Traveling Plate Supper Club: A Fine Place to Be a Chef
The life of a chef isn't one where you get a lot of thanks, toiling away in the kitchen, hearing only about how this table or that thought the steak was overcooked. So if you're a chef looking for a bit of praise from your adoring public, you should totally cook at the next Traveling Plate supper club.
Chef Roy Villacrusis was the guest chef at last night's Traveling Plate, which served about 30 people at the Girls' Club Collection gallery. And while Villacrusis was certainly slaving away in a makeshift kitchen out back, he was also cheered regularly as he explained
his dishes and then given a lavish ovation at the end of the night. Not
bad for a profession where you're usually a faceless toque in the back
of the house.
The supper club began with cured scallops with stuffed lychees.
"It's been really incredible to interact with the
people eating your food," Villacrusis said at the end of the night. "You
don't usually get to talk to people about what you're making for them."
Villacrusis explained to the group that the scallops and pork belly was a play on surf and turf.
what he made was pretty spectacular, including the passed hors d'oeuvres, a cured salmon appetizer, scallops and pork belly, and a filet with wild
mushrooms. He finished off the night with a dessert akin to churros
stuffed with cheesecake, dramatically served on a long plank. A
caramel-banana sauce served for dipping.
The filet sat on a bed of wild mushrooms.
The event, sponsored in part by Clean Plate Charlie, was a fundraiser for the ARC Broward Culinary Institute,
which trains people with disabilities and other difficulties to enter
the food industry. ARC is planning to hold a supper club every couple
months, or maybe more frequently, considering the response to this one.
Tickets sold out in just four minutes.
The food was certainly
the highlight, but it was perhaps made more significant at the end of
the night when Villacrusis stood for applause along with the night's
servers and the culinary institute students who cooked alongside the
So chefs feeling a bit under appreciated, you should apply
to cook at one of these events. And restaurants looking for new
employees, ARC Broward has a few proven students who have cooked
alongside an esteemed chef -- and held their own.
Eric Barton is editor ofNew Times Broward-Palm Beach
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