Chef Benjamin Bettinger gives great PFA. We had already experienced this during our largest PFA ever, when Ben was the Executive Chef at Imperial, with Chef Vitaly Paley, where they served dished from their Iron Chef win a few years prior. We had been bopping Emails back and forth about doing another event to showcase what he was doing in his new post in the kitchen at Laurelhurst Market for a bit. When I read Kevin Ludwig, one of the nicest guys you’ll meet (one of the ingredients in the recipe to make him a great bartender), came over to man the bar at Laurelhurst, we set up a meeting with owner David Kreifels to discuss an event. The plan was to showcase what Laurelhurst does so well, centered around meat, but also give a nod to Ben and Kevin’s storied Beaker and Flask. So, we were served some cocktails and dishes that were the favorite at their former restaurant of the year, along with the hospitality and deliciousness from Laurelhurst. We held the event at Simpatica Dining Hall, so that Laurelhurst could remain open for business running at top speed, now with a third superstar in the kitchen there, Patrick McKee.
I won’t go into details of this evening other than to say the energy was so fantastic that it was the first time in over 40 events that I didn’t walk around during the dinner and see how folks were doing. I didn’t want to break up the conversations. Not a good idea when people are laughing and just having a great time. Ben and Kevin were fantastic and charming, and the lovely Robin and Cindy made the service seemless. Kudos to such fantastic professionals. And additional kudos go to our professional adventurers. Without the folks who come and create the energy for the evening, PFA would be delicious, but what makes it an event, is the people. This was a particularly wonderful group.
Pechluck’s blog does a great job of capturing the highlights of this great event. Please take a look, and join us soon!