Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Night with a Top Chef

For anyone who is slightly addicted to Top Chef, you will appreciate my excitement over having dinner prepared by famous chef Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin in New York and Westend Bistro at the Ritz-Carlton Washington DC. I should probably come clean and admit that Chef Ripert did not prepare dinner just for me (although that would be nice). I was lucky enough to be a guest (along with many of the city's other top event planners) at a dinner hosted by The Ritz-Carlton in Washington DC to showcase Ripert's new Fall menu.

Let me just say that the Ritz-Carlton knows how to do things right! Using only a portion of their ballroom, they draped the walls from floor to ceiling in chocolate brown fabric and ran a single table down the length of the room. The rich brown linens and chairs from Party Rental continued the look of opulence and set off the stunning white and green floral arrangements from Greenworks that created a virtual runner down the table. Gorgeous lighting added the finishing touch to the breathtaking room. This is my new favorite idea for a unique rehearsal dinner spot! More private than a restaurant and with Ritz-Carlton food and service--what's not to love?

If the setting was stunning, the food was equally so. Starting with a lobster cappuccino (lighter than a bisque but with lots of chunks of lobster) that I could have happily swam in and continuing with a delightful salad of seared tuna and greens, guests then chose between a butter-light halibut and a rack of lamb that Chef Ripert promised was raised humanely and lived a happy life. The Chef emphasized the use of locally raised and organic food, which is a big plus since Engaging Affairs is going more and more eco-friendly. The meal ended with a heavenly chocolate, peanut and caramel tart.

Chef Ripert was as charming as he is handsome, and more than one woman at the event checked for his wedding ring (there is one). Our hats are off to the delicious Chef Eric Ripert and the amazing Ritz-Carlton staff (we must mention the divine Debrajean Overholt) for an amazing evening. Check out these stunning photos by Regati's.