The Last Supper Dinner, held at the ever so fabulous Buccan in Palm Beach, was the final seated dinner of the Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival. The five course tasting menu was divine. Each course was paired with wines and prepared by award winning chefs. The chefs that made this evening happen were Chef Clay Conley of Buccan in Palm Beach, Chef Mike Lata of Fig in Charleston, Chef Jeff McInnis of Yardbird Southern Table and Bar in Miami, Chef Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, and Chef Elizabeth Falkner of Krescendo in Brooklyn.
Chef Chris Hastings recently had the honor of winning Best Chef of the South 2012, by the James Beard Foundation. I had the pleasure of talking to him about what drives him as a Chef and what has made his restaurant Hot and Hot Fish Club so successful and well respected in the industry for the past 17 years. Hastings believes in micro moments that are sustainable and local to reflect purveyors and seasonal foraging. He uses all local and fresh ingredients, humanely raised and hormone free livestock and even churns butter for his restaurant. Hastings showcased these sentiments in his course of Sous Vide then Roasted Shoulder of Lamb, Anson Mills Farro, Harrisa and Roasted Chestnuts. This was paired with Pine Ridge Napa Valley Cabarnet Sauvignon, 2010. He also prepared a canapé of Surf Clam and Scallop Crudo with Seared Monkfish Liver and Limequat Puree, Fennel, Breakfast Radish and Pickled Thai Chiles. It was spectacular.
Chef Clay Conley James Beard nominee Best Chef of the South 2012, is as talented as he is handsome. Usually running the whole kitchen of Buccan, one of Palm Beach’s best, tonight he prepared an Heirloom Tomato tasting, with a perfectly crispy- fried Squash Flower stuffed with Buratta. This course was paired with Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier, 2011. Chef Mike Lata prepared a Capers Blade Oyster Ravoli, Del Plin. The handmade parcels were flavorful and delicate making a simple combination on the plate. This was paired with Chamisal Edna Valley Pinot Noir, 2009. Chef Jeff McInnis nominee Best Chef of the South 2012 prepared my favorite canapé of the evening, a Foie Gras Biscuit. I couldn’t stop eating them. The flaky biscuit with sweet honey and savory foie was divine. His course was a “Porducken,” served with Apple Butter, Baby Root Vegetables and Celery Root Puree. The components of the “Porducken” are Duck Breast, Chicken Thigh Mousse and Pork Belly. This was paired with Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel, 2010. This amazing meal ended with dessert by Chef Elizabeth Falkner who is the James Beard Award Winner of Best Pastry Chef 2005,she prepared Tartufo, Gianduja Semmifreddo, Cocoa Nib Sbrisonola and Caramel Tangerine. This was topped by Bulls Blood Microgreens and had such a natural flavor and looked as if it was foraged from the earth. This was a spectacular evening of talented chefs using only the freshest and finest ingredients. I can’t wait for next year.