interesting and delicious stations at the event, Dan Felder of Momofuku's research kitchen served beef tataki with a miso-like sauce made with fermented french lentils and basmati rice koji.
Dan Felder's Taylor Bay Scallops
On the other side of his station, he served raw Taylor Bay scallops with soy-style sauce made by fermenting faro for 45 days. The sauce was sweet, nutty, salty, and mild—like a really excellent traditional soy sauce.
Farro Soy Sauce
The fermented farro is pressed to extract the sauce.
Maxime Bilet's Soupe à l'Oignon
Each plate only gets a few tablespoons of broth, but it's so ridiculously intense, with all of the flavors of French onion soup—slow caramelized onions and gratinéed Gruyère—that a few sips is enough. It gets poured over a variety of onions—fried, pickled, and charred.
Three nut cheeses graced the "French Service" table. They look like regular cheese, but unfortunately don't taste much like it, with an oddly light finish and a somewhat off-putting gel-like texture.
Savinien Caracostea's Croquembouche
Standing about 6 feet high, this is quite easily the largest croquembouche I've ever seen. Pastry cream-filled choux pastry puffs in a sugar candy glaze. Guests were asked to pick them off as they left the event.
Making Cryo-Popcorn Gelato
Michael Cirino's cryo-popcorn gelato starts with a buttered popcorn-flavored ice cream base that is charged in a whipped cream canister and ejected into a liquid nitrogen bath.
One "Kernel" of Cryo-Popcorn
As the base hits the liquid nitrogen, it quickly freezes, while the force of the ejection from the canister causes it to form popcorn-like shapes.
The popcorn was served with a salted caramel. It tastes just like a good caramel corn, but slowly melts on your tongue like popcorn. Delicious.
Spice-cured slow-cooked duck breast with figs, fermented honey, and Shaoxing wine.