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Nick

Dalai Lama

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What was it like to cook for the Dalai Lama and did you get to "hang out" with him? Whenever I've heard him speaking (on the radio), it's been a bright spot in my day - sometimes for weeks.

Edit: Thoughtlessness. What did you cook for this get-together?

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I did not cook for His Holiness, myself. I asked Hideji Asanuma, one of my line chefs (who is a practing Japanese Buddhist) to cook for him. While the event attendees dined on a five course extravaganza, His Holiness wished for a simple soup.

Hideji was one of the opening chefs for Honmura An, the renowned Japanese noodle house, and made the best dashi-based miso soup I have ever tasted. Hideji was so excited that he had his mother ship ingredients from Japan for the soup. It was important to me that the soup be as perfectly simple as possible, as well as being prepared with great love. Hideji was the man for the job.

All the participating chefs spent time with His Holiness. While the time was short, it was very easy to see what makes him so very special. His sense of humor, wit, positive presence and genuineness were powerful testaments to his deep sense of humanity. He spoke with us all as though he had been hanging out with us for years. He blessed us all by draping a prayer scarf over each of our shoulders and thanked us for helping the people of Tibet. The experience is one of the most treasured in my life and continues to grow through my memory.

[i'll have the full menu for the event scanned and posted here later today.]

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Here are the reception and dinner menus:

IN HONOR OF HIS HOLINESS THE FOURTEENTH DALAI LAMA

AND SUPPORT OF THE TIBET FUND

AUGUST 12, 1999 W NEW YORK

RECEPTION MENU

MELON VELOUTE WITH GULF SHRIMP, LEMONGRASS, PURPLE BASIL AND KAFIR LEAVES

YOUNG CARROT SOUP WITH LOBSTER, LIME AND CORIANDER CREAM

CUCUMBER SOUP WITH YOGURT, DILL, SMOKED SALMON AND CAVIAR

DANIEL BOULUD, DANIEL - CAFE BOULUD

ORGANIC VEGETABLE TARTARE IN A SAVORY TUlLE

ROAST BISON ON RUTABAGA WITH CHERRY MARMALADE

MICHEL NISCHAN, HEARTBEAT

JUST PULLED MOZZARELLA

HEIRLOOM TOMATO AND TOASTED PUMPKINSEED RELISH ON RED CORN CRISPS

MARK TARBELL, TARBELL'S – BARMOUCHE

CAVIAR PURSE

SHRIMP SATAY WITH SPICY SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE

JEAN-GEORGES VONGERICHTEN & KERRY SIMON

JEAN-GEORGES - JO JO - VONG - PRIME - MERCER KITCHEN - LIPSTICK CAFÉ

BOUVET SIGNATURE BRUT

SANFORD SAUVIGNON BLANC 1998

CHRISTIAN MOUEIX MERLOT 1995

******************

DINNER

LOBSTER SALAD ON A BED OF GREEN ZUCCHINI AND YELLOW SQUASH

WITH MATSUHISA DRESSING

NOBU MATSUHISA, MATSUHISA - NOBU

FLORA SPRINGS BARREL FERMENTED CHARDONNAY 1997

BAKED CHILEAN SEABASS

RED AND YELLOW PEPPER COULIS

ROGER VERGE, LE MOULIN DE MOUGINS - CHEFS DE FRANCE

JOSEPH PHELPS GRENACHE ROSE 1996

RACK OF LAMB CREOLE-STYLE

GOAT CHEESE POTATO GRATIN

ROASTED SHALLOTS AND HARICOTS VERTS

EMERIL LAGASSE, EMERlL'S RESTAURANTS

RAYMOND RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 1996

SPICED SAUTEED PINEAPPLE AND PASSION FRUIT

LIME-FENNEL SORBET AND VANILLA BEET SAUCE

GEORGE McKIRDY, HEARTBEAT

MICHELE CHIARLO NIVOLE MOSCATO D'ASTI 1998

AUGUST 12, 1999 W NEW YORK

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Thanks for writing. And thanks, Cathy, for the menu. It would have been hard to know what to chose. Though if Hideji had some soup left over, I would have liked that. :smile:

Thanks again. His Holiness is a special person.

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