PLYMOUTH, CA - Taste Restaurant located, at the gateway to the Amador Wine Country, received the prestigious invitation to prepare a meal at the world renowned James Beard House in Greenwich Village New York. Taste is the only restaurant invited to the James Beard House from the Sacramento Region in over twenty-five years. The six-course meal took place on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 with over sixty guests in attendance. Chef/Owner Mark Berkner told his culinary staff of four that joined him in New York to "Just think of this as a catering; only the location is three thousand miles from our restaurant."
The James Beard House is to restaurateurs and culinarians as Carnegie Hall is to musicians. The only way to prepare a meal at the House is to be invited by a member of the Board of Directors from the James Beard Foundation. A phone call in October 2012 from a person who identified herself as a member of the James Beard Foundation asked if Chef Mark would be interested in preparing a dinner at the famed House. A date was chosen and a menu was created. Every function at the James Beard House is a fundraiser for the Foundation which fosters educational initiatives, hosts food industry awards, an annual national food conference, Leadership Awards program, culinary scholarships, and publications. The expense of a dinner at the James Beard House is on the visiting Chef's tab. The support and enthusiasm from the local community was overwhelming, as over twenty local suppliers from food and wine to uniforms donated product for them to utilize at their dinner. Local Chefs also called to congratulate them on the invitation.
The menu served at the James Beard House represented Taste's commitment to the Farm to Fork movement and the best of what the Sacramento region and Northern California have to offer. "We wanted the guests to experience the spring bounty of our region combined with our cooking style" stated Chef de Cuisine, James Ablett. Much of the food preparation was done prior to leaving California, as you can only use the home size kitchen starting at eight in the morning the day of the dinner. They brought four insulated food shipping containers that weighed approximately one hundred pounds each on their flight to New York.
The dinner went off without a hitch and at the end of the night sixty-four guests came to their feet with applause when the culinary staff entered the dining room. The James Beard House Board Member representative from the evening stated "What a joyful and memorable evening!!! Your talents and passion accompanied each dish on the menu. From the savory appetizers, thru each course (it was) all arranged so thoughtfully!!! Each one was outstanding."
"We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate our seventh year in business than to be at the James Beard House representing not only Taste Restaurant but our entire region" said Taste co-owner Tracey Berkner. The Berkners and their staff have now returned to Amador County. They look forward to continue making their guests happy with seasonal fresh food and excellent service.