And so ends the mystery of the log lady chef videos: As Eater correctly predicted, the videos were all a ramp up to an installment of the often outrageous Gelinaz! food performance dinner series sponsored by S. Pellegrino. Last night's event was a surprise for guest of honor chef Wylie Dufresne and took place at his Lower East Side restaurant wd~50. Big name chefs from all over the world were in attendance, including David Chang, Daniel Patterson, Magnus Nilsson, René Redzepi, and Alex Atala. Cooking dishes that riff on Dufresne's work, the chefs worked together to serve a meal that spanned over four hours and 10 courses.
But what do Twin Peaks and logs have to do with it? The answer is still sort of unclear. The night was called "The Gelinaz! Inner Log Ladies Night Out." There were logs with photoshopped pictures of chefs on them at every table. While Twin Peaks' Log Lady was known for carrying her log around town, no chefs were spotted doing any such thing. For other possible explanations, head to the hangover observations below:
· The event itself was actually a surprise: Guests and media attendees were kept in the dark. Those invited by chefs simply received emails telling them to be at wd~50 and tell no one. Those invited by PR firms were told the event was "an exclusive (and secret) culinary event with top chefs from around the world" and were asked to take a leap of faith.
· The chefs mostly arrived on Saturday to begin the prep, staying in Brooklyn and avoiding the limelight. Gelinaz! creator Andrea Petrini told Eater that he "has no idea" how they managed to keep the event under wraps as well as they did. The biggest surprise, of course, was for Wylie Dufresne who had no idea all these chefs had taken over his restaurant:
· Nearly 30 chefs in all participated:
Daniel Boulud – Daniel (New York)
Danny Bowien – Mission Chinese Food (New York)
Daniel Burns – Luksus (New York)
David Chang – Momofuku (New York)
Gabrielle Hamilton – Prune (New York)
Daniel Humm – Eleven Madison Park (New York)
Alex Stupak – Empellón (New York)
Christina Tosi – Momofuku (New York)
Blaine Wetzel – Willows Inn (Lummi Island)
Daniel Patterson – Coi (San Francisco)
Inaki Aizpitarte- Le Chateaubriand (Paris, France)
Alex Atala – D.O.M., (São Paulo, Brazil)
Claude Bosi – Hibiscus (London, England)
Chiho Kanzaki – Mirazur (Menton, France)
Kobe Desramaults – In De Wulf (Dranouter, Belgium)
Agata Felluga – Jour de Fête (Paris, France)
Bertrand Grebaut- Septime (Paris, France)
Rodolfo Guzman – Boragó (Santiago, Chile)
Taka Kondo – Osteria Francescana (Modena, Italy)
Virgilio Martinez – Central Restaurante (Lima, Peru)
Magnus Nilsson – Fäviken (Järpen, Sweden)
Petter Nilsson – opening a new restaurant (Paris, France)
Fulvio Pierangelini – Rocco Forte Hotels (San Vincenzo, Italy)
René Redzepi – Noma (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Ana Ros – Hiša Franko (Kobarid, Slovenia)
Rosio Sanchez – Noma (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Ben Shewry – Attica and Victoria (Melbourne, Australia)
Karime Lopez – Central Restaurante (Lima, Peru)
Christina Tosi, Logged. [Photo: Hillary Dixler/Eater.com]
· The meal was inspired by three wd~50 classics, small portions of which were served as the first course: Cold fried chicken with caviar; scrambled egg ravioli; and shrimp noodles. Each team of chefs took turns reinterpreting the dishes, so the meal highlighted various preparations of the chicken, shrimp, caviar, and avocado used in those dishes.
· Case in point: David Chang, Daniel Humm, Alex Stupak, Christina Tosi, and Rosio Sanchez presented hot fried chicken with creme fraiche and biscuits. And each table got an entire tin of Ossetra caviar and two caviar spoons. They also made sure there were Kraft American Singles on the table and moist towelette. Chang told Eater he recommended creating a wrap from the fried chicken skin, piling in the caviar and topping it with creme fraiche. Others at the table were using the American cheese as a wrap to generally positive results.
· Some excellent packaging on display. The above-mentioned fried chicken was served in KFC-style buckets with Dufresne's face on it. The Evil Twin beer can also got a makeover:
[Photo: Hillary Dixler/Eater.com]
· Several of the dishes came with specific instructions from the chefs. For his reinterpretation of shrimp noodles, Magnus Nilsson instructed the diners: "You have to do exactly as I say," encouraging them to eat the dish quickly and in a specific order. Diners at Eater's table complied. Later in the evening, Danny Bowien instructed guests on what order to eat the dish he assembled with Daniel Boulud and a group of chefs including Daniel Patterson, Alex Atala, and Gabrielle Hamilton instructed guests to eat their ravioli clockwise starting at 10:30.
· Unlike past Gelinaz! events which have gotten flack for their lack of female chefs and abundance of topless female servers, this event featured several female chefs in the kitchen including Gabrielle Hamilton, Rosio Sanchez, Christina Tosi, and Ana Ros.
· When presenting the dish he created with Ben Shewry, René Redzepi spoke of Dufresne's cuisine: "Wylie Dufresne's food is like from outer space, 20 years in the future. So we looked to the past." That meant that he and Shewry presented "Rotten Chicken & Corn for Deadheads," which guests ate as Grateful Dead played.
· The dishes were without exception incredibly beautiful. Here's some food porn:
· Just a great quote from Gabrielle Hamilton: "Is everyone sick of tasting menus yet?"
· The last chef team of the night was Daniel Boulud and Danny Bowien. Riffing on Dufresne's shrimp noodles, the duo presented "The Danny Boulud Mission Crevette." Quoting something Boulud had told him earlier, Bowien described the dish this way: "A very nice uptown French dish came downtown and got beat up by a Chinese restaurant." The two also apparently spent time in the kitchen attached to each other:
· The after party was at Bowien's nearby restaurant Mission Cantina.