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Bella Tours Mediterranea
By Bella Bartfeld
June 26, 2017
Two weeks ago I was at Rockefeller Center for the Citymeals Chefs' Tribute event – it was so fun and a great experience! I got to try an amazing variety of foods, which were all delicious! I had just finished sixth grade a few days earlier, so going to this event was a real treat (literally!).
As I love ice cream, obviously Jacques Torres’ ice cream was one of my first stops and favorites. I was lucky to interview Ken, who was running the station, and found out that he grew up in Tokyo, and started cooking when he was 10 years old. He said he was always interested in experimenting with food, and perfected his cooking skills cooking EGGS (!) many different ways, including with sugar and with chives. I must say that I prefer ice cream over eggs!
Another delicious food station was run by Farid Zadi. I had a great conversation with Farid – he started cooking when he was 14 years old. He grew up in a family of eight and had to work very hard as a child, working in a foundry near Lyon. When he first started working at a restaurant the chef was very mean and Farid’s job was to wash dishes. After a little bit Farid left there and went to work at another restaurant and then attended a culinary school in Paris. After taking the hardest exam possible, he went on to work and run famous restaurants all over the world, including in London, Paris, Seoul, and now one of the most popular restaurants in Los Angeles. Farid served me and my Dad the most delicious chicken tangine with lemons and olives. I’m still dreaming about it!
I really enjoyed Jarett Appell’s and Silvana Vivoli’s food stations, where I had a great white peach gelato spritz, and also Richard Capizzi and Shea Gallante where I had delicious crostata.
There were many other food stations I ate at and loved – but I stopped taking notes and stopped interviewing the chefs because I was too focused on eating the food! I’m not sure I made it to all 40-plus food stations, but I sure tried. Next year perhaps I’ll make it to all of them!