Executive Chef Daniel Pliska of the University Club of Missouri (C&RB, April 2008,) has lined up his club to host a series of themed dinners for the Central Missouri Chapter of the American Culinary Federation (ACF). This year, an “Asian Food Summit” was held in November; next year, the focus will be on Latin American cooking.
Local restaurants and expert guest chefs were part of the first Asian program, which started at lunchtime and featured demonstrations and samples throughout the afternoon, before ending with a multi-course dinner. Reservations could be made for individual meals, or at a special full-day price.
“It was a great event in the way of public relations, training and giving back through the ACF, as well as creating a base to build on future events for our members, ACF members and culinary staff members,” says Pliska. “The club helped to defray the costs through a $500 gold sponsorship. We had about 60 people attend the events that were held during the day, and 100 for the dinner that night. The members loved it, and it added an event like no other in the area.”
The Asian Food Summit showcased the regional culinary expertise of such world-renowned chefs as Khai Duong, Executive Chef of Ana Mandara in San Francisco; Jim Murray, recipient of the ACF President’s Medallion; and Chinese Master Chef Bill Sy.
As the day’s events kicked off in the club’s ballroom, booths featured products from local Columbia restaurants and businesses, and of course the University Club itself. Guests were treated to such Asian-inspired flavors as seafood dumplings, beef short rib canapés, freshly rolled sushi, and tea-smoked duck stir-fry.
At the opening reception, Chefs Duong and Sy gave culinary demonstrations, and Chef Sy’s dishes were part of the multi-course meal that followed. The main event also featured a variety of traditional Asian entertainment.