As That Girl At The Party has become “Fat Girl At The Party,” I was all set to start my diet again this week! But that went right out the window as I attended the 4th Annual Star Chefs International Chefs Congress, a three-day culinary symposium of the world’s best chefs presenting the latest techniques and culinary concepts to their chef peers. Dubbed as “a kitchen without boundaries”, it was an extravaganza of the best food I ever eaten in my Life coupled with copious amounts of drinking. With a ton of informative panels, cooking demos, tastings, and parties this event was the best culinary event I have ever attended. I learned everything from how to properly pair foods and wines to new uses for maple syrup to how to make a perfect Mai Tai to how to properly slice a fish. April Bloomfield’s conducted a pig seminar which provided unintentional laughs. The carcass looked human and the clinical way in which she was instructing us to cut it made me think of a horror movie, like “Hostel” or “Saw.” I would hate to get on the bad side of her and a kinfe!
Since I am very concerned about the rise in diabetes and always looking for healthier sweetening alternatives – we’ve simply got to ban high fructose syrup! – my favorite product was the organic Coconut Flour and Coconut Sugar from Azukar Organics which is gluten-free and also low glycemic, so suitable for diabetics! I intend to replace my flour and sweeteners and start experimenting with these products. You can order it at: http://www.azukarorganics.com. I also loved the Perfect Puree of Napa Valley products, which are both yummy and amazingly versatile. Offering a zillion uses from sauces to drink mixes the purees are a must-have for any creative kitchen. They are available online at: http://www.perfectpuree.com.
The Rising Stars Gala at the Mandarin Oriental was the grand finale and featured tasting plates from the competing Rising Star chefs paired with wines from assorted vineyards. There were just too many yummy things to mention them all. But my favorite dishes were Host Chef Brandon Kida of the Mandarin Oriental’s Buckwheat and Eggs, which consisted of a very delicate blend of thin buckwheat noodles with a quail egg and caviar and the Coq au Vin from Damian Sansonetti of Bar Boulud .In addition, we were treated to beers and special mixed drinks by mixologists, including Maxwell Britton. Maxwell turned me into a scotch drinker with a drink so delicate that I actually appreciated scotch for the first time. An unusual sighting was the producer Baby Face, who was in the house and extolling the talents of the band. As he wasn’t involved in the Congress, one got the impression that perhaps he was staying at the Mandarin and had stumbled upon the event.
Wonderfully, every attendee was sent home with a massive catalogue filled with the featured recipes, as well as. a book of recipes from the gala! This event was a raving success and I look forward to next year’s! It is simply the can’t miss event of the year for anyone interested in the best in modern cuisine.
For more information on Star Chef events go to: www.starchefs.com[salbumphotos=29,72,6,n,n,picasa_order]