I was invited to a private tasting event with some of the best restaurants in the Hudson Valley last week. It was exciting to be invited in the first place; I was invited partly because of this blog.
Let’s not get into naming the restaurants which were there. There were good and not as good, I’d feel bad calling them out here. You don’t punch a gift horse in the mouth.
The quality of the selection was outstanding. There were about 12-15 restauranteurs represented, many by head chefs or owners. I loved talking with the chefs about their food and watching them prepare it on their portable stovetops. Not only that, watching people eat and seeing their reactions is exciting to me too.
Highs and lows:
Lows: beer. I just can’t handle it when I’m eating. My drink of choice in any tasting experience is water. It’s the only drink that doesn’t compete with the food. Lots of people know about wines to drink with your meals, but I still haven’t got that pairing thing down. Drinking is relaxing for me and eating is action. I want action.
Crepe wrapped duck confit topped with foie gras. Three very extravagant ingredients. This should have been outstanding. Duck confit and foie gras are 2 of the best foods in the known world. Put together with the crepe, it did not do it for me. Maybe because it was not what I was used to. Call me crazy, but I love a fatty, sweet, succulent duck, this was more carefully selected pieces of lean breast. The fat is one of the best traits of the duck. In my mind, you have to go with it. The FG is such a great food in itself, I feel this was just too indulgent an expression in cooking.
Highs: Probably my favorite was a honky-dory BBQ catering company. It wasn’t even a restaurant. What a joke! They had a sweet corn pudding type side with pulled bbq chicken. It was good.
A restaurant which “slayed Bobby Flay” was there. They were one of the best, had the longest lines, and still were the last table to finish their food. Nearly every piece or ribeye had a bit of the flavorful outside and some fat. They put it over creamed spinach, which seemed to hit the spot with those not a traditional meat eater and not as excited about the steak which topped it.
Another sampling had Mango Ceviche – very interesting stuff. The seafood didn’t combine with the mango flavoring, but it hit you afterwards. Strong mango. Very cool.
I did have 2 drinks actually. 2 fountain cokes from the bar. I love a fountain coke.
It was easy for me to meet people here. I love talking about food and seeing other people’s opinions. It reaffirmed my desires to be somewhere in the food industry making sure people love their food. What can I do?
Cool event. I was so happy to be invited. Hopefully more events like this to come.