All of the SF Chefs 2012 Dinner Party Projects are pretty amazing events with great pairings of chefs. But to me, none is more exciting than the second in the series featuring the return to San Francisco of legendary chef Jeremiah Tower.
Dubbed “Stars Realigned,” the meal will feature Tower rejoining some of his longtime friends and chefs that worked with him at Stars: Jan Birnbaum of Epic Roasthouse, Mark Franz, Parke Ulrich and Emily Luchetti at Waterbar, and restauranteur Pat Kuleto.
Tower, who is now retired, is one of the key figures in the culinary history of San Francisco. He is known by many as one of the founders of “California cuisine,” and was the first chef at Chez Panisse before opening Stars in 1984. The restaurant would become one of the most successful in San Francisco.
Jan Birnbaum said that when they were first approached about the possibility of a reunion, they jumped at it.
“We all keep in touch with Jeremiah. Really, what’s more natural than this group getting together,” he said. “This is 30 years of friendship, just friends getting together to cook.”
It was truly amazing talking to Birnbaum as I could really here the reverence in his voice when he talked about his friends and the upcoming dinner. He said that many of the young chefs on his own line at Epic don’t truly understand the role Tower played in shaping the Bay Area’s culinary landscape.
“There are only 8-10 in the entire country that turned things into a whole different consciousness and Jeremiah was one of them. He had respect for the entire experience of being a chef. He made being a chef a respectable career,” he said.
Pastry Chef Emily Luchetti, who worked with Tower at Stars, said it is going to be a special night.
“It’s just a night where a group of friends are cooking together, something that is truly unique to San Francisco. It’s just not something that is really common,” she said. “I think it will truly be special for the guests, but just as special for us as well.”
The festivities will begin with hors d’ oeuvres, champagne and an apertif at Waterbar followed by a six-course meal with wine pairings at Epic Roasthouse next door. Fellow Bay Area culinary legends Narsai David and Cecelia Chiang will also be in attendance and guests can expect a question and answer session at some point during the evening. It is sure to be a memorable and epic night.
The dinner is being held on Thursday, June 21 at 6 p.m. Below is the menu for the night, wine pairings included.
6pm Hors d’ oeuvres
Krug, Brut, France, Grand Cuvée Campari Nigroni
7:15pm Dinner at Epic
Wood Oven Roasted Shellfish
Didier Dagueneau, France, Pouilly-Fumé, Silex 2009
Whole Wild Sturgeon Lobster, Caviar
Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey, France, Chassagne-Montrachet, 1er Cru, Les Caillerets 2008
Cinnamon Smoked Rotisserie Squab Fluffy Potato Pancake, Brandied Cherries
Domaine Dujac, France, Gevrey-Chambertin, 1er Cru, Aux Combottes 2008
Williams Selyem, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Rochioli Riverblock 2005
Julienne Trifecta of Endive Treviso, Red Endive, Yellow Endive, Sausalito Springs Water Cress, Hazelnuts Ruinart,
Brut Rosé, France, Reims NV
Aged Wagyu Rib Eye Lightly Pickled Apricots, Haricots Vert in Buerre Noisette and Potatoes Pave
Château d’Yquem, Sauternes, France, 1er Grand Cru Classé 1989
Emily’s Summer Berry Pudding crème fraiche
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Demi-Sec, France NV
Photo Credit: Jeremiah Tower