StarChefs’ Rising Stars Revue- 03.21.10
The latest in the Dear NOTCOT guest posts… here’s one from my old friend, Jackson Stakeman, who just might become our food editor… if we’re lucky! He was kind enough to help attend what sounds like a delicious event, and being a professional photographer AND food connoisseur, his pics are looking awesomely scrumptious!
Laid out underneath the enormous iconic tree of the Santa Monica Fairmont Hotel, StarChefs held its annual Rising Stars Revue. Tables were laid out in a massive ring, and there was fabulous food and drink in all directions. Being there an hour just before sunset, there was a lot of running around trying to photograph everything before losing the perfect light.
The food was fantastic, these rising stars were picked for a good reason, there was lots of amazing tastes, and fun playful ideas as you went table to table. The surprising and minimalist cube sculpture above is actually Jordan Kahn’s violet sauce topped white chocolate cube filled with cream a sponge cake served on a white kitchen tile. Equally amazing was having the chance to experience such a variety of dishes and drink pairings all in one event. It was also a great opportunity to watch many of this year’s rising star chefs prepare these delicacies before my eyes.
Culinary interests aside, the plates were also especially NOTCOT worthy. All of the 13,000 plates were provided by Verterra, whose compostable disposable dinnerware are not only beautiful, but made from fallen leaves!
Ready to dive in to see my favorite dishes of the night? There are plenty more courses on the next page…
The Umami sliders were grilled to a soft delicious rare. The cheese wafer was a fun play on expectations, and oddly was the crunchiest part of the experience. Umami, named after the fifth taste, is a sweet science.
Bone Marrow on toast. Church + State split and roasted beef bones and scooped out the soft delicious interior. It taste far less gruesome than it sounds.
The jerked pork belly was amazing. Jason Knibb of Nine-Ten was on hand to guide me through the dish. All the flavors of the Jamaican classic were there, but slightly reconfigured. The scotch bonnet, was turned into a jelly and draped over the top, and caramelized on site under a torch… a sort of jerk pork crĂ¨me brule.
Ken Takayama’s monk fish was delicate and perfectly balanced.
Adrian Vasquez presented these cute little chocolate cream pies.
Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio representing The Dining Room at the Langham slices some perfectly cooked sous vede wagu short rib.
Here are a few fun design details that made me think of Jean:
Here’s a bit more information on Verterra:
Thank you for the stunning pictures and experience, Jackson!!!