Anyone going to the Second Harvest Benefit at Table 8?
I think Chef Neal Fraser is great, and I'm also looking forward to sampling food from Chef Govind Armstrong and Chef Ben Ford. Having never been to Table 8, this hits quite a few birds with one stone for me. Green-garlic risotto! Black truffle crepes! Hey, and a good cause, too!
I figure that since it was a rival site that no one else heard. In fact, I was only going because a friend is on that site's mailing list. But it's for a good cause, so I was able to put that all aside. Second Harvest works with the local Los Angeles food bank to help provide meals to needy homes, and the fact that some great chefs were involved too didn't hurt.
I don't have any notes from the passed hors d'oeuvres, but they were all pretty good. I'll jump straight to dinner.
The first course was by Chef Ben Ford, a curried lentil salad with goat cheese, teardrop tomatoes, pecans and frisee. The acidity of the paired 2006 Sancerre worked well to bring out the natural sourness of the goat cheese, which worked wonderfully with the earthiness of curried lentils.
The second course was by Chef Govind Armstrong, seared scallops, green garlic risotto, meyer lemon relish and chervil. This was a great dish, and paired perfectly with the refreshing notes of the 2006 Pinot Grigio.
The third course was by Chef Neal Fraser, a grilled rack of colorado lamb, fresh garbanzo beans and minted lamb jus. I'm always wary of mint with lamb, but here the preparation was perfect, as the mint mearly provided a nice astringent highlight to the meatiness of the jus. There was a taste of smokiness coming from the dish, and I couldn't tell if it was also in the jus or if the lamb was grilled that way. A stellar dish.
Dessert was again by Chef Armstrong, serving a panna cotta with honeyed blueberries. The panna cotta was made perfectly and was an excellent close to a meal. It was paired with a wonderful dessert wine.
All in all, it was fun just to see the work of three chefs working at the same time. My experiences dining at Grace allowed me to see Chef Fraser's signature techniques, but getting a sample of Chef Ford and Chef Armstrong made me want to delve more into Ford's Filling Station and Table 8 as well. And again, it all went for a good cause, so everything turned out great. Even if it wasn't a chowhound event.