By guest blogger and New York writer Seanan Forbes:
Nothing bears as powerful testimony to the talent of a chef as having
a crew that can maintain your standard. If your crew can do that and
keep smiling, then you're doing your job right.
Her flight was delayed. She'd planned to be in New York at 3 p.m. At 7 in the evening, the chef was still in transit.
At work stations across Avery Fisher Hall's lobby and grand promenade,
preparations for the gala were underway. With no captain at their
help, Naha's cooks were keeping up the pace, and smiling as they did so.
Naha's contribution to the festivities: cured ice-caught Great Lakes
whitefish and Door County golden whitefish caviar with crème frâiche,
candied Meyer lemon, bull's blood greens and Lebanese-seeded fattoush.
On the page, it looks complicated, but every element is needed. The
dish had taste and texture and (joyfully, in a drippy New York City
evening) the scents and shades of spring.
It received a reception as enthusiastic as any concert ever played in
the hall. Ingredients, execution and a delighted audience - no wonder
Nahabedian, who got to gala with plenty of prep time to spare, was