Andrew Voirol, Owner of The Social Diner
Despite the turmoil that enveloped the American population on Wednesday, Nov. 9, the main dining room of Stars restaurant at Chatham Bars Inn in Chatham, on Cape Cod, was quiet and serene. These days, it seems like fundraising dinners are a dime a dozen, but an evening hosted by Chatham Bars Inn to benefit Future Chefs stood out as a reminder of the American Dream many of us signed up for. In collaboration with notable chefs Jody Adams, Justin Urso of Stars, and Cory Seeker of Trade, the evening began at the Inn’s farm in Brewster and ended in a joyful evening celebrating fabulous food, delicious drink and mutual respect and admiration.
Founded in 2008, Future Chefs is led by Toni Elka, a firecracker of a woman and relentless in pursuing culinary training as a way to empower Boston’s youth. Two Future Chefs’ apprentices, Megan Eugene and Rafael de Lima, as well as Seeker, a successful alum, helped orchestrate the dinner. The evening showcased the hard work and dedication of both the Future Chefs organization and the youth who move through the program. Students graduate as responsible individuals with a talent for the culinary arts and a passion to give back.
Before the farm-to-table meal, the kitchen team took to the resort’s eight-acre farm, perusing the earth’s offerings and selecting some of the bounty to be featured in the evening’s five-course meal. The most surprising last-minute addition was the day strawberries Seeker incorporated into the Nantucket Bay scallops crudo. Less sweet than strawberries harvested in the height of the summer, their color and taste were a welcome splash on an inspired seasonal plate.
The Eastham turnip soup was another favorite. Creamy and hearty, it paired perfectly with a Russian River Valley Chardonnay by Frei Brothers. Jody Adams prepared her poached monkfish in a mussel sauce with delicata squash and preserved lemon. Then came Urso’s braised short rib with Anson Mills polenta, paired with a Frei Brothers Pinot Noir from 2014.
As the dinner came to an end, the chefs took questions. The apple almond brown butter cake made for a superb conversation starter and end to a wondrous meal. Dining at Chatham Bars Inn felt like we had all slipped into an alternate reality, and the efforts of everyone from the hospitality side of the Inn to those on the farm and, of course, the robust talent churning away in the kitchen were very appreciated.
In continued support of Future Chefs, an online auction featuring three outrageous culinary opportunities alongside top chefs will be live for the next two weeks. Don’t worry if you missed dinner this time around, the evening was such a success that you can expect this to blossom into an annual event.