For $30, we had the chance to sample dishes by top French and American chefs. What were our favorite dishes? Who did we see? Did we eat enough? Photos and answers to these questions after the jump!
Hungry from the wait, we quickly grabbed and ate the first food we saw - French cheeses that were served with Balthazar bakery bread. Then we devised a divide and conquer strategy - one of us would wait in a long line, while the other would quickly get food from stations with shorter lines.
The longest line was for Parisian chef William Ledeuil's Marinated Pork Ribs with "Pineapple Teriyaki" lemon grass (one of 3 favorites of the night). The meat easily fell off the bone. The flavorful mash on the side was fresh (from the lemon grass) and nicely balanced the richness of the meat.
Our next favorite dish of the night was from Chef Sean Rembold (of Diner in Brooklyn, NY). It was a Fried corn with scallop butter. The corn was sweet and topped with fresh mint, chunks of scallops, and tomatoes. We loved this preparation because it simply enhanced, not masked, the taste of these seasonal ingredients.
Our final favorite dish came from French chef Christophe Pele, a Barbecued Sirloin Steak.
The steak was nicely seared and topped with greens. The meat was very tender, juicy, and nicely seasoned.
We managed to snap a shot of Momofuku chef David Chang while he plates his Bo Ssam.
At the beginning of the night, the shredded pork was nicely plated on a lettuce leaf with some mild hot sauce on top. After an hour, the lettuce had run out making the plating (and eating) messier than before. We liked the Bo Ssam at Chang's restaurants better than the version here. Regardless, the pork was soft in texture, had good flavor, and was not greasy.
This was supposed to be French Chef Yves Camdeborde's Mini Henry IV casserole with creamed cow’s cheese but it seemed like a pork-based soup with vegetables (which added great texture). The garlic-buttered bread that was served with it acted like a large crunchy crouton and added some much needed salt to the soup.
The other big celebrity chef foodies were photographing was wd-50's Wylie Dufresne (we caught him chatting with Serious Eats' Blogmaster Ed Levine). We tried his Grilled Chicken Necks with yuzu marmalade. These were tasty (earthy) but we thought that necks were too difficult to eat because they have so many small bones and very little meat.
Finally, after a long wait, we get to dessert. Courtesy of Greene Ice Cream, we chose the Salted Hazelnut Gianduja and Bourbon Vanilla. Alcohol + Ice cream? What is there not to like about the Bourbon Vanilla that tasted true to its name. The Salted Hazelnut Gianduja tasted like a cool, creamy version of Ferrero Rocher, complete with chunks of hazelnuts.
By the end of the night, the chefs were chatting amongst themselves and the attendees were waiting for the ice cream. Because of the long wait and cool evening weather, it felt like it would've been quicker to go to the Greene General in Brooklyn!
Overall, despite the long lines, cool weather, and muddy spots, we enjoyed trying all of these dishes (plus the ticket proceeds went to charity) and left with satisfied stomachs. Now we have even more incentive (as if we needed another excuse) to re-visit Paris (and Brooklyn) to dine at the restaurants of our favorite chefs of the night.