Last Monday was quite the exciting day in my world of all things food. It began at 7AM as I arrived to the ABC studio set of The Chew. A first television appearance for this blogger, the friendly staff of the daytime television show asked me to appear in a pasta challenge. Although the initial thought of making an oyster pasta dish did spring into mind, I immediately reconsidering on the grounds that Mario Batali, the Pasta Masta as Chef Michael Symon likes to refer to him, would be tasting my dish. There was no taking chances.

After rave reviews by the guests at a recent holiday gathering, my vegetable lasagna cupcakes seemed to be the most fitting dish for this pasta challenge.  A small bites spin on the classic, the recipe uses wonton wrappers instead of noodles, seasonal vegetables, lots of cheese and a good sauce. Baked in mini muffin tins, it’s a fun way to serve an otherwise hearty dish.

So here I was competing while Mario Batali and Michael Symon were judging. A nervous wreck, I tried to keep cool while mingling with these two Iron Chefs.  And as they both took bites of my mini creation, it couldn’t have made me happier to see them nod and smile. Although my pasta was not the winner, the experience was incredible. Perhaps next time I can win them over with an oyster recipe.

After a few hours at the office doing some real day-to-day work, it was off to the Zagat 30 Best Chefs under 30 Party, but not before making a quick stop at Lure Fishbar for some happy hour oysters and cocktails. What better way to celebrate a great morning and kick off the fun evening ahead. They special oysters that day were Blue Points and they were plump and beautiful. After a dozen of those and a perfectly shaken grapefruit margarita, it was off to our next stop

The Zagat 30 Under 30 was held at the beautiful Mondrian Soho Hotel. With a glass enclosed ceiling, it was a celebratory event under the New York City sky. As we sipped wine, indulged in a variety of delicious passed hors d’oeuvres and conversed with the young talents, the reflection of day was simple perfection. It began with two chefs I have admired for so many years and ended with thirty brand new ones. Looks like there is a whole lot of eating to be done!

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Posted under: Oyster Main, The Blog

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