Elise, the Diva Chef Wims and Six Penn Kitchen Executive Chef Kevin Klingensmith
Flavors is a food event which provides a culinary experience that goes beyond the traditional gala and provides each table of attendees with a local chef who will prepare a multi-course dinner tableside. Each course showcases the signature dishes of the assigned chef, while helping to fund research, education and advocacy efforts of the American Liver Foundation.
Flavors was originated in 1991 by James Beard Award winning chef Christopher Gross in Phoenix. Chef Gross and other area chefs were interested in supporting the mission of the American Liver Foundation. To date, the event is hosted by the organization in 20 cities across the country and raises millions of dollars annually to support the work of the American Liver Foundation.
The executive director of the local division of the American Liver Foundation is Suzanna Masartis. Flavors Pittsburgh was initiated by Donato’s Owner and Executive Chef, Donato Coluccio, who serves as a co-chairman.
Donato’s Owner and Executive Chef Donato Coluccio
I had the pleasure of attending Flavors Pittsburgh 2013 held at The Westin convention center downtown. The environment was lively and stirred with excitement as anticipation built in the reception area as to what chef’s table we would be assigned to experience the unique multi course fair. After a no less than royal introduction, the double doors that enclosed our flavor destinations were opened, and the well-dressed crowd, myself included, eagerly made our way to our tables for the night.
I was assigned to table number 7, Six Penn Kitchen. The table was set in a U shape, and right off the bat I could tell that they were going for a medieval theme
by their costumes, and table décor made from rustic bread.
Six Penn Kitchen is operated by Executive Chef Kevin Klingensmith who’s known for preparing eclectic dishes such as Cracklin Pork Shank, and pineapple salad. Six Penn
Kitchen is an American Bistro style restaurant located downtown on Penn Avenue.
After chef introductions, the evening was well under way and Chef Kevin served up his first course. It was a salad made of wilted spinach, red and gold beets, pears, dried cherries, red onions, and goat cheese, drizzled in a cider dressing. I enjoyed the tartness that the cherries lent to the dish while the goat cheese was smooth and creamy, and the beets were perfectly cooked. Chef Kevin chose to pair this course with Meade, honey liquor.
Course #2 was Oxtail Consommé, paired with Domaine le Dive Grenache. I enjoyed that the meat was tender, and that the broth was light and clean, just as any consommé should be. I also enjoyed the powerful XO cheese used as a garnish, it was flavorful enough to ignite my taste buds, and it paired very well with his white wine choice.
Next up was course #3. It was Cod stew, with crab meat, langoustine, fingerling potatoes, and fire bread; paired with Morande Pinot Noir.
Course #4 was Confit duck leg with duck mousse, along with stuffed pork loin, and squash enveloped in a sweet glaze. It was paired with Cantine Barbaresco.
Course #5 was dessert; Pear custard, and mascarpone cheese, on a bed of fig jam, and topped with a beautiful fresh fig, and a caraway cookie. It was paired with Nebel Riesling. The fig jam was perfectly sweetened and had the mouth feel of applesauce. The mascarpone was cool and creamy, and the caraway cookie was very complimentary to the overall flavor of the dessert.
Bottom line, I give Flavors 5 out of 5 stars for ambiance, the food event was sparkling, the atmosphere was beautiful, and it was very well organized. What a great event, for a great cause!
Remember, food is fun! So make it your own. As always feel free to hit me up on twitter with your culinary questions @EliseTDC Have a FOOD weekend!