NEW YORK, NY :: FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER // 1 of 6 head chefs tonight, persian palate, ngi, prep, excitement

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Today feels like Christmas.

Not because the weather is cold outside (it’s actually quite beautiful in NYC today), it’s because I’m too excited to sleep!

Tonight is my debut as one of the Head Chefs for tonights Friday Night Dinner at my culinary school The Natural Gourmet Institute! #yay #unreal#omg

I mean, I always wondered what the featured chefs feel like on the day of their James Beard Foundation dinner– is it just another night in the kitchen? Or do they wake up feeling like Christmas morning?

Personally I feel like Santa Claus today. I am going to be showering 100 guests with homemade saffron icecream, freshly cut pieces of pistachio-almond brittle, hand rolled phyllo triangles, pickled torshi, the works!

TODAYS SCHEDULE: As you know, our theme is Persian. I’m heading into the kitchen today to execute the rest of the menu in time for service tonight. The waitstaff comes at 4pm to transform the NGI Kitchen into a Persian Dining Room, guests arrive at 6:30pm, and service will start as soon as they’re seated. Did you see the pre-fixe menu above?

THE DAY BEFORE THE DINNER: We are a team of 10, and last night we prepped for 9 straight hours. If we took a break, we were standing; if we finished one project, we were onto the next. Just call us Team Machines. I spent a majority of the night stirring my saffron icecream to perfection, rolling sheets of pistachio-almond brittle onto marble, and folding 200 pieces of phyllo dough. Very grateful to have worked with such a stellar prep team.

WHAT IM FEELING NOW: It’s 9:30am and I’ve already been awake for two hours. The event has been sold out for weeks and my family will be among the guest diners, which makes this night even more exciting. Chefs Elliot Prag, Jay Weinstein, Chloe Coscarelli and Olivia Roskowski will be dining too! Thanks to all of their support, I am holding myself personally accountable for their dining experience tonight- fingers crossed for a great service! Ahh I can’t believe I’m cooking for 100 people @#$%$%^$&#! It’s go time Team Machines!

PS: Sorry for the lack of photography, too busy cooking. Tonight I will take pictures!


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  • WAY TO GO CHEF!! 110% watering mouth while reading your menu.
    *in bocca al lupo*!