The Bouley Test Kitchen, NYC
August 4, 2015
The multifunctional Bouley Test Kitchen serves as an event space, an interactive classroom and a state-of-the-art culinary laboratory for all of David Bouley’s restaurants. It is a testing and learning center for visiting guest chefs. The location in the entire top floor of an 1880’s five-story industrial building is unexpected. Thirty-five of us celebrated there on July 27, 2015, my 75th birthday.
Linda and I had tried out dishes during meals at Bouley Restaurant in the preceding months. Working with the Test Kitchen’s genial and efficient event coordinator, Jenna Nocciolino, we planned our evening.
The apéritif wine was served in the front area. Guests had a choice of the three wines of the event, which continued throughout the meal:
Paul Goerg Brut Reserve Champagne
Viognier, Le Pied de Samson, Georges Vernay 2014
Gevrey-Chambertin Tortochot 2013.
Scallops on a basil sauce.
Other hors d’œuvres were:
Grilled Marinated Duck with Pruneaux d’Agen
Sautéed Foie Gras with Rosemary-Apple Purée
Lobster with Passion Fruit and Black Truffle Sauce
Homemade Blinis with Smoked Salmon, White Truffle Honey, Salmon Roe
Isaac Wynn played David Bouley’s Steinway during the apéritif session. He broke up the animated conversations with “Happy Birthday,” to move us to the four tables on the other side of the kitchen. Linda welcomed our guests while the chefs put finishing touches on the meal in the center of the room.
The first course was
Organic Connecticut Quail Egg
Crémeux des Cîteaux, 24 Month Comté
Australian Summer Truffle
This was luscious and luxurious.
Alaskan Dungeness Crab, Golden Princess Crab
Black Truffle Dashi
This dish, which reminds me of a large Japanese chawan-mushi, is a house specialty. Crabs in season are used. The balance and melding of the flavors is perfect.
The main course was
Organic Colorado Rack of Lamb
Biodynamic California Eggplant
Zucchini-Mint Purée, Rose Olives
The flavor of the top quality lamb was allowed to shine through. The purée and the eggplant are classic matches with lamb, but I would have enjoyed more eggplant than the two little nuggets.
The pre-dessert was
Black Raspberry Sorbet
Toasted Buckwheat Gelato
Hot Caramelized Anjou Pear
Valrhona Chocolate, Biscuit Breton, Hot Toffee Sauce
Huckleberry with Crème Fraîche Ice Cream
The team at The Bouley Test Kitchen worked hard to make this birthday party a spectacular evening. Many thanks to them, and thanks to Chef Bouley for being part of our evening. The planning and preparation by Linda and Jenna were also critical. Our guests had a very good time; so did we.