Monday, November 7, 2011

Cars & Cuisine: The Cadillac Culinary Challenge Test Drive

BBQ Braised Short Ribs, Spicy Carrot Pecan Salad, and Collard Greens
On the heels of what was a most fun--and long overdue--return to my alma mater for our annual homecoming game and festivities on Saturday (we won!), came a beautiful Sunday afternoon indulgence of sleek, luxury cars and scrumptious, succulent cuisine aka The Cadillac Culinary Challenge Test Drive.

With the beautiful Fall weather as the backdrop, it was an afternoon of pleasure for the senses--especially the palette.  The Cadillac sponsor wowed with its fleet of cars ready for the ooing and ahhing and test driving, while also bringing together world renowned chef, Marcus Samuelsson, and local culinary talent, Kenneth Bills, Chef Partner, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Atlanta, for an engaging culinary challenge.

Despite its billing as a culinary challenge/competition, what actually took place was more of a lively (and friendly) celebration of each chef's cuisine, highlighting the secret ingredient, pecans, along with a big heaping of audience participation.  The mutual respect and camaraderie of Chefs Samuelsson and Bills was also evident.  

And the eats?  They were phenomenal.  Chef Samuelsson owned the savory side of the challenge with an amazing dish comprised of BBQ Braised Short Ribs, Spicy Carrot Pecan Salad, and Collard Greens.  (I was one of two fortunate guests to land the full serving of this melt-in-your-mouth delicacy (pictured above), in addition to the tasting samples enjoyed by all the event goers.)  On the sweet side of things, Chef Bills served a decadent Chocolate Pecan Turtle Pie that had self-avowed "non-pecan pie eaters" confessing their conversion!  (Unfortunately, I managed to devour my pie before getting in a photo.)  In the end, both chefs dished up good eats that showcased pecans deliciously.

To cap off the wonderful event, guests were given complimentary copies of Bon Appetit magazine and the recipes for each chef's creations.  I can't wait to recreate them at home.

With a fully satiated appetite and a gorgeous sunset on the horizon, I was ready for my test drive spin in the new Cadillac Sedan.  It was the perfect ending to a superb event--and weekend. 

Happy Eating!

P.S. Enjoy additional photos from the day's festivities below--and let me know how you most like to serve up pecans.

Me and Chef Samuelsson of Red Rooster Harlem
Chef's Station

Chefs Marcus and Kenneth


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