Yep, here's another one of those Clearing Out the Memory Card posts.....
I'm not one to go to these events, too many media types, PR folks, and the like, make me rather uncomfortable. Yet, a couple of weeks ago, Candice told me about an event at the Handlery, a Chef's Salute to Tommy Gomes, the face and official grumpy voice of Catalina Offshore. Just from a personal standpoint, I know we've been eating better at home because of what Tommy orders me to get Tommy's recommendations. I remember one of my first regular visits, I'd been going off and on for years, but in what has become a ritual, there I was on a Saturday morning....walking up to the fish display; this was before Bay Park Fish gave up selling fresh seafood and moved the cold case to Catalina. Walking to check out the fish I hear a gruff voice behind me:
"Hey, did you read the sign out front"
I saw a slight smile form on the mustachioed old salt bearing the baseball cap
"So, what are buying today"
"Whatever you tell me too......."
The rest, as they say, is history...so seventy-five bucks was a small price to pay to express my thanks for making me a better home cook.
There were food and drink tables set-up in one of the ballrooms. You knew this was important cause....man, Tommy shaved off his mustache! Good god!
As for the food, here's my top three:
Hans Carvin....from Carnitas' Snack Shack called this "pork wings", basically a perfectly textured (not overly mushy, not too chewy) pork rib, with a glaze that should be illegal. The quick "kimchi'd" vegetables added the acid and contrast.
Tommy Fraioli and the team from Beaumont's had a nice pork cheek, with what I believe was a carrot foam and pea puree. The pork was a bit tougher than I like, but there was something in here that really ramped up the flavor.
Small Bar's Crab Cake with Yuzu Gelee could have really been a winner, but it was placed on a cracker that didn't stand up real well and had a taste like it was on the stale side. loved the combination of flavors, though.....
There were some decadent looking desserts too, but as you know, I don't have much of a sweet tooth.
Plus, I actually had dinner to go to that evening!
So I ducked out right after Sam Zien (aka Sam the Cooking Guy) made Tommy squirm a bit.....
Overall, it was a nice, fun event, and I couldn't think of anyone who deserves the accolades than Tommy!