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For reservations, call The James Beard House at (212) 675-4984 or (800) 36-BEARD.

Best Hotel Chefs of America

Southern Heritage Dinner

Kenneth Gilbert
The Ritz-Carlton , Amelia Island , FL

Thursday, July 22, 7:00 pm
Members $85 , guests $105

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, is a sort of paradise, a luxurious haven perched over the sand dunes on a secluded island off the northeastern coast of Florida. A guest in search of succor can sign up for a massage at the spa, play a round of golf, head out for some deep-sea fishing, gallop down the beach on horseback, or simply sit on the balcony, sipping a drink and contemplating the ocean. But there is one activity that is absolutely de rigueur: dinner at The Grill, the resort's fine-dining restaurant, where chef Kenneth Gilbert runs the ranges.

A graduate of the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts who worked his way up the line in several Pittsburgh-area restau-rants, Gilbert came to Amelia Island straight out of culinary school. By 1997, this gifted young chef was wearing the top toque at The Grill. On his watch, the restaurant earned a coveted AAA Five-Diamond Award (one of only two in the state) and a Mobil four-star rating. As Dick Brown of the Florida Times-Union wrote, Gilbert "balances a classical culinary foundation with his own unique style that brings into play subtle influences of the New South and the best of contemporary practice...his food always shows a strong sense of harmony and respect for tradition."

July can be quite oppressive in steamy, hot-and-bothered Gotham. If the smol-dering city streets are getting you down, we know the perfect antidote. Slip into something cool and comfortable, settle down with a tall drink in our shady garden, and prepare to ease your body and your mind with a long, leisurely evening of Gilbert's wonderful food. We bet you'll feel the cool salt breezes and hear the wind rushing over the dunes with the very first bite.


Smoked Haddock-Stuffed Potato with Chive Sour Cream

Rock Shrimp Sugar Cane Fritters with Peanut-Chili Sauce

Corn-Crusted Pharaoh Quail with Smoked-Bacon Grits and Red Peppers

Pan-Seared Foie Gras with Grand Marnier-Poached Kumquats

Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc 1997

Sesame-Rubbed Hamachi with Arame-Corn Salad and Curry

Sautéed Rouget with Grilled-Vegetable Gazpacho Vinaigrette

Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc 1996

Escalope of Sturgeon with Arugula Gnocchi and Caviar-Fennel Reduction

Matanzas Creek Chardonnay 1997

Pan-Seared Squab Breast with Vanilla-Mango Chutney and Spiced Pecans

Matanzas Creek Merlot 1996

Jameson Farms Lamb Chop Stuffed with Porcini Mushrooms and Vidalia Onions

Matanzas Creek Merlot 1994

Tropical Banana Crème Brûlée with Coconut-Marinated Strawberries

Study of Granny Smith Apples with Warm Cider Reduction and Bourbon Ice Cream Float

Matanzas Creek Botrytis Sémillon 1986

Petits Fours Macaroons with Orange Preserves
Mango Pâté de Fruit, Warm Peanut Butter Cookies
Warm Vanilla Beignets, Madeleines with Chocolate
and Pistachio, Bailey's Chocolate Truffles, Petite
Almond Biscotti

Wines courtesy of Matanzas Creek.


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