Chef Matt Peters of Team USA
Editor’s Note: We’ve just received word that Team USA won gold — for the first time ever — at the 2017 Bocuse d’Or competition in France. Late last year, Team USA chef Matthew Peters came to Dallas, and prepared an intimate dinner at the home of Tracy and Kent Rathbun. Below, our recap, as we send a resounding bravo! to our gold-medal culinary team in France.
When Cindy Rachofsky invites you to anything related to food, you accept. The art collector and co-founder of the multi-million-dollar amfAR and Dallas Museum of Art TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art fund-raiser is a well-known gourmand. She has brought groups to Spain’s impossible-to-reserve elBulli (she was able to reserve the entire Michelin-starred restaurant and filled it with friends for one of its last dinners before becoming the gastronomical think tank elBullifoundation), and she travels the world in search of the tastiest, most interesting cuisine.
Of equal obsession to Cindy and her husband, Howard Rachofsky, is the Bocuse d’Or competition held every two years in Lyon, France. Considered the most prestigious gastronomy event in the world — the “Olympics of the culinary world” as Cindy calls it — the Bocuse d’Or features the world’s most promising chefs, from just 24 countries, who compete in the two-day grand finale, during which they create a pair of elaborate presentations that are judged based on technical skill, sophistication, creativity and visual beauty.
In 2015, for the first time since the founding of Bocuse d’Or in 1987, Team USA won the silver medal via chef Philip Tessier, former The French Laundry executive sous chef and current head coach of the Bocuse d’Or USA team. With the January 2017 contest on the horizon, this year’s Team USA chef Matthew Peters — executive sous chef at Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York — spent almost two years zealously training and cooking at fund-raising dinners across the country.
One such dinner — hosted by Cindy in partnership with the culinary nonprofit Ment’or — was held recently at the home of chef Kent Rathbun and his restaurateur wife, Tracy. The party could accommodate but 30 guests for dinner — just enough to pack the Rathbuns’ dining room and kitchen with the likes of Nancy Dedman, Brad Kelley, Jennifer and John Eagle, Rob Dailey, and Lindsey and Patrick Collins — with each course prepared by one of the country’s most revered chefs.
Endless Krug Champagne was poured, while a softball-sized black truffle and enormous tin of caviar were propped on the Rathbuns’ kitchen bar. During cocktail hour, caviar canapés were passed and dinner was prepped: Chefs Peters, Rathbun, Boulud Sud’s Travis Swikard, Olmsted’s Greg Baxtrom, Omni Barton Creek’s André Natera, and Fearing’s’ Jill Bates had plenty up their chef sleeves.
An earthy carrot crepe with little-neck clams and sunflower seeds was first, followed by a Norwegian halibut alla Caponata garnished with crispy panella and eggplant agrodolce. Next was a hickory-smoked, bacon-wrapped Waygu filet (Rathbun shaved truffle atop each steak tableside), served with chipotle corn mash and a toasted mushroom foie gras demi.
The divine ending: double dark chocolate cake with salted cookie crunch and mounds of coffee-toffee ice cream.