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Chef’s Table Featuring Riverside High School

Chef’s Table Featuring Riverside High School



chefs table

From left to right:  Marwa Mangal, Jessica Troilo, Chef Ferrier, and Ashley Jones

Roasted Cauliflower and Arugula Salad | Oma’s Chicken Pot Pie | Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse with Berries


This week we had another delicious 3-course meal prepared by Chef Ferrier, as well as wine pairings selected by our Chief Wine Officer, Mary Watson.  This Chef’s Table was a special one, because it celebrated the winners of Riverside High School’s Iron Chef Competition.  The winning group, composed of Ashley Jones, Marwa Mangal, and Jessica Troilo, helped prepare the entrée for guests.

Chef Ferrier and John Walsh, our Food and Beverage Director, were given the opportunity to judge the competition.  They judged based on Riverside High School’s Family and Consumer Sciences Curriculum.   The competition was completed in groups allowing the students to work together to prepare creative and delicious dishes for the judges.  The winning group was awarded with a private Chef’s table and the opportunity to help prepare the main entrée in The National’s commercial kitchen. The students were accompanied by their families and their teacher, Deborah Kelley.

The first course was a roasted cauliflower and arugula salad with lentils and dates paired with White Doe wine. The cauliflower was roasted with cumin and coriander, and the lentils were boiled in a homemade vegetable broth. The salad was topped with a Tahini Dressing, which was made with tahini, sesame seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.  Lastly, the salad was garnished with pickled red onion that brought additional flavor, acidity, and sweetness.

The entrée was prepared by the winning group.  This recipe was Ashley’s grandmother’s recipe, Oma’s Chicken Pot Pie.  For their competition, they had required ingredients, one of which was rice. Instead of a traditional chicken pot pie, the competitors incorporated the rice to add another dimension of flavor.   The chicken pot pie was a great comfort food that brought each of our guests back to our Grandmother’s kitchen.     With the thyme that was incorporated in the creamy gravy of the Chicken Pot Pie, the wine that was chosen by Mary was a perfect addition to the course.   The wine paired with our entrée was a Higher Ground Pinot Noir, and was selected to enhance the flavors of the dish.

To tie the evening together, Chef Ferrier created a delicious chocolate hazelnut mousse atop fresh berries. The mousse had a light, airy texture with a rich, nutty taste.   The sweetness of the berries underneath tied the dish together to make it an absolutely stunning combination.  Mary Watson was able to make this desert even better by pairing it with the Mia Sparkling Moscato.  The sweetness of the wine and the sweetness of the dessert complimented each other in a way that brought the perfect balance of sweetness to the dish.   For those underage, Mary paired juices and sparkling juices to accompany each dish.

The night was full of delicious food and laughter.  The National was honored to be able to spend the evening with such talented young students.  We thank them for joining us, and hope to see them again soon.

Here at The National we take pride in partnering with our community by offering the opportunity to enjoy Chef’s Tables, catered events, and culinary teambuilding programs.  We host Chef’s Tables on the fourth Thursday of every month, so contact us to reserve a spot at our next Chef’s Table!


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