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oscar gala

this year 19.5 million people tuned in to the Academy Awards, the most watched and celebrated of all the award shows…whether you were sitting in your jammies on the couch or attending a lavish party, we gladly celebrated the movies that entertained us

most years, I am the one that makes it a day, sitting at home, watching the programs that recap the movies that have won in the past, and of course, the red carpet being a highlight where my husband’s sense of humor is at its peak as he becomes a fashion critic…

I was expecting to embrace our tradition again for this Oscar celebration until a post on Facebook grabbed my attention…like many bars and restaurants, The Harvester Kitchen by Bryan was going to throw a glamorous gala, but what made this particular event unique, was the fact the menu was going to be voted on by us, the fans

picture of Facebook posting list of nominees for menu items

Chef Bryan had four nominees for each category, taken from preferred dishes throughout the year…the beautiful pictures and appetizing descriptions certainly lured me in…I continued to watch for his posts to make sure I didn't miss a chance to select my favorite…it was obvious that no matter what dish won, this was going to be a delectable feast that I did not want to miss

a white plate with two appetizers, one is a piece of toast with smoked salmon and the second is a pastry cup filled with caviar

so, this Sunday, I got myself gussied up and headed downtown…the night began with a walk down the red carpet and a photo op to show off my beautiful Joseph Ribkoff dress and jewels from JuLiana’s private collection…with glass of champagne in hand, it was nice to chat with the other dinner guests, all curious as to what our palates would be experiencing…during this reception time we sipped Lansons Green Label French champagne with welcome bites of smoked salmon and caviar

the efficient staff walked the room, replacing our glass with Calvet Cremant de Bordeaux, a delightful brut rose that was paired with fried chicken laced in rooibos glaze, a tea that lends an herbaceous, delicate floral flavor…we were then beckoned to our table by a placement of Roederer sparkling rose and a micro burger oozing with foie gras and winter truffle

chef Bryan smiling while standing in his kitchen

Chef Bryan then came out to introduce the nominees for the first course and announce the winner that would soon be presented to us…he did this for the additional four courses that followed

a plate with two rolls of lobster cannolini

First Course:

Lobster Cannelloni paired with Trefethen dry riesling

I love finger foods and this crispy potato shell filled with chunks of lobster in crème fraiche with a light burst of citrus was one of my favorites of the night

a white plate with a circle of green onion sauce with a seared scallop in the middle

Second Course:

Caramelized Sea Scallop

paired with Two Squared by

Alpha Omega chardonnay

a perfectly cooked sea scallop sat in puddle of colorful, vibrant spring allium velouté for a delightfully rich dish that was balanced beautifully with the chardonnay

white plate with circle of mashed potato puree, red verjus, and 4 tortolini

Third Course:

Comte Cheese Tortelloni paired with Etude estate grown pinot noir

love, love, love comte cheese, so this dish was a delight and the acidity of the red verjus was the perfect bridge to the pinot noir

white plate with beef bourguignons, smaller plate with bun, and a glass of red wine

Fourth Course:

Beef Short Rib Bourguignon paired with Sinegal Cabernet

the Sakura farms wagyu beef was so tender, someone fittingly described it as beef custard, the deep, rich flavors were only accentuated by the sumptuous cabernet

white plate with dollops of chestnut puree and chantilly cream surrounded by meringue and chocolate wafers

Fifth Course:

Mont Blanc paired with

La Sirena Moscato Azul

his playful version of a mont blanc was a textural treat…the creamy chestnut puree and Chantilly cream was easily scooped up with the meringue thins and the dry muscat from famed winemaker Heidi Barrett only added to delicate taste experience

dinner completed just at the right time as the final Oscar was given to Oppenheimer for best movie…after applause for the show and Chef Bryan’s award-winning dinner experience, we were invited to stay for a littler after party nosh…a table set with colorful sweets and one thing that I can never say no to, truffle popcorn…and this one had hand shaved winter truffle and parmigiano Reggiano grated on top…an exquisite taste to linger on my palate until I returned home

a woman in fancy black dress holding a glass of champagne in one hand and an oscar award in the other
laurel lather, the Nostalgic chef

I do want to end this with a short acceptance speech of sorts…as I raise this Oscar, I would like to thank everyone that continues to support our local chefs and restaurants…being in the industry for over 5o years, I understand all the hard work that happens behind the scenes

many times, the owner is the director, head of production design, costume design, original screenplay (menu) and lead actor/actress, if not more…

the entire process of day-to-day operations, let alone hosting an event such as tonight, is a daunting task that is only accomplished with a blend of passion and adrenaline…

always remember to acknowledge their achievements and the supporting actors and actresses as they attend to your every whim…

Chef Bryan and the entire staff, this Oscar goes to you…

well deserved…cheers to your continued success

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