Cooking Light's Light Up The Night event in New York City last Friday was, by all accounts, a delicious success. Our star-studded stable of ultra-talented chefs and mixologists put out some amazing treats for close to 800 people. Among the highlights:
*A gorgeously fresh fall salad from Hugh Acheson with edamame, perfectly boiled eggs, baby greens, and roasted shiitakes
*Michael Anthony's duck pastrami, expertly cured and paired up with a sweet-tart apple/pepper combo
*Suvir Suran's spicy-sweet crab toast, one of the night's boldest flavors, garnished with fingerlimes that pop in your mouth like citrus caviar
*Pickled shrimp, a Southern-style crowd pleaser from Cooking Light's hometown hero, Frank Stitt
*Jeremy Bearman's flavorful and amazingly balanced white gazpacho with a cucumber and grape base
*Coconut Lime Ceviche from the peerless Rick Bayless, which showed masterful use of coconut milk to get a luxurious mouthfeel to the dish
*Sautéed corn, manchego, jalapenos, and lime from Dan Kluger, who brought the absolute best out of late summer corn
*Brandon Sharp's yellowfin tuna burgers accented with an exotic black garlic ketchup and punchy pickles
*A quinoa risotto with miso-eggplant puree and chayote salad from Ming Tsai (who had no shortage of fans tweeting about him all night)
*Richard Landau's vegan play on lox and bagels using salt-roasted beets, avocado, smoked tofu and house-baked rye that had avowed carnivores swooning
*Warm figgy toffee pudding with quince ice cream, which was every bit as delicious as it sounds, from Kate Jacoby
*Pascaline Lepeltier's Orange Velvet cocktail, masterfully layering fruit flavors with a light effervescence from a few ounces of fall beer from Ommegang
*Jim Meehan's Croquet Cooler: watermelon juice, cukes, gin: an amazing late summer sipper.
And of course Cooking Light put out our own treats: Seared grits cakes with fresh corn and smoky tomato salsa; a plum juice and rye cocktail (recipes coming soon to the web site!), and Chocolate Baklava.
All these delectable treats were supplemented by an incredible range of artisanal products comprising Cooking Light's past Taste Test Award winners. We had lots of those wonderful handcrafted foods, too many to mention here, but that's only because I've already mentioned quite a bit and this is a blog post, after all. Later in the week I plan to give kudos in this space to all the fantastic artisans who helped make the night so special.