The James Beard Event will truly be one of my most memorable experience thus far in my career. We left the hotel in New Jersey at 1pm on Thursday and headed into the city to hopefully avoid any traffic and begin our setup. It took only 45 minutes to get to the James Beard House and it was nothing like what I expected for my first time. We drove through various neighborhoods of New York and made a turn onto a side street that was barely big enough for our cargo van and other vehicles to pass. We immediately jumped out and quickly started unloading all the ice chests of food and cases of wine for the dinner. The James Beard House is literally a townhouse that people walk by constantly without giving it a second glance. Once we were let into the house, we walked down a small stairway that led into the a small dining area that had some plaques, books, and a podium. To the right of that room was the kitchen that was bigger than I expected but still extremely small for 4 chefs to prepare a multi course dinner. I'm 6'2" and 235 pounds, which easily earned numerous nicknames throughout the night because I took up so much space, example were "watch those elbows Shaq" and "move out the way Shrek" (Thanks Peter). After unloading the van a few of us decided to tour the house and take some pictures. Rather than go into detail about the marvelous and eccentric history of the house, I suggest attending a dinner there and experiencing it for yourself. As we started to set up for the night we realized that the bread that was on the counter didn't taste to fresh, they were supposed to supply bread and butter for the night. After a little more investigating we realized that it was the previous day's bread and there was none for our dinner. We sent a culinary student to go find a bakery in the neighborhood and find some bread for the dinner, her instructions were to not return without some. Thankfully she was a bakery major and came through with a great variety close to arrival time. We also had it brought to our attention that we were missing a case of champagne from the waitstaff. It was put onto the cargo van when we left the hotel and came to find out it was still on the shuttle that we unloaded. One of the chefs told us about a company in New York called "Who Fuc*ked Up The Order" and said he could get the number. After tracking down this number one of the chef's called and asked for some champagne, it turned out it was the wrong number and some poor old lady was getting upset because we kept asking was it "Who Fuc*ked Up the Order". After numerous apologies we got in touch with the sommelier to pick some more champagne on her way. Once guests started arriving, they were herded through the kitchen into the dining room for the reception. We started placing all the hors d'oeuvres on platters and replenishing as fast as possible. Once it started to wind down I started focusing on preparing the lobster dish which was second course. The soup course flew out the door and next thing I knew was it was my time to start plating. I felt very good about the lobster and white chocolate dish which came out nice and looked very clean. I helped the other chef's knock out their courses and before we knew it the dinner was complete. After walking each room and discussing our dinner with the guests we packed up and headed out to the bar. Everyone met back in New Jersey and found a local bar that was packed and finished out a very successful evening. After the stressful preparation, delayed flights, winter weather conditions, early mornings with lack of sleep, and cooking hard I'm glad I was apart of this experience. Thank you to all who made this possible for me to partake in and I hope that we represented everyone well. I will be posting pictures as soon I have them all downloaded.