James Beard was an eccentric personality who introduced French cooking to the American household family in the 1950s. He was a pioneer foodie and an early champion incorporating the use of local products. Beard nurtured a generation of American chefs and cookbook authors who have changed the way we eat. He has written over twenty best selling books and was a well known television personality.
Recently I had the opportunity on behalf of the Royal Park Hotel to attend the CARINO Hotels and Resorts Worldwide 9th Annual Sales, Marketing & Reservation Conference held at the Harvard Club of New York City.
The conference included a 9th anniversary client recognition dinner at the renowned James Beard House and featured the culinary creations of CARINO member hotels’ top chefs from across the nation, taking top New York clients on a nationally inspired culinary tour.
Our very own Royal Park Hotel Executive Chef, Colin Brown and Banquet Chef Dan Vernia had the privilege to showcase local Michigan inspired culinary cuisine. It was such an honor to experience The James Beard House behind the scenes and meet many talented Carino Chefs. Needless this say this was an incredible opportunity for the Royal Park Hotel and I was elated to be part of this considering I am a huge foodie and James Beard fan!
The James Beard House is located in the heart of Greenwich Village. Chefs from all over the world continue the legacy and have the unique opportunity to cook in James Beard’s authentic kitchen.
Executive Chef Colin Brown shared this about his experience, “having participated in a James Beard event a couple of years ago in Cincinnati it was a privilege and an honor to be asked to cook at his house in New York City. What a fantastic and inspirational experience! Being from Europe and having worked with some of the finest chefs in the world, it was a pleasure to be in his home experiencing the legacy that “James Beard” left for generations to come. I enjoyed very much being able to view his archive of cooking books. It was a fond memory which I will never forget.”
Chef Dan Vernia explained, "It was also a special honor to help source the regional ingredients that helped define The Royal Park Hotel's menu for this event. Our Midwest shopping list represented some of the finest products and producers available, all part of our daily routine. The menu we selected was well received."
The Royal Park Chefs infused many familiar Michigan flavors. The menu was a show-stopper and a NY hit! Guests raved about the Lake Michigan Whitefish & Trout and other local favorites shipped to New York.
Check out the RPH culinary arts we featured...
Apple Wood Smoked Lake Michigan Whitefish and Lake Trout with Heirloom Golden Beets and Micro “Chef’s Garden” Basil.
Braised Shoulder of “Black Oak Farms” Pork with Braised Winter Greens, Roasted Garlic Hollandaise, Poached Quail Egg and Micro Beets Shoots.
"Black Star Farms" Raclette “Leelanau Cheese Company” with Pickled Turnip Salad.
Aged ‘Oliver Farms Dairy” White Cheddar Cheese Crème Brulee on Caramelized Onion and Rye Bread with Roasted Pears.
Miniature Sticky Toffee and Michigan Apple Pudding with “Paint Creek Cider Mill” Apple Cider Custard Sauce.
Chef Colin and Dan even shared a recipe with all of the guests who attended the event - this dessert was a home run in the BIG APPLE!
Miniature Sticky Toffee and Michigan Apple Pudding
Makes 24 small portions
- 1 loaf of Cinnamon Swirl Bread
- 1 recipe of Crème Brulée Mix (see recipe below)
- 1 cup of broken Heath Bar
- 1 peeled and diced apples
Crumble Cinnamon Swirl Bread into a bowl, toss in apples and broken Heath Bar. Pour Crème Brulée mixture into bowl and combine. Scoop into small muffin pans, bake at 350 Fahrenheit degree for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and toothpick comes out dry. Serve with Cinnamon Crème Anglais.
Crème Brulée Mixture
- 1 quart heavy cream
- 5 oz sugar
- 7 egg yolks
- 1 vanilla bean – cut in ½ and scraped
Heat heavy cream, ½ the sugar and vanilla bean in a pot on medium heat till it simmers
Whisk egg yolks and ½ the sugar in bowl till pale yellow and airy. Temper warm milk mixture into egg mixture by slowly whisking it in. Pour the combined mixture into a container to store in the fridge until needed.
Apple Cider Custard Sauce
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1c Apple Butter
Combine milk, cream, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla bean into a pot and bring to a simmer. Temper warm milk mixture into egg yolks whisking constantly. Pour mixture back into pot and on medium heat whisk constantly until thickened. It is done when the mixture is thick enough to coat back of spoon. Pull off of stove and whisk in Apple Butter.
Pour mixture through a strainer and store in a lexon in the fridge till service, serve over pudding.
Cheers and one final quote from James Beard…
“Cooking is one everyday task that can be creative. You become a creative cook by first becoming a good basic cook. Your transition from basic to creative takes some doing, some actual experience in finding out what happens when you add this or change that. Once you have made this transition, you will never lack admirers. Good food has a magic appeal. You may grow old, even ugly, but if you are a good cook, people will always find the path to your door."
Click here to learn more about The James Beard Foundation.
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