Okay, so the glow is just starting to wear off, I’ve posted the pictures on facebook but now it’s time to talk about it. This holiday I was selected from thousands of entrants to have Celebrity Chef Michael Voltaggio, owner of Ink in LA and winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Season Six, come to Washington, DC to cook a holiday feast for me and my family. I am going down in the books as giving the greatest gift and it was definitely not a gift I could have pulled off on my own so special thanks to Buzzmedia’s Celebuzz, AT&T and Chef Michael!!
My mother is quite the hostess and I knew she would be all aflutter preparing for Chef Michael’s arrival. And prepare she did, cleaning everything from top to bottom and washing every dish in the kitchen just in case he might use it. Unfortunately due to the timing of the dinner in January my sister was already back in California and then my brother got a cold but the show must go on so a couple family friends were able to join us instead and boy did they luck out. One of the upsides to having the dinner in the district is that his brother Bryan has a wonderful new restaurant called Range located in the newly renovated Chevy Chase Pavilion. That is were Chef Michael was able to do all of his preparation for the dinner and raid their supplies. That afternoon he showed up with his sous chef, Todd from Buzzmedia and a couple tubs full of supplies!!
It takes quite a bit of stuff to pull off a five course gourmet meal for four, especially when you are a creative culinary genius!!! Chef Michael will probably not admit to being all of that. He is surprisingly humble and very very cool. He was a pleasure to have in my house and my mom was overjoyed! That is is exactly why I picked this prize when I entered, because it was a gift that had meaning to my mother and I. My mother is a self proclaimed foodie with years of food experience and travel to back it up so I knew this would be an experience that she would treasure. “The holidays often become more about giving gifts you can’t afford than giving something meaningful,” said Michael Voltaggio. “Thanks to Buzzmedia, Celebuzz and AT&T, I was happy to be able to able to give something that puts the focus back on the important things: family and food. There’s nothing that gives me greater pleasure than sharing my love of cooking.” And share he did!!
Shortly after they arrived and while we waited for them to set up and begin dinner, Chef brought in some snacks for us. It was homemade Doritos from fresh corn from California and homemade pork rinds. I don’t even like pork rinds and I had to hold back so everyone could try some!! It was delicious and I couldn’t wait for what was next to come!! Shortly after this we moved to the dining room and the tea lights in the middle were the perfect centerpieces for the night.
After we got settled, the culinary journey began!!
With Chef Michael leading us the whole way…
We started off with fresh carrots with goats milk ice, finger lime, smoked oil that was delicious!!! The finger limes pop like little caviars in your mouth and the goats milk snow was like nothing I’ve ever had before.
Todd from Buzz Media played server and sommelier for the evening!!
The next course was the egg yolk gnocchi with mushroom brown butter and mushroom hay that was magical!!!
Next we had some wonderful fish which I believe was branzino with roasted cauliflower, caper and fermented grape.
There were a couple times between courses that I snuck into the kitchen to watch Chef Michael at work. During one of these breaks I asked Micheal when was the last time he did something like this. “Oh I don’t know, oh yeah I think it was Brad and Angelina’s for Brad’s birthday” he casually says as he continues to make food magic. Pause while I pick my jaw off the ground, oh yeah Brad and Angie, no big deal… Also a random note, Michael began at Greenbrier in WV which is where one of my graduate school girlfriends got married, small world but I digress…
Our next course was a beef short rib that melted in your mouth it was so delicious. I’m having flavor flashbacks just writing about it!!
The final course aka DESSERT was also delicious chocolate, with ice cream, spiced tofu, nutella sponge, powdered ganache (funny surprise, he made the cake in the MICROWAVE!!).
As if the evening was not already more than we could have imagined, it ended with a gift, some lovely boxes of chocolate from Range that were delicious.
“This was a one in a million, experience of a lifetime, and I love my daughter Morgan for giving this to me as a Christmas present. You could not ask for a better Christmas present than an amazing dinner at your own home with a chef like Michael Voltaggio,” said my mom. “Every course was unique and interesting — I wish I could keep him as my personal chef.” Well so do I mom, so do I. But I’ll settle for this one amazing evening!
My necklace is from the beautiful Kolton.J Collection by Jenny Schretter and the dress is from Violet Boutique in Adams Morgan. Definitely did a lot of wardrobe searching for this one but I decided I wanted something comfy but fabulous so I went with the beaded maxi that was both simple but glamorous and added the color necklace to really make it pop!
*Disclosure: I received this meal free for winning a Facebook contest from AT&T. However that in no way influenced my opinion of the food.