Sunday, August 8, 2010

Now THAT's What's Cooking

I headed down this weekend to Williamsburg, VA with some members of my Mom's side of the family. My brother, Besse and her parents went as well. The goal was to attend a special dinner presentation at A Chef's Kitchen, a very unique restaurant in the Colonial section of the city. The kitchen specializes in multi-course dining experiences that allow the guests (around 26 people) to view live cooking demonstrations. Unlike the cooking shows you see on TV that allow a few people to sample what the chefs are preparing, the setup at A Chef's Kitchen is geared towards giving all guests a full portion of each dish.

We sat through a nearly 3-hour dinner session that included the 6 extremely tasty courses listed below:

  • Vidalia Onion Bisque with Grilled Sweet Corn Relish
  • Garden Lettuces & Mango Salad with Pineapple Vinaigrette & Toasted Cashews
  • A Chef’s Kitchen’s Skillet Baked Corn Bread
  • Sautéed Local Scallops with Spaghetti Squash, Basil & Julienned Vegetable Slaw
  • Grilled Rack of Kurabuta Pork with Honey-Malbec Glaze, Haricot Verts & Applewood Smoked Bacon Fried Rice
  • Chocolate-Coconut Pots du Crème with Banana Whipped Cream & Macadamia Nut Brittle

The head chef gave an ongoing presentation about each course we ate, making sure to explain all aspects of the baking process and the choice of ingredients. Most of the ingredients were chosen because of their natural availability. The scallops we had were locally harvested and all the salt that was used was kosher salt without added processing. I was fascinated by the thought and preparation process that went into each dish. The fresh smells of cooking-in-progress was nearly worth the price of admission alone (a reasonable $80 per-person, all inclusive). Throughout the six courses we were served three different kinds of wine. All wines at the restaurant were on sale for only $10 bucks. I picked up a couple bottles while Nate grabbed a full case.

All of the food was excellent. I even enjoyed the spaghetti squash which I don't normally eat. I must say that the Skillet-cooked Cornbread was the most satisfying dish of all, followed closely by the Applewood Smoked Bacon Fried Rice. The whole concept of this "cooking-show" themed restaurant is ingenious. I could easily see an establishment like the one in Williamsburg brining in heavy revenue streams in Washington, D.C. The head chef (creator of the concept) has no plans for expansion right now.

I leave you with a view from my seat in aisle two of the dinning room. We all had a great time and I really recommend this experience to anyone who enjoys fine dining. Especially one Robert D. Rose! Dad, this three hour experience would be like heaven for you.

1 comment:

T. said...

This sounds incredible! Yum!