James Beard Sunday Supper

For me, there is nothing more enjoyable than eating good food with good friends.Throw in the top chefs in Manhattan at the Chelsea Market with a Hogwarts Great Hall-type experience, and you’ve got my dream come true. My friend CJ was wOnDeRfuL enough to invite me and two other friends to join her and her family at the James Beard Sunday Supper.

“Today the Beard Foundation continues in the same spirit by offering a variety of events and programs designed to educate, inspire, entertain, and foster a deeper understanding of our culinary culture.”

The Sunday Supper was held at the Chelsea Market in Manhattan, essentially an urban food court. Let me tell you, when people walked by and saw that it was closed for a private event, they were DEVASTATED. So note to self: I suppose it would be worth a visit on a normal day…anyway… there were a few stops such as Mokbar, a Korean-fusion style section, a taco section, a pâté stand, and servers walking around with sushi made by Morimoto.

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Crispy Kimbap > Deep-Fried and Nori-Wrapped Marinated Rib-Eye with Seasonal Vegetables, Spicy Rice, and Kimchi Aïoli

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After cocktails and hors d’oeuvres (and spotting maybe one of the most attractive men in the city in the form of a bartender(?)), we sat down at a long dining table reminiscent of one of the house tables in Harry Potter – names on the back of chairs and an abundance of different glasses for unlimited wine.

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“Kristin Lea”

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Some of the top chefs in the city were invited to cook family style. I was incredibly impressed by the quality of the food, considering it had to be done in bulk, whereas usually there’s a trade-off between quality and bulk (think Val). I also have to say that there was one person working there (not the bartender) who was so incredibly attractive that I love him… anyway…

So I would list everything we ate, but the menu is about a mile long…so here are the few pictures I took:

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Citrumelo-Cured Cobia with Citrus Varietals, Brown Butter Pistachios, Radishes, and Local Baby Carrots
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Juniper-Smoked Salmon Rye Taco
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Anson Mills Colonial Coarse Pencil Cob Grit Soufflé with Spring Greens
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Roasted Leg of Lamb with Preserved Quince, Candied Olives, and Manchego
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Dark Chocolate Pavé with Puffed Barley, Candied Tangerine, and Chiles

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There was what felt like endless food, which is probably why I was not wasted off of the endless wine at the end. I was surrounded by people who love and respect food as much as I do, and I was with friends (new and less new) who are genuinely good people.

I’ve said it before, but I’m always pleasantly surprised by finding new friends. Like all good things, they come when you least expect. Especially after college, friendship follows a different dynamic. It’s no longer necessarily about proximity but more about genuine compatibility. I no longer have to see people just because I’ll see them the next day – I see people because I want to see them and because we have something to talk about other than a crazy Saturday night.

So I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see that I’m hanging out with people I wasn’t necessarily best friends with all four years of college, even regardless of distance or class-year. There are people who genuinely care. It’s all about keeping the people who make your good and bad days better and getting rid of the ones who make your good and bad days worse.

Thanks again to the Bernsteins, another day got better, and I learned again that “it’s all about being around the dinner table.


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