Recap: A Cooler Than Usual Chef’s & Champagne
July 23, 2012 | East End Eats
Not only were the light summer plates at this year’s Chef’s & Champagne refreshing, but so to was the gloriously non-scorching weather. (The event often falls on what feels like the hottest day of the season.) The annual James Beard Foundation event was held at the Wölffer Estate and honored Ted Allen and the rotating cast of judges on Food Network’s Chopped, including Marcus Samuelsson, Geoffrey Zakarian, and Alex Guarnaschelli, among others.
Upwards of 40 chefs manned tasting booths dishing mostly chilled bites like king crab gazpacho gelée with caviar, local fish crudo, cool consomés and soups, and ceviches. Lines snaked around the Luke’s Lobster and DBGB booths for Luke’s buttery lobster rolls and Daniel Boulud’s poached Scottish salmon with crispy skin and smoked potato and herb emulsion. Chopped star Chris Santos’ grilled chipotle shrimp with heirloom tomatoes, summer corn, and feta salsa was also a hit.
A silent auction raised more than $60,000 for the James Beard Foundation and its educational programs. Guests such as Jill Zarin, Katie Lee, and B. Smith made the rounds and sipped wines by Wölffer Estate Vineyard and Champagne courtesy of Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte.