CELEBRATING THE GRAND OPENING OF PLATFORM BY THE JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION

By Great Performances

This month we’re celebrating the long-anticipated opening of Platform by the James Beard Foundation and Good To Go by JBF at the Market 57 food hall at Hudson River Park’s Pier 57. We’re thrilled to have been selected as the service and hospitality partner providing the behind-the-scenes operational and logistical expertise of the James Beard Foundation (JBF) spaces. 

The physical manifestation of JBF’s Good Food for Good® mission—Platform features a state-of-the-art show kitchen, event space, and educational hub for JBF’s outstanding culinary arts programming, while Good To Go is a retail incubator for fast casual concepts featuring rotating menus from established operators who embody JBF’s mission and values. 

Photo credit @paoloverzani

Trusted Partners with a Shared Mission 

Great Performances’ long history of partnership and collaboration with the James Beard Foundation continues at Market 57 at Platform by the James Beard Foundation and Good to Go by JBF. We’re delighted and honored to be selected as the operational and logistical partners to bring the Foundation’s Good Food for Good® mission to life at the show kitchen and the kiosk. 

The Foundation’s mission aligns closely with Great Performances’ deep roots in the arts, New York City civic and community life, and established commitment to furthering equity in all its endeavors and serve as guideposts for the decisions that we make together to drive the success of the new venture. 

“We are thrilled to announce Great Performances as our operational partner for Platform by the James Beard Foundation and Good To Go by JBF,” said Kris Moon, COO and President of the James Beard Foundation. “From the outset of this project, Great Performances has shown true leadership—supporting us in our vision to ensure that business operations for our Pier 57 spaces were closely aligned to our mission and values. We are grateful to be working together, and look forward to championing a standard of sustainability, equity, and a future where all can thrive at Platform and Good to Go.”

Operational Excellence, Gracious Hospitality 

We leveraged our expertise running kitchens, restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and kiosks, providing best practices for kitchen and back of house layouts, establishing service guidelines, and recruiting, vetting, hiring and managing the staff that will ensure that day-to-day operations are executed with excellence. While the James Beard Foundation will provide the programming, including a weekly chef-in-residence program launching in May, our front and back of house teams will work to support resident and visiting talent, while helping to ensure that every guest enjoys the professional, intuitive, and gracious service that are hallmarks of Great Performances’ (and JBF’s!) hospitality. 

Sustainable Sourcing, Thoughtful Consumption 

As the nation’s first caterer to own and operate an organic farm, Great Performances’ constantly sets the bar for sourcing, sustainability, and waste reduction in the catering and hospitality industry. We’re working closely with JBF and the guest chefs to implement our food waste reduction, sustainable sourcing, and sustainable packaging practices at Pier 57. 

Dynamic, Enriching, and Delicious Experiences 

From the first night, when JBF welcomes legendary chefs Jacques Pépin, Michel Nischan, and friends to Pier 57, we’ll kick off an incredible culinary adventure together. Through weekly chef-in residence events, exciting dinners, wine tastings, cooking demos, hands-on culinary classes, interactive exhibits, book signings, industry trainings, and more, guests will enjoy dynamic and enriching experiences at Platform by JBF. 

Next door is Good To Go by JBF, an incubator for fast-casual concepts by established operators who embody JBF’s mission and values. These menus will only be available for a short time, so we encourage everyone to visit – and to visit often. 

For full details about Platform and Good To Go and to reserve your tickets to Platform events. visit the Platform by JBF website at https://www.platformbyjbf.org/. We can’t wait to welcome you to our table!

DON'T HIRE A CATERER: OSCARS 2023

Georgette Farkas is officially our Culinary Ambassador at Great Performances, but we’ve also crowned her our Hospitality Maven. Drawing upon her experiences working at leading restaurants and spearheading her eponymous Rotisserie Georgette, she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience. In addition to everything she does at GP across all teams, she also regularly entertains at home, creating incredible dishes that have that extra special touch that makes the food even more memorable and delicious.

In this series, Georgette shares tips from the caterer’s tool kit to make entertaining at home (almost) effortless. From time saving shortcuts and grocery store secrets to garnishing hacks and presentation magic, she’ll help you host a party that’ll make your guests feel extra special and that you’ll actually be able to enjoy.

She’s also curated recipes for you, highlighting the tips she’s shared. Each month look for dishes and ideas that would be delicious on their own, but that together make up menus that will have you entertaining like a pro.

“Do you really need all those ingredients in your sauce ?“ I asked Theodore. Yes, he did, to make his chili chicken wings bold and bright – and spicy. Chef Theodore Coleman was spending the day with us in the Great Performances kitchen to review his recipes for a “Beard Box” menu. The dinner kits were created by up and coming chefs in the James Beard Foundation’s Fellowship program. This particular edition was for an awards viewing party. If you follow the culinary world, you’ll know that we have our very own “foodie Oscars” hosted annually by the James Beard Foundation.

Working with Theodore and the James Beard Fellows was a pandemic silver lining experience that has left an indelible impact. The program transformed the historic Bead House into a hub of development for talented emerging chefs with the goal of fostering a more equitable and sustainable culinary industry.

We collaborated with the 15 young culinary talents as they pursued professional development courses in small business management, media and social media, wine knowledge, and leadership skills. Our Great Performances team then guided them through menu development and recipe testing. Now, those recipes originally created for meal kits shipped across the country during the pandemic shut down will come to life once again at the new James Beard “Good To Go” kiosk opening this coming April at Pier 57. We’ve chosen one of our favorites for you to savor as you watch the Oscars.

As the fellows were asked to create dishes reflecting their own cultures, we tasted flavors from Jamaica to Puerto Rico , The Dominican Republic, Mexico, West Africa, Vietnam, Malaysia and beyond. Theodore’s Chili Chicken Wings pack some serious heat, nicely balanced by the cooling notes of his Cilantro-Mint Chutney. So, by all means, taste, test and make it your own, just as Theodore would.

We highly recommend following Theodore and keeping your eyes open for his pop-up dinners.

@cheftheodorevictor

@L8RSVN

RECIPE: CHILI CHICKEN WINGS

By Theodore Coleman

Serves 4

May be made a day or two ahead and reheated in the braising liquid.

Ingredients

  • 6 pieces chicken wings, separated into 3 parts
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
Marinade
  • 2 ½ tsp ginger, grated                  
  • 2 ½ tsp garlic, crushed
  • 2 whole serrano peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  •  1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sushi vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp Szechuan sauce
  • 1 Tbsp red chili or chili crunch sauce
Cilantro Mint Chutney
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 2 tsp ginger, grated
  • ½ tsp garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp palm sugar
  • 1 whole jalapeño, seeded and diced

Procedure

  1. Combine one teaspoon each garlic and ginger to form a paste. Combine remaining marinade ingredients in blender and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat add just enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add ginger/garlic paste and cook stirring for a minute or two, but do not brown. Add wings in a single layer and sear on both sides. Cook in batches, as needed, depending on the size of your skillet. Add marinade, bring to a boil, lower heat to a gentle simmer. Braise wings in marinade for approximately 15 minutes. Serve hot with cold cilantro-mint chutney on the side.
  3. Combine chutney ingredients in a blender until smooth. Add jalapeno last, and just a little bit at a time so as to adjust seasoning to your taste.

Images courtesy James Beard Foundation