“A Taste for Life” Tribune Dinner

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As promised, here is my take on the Brain Tumor Foundation’s Tribute Dinner.

The Foundation organized a tribute dinner to support the national expansion of their Road to Early Detection campaign. The campaign deploys mobile MRI units that provide free brain scans to under-served communities. Check out their website for more information on the program and how you can help.

They will soon launch a #PictureThisBTF social media picture campaign. Check out their hashtag and follow triumphant stories from people who were affected by brain tumors.

Now onto the food!

Five New York chefs came together to create a delicious and tantelizing tasting menu.

The first dish was from Chef Dale Talde. He piled duck confit and eggplant atop a toasted manderin. Manderin is a bread originating from China (you probably could’ve guess that one) that is slightly sweet and very dense – the texture is almost meaty! The duck confit was, well, duck confit, and the pickled cabbage added a nice crunch. The eggplant relish was what I like to call a silent ingredient: it blends into the dish and gives it that extra “something”, without really announcing its presence. Together, everything was delicious! Chef Talde has three restaurants in Park Slope, Brooklyn: Talde, Pork Slope and Thistle Hill. I’m definitely going to try those out in the very near future.

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The next course was my favorite: a pea flan with creamy morels and a garnish of ramps and prosciutto. The taste of the morels was throughout, as if the deep umami was the base of the dish instead of the pea flan (who takes the forefront in the naming). The pea flan was just right, and the prosciutto added that necessary salinity. It was DELICIOUS! Chef  Kerry Heffernan was a contestant on Top Chef season 5, so the recipe for this dish can be found on the Bravo website. Horray!

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Next up was an olive oil poached salmon with a spring herb veloute prepared by chef Yuhi Fujinaga. The fish was delicious. It teetered on the edge of raw and cooked in a way that I’ve never had salmon before. It had that raw softness yet flaked simultaneously. It was placed atop a veloute (which the chef told us was made with leeks!) and garnished with light, crisp breakfast beets. A clam was hidden under the salmon like a little surprised. It was soaking in the herb veloute and delicious. Yuhi Fujinaga is a chef at Sea Grill in Rockefeller Center.

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The last entree was a pan roasted sirloin with parmesan fonduta, some sort of bitter green and crispy potatoes prepared by Chef Chris Jaeckle. Delicious. The steak was melt in your mouth tender (what else can you say to describe a good steak?), but the prize was in the fonduta. creamy and delicious. The potatoes were, you got it, crispy. It tasted like the chef sauteed the greens and potato in a duck or bacon fat. Whatever it was, I liked it! Chris Jaeckle is opening a new restaurant in May called All’Onda. Let’s hope this is on the menu!

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Last, but certainly not least, was Jacque Torres’ Ice cream cookie sandwhich. I won’t lie. The menu said “ice cream and cookies” under Jacque Torres’ name, and I could have cried in disappointment. I expected a super imaginative chocolate confection, but chocolate was no where to be found in the description. UGH! But then I tasted it, and oh. my. god. Let’s just say that I will never again eat another chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich if it does not come from Jacque Torres. He ruined it for me. But in the best way possible. END!

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