For foodies, it doesn’t get much more prestigious than James Beard. The Foundation — and its historic house in New York City’s Greenwich Village — is renowned for celebrating the nation’s best in food, spirits, restaurants, and chefs.
Now, the organization is hosting an all-star vegan dinner in NYC later this month, and it’s already sold out. The dinner will feature the culinary stylings of chefs Jay Astafa of Jay Astafa Catering + Events; Daphne Cheng of Ladybird and Mother of Pearl; Chloe Coscarelli of by Chloe; and Adam Sobel of The Cinnamon Snail — and it was curated by Veganizer NYC’s Kiki Adami.
The root-to-stem menu (meaning, every piece of the vegetable is used) will include six courses in total. The dinner was dreamed up after Adami had dinner with renowned animal activist, investor, and winery owner Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni.
“Randomly he invited the VP of James Beard House; it was so serendipitous,” says Adami. “Really they took an interest in Veganizer and pursued me more than anything.”
Castiglioni is providing his organic, biodynamic Querciabella wines for the dinner. Plus, the first-ever vegan champagne — Duval-Leroy — will be served with the hors d’oeuvres.
“I curated the chef list, I organized the menu with the chefs and I’m handling all the PR and organization, so essentially I’m producing the event,” says Adami. ” The James Beard House has an in-house staff group, and they’re going to be providing that plus plates and a commercial kitchen and ticket sales; everything else is Veganizer’s role.”
Adami was amazed at how quickly the groundbreaking event caught on. “They [JBH] announced it on February 1st and they sent the newsletter out a week later. So as soon as it was announced it sold out within 48 hours,” she says.
While the March 24th event is already sold out, foodies can drool over the menu from afar. It includes:
- Smoked and Char-Grilled Cauliflower Stalks with Fried Cauliflower Polenta, Roasted Lemon–Caper Caviar, and Micro-Basil
- Cauliflower Mousse with Fried Tapioca, Candied Shiso, and Chinkiang Vinegar
- Cauliflower Bisque with Basil Coulis, Truffle Croutons, and Black Lava Salt
- Tarragon, Cheddar, and Cauliflower Waffles with Morel-Crusted Cauliflower and Grilled Asparagus Aïoli
- Crispy Fried Taro–Lotus Root Bao with Yuzu Cream, Burdock Root Kimchi, and Pickled Root Vegetable Greens
- Amaranth Grains and Greens with Basil Seeds, White Pepper Ricotta, and Flowering Purple Ruffles Basil
- Carrot Risotto with Grilled Carrots, Vegan Yellow Carrot Parmesan, and Carrot Micro-Greens
- Beet Lasagna with Beet–Basil Ricotta, Sautéed Beet Greens, Caramelized Onions, and Butternut Squash–Roasted Garlic Cream
- Candied Strawberry; Chocolate–Earl Grey Meringue with Salted Hazelnut Crémeux and Hazelnut–Praline Dust; Matcha Tiramisù; and English Pea–Matcha Ice Cream
- Champagne Duval-Leroy Brut Reserve NV provided by Querciabella
- Agricola Querciabella Mongrana Maremma 2013
- Agricola Querciabella Batàr Toscana 2007
- Agricola Querciabella Chianti Classico 2014
- Agricola Querciabella Turpino Toscana 2011
- Agricola Querciabella Camartina Toscana 2005
(*An earlier version of this story mistakenly stated that this was the James Beard House’s first-ever vegan dinner.)