The two chefs…..
The Danish author and chairman and founder of Slow Food Denmark, Bent Christensen, has become well-known for his books “One Day at Mugaritz,” and ”One Day at El Bulli,” where he focuses on his experience spending a day at Michelin-star restaurants. In 2011, he added two more restaurants to his collection with books based on, “One Day at The French Laundry,” and “One Day at Per Se,” two iconic restaurants run by the world-renowned Chef Thomas Keller.
I had the honor or preparing the banquet dinner served in honor of Mr. Keller and for the official launch party for the books, which took place at the American Embassy in Copenhagen. Luckily Mr. Keller was available to attend because he was “in the neighborhood” in London for the “World’s Best Restaurant” award reception the evening before where, coincidentally, Noma won the number one spot for the first time, a spot that Mr. Keller knows quite well with The French Laundry having been in that same position on more than one occasion.
We served a five-course menu and paired each course with exclusive “cult” wines from California & one from Oregon. Mr. Keller even commented that he himself was not even able to get his hands on some of the labels we poured! He said he couldn’t believe he had to travel all the way to Denmark to drink some of his local favorites.
Here below is the menu with some photos from the evening. It was a great pleasure to not only cook for Mr. Keller, but also to meet him as well. I was honored that he took the time to personally come into the kitchen to thank me and the staff, and express how much he enjoyed the dining experience. He was down-to-earth and approachable yet there is no doubt that he is a man of great depth, character and a strong and inspiring leader.
Book Release Reception Menu
Domaine Chandon Napa Valley Etoile Sparkling brut served with canapés with cheviche of crawfish tails topped avocado mayonnaise, flying fish roe and fresh herbs
Grilled Virginia scallops and Maine lobster fish cakes served with ruby-red grapefruit beurre blanc — served with 2005 Kistler Chardonnay, Sonoma Valley
Sashimi ahi tuna with seaweed salad and lightly pan-seared trumpet mushroom served with coconut and lime hollandaise sauce — served with 2006 Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay, Napa Valley
Oregon pigeon with salsa of mushroom and hazelnuts served with Oregon Pinot Noir sirup — served with 2006 Adelsheim Estate Bottled Pinot Noir, Oregon
Filet of North Dakota bison seasoned with honey and thyme served with potato tortilla and zucchini and blue cheese soufflé and red wine sauce — served with 2005 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
White chocolate cake with pistachios, cranberry terrine, chocolate muffin baked with caramelized pumpkin jam and piña colada sorbet — served with 2007 Frog’s Leap Frogenbeerenausleese (late harvest Chardonnay), Napa Valley
To finish off the meal, we served coffee from Napa Valley Roasting Company and a 25-year old German Robins XO Brandy from Ukiah, California