This week, I went to a dinner event hosted by DinnerTool.com and featuring Chef Ariane Duarte, who runs the restaurant CulinAriane in Montclair, NJ (now Ariane Kitchen & Bar in Verona, NJ). After learning about DinnerTool.com, a site that helps answer the question, “What’s for Dinner?”, Chef Duarte took us back into her kitchen and showed us some basics fine cooking. (I cannot slice a shallot to save my life!) She discussed in depth how she selected her foods, how she used healthy, organic, farm-grown product, and grass-fed beef, and even told us about her time on Top Chef, her life as a chef, and about her team and her family. Chef Duarte was friendly, personable, and easy to talk to. I’m happy to say that I learned not only how to cut a shallot, but also how to brine, how prep a cut of beef, and how to sear scallops.
After this came the best part: the eating! Our dinner:
Pan Seared Day Boat Scallops, Mushroom Ragout, White Truffle Oil, Mushroom Syrup
Roasted Garlic Rub for Sirloin Steak
Creamed Cauliflower Spinach
Truffled Mashed Potatoes
Followed by dessert, which was not only my favorite (Flourless Chocolate Cake with a Homemade Whipped Cream) but also the best one I’ve ever had…and I’ve had a lot of these:
I was really excited and had a great time. If you’re even in Montclair, NJ, I suggest you call CulinAriane and make dinner reservations! A great big thank you to Chef Ariane, her staff, and the team at DinnerTool.com for making this event possible!