Nine law firm teams heated up the kitchen at CulinAerie again last night during Legal Aid’s 4th Annual Generous Associates Campaign Cooking Competition. Without two-time champion Miller & Chevalier in the mix this year, the title was anyone’s for the taking. Susan Holt, Co-Founder of CulinAerie, once again generously hosted the event and emceed the evening, unveiling this year’s secret ingredient: FIGS.
We are also grateful to our judges this year – Chef Cedric Maupillier (Executive Chef of Convivial and Mintwood Place); and Chef Ben Schramm (Executive Chef of The Pub and The People) - for lending their time and professional palettes to judge the competition.
The teams had 15 minutes to plan and 30 minutes to execute their dish. In the end, Team Paul Weiss (pictured below with the chef judges) came out on top in the fierce fig battle with “the perfect bite."
Each team presented creative and beautiful-looking dishes. Teams were scored on presentation, unique use of ingredients, overall taste, and teamwork. Alas, no points were awarded for “most team spirit” which might well have gone to the team from Wilmer (with an assist from Skadden) for their call and response as their dish was being described by Generous Associates Campaign Co-Chair Yeve Chitiga.
After animated (but honest) critique from the judges, Team Paul Weiss was crowned the new champions for their winning dish, which they described as “a spoonful of creamy parmesan polenta with spinach and pine nuts, topped with pork loin medallions, and finished with a fig and bacon balsamic reduction.”
The team from Arent Fox placed second with a “crostini with fig jam, blue cheese & goat cheese layer, arugula salad, choririzo and raw fig.”
Finishing third, was Venable, which served up a” pan-fried wonton stuffed with a ground pork and roasted fig puree, with a goat cheese center, and topped with a balsamic fig reduction.”
All of us at Legal Aid wish to express our profound gratitude once again to CulinAerie’s Susan Holt, whose willingness to donate her time, space, cooking equipment and food items for the event for a fourth year in a row reflect her truly generous spirit. We also continue to be incredibly thankful to all of our Generous Associates Campaign participating law firms which together raised a record-breaking $1.475 million in this year’s Generous Associates Campaign.
The nine firms participating in the cooking competition were:
Arent Fox LLP
Bryan Cave LLP
Mayer Brown LLP
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (with a sub from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP!)
Below are more photos from the evening: