Taste of the Nation NYC 2014

Executive Chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois of Blue Smoke & Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality
Executive Chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois of Blue Smoke & Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality and Honorary Chair of this event

A few nights ago, Taste of the Nation NYC by No Kid Hungry that took place at 82 Mercer that drew over 80 renowned restaurants and bars, chefs and food personalities, in New York City to raise awareness for fighting hunger in America.

One in five children in this country struggles with hunger, including nearly 925,000 kids in New York alone. The good news is that this is a solvable problem. The No Kid Hungry campaign is ending childhood hunger in this nation by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.

This year’s event featured dishes representing themes like healthy meals and breakfast-inspired bites.

Here’s some of the many bites that were plated and sent out to the crowds that I found delicious:

In the VIP lounge

Quail egg en gelée with American caviar by Balthazar (at VIP Lounge)

Balthazar served up a luxurious quail egg en gelée with American caviar that was balanced and delicious.

Assortment of caviars, salmon roe and smoked salmon by Paramount Caviar (at VIP Lounge)

Paramount Caviar (in the VIP Lounge) had plated up large platters of trout roe, Hackleback caviar, and smoked salmon in various vehicles of blinis, rye bread, and baby potatoes. Many VIP attendees crowded the table for them.

Betony Milk Punch and Prawns, Rhubarb foam, olive oil by Betony

My favorite people of Betony, Executive Chef Bryce Shuman and General Manager Eamon Rockey were there doling out their signature milk punch infused with rhubarb and prawns in rhubarb foam and olive oil. Pleasantly tart and resonates spring, especially with the pastel pink foam and the olive oil (by Chateau d’Estoublon) puddle on it is fruity with a peppery bite.

North African spiced lamb loin by Minton's (at VIP Lounge)

Minton’s had a very fine North African spiced lamb loin that was tender and flavorful with the zesty spice crust.

The pastry team of North End Grill with Executive Pastry Chef Tracy Obolsky Smoked vanilla flam with rum pineapple and salted almonds by North End Grill

One of my recent favorite pastry chefs in NYC, Tracy Obolsky of North End Grill made smoked vanilla flan with rum pineapple and salted almonds. This flan was delicious. It’s creamy but has a firm structure, it’s subtly sweet and it almost had a savory, almost bacon-like flavor from the smoke. The pineapple and almonds rounds out the dessert. (You may read about my dinner at North End, seen here)

Rest of the vicinity:

Smoked herring egg custard with pickles, trout roe, warm butter by Aquavit

Upstairs on the second floor, Aquavit served the most unique bite of the night: smoked herring egg custard with pickles, trout roe, and warm butter. It’s a savory custard that is set properly and I adored the salty, briny flavors that’s ends up being sophisticated and very tasty.

Executive Pastry Chef Miroslav Uskokovic with his team at Gramercy Tavern
Heirloom lemon dessert with poppy seed cake with hazelnuts by Pastry Chef Miroslav Uskokovic of Gramercy Tavern

The new Executive Pastry Chef, Miroslav Uskokovic and his team at Gramercy Tavern plated up an astounding and vibrant lemon dessert with poppy seed cake with hazelnuts that is currently served at the restaurant.

The lemon used here isn’t the typical lemon or even the commonly used Meyer, it’s an heirloom called Baboon. It has so much floral, Bergamot-like flavor with the expected lemon acidity that’s in the lemon curd. The cube of poppy seed cake added an earthy, nutty flavor while the whipped cream soften the sharpness of the lemon curd.

Beets, Hazelnut, Yogurt by Contra

Contra was there serving dessert, bowls of beets, hazelnut, and yogurt. It’s a dessert that is borderline savory, which I enjoyed. The earthy sweet beet gel is mixed with smooth hazelnut butter and hazelnut crumbs for texture.

There was so many more great restaurants that participated in this event that’s for a great cause. To view more photos of the visit, please CLICK HERE for my photo set or click through my gallery below:

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Taste of the Nation NYC


Categoriesfood event

I shoot, eat, and drink. My full time job is a hospital administrator. Moonlighting as a freelance photographer and food and travel writer.