Saturday, January 2, 2010
Top Food Experiences of the Decade
In no particular order the following is a list of the Great sources of entertaining company and awesome food enjoyed over the decade just completed.
Chefs Steve and Miranda: Meals at home and on vacations with family and friends have in many ways been the best of all. Over this decade I like to think I have learned to plan, select, prepare, and serve many truly outstanding meals. Sharing that joy and gift with my daughter Miranda has added a depth and breadth to our relationship that is inestimable and truly treasured. Today we Skype several times a week about cooking, and food.
Thomas Keller: Per Se in NY and Bouchon Bistro in Yountville and Las Vegas have been enjoyed with Family as really top experiences. Meeting Thomas Keller, touring his kitchen with him, and the sublime meal at Per Se is a real life experience for me. Also the Thomas Keller French Laundry, Bouchon, and Ad Hoc cookbooks have been life changing in the evoluion of my cooking techniques.
Jason Wilson: Chef Jason Wilson and his restaurant Crush have provided some of the best and perhaps the most memorable (my daughter Miranda's wedding dinner in our garden, meals of my life. Jason has a skill in the kitchen, especially with sous vide cooking, that really speaks to my palate.
Hostellerie Jérôme - Bruno Cirino: This restaurant in La Turbie France has provided many awesome meals with family and friends. It is definitely the location of my foodie daughter Miranda's food epiphany. My love of France, French food, French Service, and the amuse bouche has really been influenced by Bruno Cirino and his wonderful restaurant.
Restaurant Le Clos de la Violette Aix-en-Provence - France : A wonderful long lunch here with Cindy, Miranda, and hosted by our good friends Beth Presslar and Raleigh Roarch is one of my fondest food memories. A 3 hour drive from opposite directions for both of us - getting hopelessly lost for an hour within a block of the restaurant and then and sublime meal. thank you Beth and Raleigh
Les Deux Freres Restaurant Roquebrune - France Many lunch's on the Patio overlooking Monte Carlo and Cap Martin with family and friends like Bill, Shirley, and Melania Page are truly memorable. In many seasons, states of health, weather, I can actually remember them all with great fondness. I believe that a trip there with Melania started her on her route to being an expat in Europe.
La Favorita Restaurant Apricale Italy - Zabaglone! Shirley drinking everyones Grappa! - What a fun little village restaurant high in the hills, on a little road that follows an ancient abandoned Roman aqueduct. Again, many a fine meal with friends and family.
Carla Giomi wine and food guide, San Gimignano Italy - My first great food trip and travel bonding experience with my daughter Amy was an Epiculinary Trip to Italy in November 2001 with Carla as our guide. Cindy and I subsequently went back and revisited most of the spots with Carla in 2002. Part of the tour with Amy was a tour and lunch at Fattoria die Barbi that I will never forget. This estate has a wonderful private restuarant and makes at least 5 different wines including the Brunello. Being right after 9/11 we were the ONLY people on the tour. Amy was having some stomach travel problems so she just has plain pasta and water. I on the other had got to do the special Epicurious Tour lunch and wine tasting which included a whole, large carafe of each of their wines - they were good and they were extremely proud of them so I didn't want to just take a sip of each one.... glad Carla was driving.
Eleven Madison Park - New York - Daniel Humm. This Fall Cindy, Sid, Miranda, and I had what Cindy considers her best restaurant meal ever at this NY Times 4 star restaurant. See the blog. this is the highest end of Danny Meyers string of great restaurants - another we have had many a great meal in is Gramercy Tavern
Holly Smith - Cafe Juanita north of Seattle. Holly, James Beard award winner, is a great chef with a fabulous northern Italian fine dining establishment. When I choose a really important meal to me personally - such as my retirement dinner or birthday - Cafe Juanita always wins. The Rabbit is to die for. In 2009 6 of the best owner/chefs in the area did a six event dinner series at each others restaurants. Each Chef did a different course at each event - we attended all with family and friends. At the end of the event I chose the best course of the 6 courses out of each dinner. the result was Cafe Juanita was best on 5 out of the 6 courses even when cooking in someone else's kitchen. Wow!