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Chef Gannon Cooks in New York

Executive Chef Edward Gannon of Boston’s Four Seasons Hotel and his team cooked at the James Beard House in New York’s Greenwich Village on January 17, 2003. Mr. Beard is known as the father of American gastronomy. Six nights a week a member of the culinary glitterati takes over the renovated kitchen in Beard’s former townhouse, now headquarters of the foundation established in his honor.

Aujourd'hui dining room at the Four Seasons

Can’t get to New Orleans to taste Susan Spicer’s elegant Cajun cuisine, to California or Las Vegas for Wolfgang Puck’s internationally inspired menu or to Chicago for Charlie Potter’s magic way with vegetables? Not to fret. These wizards of food, along with others of national stature, prepare meals from time to time for foundation members and guests.

It is an honor to receive an invitation to appear at the House. Chef Gannon had not cooked there for several years. He was asked back as a “Best Hotel Chef in America.” The select group of diners, connoisseurs of fine food and wine and regulars at Beard, delighted in his contemporary menu. The consensus was, when in Boston head for Four Seasons’ premiere restaurant, Aujourd’hui.

Gannon’s training includes the methods of classic French cuisine and he uses this schooling in blending ingredients and flavors. Height, color and texture are important in the

The Bristol tearoom at the Four Seasons

final presentation. Sometimes he is influenced by Asian techniques, such as in fried pastry-wrapped quail eggs. Other times his imagination creates a sublime combination such as rich chestnut soup with Parma ham. Some of the dishes we sampled were variations of items on the regular winter menu. Almond crusted tuna carpaccio with sweetbreads worked together beautifully. Parsnip puree and diced apples tempered the richness of pan-seared foie gras and short rib sauerbraten. Lobster and pineapple compote sat in fenugreek-pistachio broth. The roasted loin of venison was the most succulent preparation of that cut of meat we have ever eaten. The four courses were paired with exquisite wines. A sampler of luscious deserts, petit fours and port completed this ambrosial feast.

Four Seasons participates in many of Boston’s frequent culinary celebrations including the following annual events: DineAround, Spinazzola Gala Festival of Food & Wine, Wine Expo and the fund-raising Super Hunger Brunch. An Epicureans’ Delight Package is available until April 20, 2003. Chef Gannon and Executive Pastry Chef Tim Fosceca offer a cooking class for guests.

Four Seasons 200 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116. Tel. 800-332-3442, 617-423-0154. www.fourseasons.com/boston

Winter 2002-03