My Five Chefs and Champagne Favorites

There were many great dishes served at this year's Chefs and Champagne at the Wolffer Estate Vineyard. With more than 40 top chefs from NYC and other states, the menu card was quite impressive. Like always, some dishes stood out from the rest so I made a list of my three favorite dishes from the event. I also included my favorites for best presentation and most unique ingredients.

Here's who made my list:

Top Three Dishes

3) Chef Elizabeth Karmel from Hill Country NY made the tastiest and homiest dish comprised of a tender Texas Tenderloin with White Shoepeg Corn Pudding. The corn pudding was delightful and the tenderloin was perfectly cooked.

2) My second favorite dish was Rising Star Chef Keith Luce's North Fork Duck Wings with Sweet Chilies. This great up-and-coming chef showed his talents in this dish that was raved by many. Keep an eye out for him.


1) And my number one favorite dish was Veritas' Chef Sam Hazen's Oyster Escabeche with Heirloom Tomatoes and Watermelon. This dish was perfectly refreshing for that hot and humid day, and oysters and Rose wine are the quintessential Hampton's combination. Bravo Sam!

Best Presentation:

Best presentation has to go to Chef John Doherty's Certified Angus Beef Smoked Chili which was served in hallowed out marrowbone pieces. It was the perfect presentation for such a flavorful dish. Great job!

Most Unique Ingredients:

This category has to go to Chef Wolfgang Ban from Seasonal Restaurant in NYC, who served a Tomato Terrine with Avocado, Roasted Bread, and Charcoal Oil. This complex dish carried avocado cream topped with a jellified tomato terrine, locally sourced fresh corn, toasted rye bread, pan-fried pork belly, and dehydrated charcoal oil. It was a different take on a light summer salad which was executed nicely.

A job well done to these talented chefs and to all of my other colleagues who participated in Chefs and Champagne 2011. Keep cooking with love and passion and I hope to see you all again next year.


Photos: Cyndi Amaya