This was my first time hearing about the event, but I checked out The Passionate Foodie’s write-up from the two years prior and knew it would be a fun evening. Plus, I work in nonprofit development and communications, so it’s great to attend other nonprofit events to expand my event planning abilities.
The VIP demonstration from Taranta‘s Chef Jose Duarte started the event perfectly. Located in Boston’s North End, Taranta combines Peruvian and Southern Italian cuisines.
Chef Duarte’s easy-going attitude and interest in food history and sustainability made the demonstration fun and informative. A focus of his presentation was Paiche Amazone – a fascinating fish I had never heard of before Chefs for the Cure. Pronounced ‘pie-chay’, this white fish with pink scales (more like armor!) can grow to be over 6 feet long and weigh over 150 pounds.
Paiche is an endangered species, but the fish Chef Duarte uses is farmed in a sustainable way. In addition to the unique and delicious-sounding food at Taranta, it’s also at the forefront of green restaurant practices in Boston. Taranta is a Green Certified Restaurant and makes use of Trace and Trust – a way to see not only where your fish comes from, but also who caught it!
Chef Duarte made a ramp-wrapped paiche over a fiddlehead and ramp rissoto-style quinoa. We thought about visiting Taranta after the event just to have a regular-size serving, but, we were very full by 9pm!
We were so content after this demonstration that I almost forget there was an entire room of food to sample. Here are some of my top picks from the evening:
I’ll start with my celebrity chef moment – I met Joanne Chang! Aside from having a minor obsession with everything at Flour Bakery, I just think she’s an all-around kind and giving person. She was serving Myers + Chang pork and chive dumplings – they were so good. The lighting wasn’t great around her table, but I had take a picture. She’s fantastic – I’m clearly starstruck.
There was a tie for my two favorite foods of the event: steak tartare from Gaslight and turnip ravioli from Chef Larry Kessel at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. The steak tartare was seasoned very nicely and was perfectly subtle – something not all tartares are. The raviolis (see below) were very similar to the beet raviolis I loved at Bakers’ Best. I need to make them.
I chatted with Chef Dexter from One Bistro while he was making shrimp risotto. He suggested a great tip that I can’t wait to use – if you want to make risotto for a party: cook the rice 2/3 of the way earlier in the day and cool on a baking sheet. When guests arrive, finish cooking. Fresh risotto without ignoring your guests for 45 minutes!
My favorite dessert – and top choice overall – was from Finale. I think it was a chocolate pot du creme, but I can’t find it on their menu. Can anyone help me with this? Although maybe I don’t want to know because they have a Harvard Square location and this could be the end of me…
I had a great time at Chefs for the Cure and it was wonderful to support cancer research while enjoying such delicious food. Now I just need to track down that dessert.
Two complimentary tickets were provided to me, which included the VIP cooking demonstration and tastings from all restaurants. I agreed to live tweet from the event via @EatingPlaces. I was not asked to write a blog post, but I wanted to share this event with you! As always, all opinions are honest and my own.