If You’ve Cooked in Michelin-starred Kitchens, What Do You Serve at Your Wedding?

kitchensurfing:

Most people can count the number of times they’ve had good food at a wedding on one hand. So, how do you predict a catering disaster? Easy: beware the needlessly complicated menu in an unfamiliar environment. Fancy and good are not synonyms. More than two different entrées being served? Bad idea. Dishes that require precise timing to get the temperature right? Bad idea. Professional cooks know this because cooks see the carefully-orchestrated chaos that is dinner service every day of the week. If good cooks know this, what do they serve at their own wedding?

First, the bride: Jessica Yang is a pastry chef who’s spent time at three exquisite restaurants: Per Se, Guy Savoy, and Chef’s Table. She grew up in California and studied chemical engineering and art history at Berkeley—and has since turned that scientist’s precision toward pastry. She met Robert in Paris while they were both working at the three Michelin-starred Guy Savoy.

Second, the groom: Robert Compagnon is the less-sweet side of the duo, and developed his culinary skills at Guy Savoy, Ko, Alain Ducasse’s Le Jules Verne, and Brushstroke. Robert grew up between Paris, London, and New York and studied Japanese at Columbia University in New York—which lead to one of his first professional cooking jobs at a ramen shop in Japan. He spent four years cooking in some of Paris’ best kitchens before returning to New York.

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“Showing up to the party of the year may give you a head full of great memories. But feeling like you are co-hosting this event changes something inside you. Being of service tunes you in to a level of purpose that changes you – or recharges you – in truly profound ways.”

Alexis Ohanion of Reddit-fame is doing a new series on the Verge called Small Empires and came by to do a segment on Kitchensurfing. Fun day.

Small factoid: Alexis actually speaks a little bit of German.

Data Dump: The First 100 Meals in the Life of Kitchensurfing

kitchensurfing:

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1. Greek-inspired brunch for 10 in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

2. 3-course menu with appetizers for 20 guests in the East Village, Manhattan.

3. Allergy friendly dinner for a family of 4 in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

4. 3-course dinner for 12 in the East Village, Manhattan.

5. 3-course dinner for a discussion group of 12 in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

6. Greek-inspired tacos and sides for an extended family of 12 in New York.

7. Thai banquet for a dinner party of 22 on the Upper West Side, Manhattan.

8. 3-course steak dinner for 12, Gramercy, Manhattan.

9. Rooftop cookout for 100, Gramercy, Manhattan.

10. Authentic Yucután fish al pibil, Manhattan.

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@benleventhal goes Norman Rockwell in Chefhampton.

@benleventhal goes Norman Rockwell in Chefhampton.

"Among the wiry Brooklyn hipsters, Cointre stands out as a pompous, medieval butcher type, and is the one you want beside you when your house burns down and there is not a chair to sit on. Hidden behind an awe-inducing lion’s mane of wheat locks and a French accordion of a smile is his generous spirit and infinitely expressive mimicry and jest.

His cooking: 
Simple, but misleading in its suggested modesty. 
It isn’t ‘French cuisine’, it isn’t ethnic cooking and it certainly isn’t fusion. Antony does what he feels is best, borrowing ideas from around the globe in creating his own dishes rooted in a natural balance of flavors. His instincts are collaborative, allowing room for a lot of spontaneity and improvisation. He fetishizes on good quality products, which are seasonal, local and organic.

On wine:
A seeker of truth through wine-related enlightenment, Antony is a devotee to artisanal winemaking. Favoring the small producers who harvest and treat the fruit as has been done for centuries with minimal intervention. A truly amazing meal is always paired with a few of his personal selections.”

- Chef Antony Cointre

"Among the wiry Brooklyn hipsters, Cointre stands out as a pompous, medieval butcher type, and is the one you want beside you when your house burns down and there is not a chair to sit on. Hidden behind an awe-inducing lion’s mane of wheat locks and a French accordion of a smile is his generous spirit and infinitely expressive mimicry and jest.

His cooking:
Simple, but misleading in its suggested modesty.
It isn’t ‘French cuisine’, it isn’t ethnic cooking and it certainly isn’t fusion. Antony does what he feels is best, borrowing ideas from around the globe in creating his own dishes rooted in a natural balance of flavors. His instincts are collaborative, allowing room for a lot of spontaneity and improvisation. He fetishizes on good quality products, which are seasonal, local and organic.

On wine:
A seeker of truth through wine-related enlightenment, Antony is a devotee to artisanal winemaking. Favoring the small producers who harvest and treat the fruit as has been done for centuries with minimal intervention. A truly amazing meal is always paired with a few of his personal selections.”

- Chef Antony Cointre

“Chris Muscarella would like to dispense with the preciousness around food and let people who dine together do what they want to do. For most of us, that is not golf clapping at the chef’s subtly magnificent use of kohlrabi foam, or arranging our whimsical wine glasses for the best Instagram angle. We’re there to enjoy each others’ company. The food, he says, should be a backdrop to the communal dining experience.

As Ricky Roma says in Glenngarry Glen Ross, “Great meals fade in reflection. Everything else gains.””
New York Times: At Kitchensurfing, Booking a Chef and a Story

Been a little quiet on the new project—there’s been a lot to figure out (which has been tremendous fun). But now we’re opening up a bit more:
"This spontaneous cultural and culinary encounter was brought about by Kitchensurfing, a start-up business trying to make it as easy to find a private chef online as it is to book a room or order a book. The dinner’s host arranged the meal by browsing Kitchensurfing’s database of profiled chefs, who range from slick, credentialed professionals with years of restaurant experience to self-taught cooks like Ms. Phlong.

New York Times: At Kitchensurfing, Booking a Chef and a Story

Been a little quiet on the new project—there’s been a lot to figure out (which has been tremendous fun). But now we’re opening up a bit more:

"This spontaneous cultural and culinary encounter was brought about by Kitchensurfing, a start-up business trying to make it as easy to find a private chef online as it is to book a room or order a book. The dinner’s host arranged the meal by browsing Kitchensurfing’s database of profiled chefs, who range from slick, credentialed professionals with years of restaurant experience to self-taught cooks like Ms. Phlong.
kitchensurfing:

Most of my favorite moments with good company involve sharing a meal in a home. Going out is for strangers.

kitchensurfing:

Most of my favorite moments with good company involve sharing a meal in a home. Going out is for strangers.

Really starting to pull together a lot of pieces at Kitchensurfing—new features, the right data structure, and a f*ing exciting roadmap.

Borahm did some beautiful design work on our new listings pages.

Really starting to pull together a lot of pieces at Kitchensurfing—new features, the right data structure, and a f*ing exciting roadmap.

Borahm did some beautiful design work on our new listings pages.

“I gradually, bit by bit, took on a little bit more responsibility and landed a couple Head Chef positions, and Sous Chef positions. I went from working in a vegetarian restaurant in London to going and working in a castle cooking exclusively game meats.”

Angus Stephens, Kitchensurfing Interview

Most chefs have strange life stories—it’s why we like them so much. Angus has also managed to leave restaurant kitchens and become a peripatetic chef and surfer, with quite a set up in Costa Rica.

What are American misconceptions about Indian cuisine?

The biggest misconception is the term “curry.” Everything is not a curry and there is nothing that is a ready-made curry. This is a term used by the British. Curry is brought about by marrying a number of spices together to make a sauce or gravy base. It takes hours. If more Americans and diners worldwide were able to taste and understand the role of properly treated spice in Indian cuisine, I think they would quickly grow to appreciate true Indian food.”

Chef Walter D’Rozario - Kitchensurfing Interview

Chef D’Rozario is a gentleman, a sweetheart, and one of the few Michelin-starred Indian chefs in the world. He’s going to be teaching a class with us at Kitchensurfing on Off-Menu Indian food—exploring the spices and flavor profiles of a few regions—this Thursday in Gowanus, Brooklyn at our HQ (there will also be wine). If you’d like to join us as my guest, I’m happy to invite two tumblr peeps. Just message me through tumblr or drop a line at hello@kitchensurfing.