Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Veggie U Benefit Part 2: The Food

As promised, this is everything we ate, in the order we ate it. I didn't get pictures of the wine, iced tea, chocolates, bread and goat cheese that we tried. I apologize for any bad pictures, I only took one picture of each thing because it was difficult to get any. There were tons of people, it was very congested in the food tent. There was hardly room to walk around, let alone stop and take a picture of our food.

The Rare Tea Cellar had Mint Tea and a Berry Mint Tea that were both very refreshing.

I'm pretty sure we tried wines from each of the vintners represented.

The artisan bread was from Tribeca Oven. We sampled the French Baguette and the Multigrain Loaf. I love good bread!

The goat cheese we sampled was from Mackenzie's Creamery. We've actually purchased a lot of the different flavors of this goat cheese at the Farmer's Markets and at various grocery stores.

We also tried these amazing artisan chocolates from Pomona Chocolates: Lavendar and Vanilla Bean Bon Bon, Gingerbread Caramel, Milk Chocolate Mendiant, and a chocolate with balsamic vinegar and basil in it. Not your average chocolates, but they tasted amazing.

Chef Phillip Foss: Lockwood at Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, IL
Deconstructed Buffalo Wing
Chef Shawn Brozie: Wyndham Cleveland at Playhouse Square, Cleveland, OH
Seared Tuna with Watermelon Gazpacho
The watermelon gazpacho was really interesting because it tasted like an pureed watermelon at first, but it had a surprising spicy kick once you swallowed.

Chef Anna Kim: San Souci Restaurant at the Renaissance Hotel, Cleveland, OH
Sweet Corn Gazpacho and Gazborsht Ying Yang, served with Cucamelon and Sun Gold Tomato Brochette, Micro Basil Garnish, Crispy Chickpea Cake, Sweet Tomato and Popcorn Shoot Salad with Truffle Oil
The Sweet Corn Gazpacho was absolutely delicious! Too bad no picture because this was one of my favs of the day. This was my first experience with a Cucamelon, and it was a cute, yet odd little veggie. It looked like a grape-sized watermelon, and had this sort of sour crunch to it.
Chef Bob Buehner: Stages at the Cleveland Play House, Cleveland, Ohio
Pulled Pork with Chilled Ohio Corn Soup and Truffle
I was really digging the corn soups that were offered because this was another favorite, and the pulled pork was excellent.
Chef Jonathon Sawyer: The Greenhouse Tavern, Cleveland, Ohio
Chevre Salad with Ohio Goat Confit, Herb Salad and Sheep’s Milk Cheese
I wish I had gotten a better picture (or at the very least a pic before I started eating). This one of my favorites of the night, so I’m very excited that it’s on the menu at The Greenhouse Tavern. We haven’t tried this restaurant yet, but it’s the first one on the list for the next time we eat downtown. I’m really excited to go there, so I’m thinking this is the place for our anniversary in October.
Chef Jeff Fisher: Touch Supper Club, Cleveland, Ohio
Rack of Lamb with Heirloom Tomato Feta Compote, Purple Cauliflower Puree, St Germaine Cored Salmon, Cornucopia, Savory Curd, Creme Fraiche and Maui Onio
I was starting to get worried that maybe I didn’t like lamb because the past couple times I had tried it, I wasn’t really a fan, but this was really good. This is what lamb should taste like!
Chef Jeff Fisher: Touch Supper Club, Cleveland, Ohio
St Germaine Cored Salmon, Cornucopia, Savory Curd, Creme Fraiche and Maui Onio 

Chef Ann Blackwood: Kalahari Resorts in Sandusky, Ohio
I didn't get individual pictures, but here is a bad attempt to show all of their offerings (they had five different desserts). We tried Pea Tendril Mousse Pavlova with White Marshmallow Flowers and Dragon Blood Cover, and the Rosemary Pound Cake Peach Compote with Purple Johnny Jump-Ups and Fresh Rosemary Sprigs. I'd never had Pavlova before, but I've seen recipes that I just might look up again because it's a very different and interesting dessert. 

Chef Jonathan Bennett: Moxie, Beachwood, Ohio
Diver Scallops, Favas, Bronze Fennel, Micro Lemon Balm and House Made Fromage Blanc 

Chef Michael Martir: Harvest Restaurant, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Lemon Cucumber White Bean Salad over Crostini with Chilled Tomato Gazpacho
I was really surprised at how good this was! So simple, yet so delicious. Of all the fancy, gourmet food we ate all day, I never would have guessed this simpleton would be one of our favorites! 

Chef Andy Dombrowski: L’Albatros Brasserie, Cleveland, Ohio
L’Albatros Summer Vegetable Cassoulet
Ah yes, cassoulet, classic French comfort food. This was excellent and I really look forward to a trip to L’Albatros as I’ve heard very good things about it. 

Chef Erica Wides: Institute of Culinary Education, New York City, New York
Pastrami-Cured Duck with Rye Bread Pudding, Purple Kohlrabi and Easter Egg Radish Slaw, Pickled Heirloom Carrots and Micro Caraway
The duck was great, the rye bread pudding was . . . interesting (my first savory bread pudding), but the pickled carrots were so surprising. I really enjoyed them. 

Jeni Britton Bauer: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Columbus, Ohio
Top Flavors: Salty Caramel and Chocolate
Bottom Flavors: Sweet Corn & Black Raspberry Ice Cream and Raspberry Ice Cream with Raspberry Bits
is awesome! I first tried them when we visited Columbus in March. I've been obsessed ever since. Every time I go to Columbus it's a requirement to stop there, and a few months ago Miles Market in Solon started selling pints of their creative funky flavors. 
Sadly, it's been too long and I can't remember what this is, and I dont' see anything in my program that sounds like what this looks like. I think the "sauce" is something with rhubarb.
Chef Marlin Kaplan: LUXE Kitchen and Lounge, Cleveland, Ohio
Seared Duck Breast with Sweet Corn Pudding, Peach Habanero Sauce and Lavender Blueberry Lemonade
Chef Erika Dupree Davis: Ponte Vedra Inn & Club and Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Sour Cream Lemon Pound Cake with Blueberry Compote and Thyme Sorbet
I think this was my favorite (non-Jeni's) dessert. The pound cake was moist and flavorful and the Thyme Sorbet was refreshing and surprising. 

Chef Craig Deihl: Cypress, Charleston, South Carolina
Heirloom Tomato Salad 

Chef Dean Holliday: Bon Appetit at Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio
Tuna Carpaccio with Bee and Watermelon Radish Slaw
Chef Leo Bushey III: The Hartford Club, Hartford, Connecticut
Seared Maple Leaf Duck Breast, Cream Leeks and Beetiful Blend