On Monday evening, I volunteered at a charity event at the Chicago Hilton - the Housewares Charity Gala
It was a 1000 person banquet, in partnership with the James Beard Foundation. Of course, it wasn't entirely altruistic of me, as I knew there would be celebrity chefs there, and also figured working such a large event would be a great experience - which it was!
I was assigned to work with Art Smith's restaurant,Table Fifty-Two. Unfortunately, he was not in attendance, so his executive sous chef, John Vermiglio, was running the show. John is currently starring on the Bravo series, Around the World in 80 Plates
A staff of about 9 of us were able to plate 300 appetizers and 300 hot entrees in just a couple of hours. It was intense and exciting! It was an honor to work with Chef John and his staff and to experience the behind the scenes mania that culminates in such delicious and artistic food.
Unfortunately I was way too busy to snap many photos, but here is one of the beautiful dishes we created (to the chef's specifications, of course!). This was a chicken galantine with over a sweet pea puree, with chicken aus jus and a dozen beautiful garnishes. It was the most delicious dish of the evening.