Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thursday Sips & Nibbles

I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I highlight some interesting, upcoming food & drink events.
1) On Tuesday, December 5, at 6:30pm, Legal Sea Foods will host a four-plus-course champagne dinner showcasing the finest bubbly from Taittinger’s prestigious portfolio of French champagne. Grown and inspired by chardonnay wines, the Tattinger collection offers an extensive variety of champagnes, each unique to their own blend and terrain.

A family-owned and operated winery created in the Reims region of France in 1932, Tattinger is famed for its impressive holding of 752 acres throughout 34 different vineyards as well as for its ancient chalk cellars used for aging. The philosophy of finesse and elegance created a Taittinger empire and earned its name as one of the greatest champagne houses in the world.

Legal Sea Foods will team up with Christian Dalbavie, French Portfolio Manager for Kobrand Wine & Spirits, the exclusive U.S. import agent for Tattinger Champagne, to host a dining experience designed to carefully pair each signature cuisine with select pours from the Taittinger collection.

The menu will be presented as follows:
Prosciutto-Wrapped Baked Oyster, Meyer Lemon-Garlic Infusion
Smoked Salmon Phyllo Tartlet, Cracked Pepper, Lime
Rolled Smoked Ham Crepe, Tarragon Mustard Sauce
Taittinger “Prestige” Rosé Brut, NV
Pan Seared Diver Sea Scallop (succotash, baby mâche, vanilla beurre blanc)
Taittinger “La Française” Brut, NV
Hazelnut-Crusted Ecuadorian Mahi-Mahi (blue corn & chanterelle mushroom polenta, blood orange beurre rouge)
Taittinger “Les Folies di la Marquetterie” Brut, NV
Taittinger “Millésimé” Brut, 2009
Lobster Newburg (pearl onions, haricots verts)
Taittinger “Comtes de Champagne” Blanc de Blancs Brut, 2006
Peach Flambé Tart (strawberry coulis)
Taittinger “Nocturne” Rosé Sec, NV

COST: $135 per person (excludes tax & gratuity)
Reservation required by calling 617-530-9397

2) This Holiday Season, Bar Boulud Hosts a Bûche de Noël Pop-Up & Pastry Class. Taking a modern approach to a classic French confection, Pastry Chef Robert Differ hosts a seasonal holiday pop-up in Bar Boulud and invites aspiring bakers to join him for an intimate pastry class featuring the traditional Parisian holiday dessert: Bûche de Noël.

Available December 4 to 25, Chef Differ’s Bûche de Noël pop-up will be available for purchase and makes a nice gift to share with friends, family and colleagues. Festively packaged and ready for pick-up, orders are available online or by the slice during lunch and dinner service ($10 each). Please note: fresh Bûche de Noël are available daily but may be limited; online orders require a 48-hour advance notice.

Chef Differ’s Bûche de Noël flavors will include:
White Chocolate Eggnog (Valrhona Ivoire chocolate crémeux, aged rum gelée, nutmeg biscuit)
8” $45 | 11” $62
Tropique (coconut dacquoise, mango mousse, banana cream, croquant)
8” $48 | 11” $65
Mocha Opera (espresso Jaconde, 55% ganache, mocha mousse, paradise glaçage)
8” $50 | 11” $68
Dark Chocolate Peppermint (64% Manjari mousse, mint chocolate feuilletine, flourless chocolate biscuit)
8” $52 | 11” $70

In addition, Chef Differ will host a Bûche de Noël pastry class on Saturday, December 9, from 10AM to 12 noon, for $95 per person. Upon arrival, participants will transform into a pastry apprentice as they sip a complimentary glass of prosecco or a rich cup of hot cocoa while preparing to craft this standout, celebratory sweet. Each participant will have a choice of White Chocolate Eggnog or Dark Chocolate Peppermint, they will then be presented with a pre-rolled Bûche de Noël that serves as a confectionary canvas.

Emphasizing festive decorating techniques, this tailored class allows students to focus on all of the fun aspects of holiday baking without the stress of measuring, mixing and manipulating. Each class participant will depart with a recipe for crafting this iconic Christmas-themed dessert at home, along with a freshly baked Bûche de Noël to share with friends and family.

For online cake orders:
Pastry Class Tickets are available on

3) Vialé in Central Square, Cambridge is enthused to announce a new, seasonal dinner series in collaboration with Cambridge School of Culinary Arts (CSCA). The dinner series, "CSCA Takeover at Vialé" kicks off on Monday, December 4, from 5pm-10pm, with quarterly, seasonal dinners scheduled. Each dinner will pair Vialé chef/co-owner, Greg Reeves (CSCA graduate) and the Vialé team with a different CSCA student/chef. The partnership between these Cambridge neighbors is a natural fit, and a great opportunity for an aspiring, rookie chef to learn all aspects of planning, sourcing, and executing their own menu items.

On the first CSCA Takeover, Chef Greg Reeves will be mentoring and welcoming to the Vialé kitchen, second semester CSCA student, Bradley Caldwell. 26-year-old Bradley Caldwell spent his youth and early adulthood in kitchens in New Hampshire. Having completed service in the United States Navy, he decided to pursue his passion for culinary arts at CSCA and will soon complete the Professional Chef’s Program at CSCA. He balances his culinary education with hunting trips in New Hampshire, and has selected a hearty menu to reflect his roots.

On Monday, December 4, he will be serving a duck salad with pickled pear, venison served with broccolini and sweet potato puree, and ancho chile cheesecake. Bradley's dishes will be available at Vialé as a three-course prix fix or à la carte to accompany Vialé's usual dinner menu.

Cambridge School of Culinary Arts was founded by Chef Roberta Dowling and her husband William in 1974. Roberta’s legacy is carried on today by Sean Leonard, a longtime CSCA employee and friend of the Dowlings, and his partner Randall Freidus. They took over ownership on January 6th of this year, continuing to offer four professional training programs, recreational classes, and private cooking events year-round.

The Professional Chef’s Program is a 37-week program that delves deep into the science and art of international cooking and pastry techniques, and is composed of courses in basic techniques, baking, regional cuisines, and intensive French techniques. CSCA also offers a 14-week Culinary Certificate Program, a 14-week Certificate Pastry Program, and a 37-week Professional Pastry Program. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for three program start times in January, May, and September.

Matt Grymek, the Manager of Student Life, approached Bradley to work with Chef Greg Reeves and be the guest chef for an evening at Vialé. Bradley has demonstrated a natural talent for cooking and is starting to develop his own unique style and voice in the kitchen. He has won several in-school cooking competitions and thrives in situations where he is out if his comfort zone. Bradley also has ambitions of running his own kitchen so welcomed the idea of working with Chef Greg Reeves to gain more experience in menu planning.

Check out this fascinating CSCA Takeover at Vialé and discover Bradley Caldwell's culinary skills.

No comments: