Friday, March 09, 2012

Chefs Cooking for Hope (and for us!)

Last night was Chefs Cooking for Hope, one of the big fundraising events for the Friends of Dana-Farber. I'd wanted to check this out for a while, especially after last year, when co-worker Robbin, who does PR for the event, had rounded up some goodies for me while I was out sick.

I still have fond memories of last year's maple bacon cotton candy from Harvest:

Bacon maple cotton candy. Yes.

But that was last year. This year, I wanted to see for myself.

Chefs Cooking for Hope brings together area restaurants and caterers, who dish out small-plate samples to a crowd paying $100 a ticket.

And while that might seem pricey, look at it this way: You're in a room with some of the best chefs in town. And they have food. And they ain't going nowhere.

And no one can stop you having seconds. Or thirds.

So here's what we found:

Oysters in a spicy beet mignonette from Rialto:

Seared tuna with wasabi from The Cottage:

Sweet, lightly marinated roasted red peppers from Strega:

Amazing grilled octopus from Bistro du Midi (and a reminder to vote for chef Robert Sisca in Food and Wine's Best New Chef poll)

Just-right beef tartare from Gaslight:

Light and airy rabbit liver pâté with port gelée and picked carrots from Sel de la Terre:

Eye-rollingly good veal terrine with violet mustard from Beacon Hill Bistro:

Wild mushroom ravioli with oxtail ragout from Miel:

And the dish that seemed to be the hit of the night: braised brisket in a dumpling, in a light dashi broth, with soy pearls, from Baker's Best Catering. You ate it like an oyster: juice, then meat. It was stunning.

Between bites, we stopped by the table for Citizen Pub, who was handing out samples of a lovely rye peach punch.

We liked the Citizen people, not only because cocktail, but also because one of the staff recognized me from a visit ... four months ago.

"Yes," he said, "you came in on a Tuesday. You asked for a sour drink. I persuaded you to have a second one."

Well, that does sound like the kind of thing I would do ...

By this point in the evening, we were pretty much full. Yes, we were eating small amounts, but if you're counting, that's nine small amounts.

Wait, make it ten: I almost forgot about the sweet plantain — halfway between tostón and maduro — topped with apples and eggplant, from (I think) Zephyr on the Charles. It was a crazy combination, but it worked really well.

So yeah, not much room left for dessert. Okay, maybe just a little suspiro Limeño from Taranta. Super-sweet dulce de leche with a meringue topping.

And we'll just look at the cupcakes

and the cupcakes

and the cupcakes.

These last are bacon (the maple kind, yah?) from bakery Glutenus Minimus.

Finally, we picked up a plate of goodies from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts and rolled out.

Tonight, I think we'll be having a nice plate of steamed vegetables.

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Anonymous Atlalnta Braves Fan said...

All the pics look like little works of art. Very nice.

8:28 AM  

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