CHOCOLATE POT DE CRÈME

by Chef Geoff Rudaw

INGREDIENTS

PROCEDURE

For the base

  • 3 cups milk

  • 3 cups heavy cream

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar

  • 1 cup cocoa powder, loosely packed

  • 4 oz 64% chocolate, chopped

  • 12 egg yolks

  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the marshmallow topping

  • 2 oz heavy cream

  • 4 oz heavy cream, whipped

  • 2 cups marshmallow topping

For the crunch

  • 1 package graham crackers

  • 1 cup puffed or toasted rice

  • 2 oz semi sweet chocolate

  • 1 tbsp Feulletine (optional)

  1. Prepare the base. Scald milk and cream together and remove from heat. Whisk in sugar and cocoa powder. Add chocolate and whisk thoroughly to combine. Strain and chill on ice bath. Once cook, whisk in egg yolks. Pour into individual serving containers (8oz Mason or Ball jars work perfectly) leaving at least an inch for the toppings. Place in water bath, cover with aluminum foil and bake at 300 F for 65 minutes. Remove, allow to cool, then chill.

  2. Prepare the marshmallow topping. In a double boiler, melt marshmallow topping with 2 oz of heavy cream. Remove from heat then fold in whipped cream. Transfer to a disposable pastry bag or ziplock bag.

  3. Prepare the crunch. Melt chocolate in microwave at 15 second intervals, stirring between each interval until melted. Drizzle over puffed rice, stirring quickly to loosely coat the puffed rice. Coarsely crush graham crackers and shake in colander to separate dust. Keep the larger crumbs. Mix in Feulletine (optional) and store in airtight container.

  4. Assemble the dessert. Add approximately 1/4 inch of crunch to each pot, then top with 3/4 inch of marshmallow topping. Torch the center of the topping (avoid getting too close to the edges to avoid cracking the jar) and quickly twist on lid to trap the “campfire” smoke. Serve cold.

Notes: this dish can be prepared a day ahead.

More Recipes

 

Even as we’re practicing social distancing, we continue to see great examples of how life happens around food. Instead of the corporate lunches, we’re seeing teams enjoy video conference lunches; instead of big dinner parties, families are having home-cooked meals together; and instead of packing bars at happy hours, friends are toasting each other virtually.

With more people cooking at home, we’re collecting recipes from our Great Performances’ team members, families, friends and partners to share with you and provide some inspiration for delicious dishes you can make at home. Share your recipes and photos with us: tag us on social media #gpcovidcooking, direct message @gpfood or email marketing@greatperformances.com.

Sherry Vinaigrette

 

In the salad I made, I used about a quarter of a small rotisserie chicken which I removed from the bone and shredded. My base was chopped frisee lettuce (white parts only) and romaine, with shaved carrot, diced avocado, a hearty spoon full of the marinaded chickpeas and diced tomato.  I topped it with a tablespoon of chopped Marcona almonds, but any nut will add great crunch and flavor.  I whisked together some heart healthy extra virgin olive oil, aged sherry vinegar, a touch of Dijon mustard and local raw honey for the dressing.

 

Recipe provided by Great Performances’ chef

Geoff Rudaw
Executive Chef
CPS Events at The Plaza

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar (substitute red wine vinegar if needed)

  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

  • 1 tbsp local raw honey

  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

  • 3 grinds black pepper

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Procedure:

  1. Whisk together the first 5 ingredients in a stainless steel mixing bowl.

  2. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking steadily to emulsify the oil and other ingredients.

  3. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator after use.

From Chef Geoff’s Notebook:

Since some people have a little bit more time on their hands lately, let’s take a moment to discuss the merits of raw honey. Local raw honey is believed to have holistic value through the theory that ingestion of micro amounts of pollen and nectar, would in time build an immunity to aid the allergy sufferer of those plants. On another note, honey is believed to be a topical burn aid, a digestive aid and an elixer for sore throats.  A one ounce serving of local raw honey contains abundant vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin C, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B3, and vitamin B5. Raw and local honey is also full of essential minerals like copper, calcium, iodine, manganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, selenium, sodium, zinc, and iron.

 

 


Hungry for More?

