Sunday night was filled with custard, cold squid, cookies, and corn pancakes at Colicchio & Sons in New York City as restaurant industry leaders gathered to celebrate long-time friend Gerry Hayden.
The large contingency of star chefs were raising money in the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the fatal illness known most commonly as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Mr. Hayden, the chef at North Fork Table and Inn, was diagnosed with ALS in January of 2011. Since then, he has raised more than $100,000 toward his own medical care and others who share his plight with his website and with the help of some of the same top-knotch chefs and restauranteurs he’s known and worked alongside during his years cooking in New York.
The dinner event cost $250 for attendees to taste cutting-edge culinary treats and rub elbows with the masters who made them before the crowd gathered to hear Mr. Hayden’s old friends both roast him and boast about him. The speakers described Mr. Hayden as a hardworking, passionate, witty and “respectful as hell” chef.
Here is a run-down of delectable dishes served on Sunday:
Charlie Palmer’s colorful rhubarb terrine with pistachio cream and mini baba was a feast for the eyes, resembling a Christmas tree bauble.
Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar & Grill designed a delectable goat cheese custard with sweet sugar snap peas, fava beans and lemon oil.
Dante Boccuzzi of DANTE & Ginko Restaurants delighted guests with a BBQ tuna and foie gras sushi “push up” pops.
Bobby Flay and Paul DelFavero of Mesa Grill in Las Vegas brought some flavor with crispy blue corn lobster tacos and pickled habanero relish.
Wylie Dufresne of wd50 concocted a cold squid salad with celery and black olives he said was inspired by Gerry Hayden.
Mark Ladner of Del Posto got creative with his cutting edge “meatball sausage” sandwich. It’s a meatball, it’s a sausage — it’s a meatball sausage.
David Burke of David Burke Townhouse invoked memories of the River Cafe ,where he said the pastrami salmon he put on mini corn pancakes was born.
Rick Moonen of RM Seafood dove deep with his presentation of kushi oysters with coconut lime mignonette, cucumbers and super green phytoplankton pearls.
And Sherry Yard of Spago’s table was stacked with twenty types of treats she baked for her cookie extravaganza.