Where the Girls Were

September 18, 2009

fortune waterbar sign

I just got back from Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women’s Summit near San Diego. I and 4 other lucky female chefs were asked to cook one of the dinners at the conference. It was a blast!

The meal we cooked was organized in my favorite way to serve large crowds. All the chefs had full kitchens set up around the perimeter of the garden at the Four Seasons Hotel. The tables were in the middle and the 350 guests came to each of our stations to pick up their food.

Since I was the only pastry chef of course I had to do two desserts. (It was too hard to pick between chocolate and fruit so I did one of each.) I made the servings small so the women (and some men) could have one of each. I prepared Brown Butter Crepes with Raspberries, Vanilla Ice Cream and Orange Beurre Blanc and Chocolate Brownie Cakes with Caramel Sauce, Chantilly Cream and Candied Almonds.

The savory chefs and their food were as follows:

Anne Burrell, chef and TV Food Network, a Vegetarian dish with Farro.

Alexandra Guarnaschelli, chef at Butter restaurant in NYC and who also has a show just about to debut on the Food Network, Sautéed Shrimp with Crispy Rice.

Cindy Pawlcyn, chef owner of Mustards, Go Fish, and Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen all in Napa, Halibut with Red and Yellow Pepper Piperade.

Suzanne Tracht, chef and owner of Jar in Los Angles, grilled humongous pieces of Rib eye, thinly sliced them and served it with Horseradish Cream and Green Beans.

All their food was incredible. These women can cook!

The event was special on two levels. It was cool to be serving so many intelligent savvy women but also as chefs we got to hang out and cook together. We each spend most of the time in our own kitchens and don’t often have the opportunity to get out. We have all heard of each other and have eaten each other’s food but to do a dinner like this is a unique and fun experience. It is very motivating and I came back home inspired to create new desserts.

Here’s a picture of me with, Cindy Pawlcyn, Theresa, the pastry chef at Waterbar, and Noreen Morioka, an AMAZING graphic designer from Los Angeles. She came along for moral support and to help us all plate our food. If she ever wants to switch careers I would hire her in a minute.

Cindy, Theresa, Emily and Noreen

P.S. Don’t forget the ice cream sandwich sweepstakes is going on until the end of October. See last week’s blog for details.

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