Dali Wine Bar & Cellar Chef Joel Harloff and proprietor Paul Pinnell have been invited to prepare dinner at the James Beard House on June 8th. The menu will be matched with wines from Hall Napa Valley. Talking with Joel, who has previously cooked at the Beard House while chef at the Melrose, I was surprised to hear of the logistical challenges involved with pulling off a dinner at the House. It’s far more dramatic than I had imagined – for instance, the team only has access to the kitchen from 8am on the day of the event, causing visiting chefs to beg borrow and steal square footage from chef pals with nearby New York kitchens. Joel will be bringing a number of chef colleagues from around the country to help him prepare the meal for 75 Beard Foundation members, food journalists, friends and family. This past Sunday I attended a preview dinner at Dali, featuring most components of the meal that will be prepared on June 8th.
^ Chef Joel Harloff and his "three guys" work wonders from the small, open kitchen at Dali.
^ Roasted Octopus with Capers, Smoked Paprika and Endive; Triple Cream Brie Meltaways (w/ Hall Napa Valley Savignon Blanc 2008).
^Citrus Marinated Crab Crostini; the menu.
^ Dali proprietor Paul Pinnell welcomes the guests; the wines of Hall Vineyards, Napa (with excellent stand-in's for the the unavailable Hall Darwin Syrah-Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2005, Jack's Masterpiece Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, and the Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2005).
^ Brazos Valley Texas Brie and Wild Mushroom Soup with Duck Confit and Fresh Thyme Crostini (Hall Napa Merlot 2005); Grilled Texas Quail with Fresh Herb Polenta and a Pomegranate-Syrah Reduction (Dierberg Syrah 2005).
^ Porcini Braised Beef Short Ribs with Yukon Gold-Parsnip Puree, Petite Spinach, and a Cabernet Demi Glace (Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2005).
^ Seared and Smoked Veal Tenderloin with Asiago Mashers, Roasted Garlic Washington State Mushrooms and a Fresh Blueberry Veal Sauce (La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon 2003).
^ Brazos Valley Texas Blue Cheese with Blackberry Sauce and Lavosh (Kathryn Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005).
^ Spiced Pecan-Apple Bread Pudding with Creme Anglaise and Dried Apricot Compote (Château Cantegril Sauternes 2005).
Afterword, Chef Harloff chatted with guests and discussed refinements and adjustments he'd like to make for the event in NYC. View the planned menu here.