Do you ever find yourself in a place and wonder how on earth you got an invite? Yep. That pretty much sums up my awe-inspired, awe-induced, awe-some experience at the Midwest Culinary Institute's 1 Night, 12 Kitchens. I'm lucky to have received an invite from my culinary-chic friend, Kimberly, and spent the evening hobnobbing with the culinary elite in Cincinnati. And by hobnobbing I mean stuffing my face with perfectly portioned food, station after station, trying to make as little eye contact as possible with other people.
While eating from the likes of Jean Robert, Dan Wright, Todd Kelly and Jose Salazar is pretty much queen city heaven, the real treat of the evening for me was exploring the MCI kitchens, talking to interesting chefs, and watching a demonstration on molecular gastronomy. The chefs were by and large very happy to talk to attendees about food and changes to their menus. I loved chatting with Chef Drew Vogel (wicked sense of humor!) and Chef Michelle Brown (finally got to thank her for my favorite Steak Tartare) and in general enjoyed getting a 'behind the scenes' glimpse of the amazing work these chefs slave over night after night.
The molecular gastronomy presentation by Chef Coltrane was a little bit chemistry mixed with a sprinkle of magic, swirled into a pot, and topped with liquid nitrogen. In other words, FANTASTIC. I learned how to make a suspension cocktail (fruit and herbs literally suspended in liquid), how to make dippin' dots (I still LOVE those things) and how to turn a liquid into a powder (that's just plain cool).
And then, the food. I'd say I have lots of photos to share, but I will be perfectly honest -- My face hoovered (as in, the vacuum) the food off the plates and bowls faster than my camera shutter could click. Highlights include:
- Jag's prime rib sandwich
- Fresh Table's hamburger on grilled bread
- Honey's lemon cream bee dessert
- Orchid's brown butter icecream sandwich
Here are a few pictures I managed to grab in between bites --
My photos can't do 1 Night, 12 Kitchens justice, but I promise, put this event on your calendar for 2013 and be prepared with spanx, suspenders, and day-long fasting ahead of time!