Chefs have a rep for being crass on the line--thumb through Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, and you'll get a good idea of what we're talking about. Yet somehow amid all the cussing, drinking and raunchy joke-telling, they're able to turn out mind-blowingly elegant menus.
The menu for the upcoming Idaho Foodbank benefit, A Chefs' Affaire, is a prime example. The first course features ground lamb "meatloaf" with kafta spices, polenta cake, fennel compote and strawberry gastrique. "Kafta spices," we learned after a lengthy Google sesh, is a Middle Eastern blend of cinnamon and sweet and hot peppers that's used to flavor balls of minced lamb or beef and onions. Another head-scratching menu item is also being served for the second course--vanilla butter-poached langostinos with watercress citrus salad. Langostinos, as it turns out, can refer to a number of species of small crustaceans in America or a few species of prawns in Spain.
But even if you don't know what half of the ingredients on the Chefs' Affaire menu are, you're guaranteed to be in good culinary hands. The five-course meal features local wine pairings and the expertise of chefs like BW's Randy King (Sysco Idaho), Dustin Williams (Solid), Luis Flores (Chandlers Steakhouse) and John Berryhill (Berryhill & Co.).
"It's the premiere fundraiser for the Idaho Foodbank, so there will be live and silent auctions as well," said Shauna Stonehocker, events coordinator at Idaho Foodbank. "The live auction features private dining packages from all the chefs that we have ... Some people are offering a five-course dinner in your home, some are doing a private luau at your home, some are doing it at their restaurant. There's about 12 different packages."
All tickets for A Chefs' Affaire must be purchased in advance, and all of the money raised will help fund foodbank programs.