 

 

Even as we’re practicing social distancing, we continue to see great examples of how life happens around food. Instead of the corporate lunches, we’re seeing teams enjoy video conference lunches; instead of big dinner parties, families are having home-cooked meals together; and instead of packing bars at happy hours, friends are toasting each other virtually.

With more people cooking at home, we’re collecting recipes from our Great Performances’ team members, families, friends and partners to share with you and provide some inspiration for delicious dishes you can make at home. Share your recipes and photos with us: tag us on social media #gpcovidcooking, direct message @gpfood or email marketing@greatperformances.com.

Immune-Boosting Marinated Chickpeas

 

Eating well and getting key nutrients is going to help us all stay healthy and active in the coming weeks, so here is an immune boosting addition for canned chickpeas. This is guaranteed to turn an ordinary canned legume into a cornerstone on which to build salad, grain and vegetables dishes.

Using proven immune-boosting ingredients like turmeric, lemon, garlic, parsley and olive oil not only add key nutrients, but also a ton of flavor. Try using a similar flavor profile to jazz up canned white beans, pinto beans or even corn.

 

Recipe provided by Great Performances’ chef

Geoff Rudaw
Executive Chef
CPS Events at The Plaza

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 can cooked chickpeas (preferably organic)

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/3 tsp turmeric, ground

  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/4 tsp paprika

  • 1/4 tsp toasted ground coriander

  • 2 drops hot sauce

  • 1 grind of black pepper

  • 4 sprigs of parsley, leaves only, chopped

  • 2 shallots, peeled, finely dice (or 1 small red onion)

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Procedure:

  1. Drain and rinse chickpeas and transfer them to a stainless steel mixing bowl.

  2. Combine all of the other ingredients, and let sit, covered at room temperature for an hour. This will give the flavors to blend.

Variations:

A dressing like this can be made with any delicious and harmonious ingredients. I recommend experimenting with ginger, lemongrass and scallions or come up with your own flavor profile to suit your dish or meal.

 

Salad with marinated chickpeas and sherry vinaigrette. Image credit: Geoff Rudaw

Salad with marinated chickpeas and sherry vinaigrette.

Image credit: Geoff Rudaw

 


Hungry for More?

 

 

Even as we’re practicing social distancing, we continue to see great examples of how life happens around food. Instead of the corporate lunches, we’re seeing teams enjoy video conference lunches; instead of big dinner parties, families are having home-cooked meals together; and instead of packing bars at happy hours, friends are toasting each other virtually.

With more people cooking at home, we’re collecting recipes from our Great Performances’ team members, families, friends and partners to share with you and provide some inspiration for delicious dishes you can make at home. Share your recipes and photos with us: tag us on social media #gpcovidcooking, direct message @gpfood or email marketing@greatperformances.com.

Lemon Herb Compound Butter

 

I don’t know about you, but in our house we recently dusted off the grill for use again and fired it up.  Not every home in the NYC area has a grill, but if you do have one, there is nothing else that tastes exactly like it.  A lot of home cooks can make a mean steak, but most of the time it doesn’t make sense to make a veal stock, reduce it for hours, and then build a red wine reduction sauce for one meal.  That’s why I decided to share a compound butter recipe for steak that is easy to make, affordable, and freezes very well.  I like to apply it in a few slices on the hot steak after it is grilled to your desired temperature, while it is resting on the serving plate.  That way the butter melts into those tiny nooks and crannies and its flavor intermingles with the char, smoke and the steak itself. You can also play around with it and try applying it to roasted chicken pork or even vegetables (hello corn, hello cauliflower).

 

Recipe provided by Great Performances’ chef

Geoff Rudaw
Executive Chef
CPS Events at The Plaza

 

Ingredients:

  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped herbs, you can use any herb like tarragon, parsley, thyme, chive or even a blend

  • 1 small shallot, finely diced (optional)

  • 1 lemon, zested and 1 tsp juice

  • 4 grinds of black pepper

  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Procedure:

  1. Combine all ingredients In a stainless steel bowl until the butter is creamy and smooth.

  2. Arrange two layers of plastic wrap, about 10” long each, on top of each other on your counter.

  3. Using a rubber spatula, give the butter a final blend and scrape evenly on the plastic wrap into a rough log shape. If it is too soft to work with, refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.

