My Top Ten Experiences of 2010

This year for me, was pretty fun and a whirlwind in itself from going back to graduate school, vacation to Paris for the first time, and still manage to eat. A lot. This is looking at 2010 in the rear view mirror at what meals (overall) and food-related experiences that resonated me to this day.

10. Electric Zoo (Post)
Granted, it’s not remotely food related but a minute touch of food is there (the very good food trucks like Mexicue, Miss Softee, La Cense Burger Truck and Sweet Treats (now renamed to Sweetery)). It’s just a bizarre invite for me to gain access to the photo pit in an electronic music festival. It’s odd and very different than taking photos of food and restaurants but it’s a nice change from it. (Still haven’t heard of a food blogger/photographer taking concert pictures.)

9. Brunch at ilili (Post)

Knafe Bil Jibneh

I’m not a traditional brunch girl but ilili fits the bill for being creative and get away from the boring American brunch food of pancakes and salmon and eggs benedict. This restaurant is also priced very reasonably at $27 for two courses and includes a cocktail and coffee/juice.

8. Meatopia (Post)

Now THAT is beef

This food event was not for vegetarians or a light eater. Meatopia took place on Governor’s Island on a hot July day where carnivores and food lovers met for their smoked meats. Fun, crowded but great food.

7. Dinner at Public (Post)
Interior New Zealand venison loin, Cabrales dumplings, oyster mushrooms and salsa verde
I’ve eaten at Chef Brad Farmerie’s Public for brunch much earlier this year but having dinner was exponentially better. Everything was excellent from drinks (their bartender made the best non-alcoholic cocktail I ever drank) to the food. This is a great casual, slightly upscale dining experience that I would love to go back again.

6. StarChefs.com International Culinary Congress 2010 (Posts: Day 1, Day 2 Day 3 & NY Rising Stars Gala)

Keynote Panel: Creativity: Art vs. Craft
Green: Apple, Pistachio, Olive Oil, Cilantro, and White Chocolate-Yogurt Cream Markus Glocker of Gordon Ramsay at the London dish:  Hudson Valley foie gras with Cipollini onion, black olive caramel, aged balsamic
Keynote Panel (top), Green dessert (left), and Foie gras dish from NY Rising Stars Gala (right)

A culinary chefs’ star-studded event, if you will. This three-day food event that’s reserved for food professionals and press was fun, educational and obviously, food filled. If they have this again next year in NYC, I would love to go back. I have never learned so much from respected chefs and bartenders.

5. Shooting for Le Fooding (Post)

Atmosphere

Never in my wildest dreams would I actually be hired by Le Fooding to shoot their two-day event. Despite the crazy amounts of people clamoring and lining up for food, it was fun. I have met and spoken to many chefs that I wouldn’t have normally, especially the ones from the West Coast and actually get a sense of their personalities beyond what is portrayed on the Web.

4. Blue Hill at Stone Barns (Post)
At the front door of Blue Hill, restaurant proper
This Morning's Egg Mini beet burgers

I’ve been putting Blue Hill at Stone Barns (the one outside of Manhattan’s New York City) on the back burner of my “must eat” list for the past few years. What made me went there was after meeting/seeing Chef Dan Barber from food events before this dinner reminded me that I should eat at his restaurant. From the tour of the farm (seeing adorable farm animals to seeing the work put behind growing vegetables) to the actual dining (professional yet friendly servers and delicious food that was grown and raised just outside the restaurant’s door).

3. Eleven Madison Park (Post)

Interior
Pork The Kir Royale

After all the constant noise about EMP’s renovations in September, I know I have to try what’s the fuss about. Thanks to a great friend of mine, we ate there as my belated birthday lunch. EMP has met and exceeded my expectations. A truly sublime dining experience in New York City.

2. 2. Lunch at Ledoyen in Paris, France (Post)

Pre-desserts

This is my first 3* Michelin dining experience in Paris. For 88€ 4-course meal and additional bites, this was worthy of its 3* rating. Attentive, professional service. Beautifully, whimsically presented food was even better when eaten. I’m still flummoxed as to how the kitchen made this egg white, black truffle soufflé dish to this day.

1. La Maison du Chocolat’s Factory Tour in Paris (Post)

The most pristine, organized factory I've ever seen Pouring the warm ganache to the cooling table

I felt like Charlie from Charlie in the Chocolate Factory in the pristine factory of La Maison du Chocolat while I was in Paris in May. It was a whirlwind of non-stop eating of divine French chocolate and made a new friend, the mastermind behind La Maison du Chocolat, Creative Director Gilles Marchal.



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