Wednesday, November 23, 2011

An Evening at the Bouley Test Kitchen

I didn't think about it ahead of time, but this week turned out to be a 1-2 tasting and dining experience with one of the country's best and well-established Chefs, David Bouley, and one of his proteges, Three-Star Michelin recipient Cesar Ramirez. The first event was a private client event at the Test Kitchen, Bouley's comfortable loft-like space that combines a cozy living room and a high tech studio with state of the art audio/visual equipment with an unbelievable open kitchen and your own team of Chefs for the evening. Our event was set up to be more social, fun and interactive rather than formal "sit down" style, starting with a selection of Canapes each prepared in full view of the guests. The offerings included Yellowtail with Soy Gelee, Micro Celery in a Crispy Cone Mini "taco" with Fresh Tomato and Avocado Salad (vegetarian) Homemade Blinis with Smoked Salmon, White Truffle Honey Parmesan Crisps and a few additional selections, all paired perfectly with the versatile and delicious Cremant de Bourgogne Rose from Parigot.
The balance of the evening was a petite Tour de France, with 2010 Domaine Sylvain Bailly Sancerre Chene Marchand, 2009 Domaine Albert Grivault Bourgogne Blanc, 2006 Chateau La Pointe Pomerol, Sabon Resevere Chateauneuf du Pape 2009. These were paired with a succession of delicious small plates prepared in the open kitchen including Poached Shrimp with Ginger Aromatic Sauce, Black Bass with a light tomato coulis and herbs, Grilled Duck with Pruneaux d'Agen and Beef Cheeks with Black Truffle Gnocchi. We finished up with a selection of decadent desserts and Coume del Mas Banyuls - one of the great chocolate wines of all time!
What really made the night was an extended visit by David Bouley himself who jumped into the kitchen and stayed all the way through dessert, cooking and mingling with the guests (the fact that it was 60 women from a Law Firm might have played a role!), and posing for photos like the rock star he is. His philosophy: technique gives the chef the skill, but it's all about the ingredients. Fresh, seasonal, carefully prepared to capture the essence and flavors with a little personal interpretation.
The Test Kitchen is available for private groups up to about 60 in a reception format, about 40-50 seated for dinner, and I have done a number of events there. Chef Bouley isn't always present, but I have been lucky each time I have been there and he has spent some time with us. Either way it is a great space and a perfect place for events of all kinds. For info or details contact me at More about part two at Brooklyn Fare to follow soon!

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