Every over-the-top dish we ate at the James Beard Foundation’s Celebrity Chef Dinner
Like the Tribute to Charlie Trotter event at Norman's last year, the Dec. 5 stop of the James Beard Foundation's Celebrity Chef Tour at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando was easily the highlight of the 2015 culinary calendar.
No less than three James Beard Award winners joined a few future winners in presenting an eight-course meal that wowed the gourmands who gathered amid the 17th-floor slickery of Capa Steakhouse.
Arriving guests were greeted with an impressive charcuterie spread by Michael Sullivan of Creekstone Farms (JBF Celebrity Chef Tour director Jeff Black described him as the "Reverend of Pork"). Once guests were seated, dishes by Beard Award winners Norman Van Aken (Best Chef Southeast, 1997) Gerard Craft (Best Chef Midwest, 2015) and Tony Mantuano (Best Chef Great Lakes, 2005) were presented, followed by a little red-meat razzle-dazzle by Fabrizio Schenardi (executive chef, Four Seasons Resort Orlando) and Edward Lee (610 Magnolia, Top Chef). Oh, and there didn't appear to be any shortage of black truffles.
A cheese course by Capa chef Tim Dacey and a sweet ending courtesy of Stefan Riemer (pastry chef, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts) and Rabii Saber (executive pastry chef, Four Seasons Resort Orlando) rounded out the memorable meal. Wines were supplied by Columbia Winery.
If Stephen Wancha, Director of Food and Beverage at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando, has his way, this will be an annual event. Needless to say, we're counting the days ...