To kick-off the COCHON Chef’s Course Dinner Series, Executive Chef Aaron Brooks from EDGE Steak & Bar and COCHON founder Brady Lowe hosted the Feathers and Foie dinner and reception (#FeathersandFoie) Friday, February 7, 2014. The sold out event was held at the prestigious Edge restaurant in The Four Seasons Hotel Miami, making for a truly fine dining experience.
Winner of the 2013 COCHON 555 Miami event, Chef Brooks invited four other renowned Miami chefs including Jeremiah Bullfrog of GastroPod and Subatomic Subs; Todd Erickson of Haven and Huahua’s Taqueria, Richard Hales of Sakaya Kitchen and Blackbrick Chinese, and pastry chef Antonio Bachour of St. Regis Bal Harbour. This special, one-night-only culinary experience featured the best of “feathers”: duck, quail, turkey and other fowl, paired with Hudson Valley Foie Gras. With the combined creative genius of the chefs represented at the event, it would be difficult to top the “feathers and foie” dinner served.
To sweeten the evening, a portion of the proceeds from each chef’s course card went toward the James Beard Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that supports initiatives for aspiring chefs and food enthusiasts including educational programs, food industry awards, an annual national food conference, Leadership Awards program, culinary scholarships, and publications.
The evening began at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception at The Edge’s poolside dining area. With a clear sky and Miami winter breeze, this was the perfect outdoor setting to open up the palette with freshly prepared hors d’oeuvres and aperitifs. Four bites were passed around for tasting, each with its own unique infusion of foie, including: a foie “truffle”, foie-strami, foie and char siu pork laobing, and foie gras butter and jelly brioche with kumquat and blood orange. Each bite was specially designed by the chefs and complemented by an impressive offering from Prosciutto Di Parma, including hand-crafted cocktails made with bourbon from Breckenridge Distillery, beers from Goose Island Beer Co and select wines from Elk Cove Vineyards.
The dinner feast began with a first plate prepared by Chef Bullfrog. His “Suprematist Plumes,” a study of Turkey blanc de blanc, featured rolled, cold slices with a dash of foie sauce, paired with COCHON Rose from Elk Cove Vineyards. Second course by Chef Erickson consisted of his famous M.F.Q. “Miami Fried Quail” with an assortment of flavors and garnishes, including gourmet potato salad, quail deviled egg and brussel sprout coleslaw. The plate was paired with Sophie, a Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale. Host Chef Brooks then brought out his unique platter, a breast of squab roasted with tupelo honey, assorted seeds, croquette of corn, porcini and foie gras puree. The light plate complimented the Matilda, Belgian Style Pale Ale.
The featured plate of the night was prepared by Chef Hales from Blackbrick Chinese and Sakaya Kitchen. In a modern twist to traditional family style dining, each diner selected from a platter of peking duck. This selection was then rolled into a roti prata pancake and topped with chili bean hoisin and house-made “MSG”. The meal blended seamlessly with a provocatively spicy cocktail prepared with Breckenridge Bourbon, macerated raspberries and habanero syrup.
For the grand finale, guests were presented with two delectable desserts that doubled as mini masterpieces. For Chef Bachour, it was clear that presentation matters. The first was an exotic fruit verrine that artistically combined a palette of flavors, colors and textures. The second treat consisted of a foie gras crema catalana with compressed apples, apple cider foam, mandarin gel and Granny Smith apple pudding. To complete thie evening of culinary indulgence, the chefs complemented the last course with a Miami-style “cortadito” coffee cocktail blended with Breckenridge Bourbon, coriander seeds and walnut bitters.