Eileen Miller is a photographer who used to work as a photo editor at Sports Illustrated. (This is where I work.) One of her clients is the James Beard Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to, “To foster the appreciation and development of gastronomy by preserving and promulgating our culinary heritage, and by recognizing and promoting excellence in all aspects of the culinary arts.” One of the ways they accomplish their mission is by holding nice dinners for small groups of people. The guests can watch the chefs cook, and generally there is a question and answer session.
The featured chef at the Beard House on Tuesday was William Gallagher of Becco. Becco is an Italian restaurant owned by Lidia and Joseph Bastianich. There are typically drinks and hors d’oeuvres before dinner, and Eileen was able to get me into the before dinner portion of the night.
On Monday evening, I had gone to Bistro Du Vent, another restaurant owned by Joe Bastianich. In a funny coincidence, I saw him at the restaurant on Monday, and he probably thinks I am a stalker since he saw me at the James Beard house on Tuesday.
The kitchen at the Beard House is open to guests, and it guests can watch the chefs cook.
I left my camera at home, but Eileen lent me her Canon A80 to shoot some snapshots.
Smelt with Caperberries
William Gallagher is the chef in the back
Lidia Bastianich inspecting the prosciutto di San Danielle
A chef slicing the prosciutto di San Danielle
Chefs preparing ricotta di bufala (buffalo milk ricotta) with sunflower honey.
- Smelts with caperberries
- Frico of montasio with aborio rice, onions and potato crisps (pan fried cheese)
- Prosciutto di San Danielle
- Ricotta di bufala with sunflower honey
- Arancini di riso with smoked mozzarella and radicchio (deep fried risotto balls)
- Bruschetta with bacalao and tuna tartare (bacalao is salt cod)
- Panella: pan-fried chickpeas with gaeta olive paste.
P.S. I know you want information on my meal at Per Se. It’s coming.