More J. Girardot benefit dinner

We didn't have a driver for the moving truck to get to the Ritz so I was nominated to drive. We loaded all our savory then pulled into the loading dock by pastry and I watched them loading all these super delicate sugar pieces, chocolate sculptures, air compressors, and basically filled the entire back of the truck. So no pressure at all when you have 8 executive pastry chefs from all over the country staring at you saying "don't break anything". Lets just say it took me a while to get to the Ritz and I'm sure there where a lot of pissed off people behind me.

One of the main people that brought all of these chefs together for this benefit was our very own executive pastry chef, Laurent Branlard, two time world pastry champion
Here he is putting the finishing touches on his sugar showpiece which was no easy task to begin with, then add all day rain and 95% humidity but all of the showpieces made it throughout the night. There were 6 in all that I counted, some from Ewald Notter and his team, then Laurent and Frederic Monti along with there friends put up the other half. I like the utilization of the whole glazed cocoa pods on Laurent's showpiece.

The event itself went very well, our dish was
Rouget seared in cultured vermont butter and J. LeBlanc Olive Oil, celery root puree, methocel truffle gnocchi, tangerine fluid gel, minus 8 caviar, manni per mi olive oil, brunoise celery, red ribbon sorrel, citrus coriander blossoms, and chestnut chips. There was a lot going on and it was one of the more complex dishes that was presented. Other noteworthy dishes were the pork belly from primo with pickled mustard seeds and shallots, Voltaggio's sous vide shortrib with bitter crispy broccoli, Clay Conley's lamb tacos were killer. There were too many sweet treats to list but I had the best macaroon I have ever had by far along with candies from Norman Love, Keegan's chocolate cake, Laurents pain perdu, churros from the Notter school were awesome, I could keep going.

The evening wouldn't have been complete without some acoustic guitar and singing from Ace of Cakes co-star Geoff Manthorn who roamed around the event and talked to everyone. Cool guy.

Here are some Links to follow if you would like more info on the dinner and what it was about
keegan and voltaggio
orlando sentinel

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