Sunday, October 28, 2012

Birthday Weekend in NYC Cooking School

At least I am thinner
Carlo Cracco
The weekend in New York was to celebrate by 35th birthday;-) .  We had made reservations at two events one at Eataly La Scoula and Food Network's Food and Wine Event Featuring Kenny Callaghan from Blue Smoke .  The La Scoula is run by Lidia Bastianich who is part owner or Eataly with her son Joe and Mario Battali.  They were running a 3 day program that featured the best chefs in NYC showing us how to cook their best.  We went to the Michael White and Carlo Cracco event.  Carlo was a late entry as a replacement and I am very happy that happened because it was a great event. 

Michael White's Scallop
I really enjoy Michael White's restaurants so it was fun to watch and meet him.  Carlo Cracco is the Top Chef in Milan and really came in to show us something really fantastic.  Between the the have 4 Michelin Stars (2 each) and they are well deserved. 

Carlo and Michael
Eggo Yolk Pasta wth White Truffle

The School is very intimate and we had many of the Milanese city officials and general entourage with Carlo.  There were interpreters, photographers, Officials from the 2013 Expo, representatives from Grana Padano Hard Cheese and a Vintner.  Michael started with creating a Scallop dish that was on top of a pureed butternut squash, with Olive Oil and Balsamic the Scallop was topped by a sliver of Parmigiana Reggiano.  Carlo Cracco took the stove with his interpreter and proceeded to make two fantastic dishes not only for taste but for their creativity.  Dish 1 started with Fresh Mussels which were shelled and the shell was kept cleaned and dried.  He then made pasta sheets and painted it black with squid ink and laid them in the shell to form them into edible mussel shells.  He dried them made them crisp in the oven and then placed the mussel back in the shell and created an edible mussel with shell.  Dish 2 was an Egg Yolk Pasta with White Truffle.  This is a flour less pasta that is created with desiccated egg yolks.  I will make it more appetizing now, Carlo had brought over from Italy eggs from chickens that eat only carrots.  The result is a orange yolk he then placed the yolks in salt to literally suck the moisture out of the yolk to create a yolk putty.  This takes 24 hours.  The Yolk putty becomes the pasta which is made into a Tagliolini.  The Tagliolini is then dried and microwaved for 40 seconds and then served with slices of White Truffle creating a finger food.  There are no other ingredients.  The result is rich salty and with the fragrance of White Truffle.  Hmm really must have liked it.

Crait Teaching Kenny a New Rub Wasabi
Simple but good
Mark showing us how to open a bottle of Champagne
OK let's talk about the Food Network event.  Each October in NYC Food Network hosts over 140 events featuring chefs from all over the world to present their best in these individual events some are large and some are small.  We went last minute to the Blue Smoke BBQ event with Kelly Callaghan Chef of Blue Smoke and Mark Oldman who was in charge of the Wine Pairings.  This was a very simple overview with some very complex wine and food pairings.  Imagine finding a wine pair with a deviled egg or with pickled shrimp, or a Saltine topped with Pimento cheese a homemade sausage and a jalapeno or finally with a beef rib.  Any way these guys made it happen.  At the end of the event I had a chance to talk to Kenny and tell him about my Wasabi Rub and some of the different ingredients I use.
What was coincidental was that I had done a review in Aspen of a BBQ event that we ran into and come to find out it is hosted by Kenny and I thought his ribs stood out.