James Beard Foundation's Taste America: A Night of Culinary Stars Dinner was Epic

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After an hour, the party moved from the reception ballroom into the dining room, a well-decorated space packed with round tables for guests. During the three-course dinner, attendees were able to continue bidding on a number of silent auction prizes as well as participate in an entertaining live auction for prizes such as a dinner prepared by chef Charleen Badman on Rabbit Island and a party catered by chef Silvana Esparza -- which she bumped up to include 40 guests mid-bidding.

The first course of the dinner came from Taste America All-Star Chef, Sherry Yard of iPic Entertainment and Helms Bakery in Los Angeles. Yard brought a savory sheep's curd soufle to the table, which came with lamb's lettuce, smoked braeburn apple, a fat slices of uncinatum truffles. The photo-worthy dish was a nice, light way to start the meal -- particularly after having sampled so many small dishes already.

Course two was our favorite of the night; a familiar one put forth by host chef Paul McCabe. We'd already tried the chef's Organic Corn Agnolotti made with butter poached lobster and chanterelles, but this time around McCabe added smoked char roe to the dish. The extra boost of salt elevated what we already thought was a perfect dish and played nicely off the sweetness of the corn.

Three time James Beard Award-semifinalist Kevin Binkley presented diners with a plate of duck three ways for the final course. The three perfectly-tender pieces of duck were some of the best we've ever tasted -- so flavorful we hardly felt the need to use the sauces presented alongside. We didn't, however, skip over the delicate and subtle horseradish rillettes popover that came as a side.

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Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria