Chris Parsons’ Beard House Preparations Were ‘Painful’

No surprise: Parsons' dinner prominently features lobster
No surprise: Parsons’ dinner prominently features lobster Photo: man pikin/Flickr

“It was kind of painful!” laughs Catch chef Chris Parsons about the preparations for his October 26 dinner at the James Beard House in New York. “It was an interesting process for me, since typically, we write our menu on a daily basis, reacting to the market. We set this dinner up in February, soo actually sit down and write the menu for six months away was kind of difficult, plus you obviously want to put your best foot forward at the Beard House.”

The dinner’s theme is New England Catch of the Day and, like Garden at The Cellar’s Will Gilson, who cooked at the Beard House in August, Parsons plans to use plenty of Massachusetts foods, with Island Creek oysters and farmers’ market produce on offer. Former Catch sous and current chef of Kittery’s Anneke Jans will join Parsons in the Beard House kitchen, along with Highland Kitchen’s Frank Forgione and Parsons’ dad (cute!). See what they’ll be cooking below. If the evening’s menu, below, inspires you to head down to New York, tickets, at $125 for Beard Foundation members and $165 for the general public, are still available.

Hors d’Oeuvre

Taylor Bay Scallops with Concord Grapes, Jicama, and Tarragon Gelée

Poached Vermont Quail Eggs with Porcini, Anson Mills Polenta, and Lobster Coral

Roasted Jim Cook Potatoes with Veal Sweetbreads, Applewood Bacon, and Truffles

Wild Maryland Striped Bass Ceviche with Razor Clams, Maine Sea Urchin, and Yuzu

Champagne Cocktails with Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco NV


Maine Lobster with Summer Preserves, Pickles, Extra Virgin Olive Oil,
and Fennel Purée
Gramona Gran Cuvée Cava 2006

Maine Crab Salad with Montgomery Orchard Apples, Celery Root, Toasted
Hazelnuts, and Apple Gastrique
La Craie Vouvray 2007

Pan-Roasted Duxbury Oysters with House-Smoked Finnan Haddie, Maine
Shrimp, Oyster Velouté, and Potato-Chive Biscuit
Val de Sil Godello 2007

Roasted Native Scallop with Chestnut Purée, Chestnut Confit,
Pomegranate, and Duck Reduction
Espelt Coralí Rosé 2008

Dayboat Monkfish with Leeks, Prosciutto, Brown Beech Mushrooms, Potato
Gnocchi, and Syrah
Nino Negri Quadrio Valtellina Superiore 2004 DOCG

Roasted Seckel Pear with Toasted Hazelnut-Brown Butter Cake,
Wildflower Honey Ice Cream, and Thyme
Torbreck The Bothie Muscat 2005

New England Catch of the Day [James Beard Foundation]

Chris Parsons’ Beard House Preparations Were ‘Painful’