For the last
few months three years, I have been creating and perfecting the menu for the immersive excursion “The Illuminati Ball” created by artist, protectress of animals and all around bad ass Cynthia Von Buhler.
The Illuminati Ball is a surrealist soirée that includes intricate cocktails, mouth-watering delicacies, inspiring music, devilish dances and esoteric rituals. The guests are picked up in Manhattan and taken by limousine to a secret lakeside estate. Depending on how the guests choose to participate, the guests may be involved in power struggles, morality tests, and anthropomorphic escapades. The experience is inspired by the famed “Illuminati Ball” thrown by the Baroness and Baron de Rothschild in 1972. My goal was to create a decadent meal worthy of the sumptuous atmosphere of the ball, but also to ultimately leave the guests feeling like they had eaten real, nourishing food. I don’t want to give too much away about the piece but, for reasons both solidly dramaturgical and subtly subversive, the menu needed to be entirely vegan. Additionally, the menu is totally gluten-free, because it’s important that the chef (me) be able to taste the food! This project has been an exciting challenge and I’m very proud of the menu.
You can click on the hyperlinks to find the recipes. Many thanks to Claire Matern of A Cheesemonger’s Daughter for coming to help cook early in season one and for taking some of the very beautiful photos of the plated food on the grounds of the estate.
A DECADENT EIGHT COURSE VEGAN TASTING MENU
For the table…
- Winter- Beet Caviar on Seed and Nut Bread
- Spring- Beet Caviar with Lime and Pepita on Cumin Seed Crackers
- Summer- Tomato Eggplant Jam with Sweet Moroccan Spices on Savory Seed Crackers
- Autumn- Zingy Ginger Pumpkin Spread on Savory Seed Crackers
- Sautéed and Salted Medjool Dates (lately with Paprika, Saffron, Cinnamon and Orange Zest Seasoning Salt)
- Winter and Autumn- Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Sweet Sriracha Lime Sauce
- Summer and Spring- Charred Broccolini with Forbidden Rice and Sweet Sriracha Lime Sauce
- New in Season Three- Seasonal Vegetables Poached in White Wine and served with Romesco Sauce
- Winter and Autumn- Mushroom Soup with Cashew Cream
- Spring- Tangy Cold Pea Soup
- Summer- Watermelon Gazpacho
- Winter- Creamy Lime Shots with Dark Chocolate and Ginger
- Spring- Cardamom Cashew Cream and Rhubarb Rose Parfait
- Summer-Creamy Passionfruit and Mango Parfait
- Autumn- Spiced Plum and Chocolate Cashew Cream Parfait.