Last week the Accidental Locavore won a TupperClub dinner for two for writing a haiku (mine’s the second one) on Eater.com about a bad dinner experience. My prize? Chef Michael White of Maera and Ai Fiori preparing a four course dinner in a “pop-up dining experience” for Tupperware’s Art of Conversation dinners. Tupperware wants you to have a new vision of the classic Tupperware party, and this was certainly the place! The venue was a floor-through penthouse on the 56th floor of the Setai tower on Fifth Avenue with 360 degree views. Imagine the Empire State Building staring you down as you sip a flute of champagne.
But you don’t really care about the views do you? You want to know about the food, right? To start there was a cocktail hour with signature Tupperware cocktails (in very cool Tupperware glasses), champagne and passed hors d’oeuvres. The best of them? The tiny tater-tots that turned out to be fois gras, lightly breaded and fried, that melted wonderfully in your mouth. Makes me think about getting a deep-fryer, although fois gras any way always tastes amazing.
The dinner was served on the other end of the penthouse and started out with bits of lobster over burrata (a very creamy mozzarella, think butter) with grape tomatoes. Lobster and burrata is a less obvious (and maybe less messy) way of having lobster and butter, so of course it was delicious. That was followed by a pasta course of cavatelli with shrimp, calamari and basil. The interesting part of the pasta was tiny crunchy bits adding texture to the dish. If you’ve ever had a hunk of Parmesan, it was like the little crystallized bits you get. I asked Chef White about them and he said they were the soft insides of white bread, toasted in butter and olive oil. Definitely try it in your next pasta dish!
For the main course, veal loin in a pancetta cream sauce with cipollini onions, giving it sweetness, and grilled endive adding a contrast to the sweet and smoky. I don’t know whether Chef White makes his own pancetta, but it was much more flavorful than your usual pancetta. This is a dish that the Accidental Locavore would definitely try, although after reading the recipe for it, how can you go wrong with a quart of heavy cream for four people?
Dessert was a baba au rhum with tropical fruit and a coconut cream. I’m not usually fond of things soaked in alcohol, but the baba seemed to be soaked more in butter, than rum, so fine. All in all a lovely dinner with some wonderful Italian wines matched to the food.
I’m sure you’ve all been to events and given goodie bags when you leave. Well, you haven’t seen anything to match the gift bags we got when we left. Let me put it this way, I could barely lift it (hope my trainer’s not reading this). There was every piece of equipment you would need to recreate the dinner, all the recipes (except for dessert), and plenty of Tupperware to store leftovers in. If you haven’t seen Tupperware in a while, you’ll be really surprised at how upscale and good looking a lot of it is. My biggest issue? Where on earth to store it in a NYC apartment!
Thanks to Tupperware for a great evening and if you’d like to know about the event that prompted the haiku, comment below, and I’ll fill you in, OK?