“If we don’t eat now, it’s a long night,” Kaysen said with a laugh as he awaited the arrival of 82 hungry diners.
The chef/owner of Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis was looking out for his guest from New York City. Anthony, longtime chef of Gramercy Tavern and the new Untitled restaurant and Studio Cafe at the Whitney Museum of American Art, was in town last week as the second of a four-part chef-in-residence series, called Synergy, that Kaysen is hosting.
Anthony brought along condiments and two sous chefs to work on the six-course meal with the Spoon and Stable crew. A box of his brined and smoked ribs for the meal didn’t make it to Minneapolis. “Delayed in Detroit,” Anthony said, noting that the kitchen here expertly took over with a fresh batch.
Anthony’s the author of the new cookbook “V is for Vegetables,” a James Beard award winner -- and those vegetables were put to good use on his menu at Spoon and Stable. First course was a refreshing spring peas and lobster with rhubarb and charred green tomato salsa. The greenest of gazpacho – with asparagus and cucumber – followed, a wisp of fried nettle atop.
At Gramercy, he has easy access to the nearby Union Square Greenmarket. But it takes more effort at his museum restaurants to source this produce (no farmers markets nearby) so he relies on some vegetables from Brooklyn Grange and Gotham Greens, both expansive rooftop gardens.
There was, of course, more to eat at the Anthony meal.
Third course was a delightful and very composed smoked trout in onion puree and pickled onion vinaigrette (is Anthony getting his inspiration from the Whitney art?). Fourth, an open ravioli, which was a blanket of pasta over beef, carrots and Swiss chard. A cured and grilled pork loin rib (chile paste, preserved lemon and more) wrapped up the savory before the warm chocolate pudding cake topped off the meal.
The purpose of these dinners with guest chefs, Kaysen said, is to offer inspiration and a new experience for both the culinary community in the Twin CIties and among the chefs and crews themselves.
April Bloomfield, chef of the Spotted Pig and Breslin Bar & Dining Room in New York City, is next, on Oct. 13 (tickets on sale Aug. 15). Daniel Boulud, Kaysen's mentor and the chef of many restaurants, including Daniel in New York City, will cook on Dec. 15 (tickets on sale Oct. 17). Reservations are available online at www.spoonandstable.com. Tickets are $295 in the dining room and $395 at the chef’s counter, and include a multi-course dinner with beverage pairings, tax and tip.
Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from each dinner go to a charity. The Michael White dinner raised $13,000 for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. The donation from the Michael Anthony dinner is expected to be similar and will go to the Angel Foundation.