I’m at Las Vegas McCarren Airport on my way back from Vegas Uncork’d, but before I start confessing to my exploits from the past four days in the city of sin, I wanted to share with you some pics from the glamorous (though no less sinful) LUCKYRICE Grand Feast. This giant bi bim bap by
I'm at Las Vegas McCarren Airport on my way back from Vegas Uncork'd, but before I start confessing to my exploits from the past four days in the city of sin, I wanted to share with you some pics from the glamorous (though no less sinful) LUCKYRICE Grand Feast.
This giant bi bim bap by by the Korean Cultural Service and KumGangSan was at least 5 feet across. For those of you that aren't familiar with it, bi bim bap is a classic korean dish of rice topped with various marinated vegetables and meat. It's usually mixed together with a spoonful of gochujang (korean hot sauce) before it's eaten, but in this case they used a giant wooden paddle that looked more like an oar than a spoon.
Brad Farmerie from Public was there with fried Barron Point oysters with shiso and a wasabi yuzu dipping sauce, but after both of their deep fryers failed, he made due with what he had and served them up raw, on the half shell. The best way to eat oysters IMHO.
The Grand Feast was held in the ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in the Time Warner center. As you can see, the view was stunning, and the Manhattan panorama really set the stage for food and drink.
This torchon of Hudson Valley foie gras and duck prosciutto with kabayaki glaze, pickled jicama, and yuzu marmalade had a lot going on, but it had a wonderful balance of sweet, salty and tart components that balanced out the buttery foie gras.
The black sesame panna cotta at Le Bernardin's booth was a bit disappointing, but pastry chef Michael Laiskonis made up for them with these heavenly green tea truffles dipped in grassy macha powder.
The best dessert at the feast was without a doubt the Singapore palm sugar and coconut lemongrass soup with a mango-Thai basil gelée and poached pineapple by pastry chef Dominique Ansel from Daniel. The presentation was stunning with the mango-Thai basil gelée sitting atop the dessert like a raw egg yolk.
Tanuki Tavern's Kazuhiko Hashimoto was serving up a shrimp sunomono with asparagus and tonsure. It was my favorite savory dish. Sunomono just means "vinegared dish" in Japanese, but this shrimp rendition was brilliant. Tangy, briny and just a bit sweet, the shrimp was "cooked" in the vinegar making them incredibly tender. They were skewered with a crispy spear of white asparagus and topped with tonburi seeds, which get the name "mountain caviar" for a good reason -- they pop in your mouth, just like tobiko.
Matsuri's Tadashi Ono was plating up Kampachi sashimi with yuzu koshu and ponzu that was topped with some grated radish and mitsuba. It was very simple, but that's how I like my sashimi. Citrusy, with some peppery bite coming from the yuzu kosho and radish, it was delicious.
Chef Joe Ng from Chinatown Brasserie had a festive display of bright red take-out containers topped with plates of sirloin tart. They were crisp bite sized tarts with tender flavourful beef that had me going back for thirds.
And of course, the celebs and celeb chefs were out in force with Morimoto, Daniel Boulud, and host Lisa Ling all walking the floor.
I had the fortune of attending a few of the LUCKY Rice Asian Festival events, but this was by far my favorite and I'm looking forward to seeing what the chefs plate up in 2011.