If you were obsessed with last season's Top Chef, you were biting your nails on the edge of your seat, hoping for the inevitable Nina Compton/Shirley Chung final death match -- only to start throwing your gourmet truffle-scented popcorn at the TV set when Chung was eliminated at the last minute.
This was a particular blow for many reasons. It's not that Nicholas Elmi, who wound up being crowned Top Chef, wasn't supertalented and a formidable opponent. It was that fans of the cooking competition's 11th season were rooting for the two female comrades who formed a strong friendship during the show.
Perhaps we wanted to see a "girl-power" finale. Or perhaps we wanted to watch what happens when two best friends are left to fight it out for the ultimate prize. Either way, plenty of us wish we could have seen Chung and Compton as the last two standing in the kitchen.
There is redemption in the air, however, and it takes place on Nina Compton's home turf of Scarpetta in Miami Beach. Chung, who was executive chef for China Poblano by Jose Andrés prior to her stint on Top Chef, will join her friend in the kitchen for one knockout bout of culinary prowess.
And like most heavyweight title fights (or concerts where they "get the band back together"), this is a one-night-only situation. As Compton points out, the two chefs promised each other they would have their long-lost culinary rendezvous. "Shirley and I just clicked," Compton says. "When the show was finished, Shirley and I kept in touch and promised to do something together, and I'm thrilled we've been able to make it work."
On Saturday, May 17, Compton and Chung will get together for a special collaborative dinner. The dinner, which costs $150 per person (excluding tax and tip) and includes a signed menu, offers two seatings, at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m., with a maximum of 50 diners per seating. Optional wine pairings will be offered at $75 and $115 per person. Each chef will present several courses, and at the end of the evening, one of the chefs will be asked to pack her knives and go. Just kidding! The evening is all in fun, and the only people who will be sent home are the guests, long after they've been sated with this menu:
First Course (Shirley Chung)
Lobster crudo with glass noodle and crustacean consomme
Second Course (Nina Compton)
Roasted diver scallops with sunchokes and ramp gremolata
Third Course (Shirley Chung)
Pici with lamb neck sugo, Chinese spices
Fourth Course (Nina Compton)
28-day-aged rib eye of beef with ceci bean pesto and smoked bone marrow
Fifth Course (Nina Compton)
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Chocolate ganache with coffee and pecans
Reservations for the Compton/Chung dinner are required and can be made by calling 877-326-7412 or visting fontainebleau.com/chefdinner.