Saturday, June 27, 2009

the perks of being an intern

Good morning lovelies! Just a moment ago I woke up in one of the best moods, and, for the most part, I have you to thank for it! My gosh, when I sat down to write my post the other night I did it because I needed to and I thought that the feeling of relief alone made it all worth it... but I could not have anticipated how much better your comments and e-mails would affect me as well. Is it possible that I could have underestimated how amazing each and every one of you are? I think so! I was nearly brought to tears by how thoughtful, encouraging, and positively complimenting you were. I should reach out more often ;) but seriously, I should, because you, my dears, are apparently better friends than I ever could have hoped for. Thank you, thank you, and thank you again, it really meant and means so much to me.
This smile reaches even beyond me being thankful for you, however, because of the recent wonderful days I've had. 1) I attended a magnificent tasting lunch with the chef, restauranteur, author, and award winner, Michael Schlow. 2) I had a blast having Fitness fun in the new and exclusive Jukari class. 3) I assisted in shooting nutrition web videos for with a fantastic registered dietician. 4) I had the pleasure and honor of meeting some of my favorite bloggies, including the ever-incredible Veggiegirl! 5) My best friend safely and finally arrived home today. So many reasons to smile :).
I don't want to overwhelm you with too much excitement, though, so I'd like to begin with number one. Before meeting the master himself I made sure to do some research on Michael Schlow (which you can read about in this post) but I could not have prepared myself for the spectacular meal, company, and overall experience that I had on your average NYC-humid Thursday afternoon.
I was one of the first to arrive at the craft's private dining room, and, let me just say right now, that the ambiance alone was absolutely gorgeous. I was surrounded by muted lighting, warm woods, heavy silver accents and soft music for the ultimate in comfort and class. Within a few moments I had met all the guests: two of his PR representatives, two people in publishing, one in broadcasting, and one of the most down-to-earth talented men I've ever met.

Water was distributed (it was only lunchtime) and the appetizers were promptly brought out. My favorite, above, was the Crostini of Chickpea Puree with Crispy Sopressata. The puree was similar to the obvious hummus but without strength the lemony tahini and was complimented by the red embellishments (crispy sopressata). It is at this point that I have to apologize for the unfortunate qualities of my photographs. I was allowed to snap away but in our small and intimate company did not have the nerve to turn on the flash. My apologies :).

Then we were led to the table where I was greeted with a beautiful menu and place setting. Yes that is my name up there followed by Fitness Magazine... I felt so special ;). Michael explained his fusion of Italian and French cuisines and his use of the freshest local ingredients he could find. We were able to look directly into his kitchen as he prepared our first course served alongside a delightfully dry white.

The Hamachi Crudo with Fennel, Ruby Red Grapefruit and Mint was a mind-blowing combination and it was from then on that I couldn't have been more impressed with this generous man. As we ate he sat and spoke with us about his restaurants Radius, Via Matta, and Alta Strada in Massachusettes and another Alta Strada in Foxwoods moving into a lighter conversation about his experiences in reality television.

For a brief moment the bad economy and it's effects on all industries came up and he was quick to offer his opinion, "No matter what our goal remains the same: to provide customers with the ultimate in service and dining experience, never skimping on the quality of yesterday."Our next course, a Homemade Chittara with Spicy Lobster and Fresh Peas was delicious although in an attempt to save my appetite I made sure to stop myself half way through the spectacular plate.

In our third course we were able to taste his classic low temperature cooking which certainly did result in "succulent, tender dishes." The Slow Roasted Rib Eye with Grilled Zucchini, White Beans, Black Olives and Tomato was too incredible for words... and I cannot remember the last time I wanted to eat meat, let alone ate it! I absolutely devoured half of the serving alongside our delicious glasses of Pinot Noir.

I had the best time, I wish every lunch hour were this good :). Afterwards I walked quickly back to the office but not empty handed. I had a gift bag filled to the brim with goodies: a complete press kit and baked goods that included biscotti, chocolate chip & macadamia nut cookies, caramel popcorn, and his homemade Italian Oreos with a sweet butter cream.

I also generously received his book, It's About Time, but I left it at the office so my boss can take a look at it. I will most definitely tell you all more about next week :). I could not believe how lucky I was to have been invited to one of those events and I still can't. As for the remaining numbers on my list of the latest happy things in my life I will tell you more about them as the weekend continues. For today I have to catch up with my best friend, have a French "ladies who lunch" meeting with my grandmother, and celebrate a very special 21st birthday of one of my childhood friends. Have a wonderful Saturday!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Penny for your thoughts...