By: Anne M. Raso
I had a great time at the Taste of the Good Life, a benefit for the charity Partnership for the Children, held on September 30th at the recently renovated Prince George Hotel ballroom in Manhattan. The finest wines from around the world were there to imbibe, but being a foodie, the wine could wait! The first set of delectables to catch our eyes were made by Aureole's pastry chef Jennifer Yee--you can see her pictured below with assistant pasty chef Taiesha Martin.
Jennifer's Black Mission Fig And Port Pavlova was only outshined by her Chocolate Espresso S'Mores Cups. I never liked S'Mores back when I was a well-decorated Girl Scout in Northern NJ, but these tasted nothing like the original. Jennifer turned the "brunt marshmallow" part into a well-baked meringue that sent us to the moon!
Other favorite food booths included an assortment of ten differrnt breads and cheeses courtesy of the Grandaisy Bakery (try their ciabatta sometime!) We also stopped by to check out Spie-Rubbed Shrimp And Rousted Tomato Costini prepared by Butter's Alex Guaraschelli,Mini Chestnut Crespelle With Pinoli Brown Butter & Mushrooms by Olana's Albert DiMeglio , the smokes salmon provided by (you guessed it) smoked salmon specialist John Wincroft, Crepe Croque Monsieur With Black Forest Ham & Guyere by Bar Breton's Cyril Renaud and Hudson Valley Rabbit Rillettes with Radish Salad and Maple & Bacon Roasted Almonds from Buttermilk Channel's Ryan Angulo.
Featured wines were from Australia, California, France, Germany and Italy--our favorite being the Australian Elderton and Mitolo! There was a fabulous raffle for five nights at the fabulous Raffles Hotel in Beijing and a silent auction that included six of the Barefoot Contessa's cookbooks (as well as signed ones from the Per Se chefs), four hours of service by personal assistant Lisa Caruso, and several gourmet dinner at eateries as diversified as Picholine and Bar Artisana.
I also wanted to note that the renovation of the gilded St. George Ballroom is stunning. A vision in forest green with gold columns, the ballroom provides a much-less-expensive but equally grand alternative to New York's more famous traditional ballrooms --it is perfect for an affair in the 100 to 500 people range and the acoustics are wonderful! Check this place out--we will be going back for more events here, no doubt!
For more info on this loverly charity which has benefited underserved children for over 100 years (and to get notification on upcoming events), go to www.partnershipswithchildrennyc.org.