I have a confession to make – I am a huge food nerd. It is a passion that my husband and I share. So much so that he chose later in life to change careers and become a chef. We are passionate about food and the people and restaurants that make great food. We pick vacation spots based on which great restaurants are there. A wonderful culinary scene was at the top of our must-have list when we planned our honeymoon. We watch Top Chef religiously (actually, more than religiously since neither one of us have a religion). We seek out new chefs, different restaurants, and places and chefs who have won James Beard awards. Every birthday, anniversary, and special event revolves around spectacular food. The list of top places we have eaten at so far is very long and growing. So again, my husband and I are definitely foodies.
Why do I bring that up today? Because we have just ordered tickets to an AMAZING event tomorrow night! The details are here, but I can’t make you go to another website to see what an exciting event we have in store for us. Here are the details:
Richmond Magazine is bringing together six awesome chefs from up and down the East Coast (or, as they call it, the “right” coast) for a culinary feast and celebration of Virginia products. These famed chefs will present amazing dishes featuring local food producers from across Virginia, all done with the flair that has made them famous. Virginia wines, brews and ingredients will be featured throughout the evening.
The chef line-up includes:
Sean Brock – Chef at Husk in Charleston, South Carolina; 2010 James Beard winner for Best Chef Southeast
Jen Carroll – Chef & Owner of Carroll Couture in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Top Chef All-Star contestant
Edward Lee – Chef at 610 Magnolia in Louisville, Kentucky; Challenger on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America,” season 9 Top Chef contender, 2011 Finalist for The Best Chef Award Southeast from the James Beard Foundation.
Ashley Christensen – Chef at Poole’s Downtown Diner, Raleigh, North Carolina; Iron Chef Contender
Jason Alley – Chef at Comfort and Pasture Restaurants in Richmond, VA; Star Chefs 2010 Rising Star
Bryce Caron – Pastry Chef at Blackbird, Chicago, Best New Pastry Chef, Food & Wine Magazine
I am literally squealing as I type this. I couldn’t be more excited!!!! I love, love, love, love Chef Edward Lee. He was one of my absolute favorite chefs from last season’s Top Chef, second only to the winner. He seems like such a master of food, and I just missed an event where he cooked in Washington, D.C. The dishes that he created last season were spectacular, he is a highly respected chef in the industry, and I can’t wait to taste the things that he comes up with.
I have really enjoyed watching Jen Carroll on both of the seasons of Top Chef where she competed. She is a strong woman, a fantastic chef, and incredibly creative and driven. I wanted to eat in Sean Brock’s restaurant when my husband and I went through Charleston, South Carolina in March, but I couldn’t get reservations even months in advance. He is considered one of the best chefs in the entire country. I can’t hardly believe that tomorrow night I will be eating food that all of these incredible chefs have prepared. Oh my gosh!!! I can’t even imagine all of the wonderful creations that we will be enjoying.
My week so far has been rough at work. Things have been hectic, and Mr. Mess and I haven’t been able to spend as much time together as we would like. He is starting a new position on Monday and has to go in on Sunday for a debriefing, so our weekend will also be cut short. None of that matters now. This will be one of the best weekends ever! Having so many incredible chefs all in one kitchen serving us food in an intimate environment sounds like a dream come true!
For our anniversary two years ago (the anniversary of when we started dating since we weren’t married yet), we went to Volt restaurant in Frederick, Maryland. That is a restaurant run by Chef Bryan Voltaggio from Season 6 of Top Chef. He and his brother made it to the end together that year (very talented family!), and I still strongly believe he should have won. Anyway, since he was both my husband and my favorite on Top Chef so far and his restaurant is fairly close (only about a 2 hour drive), we decided to make the trip.
We couldn’t get reservations for the main dining room because he is booked solid almost through the entire year. We did, however, head over to his bar where you can order selections from the full menu. We made our choices, mouths watering at the prospect of what was to come. Then Chef Voltaggio delivered our entres himself!!! I still get all fluttery just thinking about it. There he was – right there – in person – chatting about the dishes and sitting them in front of us. My husband was literally speechless. He told me later that he didn’t trust himself not to say something stupid.
We even had the opportunity (thanks for Facebook and Twitter) to get in for the 21 course tasting menu that he offers. It is usually completely sold out with a waiting list over a year long. Occasionally there are cancellations, though, and one happened to fall on the same weekend as our 1 year wedding anniversary. We got to sit in an area that is right in the kitchen with food being prepared directly in front of us on the other side of a plexiglass partition. The food was extravagant. The service was unbelievable. The setting was intimate and incredibly special. Up to this point that has been one of the best experiences of my life. I hope to top it tomorrow night.
That’s all for now, folks. I will update you on how it went sometime this weekend. In the meantime, have a Foodie Friday and a great weekend!