Christopher’s Table Wins Best Chef Award from Beverly Bootstraps

Posted: March 6th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Event, News | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Lobster tarts from Timothy S. Hopkins Catering, colorful bites from Tastebuds Gourmet Foods and an array of treats from The Topsfield Bakeshop.

It was a great night for a great cause—we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at Monday night’s Best Chef 2013 event to benefit Beverly Bootstraps.

We started by perusing the gorgeous silent auction items, then made our way around to each of the food offerings from various North Shore purveyors, caterers, and restaurants. One of favorite tables, Timothy S. Hopkins Catering, ended up winning the people’s choice award. We loved their tiny lobster pastries and delicious toffee-chocolate mousse cups.

The variety on offer was terrific, including smoked mahi ceviche shooters from Red Lulu, healthy grain dishes from Life Alive, and seared tuna on crispy tortillas from Not Your Average Joe’s. There was plenty of food, too, allowing us to go back for seconds and thirds of our favorites.

The teams hard at work. Clockwise from top left: Alchemy Cafe and Bistro, Fibber McGee’s, Christopher’s Table and Chianti Tuscan Restaurant & Jazz Lounge.

As the four chefs competing for Best Chef title prepared their entrées, the live auction got going, with much fanfare. The entire event was extremely well thought out and ran smoothly from start to finish. The Best Chef contestants were Christopher’s Table (Ipswich), Fibber McGees (Beverly), Alchemy Cafe and Bistro (Gloucester) and Chianti Tuscan Restaurant (Beverly).

Top: The judges taste and compare notes. Bottom: The winning dish from Christopher’s Table.

The contestants used ingredients from the Beverly Bootstraps pantry as 75% of their ingredients, with 25% coming from their own kitchens. They were judged on taste, appearance, and the originality of the use of pantry items by Eliana Hussain of the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, Sam Hunt of Wild Horse Café, and Paul Guanci of Super Sub Shop of Beverly.

The chef’s creations were wildly imaginative, including goldfish-encrusted spam cooked sous vide from Alchemy and a chicken pot pie with crust made from pumpkin bread mix and Bisquick. But the beautifully plated pho from Christopher’s Table was the judge’s winner. It featured ramen noodles in a broth flavored with peanuts, cilantro, and lime, plus a spring roll accompanied by a hoisin sauce made with grape jelly.

A good time was had by all. (L) Lindsey Sakonchick, Development/Marketing Coordinator for Beverly Bootstraps had everything under control. (Center) Matt Blanchard, new owner/manager of the Wild Horse Café and Mark McDonough, owner of Serenitee Restaurant Group are old friends. (R) Blanchard’s Wild Horse partner and 2012 Best Chef winner, chef Sam Hunt chats with Christopher DeStephano, this year’s winner, as he preps his meal.

It was such a pleasure to see the North Shore turn out for this sold-out, fun-filled event!

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Marini and Christopher’s Table Team Up to Host Dinner on the Farm

Posted: July 17th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Event | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments »

One of our favorite things about this time of year are the local farm-to-table dinners that start popping up on the calendar. This year for the first time, Marini Farm is getting into the act, hosting a dinner on the farm event next Saturday evening, July 24.

The dinner will start with a complimentary signature cocktail on the front porch of the farmhouse, then diners will be transported by hayride to the dinner location, at the top of a hill overlooking the farm. There will be a five-course dinner and a cash bar featuring local Ipswich Ale from Mercury Brewing Co. and wine from Jewell Towne Vinyards of South Hampton, NH. Elm Street Blues, a group of local students from Governor’s Academy in Byfield will provide live entertainment.

Chef, caterer, and owner of prepared-foods shop Christopher’s Table in Ipswich, Christopher DeStefano is the culinary half of the collaboration. Serving the freshest produce is the name of the game, so much of the menu won’t be refined until he sees what looks good next week, but De Stefano gave us an idea of what to expect.

The first course will be a cold soup, most likely a farmhouse gazpacho, followed by a salad course, a vegetable tart, an entrée featuring local beef from Tendercrop Farm, and a dessert. “I’d be crazy not to take advantage of Marini’s great corn,” said DeStefano. “And peaches will be at the height of the season.” He also mentioned heirloom tomatoes, summer squash, beets, and herbs as possible ingredients.

Tickets for this evening of local bounty served at the source are $100 per person, and seating is limited. If you are interested in attending, contact Christopher’s Table for reservations.

Christopher’s Table
5 Depot Sq., Ipswich
(978) 356-6166
www.christopherstable.com

Marini Farm
259 Linebrook Rd, Ipswich
(978) 356-0430
www.marinifarm.com

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Weekend Update: Dueling Tastings, Plus More for Mom

Posted: May 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Event, Ipswich, Lynn, Marblehead, North Andover, Salem | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

This Saturday looks to be a rainy one, but maybe that’s a good thing. You won’t feel so guilty about staying inside all afternoon tasting wine, especially when there’s going to be so much to try. There are two terrific events to choose from.

In Marblehead, Shubie’s is hosting another Corks & Forks Wine and Food Festival from 12:00 to 4:00, with more than 40 wines to sample as well as New England artisinal cheeses and other treats from their kitchen. These events are always fun, and you can find our review of one here.

In North Andover, the Wine ConneXtion will be hosting a Grand Tasting from 2:00 to 6:00. They’ll be pouring more than 50 wines with many new arrivals and some old favorites. Tom Grella from the Food Network’s “Next Food Network Star” will be on hand dishing up culinary treats.

Christopher’s Table in Ipswich also has some fun events going on this weekend. Friday night at 7:00, they’ll be hosting a chocolate tasting. Never mind brunch—mom might enjoy this decadent evening even better! They promise a cocktail party-style event with a cash bar, featuring their signature chocolate desserts along with goodies from Prides Crossing Confections in Beverly.

On Saturday, Christopher’s Table will be putting on a Mother’s Day workshop for children ages 6 to 10 to decorate cupcakes as flowers to make mom a Cupcake Flower Pot. Tickets to both events are $20, call (978) 356-6166 for information and reservations.

Also on Saturday, Pamplemousse in Salem is hosting a Think Mom! wine tasting from 2:00 to 4:00. They’ll be pouring Mommy’s Time Out and helping you choose a great gift for mom, whether it’s a Relaxation Basket they’ve put together or any of the myriad fun items they have on hand.

The Blue Ox missed out on our round-up post, but they, too, are doing a Mother’s Day brunch. They’ll serve both brunch and lunch options all afternoon (12:00 to 6:00), and all moms receive a rose with their reservation. Three courses for $29.

Also, if your mom likes to cook (or eat), The Blue Ox’s next cooking class would make a great gift. It’s taking place Tuesday May 25 at 7:00, $35 per person for three courses. Chef Matt O’Neil will be demonstrating healthy and season fish tacos. Dinner includes the tacos, cold corn soup with avocado cream, and honey chocolate bread. Call (781) 780-5722 to reserve a spot.

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