Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Midweek Eats: An afternoon with Food & Wine

This past weekend I had the honor of being invited to a really awesome food event hosted by Food & Wine and Buick.

I have to admit... I was a little annoyed that Buick first made everyone listen to the spiel on their crap cars before letting us get to the foodie fun. So annoyed in fact, we turned down the test drive and instead walked over to Einsteins (one of my favs) for a little snack before the real stuff started. Big mistake. We wound up missing the first food module with Chef Hugh Acheson (Food & Wine best new chef, 5 time James Beard nominee and Top Chef Masters alum... in case you were wondering.) We did however snag a plate of his roasted beet salad that he prepared. Which was so delicious, it was gone before I could take a picture!

The next section was with, Pastry Chef Ben Roche of the acclaimed Moto restaurant in Chicago. Ben is known for this futuristic take on dessert, so you know that liquid nitrogen was present! Chef Roche demonstrated bacon ice cream (made with the nitrogen of course) and the coolest little smores inspired chocolate.

Those of you that follow me on twitter got my live reaction on the bacon ice cream. I hated it. It didn't taste like bacon, it tasted like burnt bacon grease. I love the idea of it, but it just left a horrible taste on my tongue. On the other hand, the little graham cracker ball dipped in chocolate was delish. It's funny there actually isn't any marshmallow in it at all, but after Chef Roche lit the little edible paper on fire, the smokiness and the little bits of ash tricked your mouth into thinking it was burnt marshmallows. Very clever Ben, very clever.  

Next, we went into a wine tasting with Michael Green, an uber wine enthusiast, James Beard nominee and wine and spirits consultant to Gourmet magazine.

Micheal gave us a 20 minute course in wine tasting and we tasted a yummy Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz. I could have used another glass or two of the Sauvignon.

Last but not least was the main attraction, Chef Ming Tsai.

He did a quick demo of Chicken Chow Mein and Sweet and Sour Pork. He didn't do anything too elaborate, but he kept us entertained as he chopped and stirred. We got to taste the Chow Mein, which was delicious, but once again, I ate it all before I could get a picture...

I suck as a photo journalist!

Anywho, the 3 hour event ended with autographed copies of Chef Ming's book, Simply Ming: One pot meals and a chance for a photo op, with the chef himself.   

All in all, the event was a great time. I could have done without the Buick stuff, but well.... Buick's name is on the invite, so I guess that is fair. I didn't learn anything new and amazing in terms of food, but I did get to see Chef Roche play with liquid nitrogen, see Chef Hugh's infamous uni-brow (and skills) in person and drink some wine and eat some food... so no complaints here, in fact, it was a fantastic way for a foodie like me to spend the afternoon. My only regret is that I didn't get to post about the event before hand so some of you guys, my readers, could have attended. There's always next time!

Have a great hump day and enjoy the rest of your week! We'll see you back here on Friday for, "What's for dinner".

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