Friends of the James Beard Benefit Dinner Last Night in Scottsdale
If you've ever wondered why chefs do what they do, look no further than a kitchen on a night like last night to find the answer.
Lauren Saria Clockwise from top left: Lamb loin from Chef Perry Hoffman, Chef Douglas Rodriguez, Chef Alan Wong, Chef Jason Fox, Chef Jason Wilson, Chef Perry Hoffman.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, but it takes an army of chefs to put on a James Beard-worthy meal -- and they have a whole lot fun doing it.
This was the first year the event wasn't held in the same week as the culinary festival, but moving the event up certainly didn't hurt attendance. In fact, this year's dinner included about 130 guests, more than in years past.
The event started off with a reception with appetizers from Chefs Chris Masco and Roberto Madrid of The Westin Keirland and deseo at The Westin Keirland.
Guests sipped on bubbles from Domaine Chandon (an event sponsor), which accompanied small bites and cold smoked eel. Domaine Chandon is a Napa Valley winery and a California transplant of the famous Moet and Chandon winery of France. Chadon specializes in sparkling wines, but reps shared a range of wines throughout the evening.
The reception gave guests a chance to mix and mingle with the chefs and each other. It was also a nice opportunity to admire the giant ice sculpture at the center of the patio, which doubled as the cold smoker that Chef Madrid used to prepare his dish.
Here's what was on the menu: