Monday, May 9, 2016

Artful Dining at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre


Recently I was invited to a behind-the-scenes taste of the culinary creations at the Cobb Performing Arts Centre. It turned out to be such a special evening as I joined several local food bloggers from the Association of Food Bloggers and we were seated right in the centre's main kitchen with Executive Chef M.G. Farris. I've never been to the Cobb Performing Arts Centre, so I was really excited to get to see it up close and personal {we got a tour after dinner...woo hoo!}. And what fun it was to sit at the chef's table for all the evening's action.
Our hosts were incredibly gracious, including Food and Beverage Manager Ramin Djaved; Banquet Captain Joseph Abouem; Food and Beverage Director Kirsten Gleaves; and Marketing Manager Karen Caro. I felt like every little detail was carefully planned and gracefully executed.
Chef M.G. Farris and his right hand, amazing Banquet Chef Lillian Diaz were ready to dazzle us!


Our four-course spring dinner was paired with some excellent wines....thank you Kirsten! You can never go wrong starting off dinner with a glass of bubbly and I enjoyed the  Gloria Ferrer Sparkling wine served as we were seated and with our salad course...Petite Organic Lettuce Mix with Truffle Vinaigrette, Steamed Asparagus and Hollandaise Foam. Chef described that by using a foam instead of a traditional hollandaise you have less butter. It played off well with the tender greens and soy in the dressing. Really nice.


I had to smile when the wine for the second course came out. It was Nobilo Icon Sauvignon Blanc...one of my favorite Sauv blancs. In fact, I had a bottle waiting in my fridge that same night. Our second course was artfully plated and delicious....Steamed Black Bass with Orange and Cumin Braised Carrots and Quick Candied Lemon. I teased the chef that as much as I loved the fish, I could have eaten an entire plate of those amazing braised carrots and been perfectly content. So good. Maybe I was a rabbit in a former life??
 

 A bit about the chef: Chef Farris has been with the CEPAC since 2007 and is an Atlanta native. He's a graduate of New England Culinary Institute and worked in notable restaurants and hotels in South Africa, New York, and Atlanta. Working with Chef Jean Georges Vongerichten at Jo Jo in New York, he created contemporary French cuisine and then moved on to become sous chef at Mobil Four-Star, AAA Four-Diamond restaurant, La Caravelle. He's worked with Pano's & Paul's, Eno, and the Omni Hotel in Atlanta. 
At home, he loves to cook over open coals for his family. He mentioned recently making a shepherds pie with braised short ribs and celery root puree....oh my....drooling.
At CEPAC, Chef Farris runs a full-service kitchen and customizes menus for all sorts of events, from small breaks to banquets for over 600 people. They specialize in creative and seasonal cuisine with a contemporary American and Mediterranean flair. Got a banquet, wedding, corporate meeting, holiday party to host? You ought to do yourself and favor and come check this place out for your event!



Our third course offered my favorite dish and wine from the evening. A juicy, herby, and smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Oberon, from Napa Valley. So good. The entree was perfect....Petite Center Cut Roasted Filet with French Breakfast Radish, Gold Beets, Fingerling Potato and Fresh Peas, Parsley Foam and Jus. The steak was cooked perfectly and was so tender and all the accompaniments made the dish sing. 


Lastly, we received a fun take on a key lime pie with the final course....White Chocolate and Key Lime Pie Mousse, Toasted Sweet Tart Crumbs, Passion Fruit Coulis, and Saffron Sugar Tuile. It was tasty and a light finish after that luscious entree and served with Batasiolo Moscato d'Asti.



Here is a group. Happy, full, and grateful for such an incredible evening. And it's not over yet.....time for a tour.


After dinner, Karen led us through the CEPAC to check out the 2,750-seat theatre where you can see performances from the Atlanta Ballet, the Atlanta Opera, Broadway shows, family shows, concerts, and host corporate events and meetings. The state of the art centre is truly gorgeous, spacious, and also boasts a 10,000-square-foot ballroom and huge parking deck. I'm really looking forward to heading back to CEPAC for an event soon. What an impressive venue and culinary experience. Thank you all for including me.

*Disclaimer: Although my meal was complimentary, all the opinions and food photos are uniquely mine.



Cobb Performing Arts Centre
2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway
Atlanta, Georgia 30339
770-916-2800
  

For more information on the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, you can visit cobbenergycentre.com.
 
Follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/CEPAC, on Twitter at @CobbEnergyPAC and on Instagram at instagram.com/cobbenergypac/.

1 comment:

  1. You are getting to do some super fun things lately :) Jealous!! That parsley foam looks so pretty!

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