What.a.night. Prior to my first Board meeting with the American Institute of Wine & Food, I was one of a few Boston bloggers fortunate to be invited into the kitchen at the Four Seasons Hotel. Being that it was such a warm evening, I took the train to Park Street and walked across Boston Common to the Four Seasons where I arrived early enough to get some shots of its classic beauty.
For those of you not familiar with the Four Seasons, it overlooks the Boston Public Garden. Back when the hotel hosted their weekly bubbly bar, I was a frequent guest and enjoyed sipping bubbly and eating truffle popcorn, looking out that this view.
Ahhh, that winter light again. This photo was taken after 5:00. It absolutely fills me with joy that it is staying lighter, longer. Spring will be here soon!
The inside of the Four Seasons is just as lovely as its views. Attention to detail and service are impeccable.
This beautiful flower display near the entrance of the Bristol Lounge further reminded me of spring and added a brightness and a freshness to the hotel’s very classic interior.
Our Four Seasons hosts led us through the bar and the restaurant that was the famed Aujourd’hui to a place none of us had been before. . . the Four Seasons kitchen!
It was beautifully set up for our group, with candles, snacks, and of course, wine.
I didn’t catch what Chardonnay this was, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It did not have a hint of buttery or oaky flavor at all. We were also presented with souvenir aprons. I desperately needed an apron and was excited to bring this one home!
The Four Seasons’ Executive Chef Brooke Vosika gave us a little bit of background on himself and the hotel’s cuisine. Needless to say, we were all captivated with his introduction, and we were all snapping photos like crazy.
The menu for the evening included Nantucket Bay Scallop Chowder, Chicken and Truffle Dumplings, and Warm Chocolate Cake. Chef started on the chowder right away, and we got to watch him work his magic at the stove. This chowder was incredibly quick and seemed very easy. Chef’s secret ingredient? Gin. He said it reminded him of gin and tonics on Nantucket in the summer, and it does add a unique juniper flavor to the chowder. It was light and lovely.
While we watched Chef cooking, we were served Buffalo Brussels Sprouts.
Just one of my favorite vegetables ever, fried, with a kick, with a creamy sauce. Heaven!
When I got back to my spot at the table, my wine glasses were filled again, this time one was a glass of Chef Vosika’s own homemade wine. Chef explained to us that he has all sorts of hobbies like making wine and sausage and this year, curing his own olives. He said he is busy but loves what he is doing, so it is fun. That made me smile.
As did this beautiful little cup of chowder. It was so comforting yet light, with perfectly cooked bay scallops. I hope I can do as good a job at home.
Back at our stations, we started in on the beautiful cheese board awaiting us.
We weren’t there long until Chef offered to show us where the Four Seasons dry ages their meat. I am not a beef-eater, but I could not pass up an experience like this!
There was a LOT of meat dry ageing in there!
Back at our prep station again, eating, and taking photos again.
This time around, I was able to get a little closer to this beautiful display.
And Chef asked if anyone wanted to break down a chicken. Megan was the only eager volunteer, and she went right in there, breaking the chicken down like a Top Chef!
She needed very little instruction from Chef Vosika. What a pro!
While Megan was working, the rest of us were eating more. . . here a tender pork belly with an Asian flair. It was the perfect bite.
There was some more prep work for the chicken portion of the meal.
And then the Four Seasons’ Pastry Chef started talking dessert, warm chocolate cake to be specific. As he prepped the cake, he told us the countless types of centers these little cakes could have, like peanut butter cups and fudge. I think I can do this!
I did have to leave the event early and missed the actual eating of the chicken and dessert courses, but the folks at the Four Seasons did not send me home empty-handed. In addition to the apron and the recipes, they also gave us a bag with macarons and gourmet chocolates from Norman Love Confections. My husband and I shared the macarons, which were perfect for a bite each, last night.
These chocolates might be too pretty to eat. . .
Or maybe I will do an entire post on their beauty AND deliciousness. Only time will tell.
As you can see, the Four Seasons provided us with an unforgettable experience. I love their luxurious surroundings, great food and wine, and warm welcome and look forward to eating at the Bristol Lounge soon. . . Burgers and Burgundy, anyone?
Now if we can only get them to bring back bubbly bar. . .
Last night was an amazing culinary experience for me. Do you have a really memorable experience related to one of your hobbies or passions? A run in with a celeb or something else?