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In Photos: 2008 5x5 Chef's Collaborative at Providence

The 2008 5x5 Chef's Collaborative dinner series kicked off at Providence Monday night. This is the second year of the dinners, and this year, the five participating LA chefs are:

Gino Angelini (La Terza, Angelini Osteria)
Michael Cimarusti (Providence)
Josiah Citrin (Melisse)
David Lefevre (Water Grill)
Walter Manzke (ex-Bastide)

Basically, each chef (and one guest chef) gets to prepare one dish as part of a collaborative multi-course meal. Here's the complete 2008 schedule:

• Monday, May 19 at Providence (guest chef David Kinch of Manresa, Los Gatos, CA)
• Tuesday, June 17 at Bastide (guest chef Gabriel Kreuther of The Modern, New York, NY) (Note: I have heard that due to Manzke's departure from Bastide, this dinner will no longer be happening, which is a shame)
• Monday, July 7 at Melisse (guest chef Douglas Keane of Cyrus, Healdsburg, CA)
• Sunday, August 31 at Water Grill (guest chef Giuseppe Tentori of Boka, Chicago, IL)
• Monday, September 22 at La Terza (guest chef Alain Giraud of Anisette, Los Angeles, CA)

I think it's a pretty unique experience to get a group of chefs of this caliber in the kitchen together, and I plan on attending the entire series.

The menu at Providence in brief:

1: Amuse Bouche [by Michael Cimarusti of Providence]

2: Crispy Mussels perfumed with Nasturtium, Vegetables in Exotic Spice [by David Kinch of Manresa]

3: Southern Australian Rock Lobster, Inaniwa Udon Noodles, Dashi-Konbu Broth [by Walter Manzke formerly of Bastide]

4: Turbot with Morels, Basil Scented Pea Purée, Rabbit Leg Confit and Anson Mills White Corn Strewn Grits [by David Lefevre of Water Grill]

5: Agnolotti di Ossobuco, Salsa Parmigiano [by Gino Angelini of La Terza and Angelina Osteria]

6: Filet of Beef "Wellington", King Oyster Mushroom, Potato Boulangère, Watercress Mousseline [by Josiah Citrin of Melisse]

7: Harry's Berries Gaviota Strawberries, Red Bean Purée, Shiso, Black Sesame-Soy Milk Ice Cream [by Adrian Vasquez of Providence]

Overall, I was rather impressed with my meal, as I felt each dish was able to really express the chef's style and personality. But at the same time, care was clearly taken to make the dishes flow and complement each other.

Did anyone else attend? Thoughts?

Full report with photos and details here: http://www.kevineats.com/2008/05/prov...

 
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  1. Stellar report. Which dish was your favorite? Which dish was the most eye-opening?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Porthos

      Thanks! Every dish was strong, so I don't have a clear favorite. In terms of eye-opening however, I'd say the trio of amuses and the mussels.

      1. re: kevin h

        Sorry. I must confess that I was just setting you up. I'm a big fan of Kinch. His cuisine is stellar and I think outclasses even The French Laundry.

        Does that mean the mussels were available last Monday only or will it remain on the menu for the duration of the series?

        1. re: Porthos

          I had a feeling you were up to no good. ;)

          I haven't been to Manresa, but I definitely plan to go if I'm in the area, especially if it's comparable to the Laundry.

          But I think that was it for the mussels. When I inquired, I was told that each menu in the series would be totally different.

    2. Fantastic report as always.

      I was there too and absolutely loved it. Last year I made it to all but the one at Water Grill, and hope to make all of them this year. Based on Monday's dinner, looks to be even more impressive than before! Those crispy mussels were nothing short of mind-blowing and the turbot was superb too.

      4 Replies
      1. re: hrhboo

        Thanks! I agree about the turbot and mussels.

        Do you know what's going on with Bastide? When we tried to make a reservation, we were told that the restaurant had dropped out of the series.

        In any case, I'm looking forward to the next dinner and maybe I'll even see you there!

        1. re: kevin h

          I have no idea what's going with that. I made my reservation over a month ago before Manzke left and haven't been contacted by them regarding the cancellation. I'll try giving them a ring to see if it has been rescheduled or is changing locations. Failing that, see you at Melisse!

          1. re: kevin h

            BASTIDE has dropped out of the series and they plan to add another restaurant at the end.

            great pics, kev. did you not have a mojito spoon on your amuse? come to think of it, our late comers didn't have it either.

            Favorite dishes: Walter's Udon with the perfectly cooked egg yolk and wonderful dashi, Michael's Amuse, Adrian's soy sesame ice cream, David's mussels

            my turbot and wellington were a tad overcooked. all in all a great meal. best part of the meal? when the representative from Special Olympics came by to thank us for supporting them.

            1. re: revets2

              Thanks for the info. I'm very curious as to which restaurant will be included. Does that mean Manzke is still onboard? Or will a chef from this new restaurant be added?

              And no, we did not have a mojito anything on our amuse, and no one came and thanked us. Perhaps then there is some benefit in dining earlier?

        2. Wow! Sorry I can never go out on Mondays!

          1. OMG! It's food porn! That's some of the most sensual looking food I've seen. Nice photography Kevin.

            1. Thanks for the great write up and the excellent pictures. I'm very envious you got to take a pic w/ ALL the chefs. I want that signed menu!!!

              1. HOLY COW... THIS IS ONE AWESOME DINING EXPERIENCE!!!
                Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us...

                1. kevin..
                  so when next one happens on July 7 at Melisse, these 5 chefs will do it again (different dishes im assuming) there?
                  perceptor

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Perceptor

                    The dishes are different at every dinner, they are usually done in the style of the hosting restaurant. There were several reviews of the 5 dinners held last year, I know I wrote a couple and Russkar did too.

                  2. Kevin...
                    is a done deal... i got a table for 6 at 6:00pm for July 7... see you there
                    (im the big bald chinese dude with the big camera :)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Perceptor

                      Ah nice. My reservation is at 9:00, so I may catch you on your way out. ;)

                    2. Thanks for the pix, my camera was out of batteries! We were seated in the wine room. My party decided to begin the dinner with wonderful cocktails that Providence is so well known for. We had the Asian Pear Martini, a Mai Tai and a specialty cocktail with ruby red grapefruit juice and Chambord. Funny, I remember the ingredients, but not the name. The Mai Tai was delicious and very strong, I tasted all the others and loved my Red Rooster the best.
                      The amuse bouche was a fabulous kickoff. My favorite was the shot glass of Tai ceviche with lemon, sweet and sour plum, and shiso granita. Most memorable dish was the crispy mussels by David Kinch, but the turbot was also outstanding, not overcooked. The Beef Wellington contained a wrapping of pulled short ribs around the filet in the center, according to Josiah Citron of Melisse. Part of the fun of the evening was visiting with the chefs who appeared several times during the evening. To be honest, I enjoyed this meal more than my last meal at French Laundry. Monday night was a fantastic experience. Every one should do a dinner like this at least once.
                      Cecilia