  4. Roll up the butter in a tight cylinder, keeping an eye that the edged of he plastic wrap doesn’t get embedded deep into your roll. Twist the edges and chill thoroughly.

  5. To use, cut into slices and add to grilled steak, chicken, pork or vegetables.

  6. To store, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and store in freezer for up to 3 months.

Variations:

Compound butters can have anything delicious and harmonious in them.  I recommend experimenting with some of these combinations, or feel free to make up your own.  Necessity is the mother of invention, after all.

  • Cilantro, chipotle peppers, toasted ground cumin, lime juice.

  • Ginger, garlic, scallion, soy sauce and sesame oil.

  • Green curry, coconut, lemongrass and lime juice & zest. (Some of the ingredients may be harder to find, but they’re worth it.)

 

Grilled sirloin steak with compound butter. Image credit: Geoff Rudaw

Grilled sirloin steak with compound butter.

Image credit: Geoff Rudaw

 


Hungry For More?

 

 

Even as we’re practicing social distancing, we continue to see great examples of how life happens around food. Instead of the corporate lunches, we’re seeing teams enjoy video conference lunches; instead of big dinner parties, families are having home-cooked meals together; and instead of packing bars at happy hours, friends are toasting each other virtually.

With more people cooking at home, we’re collecting recipes from our Great Performances’ team members, families, friends and partners to share with you and provide some inspiration for delicious dishes you can make at home. Share your recipes and photos with us: tag us on social media #gpcovidcooking, direct message @gpfood or email marketing@greatperformances.com.

Crunchy Vegetable Salad

Turmeric Pickled Shallots, Roasted Chicken Thigh, Tomatillo Vinaigrette

 

Being cooped up as so many of us New Yorkers have been, it’s more important as ever to eat well. Easing into Spring, its an easy transition into tasty, fulfilling, satisfying salads that have some extra flavor.

With economics in mind, it’s also important to eat with a touch of thrift, so with that in mind I present to you my lunch salad from today.

 

Recipe provided by Great Performances’ Partner

Geoff Rudaw
Executive Chef
CPS Events at The Plaza

 

Ingredients:

For the Tomatillo Salsa

  • 4-5 tomatillos, husk removed medium size

  • 1/2 yellow onion, peeled, cut in 4 wedges, root end trimmed, but intact

  • 1 poblano pepper, medium size

  • 2 scallions

  • 3 cloves confit garlic (sub recipe)

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt, ground black pepper

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice, fresh, (or lime)

  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 cup water, add more as needed

For the Confit Garlic

  • Garlic cloves, peeled, stem ends trimmed

  • Extra virigin olive oil

For the Turmeric Pickled Shallots

  • 1 cup white wine vinegar

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric, ground

  • 5 black peppercorns, whole

  • 5 coriander seeds, whole

  • 1 Tbsp mustard seeds, yellow or brown

  • 1 small bay leaf, dry

  • 4 medium shallots, pealed, sliced 1/8 ” rings, separated

Procedure:

For the Tomatillo Salsa

  1. Toss the tomatillos, onion wedges, poblano and scallion with 1/3 of the olive oil, season with a light pinch of kosher salt and a twist of black pepper from the pepper mill.  Broil until well charred, then turn over and char the other side.  Remove any vegetables that brown more quickly to avoid burning.

  2. Remove the skin, stem and seeds from the poblano pepper. Toss all of the charred vegetables into the blender, add confit garlic, remaining olive oil, lemon juice, and puree on low-med.  Start with 1/2 cup of water, but use as much water as necessary to adjust to “sauce” consistency.  Make it a little loose, as tomatillo will gel when chilled.  Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and lime juice. If you prefer some heat, feel free to consider adding Tabasco, your favorite hot sauce, jalapeños, etc.

  3. Transfer to a jar and refrigerate.  Will easily last a week.

For the Confit Garlic

  1. In your smallest pot (preferably stainless steel), add enough cloves of garlic to cover the bottom in one layer.  Cover with extra virgin olive oil, until just covered completely by 1/4″.

  2. Set on low heat, and let the oil simmer, but not boil. The lowest heat that gets some action in the oil is preferred. When the garlic cloves are light golden, turn off heat completely and let sit on the back burner until cool.

  3. This should be stored in the refrigerator.  Some other great uses for confit oil are roasted potatoes, broccoli babe, garlic bread, pasta and broccoli to name just a few.

For the Turmeric Pickled Shallots

  1. Bring all of the ingredients except for the shallots to a boil.

  2. Put the shallots in a mason jar, small pyrex or stainless steel bowl, that is just bigger than the shallots.

  3. Pour the boiled vinegar/sugar liquid and all spices over the shallots, and let them steep.

  4. When the shallots have come to room temperature, use immediately or refrigerate for future use.

Assemble the Salad

I started with crispy skin spice roasted chicken thighs, which I pulled and tossed with a tomatillo roasted tomato salsa I used for enchilladas two nights earlier. The salad I prepared was chopped romaine, baby arugula, cucumber, carrot, Cuban-style black beans, broccoli, avocado, olive oil, lemon juice and a few chopped sprigs cilantro.  The last touch was some turmeric pickled shallots I made last week, since I had more shallots on hand than I could use.

I am not by any means a light eater, and that salad really set me straight and kept me full until dinner. The Tomatillo Salsa is completely optional, the salad can hold up without it, but here is the recipes I used; feel free to substitute anywhere necessity dictates. Chopped salads are great, you can literally throw anything in there that you like; beans, spinach, cheeses, croutons, grilled salmon, roasted red peppers. Anything.


Hungry for More?

 

 

Even as we’re practicing social distancing, we continue to see great examples of how life happens around food. Instead of the corporate lunches, we’re seeing teams enjoy video conference lunches; instead of big dinner parties, families are having home-cooked meals together; and instead of packing bars at happy hours, friends are toasting each other virtually.

With more people cooking at home, we’re collecting recipes from our Great Performances’ team members, families, friends and partners to share with you and provide some inspiration for delicious dishes you can make at home. Share your recipes and photos with us: tag us on social media #gpcovidcooking, direct message @gpfood or email marketing@greatperformances.com.

Dumpling Making at Home

 

As we look to our own home kitchen as a place of gathering, nourishment and support, personally I always try to make dishes where everyone can be involved. In past years we have made pierogi, baked and decorated sugar cookies, pitched in to make and decorate dozens of cupcakes for birthday parties and school functions. I always look for a culinary task that can involve everyone, and increase in complexity to match my children’s age and keep their interest.

This year, as my children have continued to grow, and their palates have evolved, we have crossed into a new culinary frontier, Chinese style dumpling making at home! Making a simple dipping sauce based on sweetened black vinegar, the variety of dumpling filling is only limited by your imagination. We started out with the basics, ground pork with ginger, garlic and scallion, and then tried transitioning some of our favorite proteins, like ground turkey. We have tried vegetable/tofu dumplings, shrimp with chilies, and my favorite of the season, Coho Salmon, Spinach and Mushroom. We tried the Vegan square wonton wrappers, which work very well, but my favorite skin was the pot-sticker style round style.  Most of these skins are made with Flour and water, and they can be sealed with just some water and crimping. Some varieties that are on my list are spicy eggplant and green bean with ginger, and a Mexican variation I am trying soon, Guajillo Braised Chicken with Cilantro and Roasted Corn.  Here are the basic steps to making a dumpling, but whatever filling you make, the whole family can help fill and shape them. It’s not about having perfect uniform dumplings at the end, it’s about having a fun activity during which you can discuss the day you had, and the days you have coming up.

 

Recipe provided by Great Performances’ Partner

Geoff Rudaw
Executive Chef
CPS Events at The Plaza

 

Ingredients:

For the Dumplings

  • 1 pound ground pork (or ground turkey)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced finely

  • 2 scallions, whites , minced finely (reserve greens)

  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced finely

  • 1/2 tsp Chinese chili sauce

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil

  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce

  • 2 scallion greens (reserved, sliced finely)

  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro (optional)

  • 1 package (50ct) pot sticker wrappers

For the Sauce

  • 1/4 cup sweet black vinegar

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (I prefer Kikoman)

  • 2 tbsp water

  • 1/2 tsp granulated white sugar

  • 1/2 tsp chili sauce

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 1 tbsp finely sliced scallions

  • Optional: 1/2 tsp finely minced ginger

Procedure:

  1. Saute garlic, scallions, ginger for 1 minute, then add chili sauce. Saute 30 seconds, and transfer to a bowl to cool.

  2. Add ground pork, salt, pepper, hoisin sauce, scallion greens and if desired, chopped cilantro. Mix well with a spoon, or by hand with latex gloves.

  3. To assemble the dumplings, place wrappers on a work surface. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the pork mixture into the center of each wrapper. Using your finger, rub the edges of the wrappers with water. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape, pinching the edges to seal.

  4. Prepare the sauce: mix all ingredients. Taste, adjust salt, pepper, soy sauce based on preference. Sauce will last 2-3 days under refrigeration.

  5. Boil dumplings in salted water (about 2 Tbsp per 1 Gallon). When dumplings are floating on the top of the simmering water, and the skins begin getting translucent, they are done.

  6. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pot stickers in a single layer and cook until golden and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side.

  7. Serve immediately, or pan fry on one side for a different flavor and texture.

  8. Try adjusting the dipping sauce to your taste, either spicier, sweeter, or your own twist.

 

MAPLE CRÈME CARAMEL VALENTINE'S DESSERT

By Chef Geoff Rudaw

Nothing says “I love you” like taking a risk, dabbling in the unknown, and trying something new. Crème Caramel is a dish that can be made with easily available items, and once mastered, it can be simple to make while coming across as a skilled and difficult dish to produce. For a little color, add some pomegranate seeds (optional).

Serves 10-12 portions

INGREDIENTS

PROCEDURE

  • 1 cup sugar

  • ½ cup water

  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

  • 3 cups cream

  • 1¼ cups milk

  • 1 cup maple syrup

  • 7 egg yolks

  • 2 whole eggs

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • Heat sugar, water and lemon juice in a pot until a dark amber color. Pour into 4 ounce aluminum cups or ramekins that have been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

  • Heat cream and milk until hot.

  • Combine maple syrup, egg yolks and whole eggs and whisk well.

  • Temper the egg mixture by adding a few ounces of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture while whisking.

  • Continue to add a few more ounces of the hot milk mixture, constantly whisking, until the egg mixture warms up. Then add the warmed egg mixture to the hot milk mixture and whisk. Strain to ensure a silky texture, then cool in an ice bath.

  • Divide the cooled custard mixture into the cups or ramekins (about halfway up the side).

  • Gently put the cups into a deep baking dish (at least 2” deep) and pour cool water around the cups. Cover with aluminum foil.

  • Bake at 300˚F for 50-55 minutes until the custard jiggles slightly.

  • Cool, remove from pan and chill overnight.

  • Once chilled, loosen edges by gently inserting a pairing knife and carefully sliding it around aluminum cup. Invert onto plate.

  • Pomegranate seeds can be sprinkled on top and around plate, if desired.

More Recipes

LAMB TAGINE

By Chef Geoff Rudaw

A popular dish in my home around the holidays is Lamb Tagine. The warm scents of the spices simmering slowly permeate the kitchen, and slow cooked lamb evokes memories of family and tradition. It isn’t specifically a Tagine that has been a tradition in my home, but slow and low braised entrees that are. These dishes are usually crafted early in the day, the flavors floating through the air, creating olfactory hues. Everyone anticipates finally sitting together, young and old, to enjoy the now tender and succulent meal. Whether it be lamb stew, pot roast, slow cooked ham, these traditions define the holidays for us, and create the memories we pass down to our children. This recipe is forgiving, feel free to substitute what you have in house for your own version. I like to pair mine with the larger grain of warm cous-cous, cooked with minced vegetables, dry apricot and saffron. For a vegetable, I prefer spiced eggplant simmered with tomatoes, garlic and cilantro.

