Sunday, June 23, 2013

"Top Chef" Dinner Competition David Burke Townhouse Monday, July 1st

"Top Chef" Dinner Competition

Ed Cotton

Chef Ed Cotton's earliest childhood memories involve sitting on the kitchen counter in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the restaurant where his father was the executive chef. Seeing the energy of a thriving kitchen made Cotton realize that he wanted to be a chef. Long before making his way to New York City, Cotton worked in local restaurants in his hometown of Waltham, MA. In high school he got his first opportunity to work with Chef Todd English practicing and perfecting his knife and pastry skills at Olives and then helping to open Figs in Wellesley, MA. After four years, Cotton attended the Culinary Institute of America and became a second- generation graduate, following in his father's footsteps. He was rewarded several awards in national cooking competitions during his schooling. For his externship, he continued to work for Olives in Boston, nurturing close ties with the Olives Group. He proved himself talented, reliable and driven and received an offer to open the Olives Restaurant in the Bellagio Las Vegas. He accepted without looking back and earned the title of Sous Chef.
After his one year tenure in Las Vegas, Cotton moved back to Boston looking to establish connections in the east coast restaurant scene. Not long after settling back in Boston he was introduced to Chef Barbara Lynch and her newly opened and award-winning restaurant No. 9 Park located in Beacon Hill. While Cotton was Executive Sous Chef, Chef Barbara Lynch was awarded the "James Beard Award for Best Chef Northeast" in 2003. After several successful years at No. 9, Cotton was ready to test his skills in New York City.
Due to Cotton’s talents and experience, he received an opportunity to work under Chef Daniel Boulud at the highly regarded db Bistro Moderne and Restaurant Daniel in 2003. He honed his skills for over five successful years working as Executive Sous Chef. He was an integral part of the concept stage of Bar Boulud in Manhattan as well as the opening of db Brasserie at Wynn Las Vegas. After many successful years working for Chef Daniel Boulud he took the executive chef position at Veritas in the Flatiron District working closely with its wine director on executing a menu that was perfectly paired with its world renown wine list from the cellar of Park B. Smith, later Cotton joined Chef Laurent Tourondel at BLT Market located in the Ritz Carlton Central Park as Chef de Cuisine, a position he held for nearly two years before taking the helm at Plein Sud at the Smyth Hotel. During his time at Plein Sud Ed headed down to the nation’s capital of Washington, DC to compete on Bravo’s Emmy Award Winning Top Chef to film Season 7. Cotton cut his way thru the intense competition beating out many other talented chefs from the all over the country and advancing to clench a spot in the final four that took place in Singapore. In Singapore he embraced flavors, cuisine and culture of the country and plowed through his challengers and won every challenge that was put in front of him. He unfortunately finally got out cooked and missed obtaining the title of “Top Chef” landing him as runner up. Along with his TV appearance on Bravo’s Top Chef Cotton made his very first TV debut working alongside Iron Chef Cat Cora on the TV Food Networks “Iron Chef America” as her trusty red faced fierce sous chef for over the past 6 seasons. Cotton currently lives in NYC with his girlfriend Diana and their dog Mr. Simon. In the very near future Cotton hopes to be running one of the best restaurants / kitchens in NYC if not the country due to his vast training, experience and knowledge along with his passion for food, art and science.

Nikki Cascone

Nikki’s passion for the culinary industry sparked at the early age of 14. She soon sought a culinary degree, enrolling at the School of Culinary Arts in Atlanta, Georgia where she began building a stronger foundation in culinary technique. Following graduation, Nikki worked for several years within the restaurant groups of Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Shaun Doty and Anne Quatrano – all James Beard award-winning chefs. Having gained further understanding of the many elements that complete a dining experience, Nikki turned her attention to the art of wine and food pairings and achieved certification from both The Sterling Vineyards School of Service and Hospitality and the American Sommelier Association. She has created several successful, complete beverage programs including a Wine Spectator award winning List while at Sotto Sotto restaurant in Atlanta, GA. Nikki’s experience culminated in working the 2005 season as the Director of Food and Beverage at Yankee Stadium. Nikki then opened 24 Prince in SoHo, serving traditional American fare that was hailed for offering the right balance of style, comfort and creativity at an affordable price. Three years later Nikki was a popular chef’testant on Bravo’s Emmy winning show, TOP CHEF, bringing her culinary skills to the spotlight where she became a favorite on and off of the show.
The author of the popular blog, Nikki can be seen around the country participating in events, seminars, charity events as well as classes and demonstrations with her new Event and Production company, MotherCheffer a division of her Management company, Red Hook Hospitality. She is the Chef Consultant for the annual TOP CHEF TOUR- which travels to U.S. cities hosting the Top Chef Alumni in a live cooking challenge and The TOP CHEF KITCHEN – a 5 week pop up restaurant. Nikki is currently developing her first book (untitled) on smart, healthy cooking for babies, toddler and youth.
Think you know food and wine? Always wanted to be a judge on the Emmy-winning show Top Chef? This is your chance!
On July 1st, watch two Top Chef finalists battle for your vote as CultureHorde members sample a 6-course tasting menu at the acclaimed restaurant, David Burke Townhouse.
Each chef will create a bespoke 3-course menu, complete with wine pairings, which guests will sample and judge over the course of this private evening.
Event Details:
  • Two finalists from the Emmy-winning show Top Chef (Ed Cotton of Season 7 and Nikki Cascone of Season 4) will face off in a cooking competition exclusively for CultureHorde
  • Each chef will create their own 3-course menu (appetizer, entree and dessert), giving guests a 6-course tasting menu, complete with wine pairings
  • The chefs will present and explain their dishes, and guests will score each one
  • Guests will have the opportunity to watch the chefs and their teams at work in the kitchen
  • At evening’s end, the votes will be tallied and a "Top Chef" declared. Everyone will go home with the winner’s recipes!

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