Monday, October 19, 2009

The 5th Annual Great Gathering of Chefs and Me.

One of these things is not like the other ...
That's me, Culinary Gangsta of All Things Cuisine (as I call him) Santos Loo, Owner of one of my favorite restaurants in the world and chef, Marva Layne of Negril Village and part-owner of Annisa, Chef Anita Lo. We are all huddled together yesterday at The 5th Annual Great Gathering of Chefs. Why am I there? Being that I'm not a chef? Well, sometime last year I was taping Cooking for Real here in Manny Hatty and famed photographer Alan 'Battman' Batt visited the set as a guest of Susan Stockton. We met briefly and I went back to work. Later that day I was asked by Susan to participate in his book. Seems he enjoyed what he saw and even though I wasn't a chef, he asked her to invite me to participate in his charity efforts. As soon as I was told it was for charity, I said yes and dropped what teeny bit of insecurity I had about being in a cookbook with such big-time chefs. Oh, let me explain ... Alan puts out beautifully photographed (by him, of course) cook books once a year using donated recipes from the world's top chefs. Then he hosts an event so they can all sign the books. He then sells the books donating the proceeds to a charity. This year the charity is Action Against Hunger. I didn't hear much after I submitted the recipe, but then earlier this year while I was shooting, I got back to my green room and on my table was a huge blown up photo of the recipe I submitted. I was so excited, what a great photog can do to a simple recipe! Anyway, just yesterday was The 5th Annual Great Gathering of Chefs and there I was in some jeans and a cowl-neck sleeveless sweater, while most of the attendees were in chef whites, blues, blacks and other.
I call this picture "Where's Waldo", look at all the chef coats! Can you find a home cook in there somewhere??? Lol, it was really crowded, but I got there early and caught a shot of one of the long signing tables ...
That's just one of the tables, they wrapped the entire room with tables and still with that had to snake a bit to fit all the chefs, plus me, teeheehee. The lush green to the right out the window is Central Park. What a view. Would you pay millions to live there? I dunno, I think Prospect Park in Brooklyn is just as beautiful, I digress ...
That's a guy from D'Artagnan prepping hot dogs made of duck. He topped 'em with spicy brown mustard and a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar. They actually served a 3rd of a hot dog, cut and then skewered, I coulda done about 6 of those. I held back though and did one. I must say, I keep some reduced balsamic on hand in the fridge because it's so good over so many things, so now I'll have to add hot dog to that list. To the right is the crew from ISBRE water. They were total foodies and watched Food Network and watched my show, so that was neat to meet them. On the other side was a Starbucks set up with the new instant coffee. I mention these sponsors because I really like companies that support charitable causes, especially when budgets are being cut across the board. The coffee tasted like, well coffee. I couldn't tell it wasn't brewed, but I muddy my coffee up so much with other stuff so ...
And that's the book I'm in! It's called Small Things Savory, Bite Size Dishes From 150 Chefs. Eric Ripert, Emeril Lagasse, Daniel Boulud, Alex Guarnaschelli and me. Goooooooo Homecooks!!!! I scored one for the team and did it for charity, thanks for your support! I couldn't do this without you watching and supporting. Pretty neat.

6 comments:

ibcheft said...

Thanks for the great report, and for participating in such a nice event. Wish I could have been there, are the cook books availble ? It would be nice to have such a neat book to add to my collection. Thank you, I enjoy reading your blog, keep up the shows, even though as you say you are not a chef, you teach more on your show, than some of the chefs do, thank you.

ibcheft
@foodnetworkfans

Mary said...

Very neat - congrats! Wow!! Well gal, glad you got over that insecurity because let me tell ya. Though you might not have the culinary "degree," you certainly have the talent.

Complaint Department Manager said...

Congrats on the cookbook nod!

I took the the Starbucks challenge early this month and made a bit of a splash with a gathering of folks gathered around. I was actually able to tell the difference, but I cheated a bit. I noticed which one was darker and chose it, plus I did feel it was a tad stronger(that becomes more apparent later). After all, it is going to be darker and stronger when you're getting actual coffee ground up so finely it dissolves in water.

A lot of people can't tell the difference, even when tasting it straight black, it's that good. Pricey, but good.

I like my coffee strong, brewed to wake up Montana.

Sunny Anderson said...

ibcheft, glad you liked the report, it was really a great event and i met so many chefs. the link for the event has a pre-order for the cook book, but i looked around and found only one other site selling it. if i get more deets, i'll post em. and no need to tell me who u are :-), i'm familiar with your handle over there. thanks so much for the early support. u guys r pretty nice over there. classy, if i may. some could learn teeheehee.

mary, i was insecure and i think the look in my face is what brought on the "well, it's for charity" line ... because more than insecure i thought, omg all the chefs will look at me like "who?" and it could also make others mad i'm involved. i think about those things sometimes, not always though. i do like staying in my lane when i should, but charity does it for me every time. thanks for the kind words. what a neat thing to be a part of and share...

complaint dept mgr, yeah ... i think if i had a control of brewed vs via, i would've been able to discern a difference, but not which was which, ya know? in my air force days i did coffee black, alllll day. me and my supervisor made tandem coffee runs to the break room. memories ... anyway, now i put anything and every thing in it. creams, sugars, powders, spices, syrups, foamy stuff, whatevs ... u wake up montana, i'll wake up my cavity. :-)

LaDivaCucina said...

Hey Sunny that's pretty impressive and that cookbook is right up my alley with my small bites, BIG DRINKS class! The photography I've seen for the book looks amazing!

What did you contribute? I'd be intimidated too.

Hmmmmm....one more appetizer cookbook to add to my growing collection!

Sunny Anderson said...

ladivacucina, thanks!!! i actually did this for charity and then just tucked it away in my head so when the event popped up and i saw the names involved, i thought omg ... i gave a really eeeeasy savory bite! not cheffy at all. lol, it's what i call a "farm in a blanket" a play on the pig in a blanket, the recipe is on a future show.