Last Friday, we were invited by Jameson to attend Le Grand Fooding, an annual event that celebrates food and drink and often focuses on a central theme. In 2010, they hosted an East vs. West competition. In 2011, 13 chefs assembled the meal over the course of 52 straight hours spent cooking, and in 2012, the event—the Brooklyn Fling—focused on young, talented chefs who have risen up in the outskirts of cities.
For this year’s event, we traveled back in time. Time Mach’Inn, this year’s theme, consisted of the three courses focused on three unique eras of food: fusion cuisine (1991-1999), bistronomy (1998-2006, and farm-to-table (2008-present).
The event was held in rustic string-lit backyard space at RES, the Red Hook restaurant-cum-event space from Frankies owners Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli. The cool evening was perfect for a communal dinner at long picnic tables, our meal lit with candles glowing from emptied liquor bottles.
One of our favorite parts of the evening was the pianist, who played apropos songs for each course. From Destiny’s Child to Britney Spears to Adele and Lana Del Rey, our table spent much of the dinner trying to guess which songs would pop up next.
The first dish was a plantain, tamarind, coconut soup with goat cheese and smoked salmon dumpling—it was representative of the “Fusion Cuisine Years,” prepared by Chef Peter Gordon of New Zealand’s Sugar Club. This was paired with a 1990s style Jameson cocktail, that was heavy on the lighter flavors.
Next, the “Bistronomy Years” gave us the second course: a roasted breast of veal, potatoes and cockles prepared by Yves Camdeborde of Parisian restaurant Le Comptoir du Relais.
Between the second and third courses, we were served a cheese course on what was the longest cheese board—literally a board—we’d ever seen. We got to know our neighbors very well during this course, as getting to the other side of it required going through three other people first, but it was worth it for the unique assortment of cheeses and jams.
The third and final stop on the Le Grand Fooding Time Mach’Inn was the Farm-to-Table years—the present time—represented with a tomato-and-honey dessert from the Franks. This dish was definitely my favorite of the three, and the most unexpected, as tomato granita gave way to layers of honey-tinged custard below. Fitting with the course, this was served with an equally honey-tinged Jameson Black Barrel on the rocks—a perfect sipper to cap off a cool fall evening.
With our coffee, we were served green tea matcha fortune cookies, baked by Mission Chinese Food’s Danny Bowien and filled with fortunes written by comedian Aziz Ansari. Mine read “Your career as a street racer will take a promising turn in the near future.”
Also, another interesting observation from the evening: homemade fortune cookies taste a lot better than what comes with your take-out.