Lutèce; courtesy of chef André Soltner (wearing toque).
The legendary New York City French restaurant Lutèce closed in 2004, but it will be reborn for one night only, on April 16, to benefit University Settlement. Alsace native André Soltner—now the dean of classic studies at the International Culinary Center—opened Lutèce in 1961, just as America’s obsession with food and cooking was beginning. “When we opened 50 years ago, there were restaurants that served canned or frozen food. We were very focused on the best ingredients you can get,” remembers the pioneering chef. During his 35 years behind the stove, Soltner’s celebrity and flawless classic French cuisine attracted New York’s glitterati and the country’s most respected food lovers, including Julia Child.
Soltner will bring back the spirit of Lutèce by orchestrating an extravagant French wine dinner of iconic dishes such as seafood en croûte and tournedos Rossini: filet mignon with foie gras and Madeira sauce. The cost for entry to this once-in-a-lifetime reboot (with dessert from Jacques Torres) starts at $3,000, which will aid the University Settlement’s many programs aimed at uplifting low-income families and immigrants through education, decent housing, and improving physical and emotional well being. Tickets here.
For those whose interest in the French classics is piqued, we asked Soltner to describe some of the incredibly complex dishes that wowed guests during his restaurant’s prime. “People nowadays think classic French cuisine was heavy, but when it was done the right way then it was not. It was very tasty,” he says. Click through the slideshow to see the Endangered French Classics.
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Chef Dan Barber. // © Andrew Hetherington
While the Euro may still exist, and kitchen refrigerators aren’t posting online status updates just yet, other predictions made during The World in 2012 Festival hosted last year by The Economist proved to be on point—like the euro-zone crisis and Facebook's first public offering. With global hunger issues on the rise, and today's chefs garnering as much attention as rock stars, the future of food will be a hot topic at this year's The World in 2013 Festival, held December 6 and 8 in NYC. Chef-activist and writer Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns will discuss the current global food crisis, focusing on issues of worldwide obesity, agricultural sustainability and soaring food prices.
Facebook co-founder Sean Parker and Daniel Ek, founder of social music platform Spotify, are slated to kick off the two-day event with a technology and society panel at Thursday’s gala dinner. A roster of notable figures in politics, business, science and the arts—including chef Barber—round out the line-up on Saturday, leading discussions and debates on topics ranging from human nature to issues in energy, health care and the world’s emerging economies.
The Economist is selling full package tickets for both Thursday night’s dinner and Saturday’s speaker panels for $550. Separate tickets are $495 and $75, respectively. A schedule of the festival’s events, speakers and topics is available here.
Follow Jasmin on Twitter @jasminsun.
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Ceviche at Pestle & Mortar // © Jasmin Sun
“Especially in NYC, you don’t always have time to eat at a restaurant—sometimes you just need to grab something and go,” says Will Edwards of Peruvian-inspired Pestle & Mortar, which was among the finalists for best market vendor at the eighth annual Vendy Awards on Saturday.
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© Lucy Schaeffer / Creamy Shrimp Casserole
Top food bloggers will cook to fight hunger at a public event this Friday. Recipe site Cookstr and crowd funder Zokos are teaming up to throw an innovative charity potluck that will include dishes from The Artful Gourmet's Kristen Hess, JustcookNYC's Justin Schwarz and the team behind Rendezfoods. Attendees must RSVP through Zokos by noon tomorrow with a $20 donation to get unlimited drinks from Brooklyn Brewery, Vinport and Red Jacket Juice as well as blogger-cooked offerings. Those inspired to do so can also bring their own favorite sharable dishes. The event will run from 6 to 8 p.m. at Cookstr’s downtown New York headquarters, and all proceeds will go to City Harvest, an organization working to end hunger in New York City.
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