Monday, December 16, 2013
WITH TIM GRAHAM, EXECUTIVE CHEF, TRAVELLE & ANTHONY ZAMORA, EXECUTIVE CHEF, THE LANGHAM, CHICAGO
Known as the first “Grand Hotel” of Europe, The Langham Hotel is now in Chicago! This member of The Leading Hotels of the World promises our Chapter an evening of “traditional elegance, contemporary innovation and genuine hospitality,” the hallmark of the brand.
Holiday Fête at Langham Chicago
On December 16, 2013, eighty members of the Chicago bailliage attended a festive Holiday Gala Dinner at The Langham, Chicago, the city’s newest luxury hotel located in a 52-story Mies van der Rohe landmark building.
The evening began with a reception on the balcony overlooking the sophisticated second floor hotel lounge. A diverse offering of delicious hors d’oeuvres were served: ahi tuna tartare “push pops” with avocado cream; cauliflower panna cotta with white sturgeon caviar; lobster arancini with lemon crème fraîche; and lamb merguez kofta kabobs with cucumber yogurt. Gosset Brut Excellence NV Champagne accompanied these delectable bites.
Following the reception, members moved to the Langham’s expansive Devonshire Ballroom with its 22-foot ceilings and views of the Chicago River. Guests were seated at eight 10-tops and learned from the program that a different Langham chef created each of the six courses. Dinner service began promptly with an amuse bouche—foie gras torchon accompanied by cassis pâte de fruits, pistachio and cubeb peppercorn—the work of Chef Jason Hedin. A 1994 Balthasar Ress Hochheimer Domdechaney Riesling Spätlese accompanied this dish.
Dame Evelyn Arkebauer gave a warm and welcoming toast after Champagne was poured, a 2004 Pierre Moncuit Brut Millésime Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs. The first course was Ahi Tuna Niçoise crudo, quail egg, haricot vert and olive vinaigrette. Chef Tim Graham, who helms the Langham’s full-service restaurant, Travelle, produced this contemporary take on a Côte d’Azur classic.
For the second course, we enjoyed duck confit with butternut squash and smoked maple gastrique created by Anthony Zamora, Executive Chef of The Langham, Chicago. This dish was matched with a beautiful Burgundy—1996 Domaine des Perdrix Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru “Aux Perdrix.” Next, the Langham’s Executive Sous Chef, Damion Henry, presented guests with medallions of roasted venison loin, winter chard, chestnut purée and Medjool date jus. This dish paired with a classic Saint Julien Bordeaux, 1989 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou.
The Langham’s Banquet Sous Chef, Agustin Oliva, created our fourth course—Comte St. Antoine cheese, hazelnut honey, cocoa nib and mizuna, which paired with 2011 M. Chapoutier Hermiage Blanc “Chante-Alouette.” Finally, Pastry Chef Scott Green presented yogurt panna cotta, grape carpaccio, almond brittle and “honeycomb” that was complemented by 2001 Domaine des Baumard Quartes de Chaume.
Throughout the evening Vice-Conseiller Culinaire Christopher Koetke gave compelling wine commentary and the chefs provided insights into their dishes. At the end of the evening Bailli Mon Roldan acknowledged and thanked the Langham Team for the wonderful evening of fine food, wine and hospitality. Members left the convivial holiday atmosphere inspired to introduce friends to the urban sophistication and refined luxury of The Langham.