Jun 14, 2012
08:56 AMCafé Connecticut
The folks at James Beard House didn’t know what hit them when a group of Fairfield County chefs took the place by storm in late May. They were there to demonstrate the culinary artistry and sophistication of Connecticut restaurants, and dazzled all comers with an impressive tasting dinner heralding Springtime in Connecticut.
The top-notch “Connecticut Invasion,” as the evening was billed, consisted of Matthew Storch, executive chef/co-owner of Match (Sono), and the soon-to-be opened Chelsea in (Fairfield); Arik Bensimon of Napa & Co. (Stamford); Fritz Knipschildt of Knipschildt Chocolatier (Norwalk and New Haven); Tim LaBant of the Schoolhouse at Cannondale (Wilton); Lisa Storch of the Catch a Healthy Habit Café (Fairfield); and Bill Taibe of LeFarm and The Whelk (Westport). Wine pairings were chosen by Jeff Marron and Mimi McLaughlin of Saugatuck Grain and Grape.
“Each chef came up with their own passed appetizer and menu item ahead of time,” says organizer Storch. “Once we got to the Beard House, it was a team effort plating each course for 80 guests.” Everyone had to help everyone in the tiny kitchen but “it all came together pretty seamlessly,” he says.
The menu included such dishes as Warm Buttered Copps Island Oysters, Caviar and Sea Urchin (Bill Taibe); Spring Lamb Tartare (Arik Bensimon); Hot and Cold Hudson Valley Foie Gras with Rhubarb Chutney (Matt Storch), and Squab, Quinoa, Baby Onions, Beets Morels and Cauliflower (Tim LaBant), to name a few.
And the old adage about “too many cooks . . . ”? No problem! By all accounts the evening went off without a hitch. “It was really a super-fun night, says Knipschildt, “and a pleasure to work with the best chefs of Fairfield County.”Connecticut Invasion