The Twelve Days of Christmas, Meadowood's annual series of elaborate guest-chef dinners benefiting Share Our Strength, kicked off on Friday with a dinner featuring chef Scott Anderson from Elements in Princeton, New Jersey, and wines from Realm Cellars. This is the fifth year for the series, which started around the time Kostow came on as executive chef, and the list of guest chefs was co-curated this year by Ulterior Epicure's Bonjwing Lee. This year's dinners are different in that it's a tag-team effort each night, with Kostow doing several of his own dishes to complement those of the guest chefs' menus. Today we bring you some highlights from Friday's and Saturday's dinners, the latter featuring wines from nearby Failla Wines, and Virginia chefs John and Karen Shields formerly at Town House, and now contemplating a new venture, possibly in the D.C. area.
Later this week, we'll show you some highlights from Day 4, which will feature an undoubtedly inventive menu from Kostow and State Bird Provisions chef Stuart Brioza.
And please note that you can keep up with all the action this season at Meadowood by liking their Facebook page and the resort is donating a dollar to Share Our Strength for every new Facebook fan they get, so you should definitely do that.
This year, following the million-dollar renovation of Meadowood's kitchen, guests are being invited in each night during the pre-dinner reception to hang out, have a few canapés, and take in Kostow's sweet new digs.
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Kostow and Anderson
Princeton, New Jersey's Scott Anderson was the first featured guest, on Day One of the series on Friday, December 7, 2012. Here, Kostow confers with him before service.
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Uni and mussel with seaweeds.
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Day One: 1st Course
Spiny lobster with coal-roasted avocado seeds, caviar, and avocado. (Kostow)
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Day One: 2nd Course
Daikon "scallop," with West Coast oysters, seaweed, mustard greens, rice. (Anderson)
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Day One: 5th Course
Suckling pig with quince, green juniper, and bitter greens. (Kostow)
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Day One: 6th Course
Turnips in various forms served with shaved, 100-day dry-aged beef, and a fermented scarlet turnip froth. As Lee raves, "the meat melted away, and so did the turnips. Together, they formed a stack of flavors that I enjoyed peeling away with each bite." (Anderson)
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Day One: 9th Course
Saskatoon berry mole with dried beet leather, sweet Aztec sponge, and spices. (Mike Ryan, chef de cuisine, Elements)
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Day Two: John and Karen Shields
Here they are posing with Christopher Kostow (center), on Day 2, December 8, 2012.
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The night kicked off with another party in the kitchen, which included these canapés made with lactose chips, pine nuts, and quinoa. (Shields)
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This was called "cheese and crackers," and featured goat cheese piped beneath a bark-like cracker made of parsnips. The two crackers are on the left, and the non-edible but similar-looking tree branches sit below.
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Also on offer was one of Kostow's signatures: tiny, baby crudités from the restaurant garden served with tomato-water ice and Romaine and herb crème fraiche.
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Day Two: 1st Course
Pumpkin custard with smoked eel, kale, and brown butter crumb. We have to say that pumpkin and eel are a surpringly good, earthy-sweet combination. (Kostow)
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Day Two: 2nd Course
Dungeness crab and sprouted wheat berries seasoned with chicken drippings, garnished with micro lovage.
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Day Two: 3rd Course
Diced kohlrabi in a ham broth with rye and mustard seeds — unmistakably evocative of a pastrami sandwich. (Kostow)
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Day Two: 4th Course
Chicken with samp (a type of grits), black truffle, chicken cracklings, and choys. (Kostow)