Nobody from Arizona made the cut for the James Beard Awards' finalists lists earlier this week, but one local chef is getting an incredible chance for exposure to the culinary community at large.
Quiessence chef-owner Greg LaPrad just confirmed he will be a guest chef at the James Beard House in Manhattan this July. A board member from the James Beard Foundation nominated him, and another representative anonymously visited the restaurant to confirm the choice.
"James Beard is a true original hero of American cuisine," says LaPrad. "I've read his work since I was thirteen and receiving an invitation to cook in his home is the pinnacle honor of my career!"
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LaPrad plans to fly his crew of cooks and chef de cuisine Anthony Andiario to New York for the big event, and he'll be shipping all of his ingredients as well.
That's right, the entire dinner will showcase Arizona produce and artisan food products, along with LaPrad's own fresh pasta and handmade salumi. Arizona wines will be paired with everything.
While LaPrad will be cooking for a very elite group of foodies on his New York trip -- top chefs, restaurateurs, food writers and editors among them -- locals will get a chance to try LaPrad's multi-course dinner as well.
Look for upcoming details on special "dress rehearsal" dinners as the event approaches.