Charity Gala: The Great Chefs Event

Last Tuesday, I was so graciously invited to the seventh annual Great Chef’s Event, a night of charity and outstanding food to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand. Over 50 world-renowned chefs were in attendance here at the Navy Yard, whipping up their best bites for the cause. Famous faces like Tom Colicchio, Masaharu Morimoto, and Jose Garces came out to support. In addition, Philadelphia’s own Mark Vetri hosted the event along with Jeff Benjamin, Jeff Michaud, and their Vetri Foundation for Children.

Not only was over $1 million raised towards children’s cancer research, but the food was a delicious adventure. I went around tasting here and there, making mental notes of restaurants I had to visit should I ever find myself in their city. Read below for some of my favorites of the night, and ideas of restaurants that you should visit yourself. Also, be sure to check out Alex’s Lemonade Stand, the outstanding non-profit started by a little girl with cancer that is fighting to save the lives of children affected by the devastating disease.

Great Chefs Event 2012CheeseBest Cookies

Cookies from Mindy’s Hot Chocolate Bar in Chicago

Mindy’s Hot Chocolate Bar from Chicago was serving up some of the best cookies that I’ve ever eaten. These may have been my favorite desserts that I tasted all night.

Great Chefs EventGreat Chefs EventSlurping Turtle Tofu and Salmon

Tofu with marinated salmon and red curry mustard leaves by Takashi Yagihashi

The above dish consisted of a silky homemade tofu topped with marinated salmon and red curry mustard leaves from Takashi Yagihashi of Slurping Turtle in Chicago. The tofu was so soft it melted in my mouth and the way that its texture played off of the marinated salmon reminded me of a decadent bagel with lox and cream cheese, one of my all time favorite meals.

Great Chefs EventTandoori Octopus

Tandoori octopus with spicy yogurt sauce by Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook.

Above is another one of my favorite dishes all night, a tandoori octopus with smoky Indian flavoring and a complementary spicy yogurt sauce from Vinny Dotolo & Jon Shook of Animal and Son of a Gun restaurants in LA. What you have here is the best combination of flavors I’ve ever tasted in one bite, and the octopus was cooked perfectly.

People at the Great Chefs EventRoasted Carrots with Yogurt Vandouvan and Sunflower Seed

Roasted carrots with yogurt vandouvan and sunflower seed by Barbara and Colin Lynch

The above roasted carrots with yogurt vandouvan and sunflower seed from Barbara (Gruppo) and Colin Lynch (Menton) of Boston were another highlight. This amazingly spiced dish is a favorite at their French restaurant, Menton.

Great Chefs EventCherries and LemonsLemon Cupcakes

Thank you for letting me be a part of such a wonderful evening!

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