New York, New York
Ladurée - in 2014
Balthazar Restaurant -
Celery, Mint, and Artichoke
A fresh and modern take on traditional recipes of my family that journeyed through Iran, Kurdistan, Iraq and Israel. I use the freshest of ingredients and every bite contains contrasting yet complimentary flavors. Check out my Chef page at https://www.facebook.com/chefmelanieshurka for more photos of my dishes and culinary journey.
Melanie and her food were fantastic!! We had a great time learning about the food and the culture that inspired the cuisine. She was so knowledgeable and extremely inclusive, which was an added element to an extremely delicious meal. The only issue was that we were completely stuffed at the end of the meal!! It was all so good we couldn't stop! She made our Valentines day special and we were so happy she was willing to share it with us.
Melanie was simply superb. In all respects she was a delight, from working with her to bring the event into reality to enjoying her cooking. She showed herself to be very solicitous regarding our dietary needs (kashrut) and eco-culinary desires, always asking whether such-and-such was okay or what precisely would suit us. She adjusted the menu according to our feedback, without any prickliness. The day of the event she arrived early and cooked all day long! This after having shopped in preparation the day before. Throughout, she was friendly, easy-going and very respectful of being in our home and in the midst of our family. Dinner itself was unbelievably delicious and fun, served as an unfolding 5-course gustatory journey. Each dish was special and she made sure that the flavors did not repeat. The presentation was lovely and the quantities of food abundant. She handed out a menu beforehand, explained each dish as it was presented and seemed perfectly happy to serve, clear or pour wine -- and clean up afterward. She recommended various wines to accompany the different segments of the meal (which I went and bought), each a wonderful companion to her rich, flavorful and varied dishes. All the guests lauded her skills and personality. By the end we all were truly sated, essentially having attained a kind of elevated state, by the food, aesthetic presentation and the whole experience. Thank you, Melanie!
Melanie was a pleasure to work with and did a fabulous job at our dinner party. Everyone loved the food, the presentation and her explanation of the ingredients and cooking techniques she used. Dinner was absolutely delicious.
We can't wait to have her cook for us again.