Last night, I had the great pleasure of attending Bob’s Red Mill Grains of Discovery launch party. Held at the Astor Center in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan, it was a night to remember. As soon as I passed through the velvet curtain, I was greeted by a lovely band playing French songs in a style reminiscent of the 40’s and 50’s. (Rather appropriate for an event showcasing ancient grains.)
Before I could get too enveloped in the music, I was distracted by the magnificent aromas that were wafting around the room. Bob’s Red Mill had flown out ten of Portland, Ore.’s best chefs to help them showcase the new line of ancient grains which includes Quinoa, Millet, Sorghum, Teff, Amaranth, Kamut, Spelt, Farro and Chia.
The line-up of chefs included several James Beard Award finalists, a Top Chef champion, and the chefs and owners of The Oregonian’s 2013 Restaurant of the Year. Each was assigned a different grain to create a signature culinary masterpiece with, and that is exactly what they did. Rather than tease you anymore with the broad details, I’ll tell you what some of my favorite dishes were.
- Kaffir Lime and Lemongrass Steamed Halibut with a Vegetable Bounty Quinoa Salad and Asian Vinaigrette topped with Tempura and Fried Basil Leaves from Naomi Pomeroy of Beast
- Ricotta Amarancini with Octopus Fra Diavolo & Amaranth Caviar from Greg and Gabrielle Denton of Ox Restaurant
- Chilled Buttermilk and Spelt Soup from Cathy Whims of Nostrana
- Toasted Eggs with Millet Seed from Kevin Gibson of Evoe
- Sorghum Tamale, Moxie Braised Goat & Oxtail, Spicy Sorghum Salsa and Puffed Sorghum from Vitaly Paley of Imperial. Chef Paley was also serving up a Sorghum Paloma made using Sorghum Whiskey that was distilled from Bob’s Red Mill Sorghum by Clear Creek Distillery in Portland.
Unfortunately, I do not have any great pictures to accompany these descriptions. I don’t have the patience to photograph my perfectly plated food before I dig into it. Just take my word for it that the night was a true global culinary adventure. If you don’t believe me, I’ll be attempting to fry Basil leaves all weekend long.