Attending a James Beard House dinner is always such a treat. Not only do you get to sample a chef’s divine cooking approach, you can mingle with fellow foodies and get to meet new friends. Brian Alberg delivered a stunning meal featuring locally-sourced ingredients of the Berkshires.
Who to Take: A group of fellow foodies in the mood to feast or your best bud for some backyard bantering
On a gorgeous Friday night my friend Jude and I headed downtown to celebrate her birthday, anticipating farm-fresh food from the Berkshires. Much to our delight, in Chef Brian Alberg’s hands these simple, locally-sourced ingredients were transformed into clever, delectable bites.
At the cocktail hour, we mingled and sipped champagne in the backyard, while munching on chicken hearts—which were seared on a salt-stone and dolled-up with greens—corn pancakes with sour cream and caviar, and mackerel escabeche on oil-poached potatoes, among other treats.
Dan Thomas, sommelier at The Red Lion Inn, selected incredibly perfect pairings throughout the night, elevating the entire experience. What a treat!
See the details in the photos below, and do note each accompanying wine. Suggestion: Now that the weather is starting to cool down, it’s the perfect time to head out to for a weekend getaway to view the foliage, and experience the full harvest and majesty of the Berkshires at The Red Lion Inn. Check out the short film from the dinner.
THE RED LION INN, 30 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA, they are a member of the Historic Hotels of America about a 2.5 hour drive from NYC
During the cocktail hour the mini corn dogs which took center stage for their smoky flavor and adorable presentation: Ioka Valley Farm Maple Corn Dogs with Mom’s Bread & Butter Pickle Relish. Shots of Chilled Farm Girl Farm Tomato Soup with Saffron Tapioca, Himala Salt-Seared Chicken Hearts with Sweet Soy & Lacto-Fermented Celery started out the cocktail hour outside. Dan Thomas pours the champagne, a Val de Mer, Crémant de Bourgogne Non Dose, in the backyard at James Beard House, with new built-in bar.
First Course: RIght: Still thinking about the creaminess of the East Coast Sea Scallop Crudo with Berry Patch Radishes, Grapefruit Thai Chili Peppers, and Mill River Farm Microgreens, perfectly paired with the wine: Wieninger Wiener Gemischter Satz [Vienna]. Third Course: A refreshing salad with Grilled Lila’s Mountain Lamb Linguica with Equinox Farm Arugula, Roasted Peace Valley Farm Baby Fingerlings & Shaved Berleberg Cheese, Thymiopoulos Vineyards, Young Vine Xinomavro, [Naoussa, Greece]
Second Course: Alberg puts the finishing touch on our table’s favorite, the Hudson Valley Foie Gras Rice Crispy Treat with Frisee, Champagne Vinaigrette and Windy Hill Farm Blueberries, almost a dessert, served with the wine: Domaine Schlumberger Gewurztraminer “Fleur” [Alsace]
Fourth Course: The many hands that go into the plating in the James Beard House kitchen. (right) The result, a hearty Raven & Boar Pork Shoulder Bolognese with Cricket Creek Farm Tobasi Arancini and Berry Patch Escarole. This was served with Sottimano Mate Brachetto [Piedmont, Italy]. We got a second sampling of this wine, which was heaven.
Dessert: I love how Chef Alberg mixes savory and sweet in his desserts. Here, Roasted Mighty Food Farm Beets mixes with Old Chatham Camembert Sheep’s Milk Ice Cream, and Taza Chocolate Ganache & Concord Grape Gastrique. This was served with a glass of Noble Rot beer from the Dogfish Head Brewery. The entire crowd sang and wore red and white polka dot hats in honor of Chef Brian Alberg’s birthday.