Dining in Decadence with Starwood Preferred Guest and Geoffrey Zakarian
By Valis Vicenty August 03,2012
Living and working in New York City, it’s easy to bypass the city’s many hidden treasures. One of them is The Lamb’s Club, a luxurious, art-deco oasis nestled in the heart of Times Square where earlier this week we dined on one of the most exquisite meals we’ve ever had the pleasure to enjoy.
As a benefit of Starwood Preferred Guest program, members can transfer the Starpoints they earn by bidding on one of a kind experiences at movie, theater, and sports events called SPG Moments. Because of this, Glam was able to get an inside look at what it takes to work in celebrity Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s kitchen.
The intimate dinner started off by heading upstairs to one of the Lamb’s Club three private dining rooms for hor d’oeuvres of sweet corn pudding with prawns and coriander in a charred shishito pepper vinaigrette; bocqueronnes with market cucumber and grapefruit; and crispy duck rillettes in mulled port wine with pickled pearl onion before The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs winner arrived to take us downstairs to the restaurant’s two kitchens where his wife was cooking with the other chefs. All in attendance were surprised to find how quiet it was as Executive Chef Eric Haugen read off the orders.
“We don’t allow talking in the kitchen,” he said. “The chefs have to be able to hear one another in order to keep up with all of the tickets coming in.”
From there we went down another floor into the prep kitchen that was stocked floor to ceiling with fresh food. And in a move that has been relatively unheard of, all in our party went inside the produce refrigerator and found that all the food inside had arrived either the day before or earlier in the morning!
After working up an appetite, we headed back to our private room to go over the customized menu that Zakarian had developed just for the Starwood Preferred Guests as well as to answer any burning questions the foodies had, including any upcoming projects he had in the works.
“My wife is actually downstairs practicing because we’re doing a Food Network show called ‘Family Cookoff,’” he explained. “So it’s me and my wife against other celebrity food personalities and their spouse or girlfriend or boyfriend, or mother in some cases. She’s very nervous so she’s practicing.”
We toasted to a lovely evening before starting in on an Eckerton Hill farms heirloom tomato gazpacho with stonefruits, basil, and Valderrama Hojiblanca Olive Oil paired with a Doyene Rose from Yakima Valley (Washington 2010). After the delicious delight, we tasted house-made gemelli with corn, uni, Chanterelle mushrooms and Parmesan with a glass of Michael Gahier Chardonnay (“Fauquette” 2004) where everyone explained how they had bid on the opportunity to attend with a pair of sisters who had traveled all the way from Washington to be there! We then devoured the main course of Roasted Creek Farms Sirloin with Cippolini oinion, squash, sungold tomato with red wine-beef jus and sipped Anita Nittnaus Hans (“Pannobile 2007) while we discussed what type of restuarant we would open if we were given the opportunity where we admitted that the East Coast was in dire need of more authentic Mexican food. We capped the night with a peach melba with raspberry sorbet teamed with a Châuteau Bouscassé (“Brumaire” 2007) where we discussed where the next SPG moment would be as well as what other national food capitals we should visit. With locations like New Orleans, Austin, Seattle, and Portland, we’d rack up a few frequent flyer miles for a great meal!
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