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Guest Chef Series at Cornell


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Dear all eGullet people,

My name is Fudy, and I am a senior at Cornell's School of Hospitality Administration.

I am currently taking a class called Specialty Food and Beverage Operations, aka Guest Chefs.

It is exactly what it sounds like, chefs come, students cook and manage, and guests eat.

This semester, I am pleased to announce the chefs are:

Saturday, February 18

Chef Douglas Keane

Cyrus Restaurant

Saturday, March 11

Chef Jonathan Benno

Per Se Restaurant

Saturday, April 29

Chef Michael Crane

ARAMARK Innovation Center

I have a little digital camera that I keep in my pocket and I will take lots of pictures.

My team is doing a conference call with Chef Keane tomorrow night, I will let you guys know the menu.

So if you are in the area, please come and eat.

Statler Hotel, Banfi's Restaurant

130 Statler Drive

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY 14853-6901

You can make a reservation through this number

(607) 254-2624

Edited by fudy (log)
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For Chef Douglas Keane and Pastry Chef Annie Clemmons dinner,

Hors d'Oeurve

Soy Truffled Tuna Tartare

Gougere with Fondue

Vegetarian Spring Roll

Chick Pea Panisse

Amuse Bouche

Chilled Oyster Veloute with California Caviar

1st Course

Thai Marinated Lobster with Avacado, Mango and Hearts of Palm

2nd Course

Black Sea Bass with Matsutake Mushrroms, Bay Scallops and Pickled Watermelon Rind

Lollipop Intermezzo - Flavor to be determined

3rd Course

Glazed Short Rib of Beef with Red Wine Truffled Risotto

4th Course

Caramel Soup with Kettle Corn Sorbet and Chocolate Filigree


Bon Bon's to go

This dinner will be $125.00 with wine pairing.

I will update the wine pairing when I get the information.

Edited by fudy (log)
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Thanks for starting this topic, Fudy. About six years ago, when my wife was running a small company in Ithaca, we attended a guest chef meal at the Statler under the supervision of Marcus Samuelsson. (Back then I think the price including wine was $105, IIRC.) It was wonderful. Love hearing about all of this year's events though this topic.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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My pleasure.

Last semester, we had Gerard Madani from The Pierre NYC,

Alfred Portale from The Striped Bass, and

Jim Botsacos from Molyvos.

The year before was Neal Gallagher from Oceana,

Masaharu Morimoto from Morimoto, and

Chef Ip all the way from Shangri-La Hotels in Hong Kong.

So now that we have the menu,

my team will do a dry run with some of the dishes in two weeks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A little update,

The wine served at this dinner will be:

Amuse - Iron Horse Blanc des Blancs 1998

1st Course - Schloss Vollrads Kabinett Riesling 2004

2nd Course - Valdubon Ribera del Duero 2003

3rd Course - Chateau Lascombes 2001

4th Course - Quinta do Noval Tawny Port

There will be not matsutake mushrooms, replaced by shitake mushrooms.

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My pleasure.

Last semester, we had . . .

Alfred Portale from The Striped Bass,

. . . .

Better credits might associate Alfred Portale with Gotham Bar and Grill in NYC, his home restaurant and the one at which he built his fame, exerted his greatest influence and trained many chefs. Perhaps it's Striped Bass that needs the publicity and that's why it's listed.

From philly.com:

. . . Alfred Portale, who became one of the country's most influential chefs at Manhattan's Gotham Bar & Grill, also is one of the latest imports in Starr's collection of New York names (Masaharu Morimoto, Aquavit's Marcus Samuelsson). Yet Portale is no rent-a-chef. He commutes from Gotham several days a week and often can be seen pacing the open kitchen at Striped Bass like a panther on the prowl. . . . .

Robert Buxbaum


Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Sorry, I'm drifting massively off-topic, but for the record... Portale apparently was something of a "rent-a-chef" in philly. In a review just this week granting the highest rating to Striped Bass, the Philadelphia Inquirer's reviewer notes that Portale no longer has any association with the restaurant. No doubt he had a real and significant presence at Striped Bass, but I think you're right Bux, they should have credited him with Gotham Bar and Grill.

Anyway, fudy, thanks so much for posting info about these events, I've already convinced a few friends to attend some of these dinners. Please let us know how they go from your end!

One question: do the visiting chefs suggest the wine pairings, or an instructor in your program, student sommeliers...none of the above?

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz


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Yes, Gotham Bar and Grill would be better.


Super, the more the merrier.

I heard the Per Se dinner is already filling up.

Typcially, the wine director from the guest chef's restaurant works with Charmers, a NY wine distributor that donates ALL of the alcoholic beverages.

The student's role is to basically organize the event.

A team of about 10 students works with one guest chef.

This team is then divided into three sub-groups: marketing, service, and production.

I am in the production group and we will be working on standardized recipes, cost analysis (an financial statement at the end), actual production, and etc.

The marketing team works on the press release, reservations, advertisements, and etc.

The service team is in charge of all front of house operations.

Chef Douglas Keane's dinner will be this Saturday, and I better sharpen my knives soon.

A quick update:

The new wine list is as follows,

Amuse: Iron Horse Blanc des Blancs 1997

1st Course: Schloss Vollrads Kabinett Riesling 2004

2nd Course: Valdubon Ribera de Duero 2003

3rd Course: Chateau Lascombes 2001

4th Course: Quinta do Noval Tawny Port

There is a vintage change on the Iron Horse Blanc des Blancs.

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I am sorry, but the price is set even without wine pairing.

But I will find out if there can be any exceptions.

I just found out, the event cannot make any exceptions.

Edited by fudy (log)
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The dinner went well. The food looked and of course tasted fantastic.

Chef Doug was a hotel school graduate and took this course while he was a student.

It was a pleasure working with Chef Doug and Chef Annie.

I glazed the short ribs for the 3rd course. Wowy. I like short ribs.

This concludes the first of the Guest Chef series.

Next will be Chef Benno from Per Se. March 11.









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Nice job, Fudy.

I particularly like the lighting and composition of this image:


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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that was the oyster course with the velute.

It was served on an ice cylinder with different spices suspended in it.

I wish I could have taken more pictures during service.

This particular event was really cool because only the two chefs came.

During previous years, some chefs brought an entire brigade and did everything.

Not saying that is a bad thing, but students didn't get to touch a thing.

That picture is a perfect example, where every student was involved.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey Fudy,

Wanted to thank you again for telling us about these dinners. Because of your posts I tipped-off some nearby friends, who made it to the Jonathan Benno dinner. Thought you might like to hear their reaction: (quoted with permission)

The meal was one of the best of my life.  Absolutely breathtaking in presentation, and truly transporting in the layers of tastes and flavors that presented themselves upon my palate. 

The students helped to plan the menu with Jonathan Benno, but Jonathan brought all the food in from NYC.  Jonathan also brought in four of his staff that were former Cornell hotel and management students. 

The student service was impeccable.  Flawless, invisible.  Even down to the way they held their left hand behind their back while they refilled water glasses.  And their silverware placement prior to each course was smooth and efficient.  These kids have clearly been well trained. 

The menu:

Hors D’Oeuvres:

Cornet of marinated atlantic salmon tartare with sweet red onion creme fraiche hudson valley foie gras mousse with quince marmalade on crouton

"BLT":  House cured bacon, arugula puree and black truffle on toasted pain de campagne

Gruyere cheese gougeres

Roasted sweet pepper on herb-scented panisse

Now the courses:

Cauliflower panna cotta with Island Creek oyster glaze and Russian sevruga caviar paired with a sake listed as Miyazaki Honten, "Kissui Miya No Yuki,"

Junmai Ginjo, Mie-Ken, Japan.

Salad of carmelized belgian endive with winter citrus "supremes", citrus "coulis", cilantro shoots and cilantro oil. 

Anthony Hammond, Riesling "Geisenheimer Klauerweg," Kabinett, Rheingau, Germany, 2002.

"Macaroni and Cheese"  Nova Scotia lobster cuit sous vide, parmesan crisp, creamy lobster broth and mascarpone-enriched orzo. 

Penfolds Chardonnay, "Thomas Hyland," South Australia, 2004.

Herb-roasted rib-eye and grilled calotte of prime beef with a rissolee of fingerling potatoes, young watercress leaves, hen-of-the-woods mushrooms and bernaise reduction.

Pascual Toso, Malbec, "Las Barrancas," Mendoza, Argentina, 2003.

Shelburne Farm's two year aged cheddar with apple tartlet, garden mache and cider mignonnette

"Pina Colada"  Pineapple sorbet, tahitian vanilla braised pineapple, coconut nougatine and coconut cream.

Per Se Tarte Au Chocolat with candied pecans, caramelized bananas and spiced caramel ice cream

Castello di volpaia vinsanta del Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy, 1996.


There were also bonus little pastry treats at the end, and a little bag of cookies to bring home.  Pure joy!! 

So... I guess they liked it!

Sounded like a great meal, any impressions from the students' side?

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz


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