Eighty people gathered at Adele's Restaurant and Lounge Sunday night to have their tongues teased and the palettes pleasured, all to prepare the staff of the restaurant for a November event in New York.
Several members of the restaurant's staff, including owner and executive chef Charlie Abowd, have been invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York City on Nov. 10. The house is the home of the James Beard Foundation, which invites acclaimed and emerging culinary talent to prepare meals for patrons, including chefs, wineries, food publications and people in the food industry.
"In our world, (getting invited) is like being nominated for an Academy award and means getting recognition from the most highly respected culinary organizations in the country," said Abowd.
Cooking, preparing, and serving the seven-course meal is a highly involved process, including two days of preparation and 11 members of the restaurant's staff.
"When you look at the menu, it's fairly comprehensive," said Abowd.
The staff will prepare four appetizers, including seared sashimi and smoked salmon, followed by Mount Tam triple-cream cheese, purée of butternut squash, tequila-cilantro jumbo prawns, baked Florida grouper, rack of lamb loin and a dessert of three kinds of homemade ice cream and a Syrian cookie.
In addition to the food itself, each course has had a wine selected to compliment it.
Ed and Dee Rose of Carson City were among those who turned out to support the restaurant and partake in the event.
Dee Rose said the invitation to cook at the Beard House is honor for the restaurant.
"It's a honor throughout the country and for Carson City, and I think it's also a tribute to Charlie's parents," said Rose. "This is the best eatery experience you will find anywhere."
The event is one of two the restaurant is hosting before the staff leaves for New York. And despite the $125 price, there is already a waiting list for the second meal on Wednesday. All money raised from the meals will go toward travel expenses for the trip.
But for Abowd, a fourth-generation chef, the invitation means more than the opportunity to showcase the restaurant - it also means additional exposure.
"Every day, you try to make every dish the best you can and provide the best service possible. It adds prestige, and it adds a lot of expectations when people come into the restaurant," he said.
The invitation is enhanced even more, according to Abowd, because Adele's is the only free-standing restaurant in Northern Nevada that has been invited.
However, Abowd said that making Adele's what it is couldn't have been done by just one person.
"This is a great business for teamwork. I'm no more important than the dishwasher or the server," he said.
-- Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1217.