Sunday, March 3, 2013

Chefs "Driven" By Excellence

The Buick Discovery Tour, featuring Celebrity Chef Michael Psilakis rolled into St. Regis in Atlanta offering locals the opportunity to mingle with celebrity chefs, attend cooking demonstrations, participate in a wine tasting and get a first-hand look at the latest Buick luxury lineup. Buick, in partnership with FOOD & WINE magazine, gave Atlantans the chance to “discover” gourmet cuisine, fine wine and luxury vehicles.

Our tour began with a view of a fleet of 2013 Buicks including the Verano, Lacrosse, Encore, and Enclave. Informative product presenters and a legion of personal driving concierges provided information about the luxurious amenities of the vehicles while guiding drivers around a 2-mile test-drive course.

We were then escorted to an exhibition of pastry magic by Chef Partner Ben Roche of Chicago’s Baume & Brix. The former co-host of “Future Foods” on Discovery’s Planet Green Network and molecular gastronomist (the application of both scientific and artistic principles in cuisine,) demonstrated how to bring egg whites to a stiff peak to make a yuzu chiboust (pastry cream lightened with Italian meringue) to accompany coconut rice pudding and caraway (yes, caraway!) ice cream topped with crispy fried rice noodles. The experience was one-of-a-kind.

Next, we were treated to a cooking demonstration by the adorable and vivacious Andrea Curto-Randazzo who is best known as a Top-Chef contender in 2007. Chef Andrea showed us how to prepare a spice-rubbed pork “butt” with “citified” collards and roasted sweet potatoes while entertaining us with her bubbly banter. We all sampled the offerings and marveled at the flavor combinations.

Wine Consultant Michael Green, owner of Liquid Assets Consulting Group, gave a captivating and animated lecture, condensing a 20-week wine seminar into a 20-minute lesson and tasting. Attendees tasted a pouring of Rodney Strong 201 Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc and compared its flavor alone and after a bite of lemon noting that the lemon’s acidity altered the drinker’s perception of the wine’s flavor. We then sipped a TapeƱa Tempranillo with a nip of Lindt’s dark chocolate with sea salt. His best advice, “if a particular wine tastes good to you, then it is a good wine.”

The grand finale featured charismatic accountant-turned-Chef Michael Psilakis (Co-executive producer and co-star of BBC America’s “No Kitchen Required” and Gourmand World Cookbook Award -winning author) spicing, searing and mixing his way through his recipe for gyro-spiced sliders with tsatziki sauce while waxing nostalgic about family food memories and growing up Greek.  We were all excited to receive a signed copy of Michael’s How to Roast a Lamb to take home as a reminder of the amazing event!

And, as if that weren't enough - for every attending guest, Buick will make a donation to The FEED Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the global food system, starting with ensuring nutritious school meals for all children.



1 comment:

Jill said...

I saw this on Yelp*! Can't believe I missed this event. Will definitely be on the lookout for it next year.

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