Valley Chef John du Toit to Cook at James Beard House

Embassy Suites’ Granada Bar and Grill’s Chef John du Toit will be joining executive chefs and culinary executive members from Crescent Hotels & Resorts in hosting an exclusive dinner at the renowned James Beard House. The chefs were selected based on their national and regional reputation and use of seasonal and/or local ingredients. The Spring Jam Session will occur on May 5th. The Spring Jam Session is a multi-course dinner and wine pairing event where chefs prepare an amazing dinner, as well as share their favorite playlist to cook to with attending dinner guests. The event will benefit the James Beard Foundation, which strives to celebrate, nurture, and preserve America’s culinary heritage and protect the future through programs that educate and inspire.

We recently attended a preview and practice run at the Embassy Suites’ Granada Bar and Grill. Chef John du Toit treated us to a menu full of delicious treats and flavor combinations, it featured:

  • Fresh Shell Fish (Hollywood Oyster, Manila Clam, Cherry Stone Clam, Garlic, White Wine, Ginger, S&P)
    Chef John du Toit Fresh Shell Fish

    Fresh Shell Fish

  • Foie Gras Open Face D.L.T (Foie Gras, Grilled Pineapple, Confit of Shallots & Tomatoes, Truffle Mayo, Arugula, Challa Bread)
    Foie Gras Open Face D.L.T

    Foie Gras Open Face D.L.T

  • Ahi Tuna (Kings Trumpet Mushroom, Ahi Poke, Radish, Turnip, Gooseberry)
    Ahi Tuna

    Ahi Tuna

  • Veal Ravioli (Veal Short Rib, Pea, Morel Mushrooms, Spicy Tomato Marinara, House Made Pasta Sheet)- Note: this is what Chef John du Toit will be preparing at the Spring Jam Session.
    Veal Ravioli

    Veal Ravioli

  • Raspberry Black Peppercorn Sorbet
    Raspberry Black Peppercorn Sorbet

    Raspberry Black Peppercorn Sorbet

  • Turbot (Pan Seared Turbot, Mushroom Walnut Mousse, Sweet Corn Sauce, Watercress, Carnival Cauliflower)
    Turbot

    Turbot

While everything was absolutely fantastic (the foie gras was perfection), we had two favorites: The Ahi Tuna and the Veal Ravioli. The Ahi Tuna was super fresh and well marinated. The mushroom served with it provided an excellent balance of texture and umami flavor. The Veal Ravioli was more of a deconstructed ravioli which didn’t bother us. The sauce was vibrant and acidic which toned down the richness of the veal. The pasta sheet was divine and we could have eaten several of these on our own!

We wish Chef John du Toit the best of luck! We know he and the team will rock it! For those who are interested in a comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at what goes on during these dinners, the James Beard Foundation now provides live stream video from three separate angles in the kitchen. The live stream will be available the night of the event starting at 6:15 p.m. and continues until the dessert course. To view the live stream, visit jbfkitchencam.org and or livestream.com under the James Beard Foundation account.

*The Geeks participated in a media event to facilitate this write-up; Information about the menu items was provided to us, opinions are wholly our own. View our Disclosure Policy for more info.

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