Alan Favini, the chef we adore, is back. Despite his packed working schedule (eighteen hours a day), he managed to squeeze in a few hours to give us an exceptional graduation dinner. Once again, Alan wowed us with his mouthwatering and aesthetically compelling dishes.
After a typical party-starting scene: chatting, drinking, taking pictures, and congratulating the graduates, the dinner kicks off with Roasted Beet Salad with Shallot and Balsamic. What makes Alan’s salad distinctive is the way he pulls off the basic taste-essence: bitter, sweet and sour. The initial taste of the popcorn shoots (white strips on top as shown in the photo) is bitter, but the flavor becomes a sweet sensation almost instinctly inside our mouth. He added a slightly sour Balsamic dressing not only to complement the sweet and bitter tang of the fusion vegetables, but also to balance the visual presentation by providing a yellow element to the green composition.
The visual aesthetic only gets better, and the Lobster Bisque with Brie Toasts is evidence. The beautiful orange soup is creamy and rich in texture. My favorite part of this portion is not only the soup but also the crunchy piece of bisque topped with cheese, cherry tomatoes, and lobster meat that had been flamed by a splash of Cognac. Dipping the bisque inside the soup and put it my mouth is just heaven-sent.
The main course, Stuffed Lobster Tail with Mushroom Risotto and Baby Vegetables, showcases Alan’s culinary style and a passion for his craft. The dish has a delicious savor and exquisite presentation. Like a painter who captures his art on a canvas, Alan captures his art on a plate. The arrangement is simple but striking. Obviously, the lobster tail is the best part, but the rice, which enhanced by the fragrance of wine, is no less impressive. The wine flavored rice is a perfect accompaniment to the tender, sweet, and meaty lobster. The only thing I needed to wash down these great food is a glass of wine.
As a visual guy, I love the process of making art; therefore, I did not waste an opportunity to watch Alan in action. From the timing, to the precision in measuring, to the meticulous attention to the details in seasoning and decorating, Allen gave me a deeper appreciation for the art of culinary. Just from watching him cook, I wanted to become a chef; however, I am more of a taster than a baker, and I can’t handle eighteen hours a day like he does. What inspires me the most is the way Alan controls his production in professional manor. He prepped up twenty fresh and hot dishes on the spot without breaking a sweat. With his level of skills, he could easily start his own catering company for small parties like ours. In fact, he should open a restaurant to push his art to a higher level.