INGREDIENTS

PROCEDURE

  • 2 lbs boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of fat (about 1 1/2 lbs)

  • 1 tsp ground turmeric

  • 1 tsp ground ginger

  • 1 1/4 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil

  • 1 1/2 cups diced onions

  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • 8 threads Spanish saffron, crushed

  • 16 fresh cilantro sprigs, tied together with a cotton string

  • 2 preserved lemons, cut in 8th.

  • Cut lamb into 1 1/2-inch cubes and place in a medium-sized bowl. Season the lamb with turmeric, ginger and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

  • Heat a tagine or Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil and half of the seasoned lamb. Cook the lamb until browned on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the lamb from the pan and set aside. Repeat with remaining oil and lamb. Return the seared lamb to the pan and add the diced onions. Cook, stirring to get the browned bits off the bottom of the pan, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, saffron, preserved lemon and cilantro bundle and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender.

More Recipes

By Executive Chef Geoff Rudaw

Just as fall brings the excitement of the first leaves crunching on the ground and the smell of pumpkin spice in the air, spring welcomes the first blooms on the trees, accompanied by heaping helpings of asparagus, berries and sweet iced drinks.

This spring, I am happy to add some of my favorite dishes to the menu: Lemon Parmesan Fettuccini, Marinated French Chicken Breast, Five-Spice Striped Bass and The Mighty Vegetable Flight.

 

Lemon Parmesan Fettuccini

The flavors here are inspired by the very simple (yet delicious) Spaghetti A Limone dish, which I enjoyed during my visit to Rome. My twist on this classic is very spring forward, with asparagus, english peas and mushrooms tossed in a lemony cream sauce.

Marinated French Chicken Breast

Our Marinated French Chicken Breast is a pre-settable entrée that takes on a south western flavor profile. When I first had Great Performances’ Pumpkin Seed and Poblano Crema entreé, I loved it, and built this dish around it since poblanos are by far my favorite pepper these days; we also spiked the corn salad with poblanos and cooled off the dish with a heirloom cherry tomato salad, embellished with cilantro and sherry vinaigrette. For the garnish, we start with a roasted tomato vinaigrette, with a touch of smoky chipotle peppers for a gentle heat, and finish with spiced pepitas, which are baked with lime juice for extra flavor.

Five-Spice Striped Bass

Our Five-Spiced Striped Bass is another favorite for this season. We use a fresh five-spiced blend crafted by the Le Sanctuaire team and source wild ocean striped bass for this dish. I love the Okinawa sweet potatoes for their rich profile, delicate mineral flavor and amazing color. We also added sesame snow peas, toasted sesame seeds and finish off with a sweet soy and Shiitake glaze. This dish was the last dish I created for this season, but it has become one of my favorites.

The Mighty Vegetable Flight

This dish is the ultimate vegetable tasting plate, featuring elements from The Plaza’s classic hits such as the “Beet Ravioli,” the honey roasted baby carrots from the “Arctic Char and Spinach Bavarois” and the onion petal cup from the “Beef Entrecôte”.

By Kelsey Butler

Each year, the Plaza’s Grand Ballroom springs to life with thousands of orchids of all colors for the New York Botanical Garden’s annual Orchid Dinner. This year’s 17th Annual Orchid Show was themed “Singapore,” and Executive Chef Geoff Rudaw and our culinary team created dishes inspired by the theme. The appetizer was a custom version of the very popular Vegetables and Pearls, complete with carrot-sesame purée, shaved baby beets, radishes, sorrel, dragon fruit and soy beans. The meal continued with an entrée of Chicken Breast Rendang that guests heartily enjoyed, followed by alternating desserts of Alphonso Mango Panna Cotta and Yuzu Cheesecake Bamboo.

Throughout the day, designers flooded in, armed with orchids, custom seat covers, and stunning décor, to transform each table into a different floral wonderland. This is my favorite gala of the season because each table was unique. Each one showcased the designers’ personal flavor and flare through the centerpieces, candlelight and glassware.

As guests arrived in floral, sparkly, gorgeous gowns, they were greeted with custom Singapore Sling cocktails complete with Botanist Gin infused with orchids! After a cocktail hour where guests were able to purchase and bid on rare orchids, they were invited into the Grand Ballroom to be amazed by the beautiful tables. The Orchid Gala is always one for the books; enjoy a sample of some of my personal favorite tables!