Recently, Christopher Ranch’s GFC (Good Friend Chef ) Michael Giletto – executive chef, award winner, garlic lover – and his Team New Jersey prepared a sold-out dinner at the historic James Beard House in New York City. The James Beard Foundation offers a wide variety of events, including dinners prepared by the world’s best chefs, in order to “educate, inspire, entertain, and foster an appreciation of American cuisine.”
After seeing Team New Jersey’s amazing dinner menu which included such extraordinary dishes as Fossil Farms Rabbit Agnolotti with Parmigiano-Reggiano and White Truffles; Pistachio-Crusted Parmesan Cheese Flan with Sour Cherries and Port Reduction; Leek Ash-Crusted Pork Tenderloin and Pork Croquette with Winter Root Vegetable Hash and Pickled Onions; Dry-Aged Sirloin and Braised Short Ribs with Bone Marrow, Braised Greens, and Shallot-Orange Marmalade just to name a mouthwatering few, I had a few questions for Chef Giletto and he was kind enough to respond:
• Tell me a bit about Team New Jersey. How did you all come together?
Well, Team New Jersey was created by myself. We’re a group of chefs that have been in the forefront of Jersey Culinary for a few years now. We had crossed paths over the past two years and I was looking for a chef that wanted to partner up and split the cost. I remembered that Matt Zappoli of Tre Amici asked on Facebook if I wanted to have him join in on a dinner. I tossed out an invitation to him, and he accepted. We spoke for a few weeks working on ideas when three other Jersey born chefs asked if they could jump in. All are born in NJ, working in NJ or tied to Jersey in one way or another – hence the name Team New Jersey.
• How did you get the James Beard dinner gig?
I did a dinner in 2010, and we sold out then! Mentioned to Izabella of the James Beard Foundation that I was building another team of chefs (Jersey roots) and she jumped all over the idea. Again, a sold out crowd in a blizzard and a 5.5 hour ride home when it takes just 1.5 to drive back from NYC… lol, long night!
• What was your personal high point of the evening?
When the guests who attended all said they loved all our courses, and when we signed the personal jacket of James Beard on the wall! It is a notable duty when we are asked to sign the coat!
• What was your favorite dish for the evening and what was the inspiration for it?
He, he, he – my pork dish, of course!!! No, really, all the chefs whipped up great food this night. It’s really hard to judge one dish from the other, and I would honestly say the team kicked out awesome food! Loved everything – 😉
• How did you prepare our garlic and how was it received?
Well, my dish had garlic in the winter vegetable hash, as well as the pork marinade. Garlic Butter as seen in the picture, I am making from scratch. As stated above, the guests loved all the food. I must say… the love in each recipe truly highlighted farm/earthy, sustainable items and – with deep passion – delivered a message to the table for sure!
Many thanks to Chef Giletto for sharing his thoughts with us, and congratulations to him and Team New Jersey for their stellar performance at the James Beard House. For more information on Chef Giletto, contact http://www.michaelgiletto.com For more photos of the event, contact http://orders.photography-by-jerry.com/TeamNJ