If You’ve Cooked in Michelin-starred Kitchens, What Do You Serve at Your Wedding?
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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Data Dump: The First 100 Meals in the Life of Kitchensurfing
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.
"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.
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.
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
Hurricane Sandy did a number on New York. While much of the city is returning to normal life, parts of the city are devastated.
At Kitchensurfing, we had an interesting week. But the best part of the week was being inspired by the chefs in our community. We got a call on Thursday from chefs that were headed to the Rockaways to prepare hot food for those in need. We sponsored them and we were shocked to hear the return report. We’ve decided to use our skills to help support our chefs that want to help.
Support Chefs for Sandy
In several communities around New York, people still don’t have power, and many are homeless. There’s emergency relief in place and it is not enough.
A hot meal is humanizing in a way that little else can be. There’s looting, people are afraid, it’s cold, and this week is bringing more bad weather. Kitchensurfing stands for a kind of grassroots hospitality and a belief that breaking bread with someone can right many wrongs. We’re jumping in to help with things that the internet is good at: connecting people together to share and pool resources.
- We’re looking for supporters to make small financial contributions towards food costs as our chefs work the kitchens.
- We have Kitchensurfing chefs donating their time and skills prepping hot dishes for hard hit areas.
- We’ve fronted the cost of transportation to shuttle hot food. We’re going to be partnering with others to shuttle.
- We’re subsidizing the ingredients cost for these chefs
- We’ve got multiple commissaries that are donating their space for our chefs to come and cook together
Support Chefs for Sandy