We as "Chopped" judges don't often get the opportunity to be together on one platform. But on the enchanting date of 10-11-12, the New York City Wine and Food Festival gave us the amazing opportunity to all be under one roof. And what a blast it was with "Chopped" host Ted Allen creating amazing cocktails and the rest of the judges turning up bites of heaven. Aar�n Sanchez, Alex Guarnaschelli, Amanda Freitag, Chris Santos, Geoffrey Zakarian, Marc Murphy, Marcus Samuelsson, Scott Conant and of course yours truly, were all in attendance.
The famed Landmarc restaurant in Columbus Circle, owned by fellow "Chopped" judge Marc Murphy, provided the perfect setting for this sold-out, food lover's event that served 500 guests. The entrance had the famous red carpet and a step and repeat where die-hard "Chopped" fans could glimpse their favorite host Ted Allen and all nine "Chopped" judges.
Big screens were splashed around the dining room showing reruns of previous "Chopped" episodes. Nine tables were carefully arranged to allow guests the opportunity to walk around and sample dishes created by each and every "Chopped" judge.
Our table's bill of fare for the evening consisted of "M Slider" (M standing for Malai-not Maneet for those of you who thought that was what M stood for). These are cumin-coriander spiced chicken sliders, sesame seed onion relish and pickled jicama. With a complex collection of sweet, spicy and savory flavors our burgers were a hit with the crowd. A constant line of more than ten people waiting to taste our creation kept me and my two amazing and talented assistants, Katie and Shikha on our toes as we grilled, assembled, plated and danced our way through the evening. Amanda Freitag on the table behind me was dancing and having so much fun it became so infectious that I just had to jump in and dance with her!
As things started to wind down towards the end of the evening, I finally had time wander the party, mingle with guests, take pictures and dance some more! Ted Allen kept this late-night soir�e buzzing with his specialty cocktail that kept the mood festive and energized. Need I say that I'm already looking forward to next year!