Vintage Irving Kicks Off Celeb Chef Series with Sam Talbot

by STEPHANIE WEI · September 29, 2008


Ever wish you could be a guest judge on Top Chef or actually taste the food? Here's your chance, thanks to Vintage Irving owner Michael Sinensky's groundbreaking idea to implement Celebrity Chef Tasting Dinners. On Wednesday, September 24, Top Chef finalist Sam Talbot joined executive chef Jason Bunin to serve up the first of an original four course tasting dinner with wine pairings at Vintage Irving.

The restaurant boasts a menu of Mediterranean influenced small plates, not to mention an enticing bevy of draft beers, wines, and my personal favorite, a mouthwatering Absinthe selection. Sam Talbot served specialty seafood concoctions while mingling and chatting with the intimate gathering of 30 guests. The most interesting course was the Grilled Scallop and Kim-chi dish - a surprisingly tasty combination!

Owner Michael Sinensky remarked,

"I was inspired to start [the Celebrity Chef Dinners] by my friend Sam Talbot. I thought it would be interesting for people to see what's on TV right in front of them. When you watch a show like Top Chef, you wonder how it tastes on TV and I wanted to bring it people to see what the exxperience is really like and if the food is actually good. Tonight, [the atmosphere] was kind of a meet and greet with the Chefs; they went to every table and talked to the guests."

I have to admit that indeed the vibe felt like a "real life version" of Top Chef. Kudos to Vintage Irving for bringing reality TV to the average Joe. I also love that the ingredients were from local suppliers - fish from Montauk and produce from the Union Square Market.

Look out for the next installment of the Tasting Series. It's an experience that you're sure to enjoy whether it's the chef, food or company. Future celebrity chefs scheduled to partake include Bethenney Frankel from Real Housewives of NYC and Spike from the most recent season of Top Chef.

[Vintage Irving owner Michael Sinensky, Sam Talbot, Executive Chef Jason Bunin, Manager Zach Israel/ Photo by Shaun Vakil]

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