Last week, my dear friend Paul Reilly, the Chef of Encore on Colfax in Denver, Colorado, was invited to cook at the James Beard House as part of the Denver Five collaboration, a sort of culinary art collective, if you will.
My friend [ljuser]whirled[/ljuser] just happened to be in town from Australia (?!) and so we popped on down to see what all the fuss was about.
And man, it was some fuss.
We were joined by my parents, Paul’s parents and sister, Aileen, who happens to be the FOH manager of Encore, her boyfriend, JP, and lots of other relatives and family friends.
We were treated to twelve courses of delectable little treats, each with its own wine or cocktail pairing, ranging from a fluke ceviche that was to die for to a quail mortadella and truffle pork gelee that was one of the most interesting dishes I’ve ever been served (and I swear I could have eaten a bucket of that gelee).
Paul’s contributions to the menu were the aforementioned fluke ceviche which was definitely the appetizer of the night, followed by a leg of lamb from Ewe Bet Ranch which I am quickly beginning to suspect might be the greatest place on earth (more on that later) with baby turnips, chanterelles, peach gastrique and lamb pancetta braised turnip greens. His dessert was a delicious little beignet with a ricotta filling that was, I have to say, more like a sfinge than a beignet but absolutely delicious.
The best part of the whole night, though, was the placement of our table. We obviously got relegated to the Beard House’s version of the “kids’ table,” secreted in their foyer, away from the other guests…
…but conveniently opening into the kitchen.
This meant that we got to watch Paul and his chef friends cook and regale us with a live performance of various pop hits from the 1980s, frequently with made-up lyrics. We got to chat with the bartender, and various chefs kept coming out of the kitchen to slip us extra little treats.
At one point, one of the chefs brought us the entire tub of leftover homemade ricotta, with which we stealthily walked out of the James Beard House.
Mirrored from Nommable!.