Date night at Aces of Taste.
Last night Andrew and I went to an Aces of Taste event. Aces of Taste is an interactive dinner series in Houston and Los Angeles that showcases the city’s best chefs.
The dinners are a bit pricey, but I’ve been wanting to go to one for months!
We arrived about 6:30 and were greeted with cocktails. I went for the Muddled Basil on the left.
Soon hor d’oeuvres started rolling out.
Gruyere & Mushroom Quiche – I mean, there was puff pastry on the bottom. How could you not like it? And the little ball of fluffy egg was stuffed with mushrooms. I’m still not sure how they got the mushrooms in the center of the egg ball. I looked for a hole…there wasn’t one. Magic.
‘Nduja Pop Tart – This one I was in love with. I had never heard of ‘Nduja before, but it was described to me as spreadable pepperoni. (insert thumbs up emoji)
Then the dinner got started.
1st course: Radish, Fennel, Fluke Crudo, Garden Pesto, Finger Lime & Sesame Seed paired with a white wine. You can barely see the finger limes in the picture below (clear, little balls near the middle of the plate), but they look like caviar and burst in your mouth with intense lime flavor. Chef Brandi said they are from Australia.
At Aces of Taste events, before the courses come out you have a chance to go back to the kitchen and see the chefs preparing them…that’s one of the interactive parts of the dinner.
This is Chef Brandi Key prepping the 2nd course.
2nd Course: Pan Fried Cornbread, Revival Market Country Ham, Ricotta, Pickled Green Strawberry, Arugula paired with White Wine. I’m such a cornbread lover, so this was my favorite course of the night!
3rd course: This course was a surprise course that wasn’t on the menu. Ricotta gnocchi + pickled corn + saffron + micro basil + saffron broth.
That is a giant tray of gnocchi Chef Rebecca is holding. Dreams do come true<33.
4th Course: Roasted Lamb Chop, Globe Carrots, Curried Yogurt, Carrot Top Pesto paired with Red Wine.
The carrots still had some of the stems attached to the top and for some reason I thought they tasted so good. AND there were crispy, roasted carrot chips to garnish.
4th Course: DESSERT. Duck Fat Donuts, Meyer Lemon, Cassis Fruity Pebbles paired with champagne.
So fluffy and lemony. The pastry Chef of the evening was Chef Rebecca Masson who described herself as “a pastry chef learning to cook.” She owns Fluff Bake Bar, which is opening a storefront soon that will serve plated desserts paired with beer & wine. Sounds like a perfect date night to me.
After dinner there was a quick Q&A session with the chefs.
The creator of Aces of Taste is Ahrif Sarumi. I’ve been to one other event put on by him and he seems to always asks the chefs, “When you have people come to town, where do you take them?” I love this question.
Chef Brandi said Laredo Taqueria…so I’ll be adding it to the list of places I must try.
Such a fun event that was made even better because I got to spend some time with Claire!