Story of a feast: Michelin-starred chef Phillip Foss’ orgiastic Four Seasons dinner


Clad in a blue El Ideas mechanic shirt, Michelin-starred chef Phillip Foss approached us, tray in hand, with what looked like mini cupcakes, then waited with anxious eyes as we bit into the canapé. "French onion soup," I remarked. "Yes!" said Foss. "I hate it when French onion soup is hot as fuck and burns my mouth."

"Well," came my reply, "this is not hot as fuck."

And that pretty much set the tone for the rest of the evening of Saturday, Jan. 16, as Foss and Capa Steakhouse executive chef Tim Dacey presented guests with a nine-course meal that was creative, off-the-wall, and anything but pretentious. (For a look at the menu, check out the last slide.)

Picture a roomful of dolled-up diners at the Four Seasons, most of whom dropped $195 for this special event, licking plates of osetra caviar like it was their last meal on earth. The caviar was part of Foss' take on a "White Russian" (a vodka cream and café au lait puree of sorts accompanied by pricey sturgeon roe), purposefully served without utensils.

"Grip it and lick it!" bellowed Foss, and the sights and sounds of lapping tongues that followed were akin to Don Rickles stepping up to the plate in Game 7 of the World Series with the score tied in the bottom of the ninth. People guffawed, snapped photos, and got a little bawdy which, I'm sure, was Foss' intent all along. If he's not the Honey Badger of the Culinary World, I don't know who is.

The dinner was memorable enough with such dishes as liquid-nitrogen-injected "French Fries & Ice Cream," succulent lamb-belly rillons with smoked maple, and a "borscht" of Miyazaki wagyu, but was made unforgettable by the fun and raucous atmosphere. — Faiyaz Kara

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