We are absolutely thrilled that Irene, the littlest Mei Mei, has made the James Beard list of semi-finalists for the third year in a row! As one of the Rising Stars on the list, Irene is one of a boatload of other ass-kicking chefs under 30 years old who are predicted to have an impact on the industry. It's exciting to have her up there with another Boston friend (we see you Juan!) and some incredibly talented folks from around the whole country (we see you Maya and Shuai!).

It has actually been only a few weeks since we saw Shuai even though he and his wife Corrie, who run Short Grain food truck together, live in Charleston, South Carolina. We were lucky enough to work with them and some of our other favorite people at, coincidentally, a James Beard Foundation dinner at the Beard House in New York. We wanted to share some of our favorite moments from the night in celebration of today's semi finalist announcement. 

The event was called F is for Fusion and I think this instagram post, by Irene,  explains it all best. 

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Took this snapshot of the Beard House program and menu for the today while standing right next to James Beard's kitchen! 

Our 'Mouthwatering Salad ' with Poached Chicken, Sichuan Peppercorns, Shiitakes, Celeriac and Scallions 

Our 'Mouthwatering Salad ' with Poached Chicken, Sichuan Peppercorns, Shiitakes, Celeriac and Scallions 

cafe sushi appetizer

One of our favorite bites from one of our favorite chefs - from Seizi of Cafe Sushi in Cambridge MA

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The menu, in very dim and intimate lighting... 

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Seizi's Kobujime Fluke with Red-Shiso Pickled Cranberry, paired with Ran's Coat of Arms with Aperol, Grapefruit, Absinthe and Passionfruit

Shuai's excellent Salmon Tataki with Black Garlic Vinaigrette, Preserved Lemon and Puffed Rice

Shuai's excellent Salmon Tataki with Black Garlic Vinaigrette, Preserved Lemon and Puffed Rice

James's phenomenal Whole Black Bass with Kabocha Squash, Ginger and Scallion Sauce and Preserved Green Strawberries. 

James's phenomenal Whole Black Bass with Kabocha Squash, Ginger and Scallion Sauce and Preserved Green Strawberries. 

The above dish, by James Mark of North, might just have been my favorite. He took a classic Chinese dish and both elevated it and changed it up with punchy preserved green strawberries. 

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#SQUADGOALS

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The aftermath. 

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