Thursday, February 28, 2008
C-CAP Benefit: The Year of the Scallop!
C-CAP, the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program, held their annual benefit at Pier 60 down at Chelsea Piers last night, and as usual, it was delicious! Al Roker was there, and so were many graduates of the program, which trains young people in the food and hospitality industries to help prepare them for college or careers. This year, Alfred Portale, the chef at Gotham Bar and Grill, was honored. But despite the two Al's, the reason people show up year after year is the food!
As usual, the most popular dish was Shun Lee's Peking Duck. While excellent pieces of sashimi quality tuna, hunks of quality beef, and interesting pasta dishes were available for immediate consumption, there was a 10 minute line for the duck. Last year, I admitted to to the duck being my favorite: now its been proven that its every ones favorite.
This year seemed to be the year of the scallops. There were multiple scallop dishes, of which my favorite was Joseph Paulino's (of Cafe des Artistes) "seared diver scallop with truffle, bacond and potato fondue." Like a Reese's peanut butter cup, it was great tastes together.
Other things I liked (not an exhaustive list) included Bill Telepan's "Squash Tortellini with Wild Mushrooms and Pinenuts," Odette Fada's (Of San Domenico) Papa Con Pomodoro, Carmen Quagliata's (of Union Square Cafe) Braised Beef Short Rib and Primehouse New York Steak Salad from Jason Miller of Primehouse, NY.
I am not a dessert fan, but the lovely wife really like the Banana Tart Tatin with Malted Milk Ice Cream from Karen DeMasco of Craft.
Restaurant Girl has a pre CCAP interview with Alfred Portale on her website.
CCAP is a great cause and has a great benefit every year. Its a NYC highlight if ever there was one.