I finally got the chance to meet and greet with some of the friendly staff over at Saveur last night. It still seems ethereal to me to think that I worked as a fixer and gatherer for the upcoming March L.A issue as a whole, driving Mr. Oseland around South L.A in my dad's jerry-built, 93, stick-shift Saturn, scavenging Southern, super exotic Mexican Herbs for herb photo glossary...not to mention having two featured pieces printed.
My nervousness only grew as the numbers on the buildings on West 32nd street kept getting smaller. I had took a train that required me to walk a little bit longer...on purpose. To no avail with my freakishly lengthy legs, I was there: 15 East 32nd Street. 1st floor, 2nd floor...then there it was.
Still In Awe
I don't know why I was nervous, just added on to the entire 'overwhelming' feeling of NY as a whole. Was relieving to see that they were expecting me though...
Test Kitchen: A Cupboard The Size of A Small Library
I had dropped in just in time for their Mardi Gras themed dinner. They were busy, stressed and tired as they were just closing an issue but like Luciano Pavarotti said in his book, My Own Story:
"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating."
Ben Mims Cooking Up A Saveur Storm
Ben Mims had just finished frying up some shrimps and oysters, to be the centerpiece of the dinner. Po' Boys here included just baked, dense french rolls, a freshly mixed tart and creamy Remoulade Sauce, juicy, sweet tomatoes still on the vine (even in the dead of Winter!) and an Ambrosia salad, with a toasted coconut topping.
The Saveur Fixins!
And when offered delicious bounty, the Glutster always has his way...
Glutster Po' Boy
My bread accentuated, SAUCED po' boy was a mixture of both crisp shelled, tender oysters and shrimps, with minimal veggies to get in the way amd more sauce to soften up the dry bread--
Their dessert choice of the night was nothing short but ridiculously awesome...of course. A Mardi Gras Kings Cake, a celebratory treat standard down south around this time of year. Usually more on the dry side of cakes with a jam filling, sugar and dried fruit topping, the version here was fluffy, with a cream cheese and brown sugar filling spilling out and caramelized with crunchy, multi-color icing. Ben described it to me as "basically a cinnamon roll, but shaped differently and extra decadent!"
Extra Decadent Mardi Gras Kings Cake: Overflowing With a Cream Cheese-Maple-Brown Sugar Filling
Just like a Mexican Rosca De Reyes, a jesus doll is baked in somewhere in the reef shaped roll, and it is tradition to throw a party for whoever bites into it first! I overheard that a whole pecan was used here, but no party for me.
No Party For Me: Should Have Gotten Another Slice!
So That's How They Roll, huh?
I can definitely get used to this...