Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Manhattan in 14 hours, Miracle Fruit and Harlod Mcgee

It is 3 days after my quick trip to New York and I still can't believe that I made it. The Miracle Fruit Manhttp://www.miraclefruitman.com/ asked me to come to the New York Academy of Science and help them present the miracle fruithttp://www.nyas.org/events/eventDetail.asp?eventID=12759&date=2/12/2009%206:30:00%20PM. How could I say no after I found out that Harold McGee was going to be one of the speakers. I was asked to come up with the snacks for 300 people to try after they sampled the miracle fruit. They also asked if I would speak about my experiences with the fruit. I settled on a menu of some sliced citrus fruits, balsamic caviar, compressed balsamic apples, rice wine yogurt meringue and a yuzu ginger elixir. I treated it like a Beard House event. I would make all my textures here at the hotel and ship them to the event. The day before I left I packed my serving bowls, knives, cutting boards and the textures and overnighted them to the NYAS.

On Thursday I woke up early and made my way to the airport. I was on a very tight schedule, I had my trip planned to the minute. As I walked down to my gate I noticed that my departure time was not right. They announced heavy winds in Newark and a 1 hour delay. I thought that if this was the worst thing that was going to happen I could handle it. We all waited and after the delay began boarding the plane. As I walked up to the line I saw a guy falling backwards out of the corner of my eye. As I turned my head I saw his head smack against the pavement. I rushed over to see if he was ok. It turns out he was drunk off his ass (literally) He mumbled something about Dramamine. A short ambulance bus arrived and picked him up. I got on the plane and took a seat. I am not a great flyer to begin with, I have a week stomach. So the landing in Newark was one of the worst experiences of my life. I thought I was going to die on 3 different occasions. I felt sick and dizzy and my day had just begun.

After landing I ran to catch a cab. I was not going directly to the event rather then a detour stop on 38th at the W Tuscany. Mike Wurster the executive chef had bought some dry ice for me for the event. I called him and asked if he could hand off the ice while I drove past. Thanks Mike. I then had the cab driver take me to the hotel next to the event at 7 world trade center. To my surprise I could not pay the cabbie with a credit card. Instead he watched my bag like a hawk as I ran up and down the street looking for a ATM. 90 dollars later I was at my hotel



I met up with Curtis and Fernando and we headed down to the event. The building was amazing, it had a open glass lobby with little cubes that lit up like the water cube in China. We went up to the 40th floor where the NYAS is located. I found my package which had been dropped many times. It did not even look like a box anymore. I opened it to find that my meringue textures were broken but the cold items were still cold. I began to organize and gather my prep. Where is the fruit that was suppose to be delivered at 3:00? After I got set up I walked this amazing space and stared at the view. As the event grew closer I ran my speech through my head. Where the fuck is the fruit?

Out of the corner of my eye I see Mr. Harold McGee walk in. This man has inspired me on many different levels. First and foremost he has made me ask why and if I don't have a answer to try to find one. I wanted to walk up and have a conversation but I still needed to cut my fruit. Lots of people began to arrive and fill the auditorium. In the end the fruit showed up with about 20 minutes to spare. We cut it as fast as we could and we were ready for the flavor tripping party. Towards the end of the lecture I got up and talked about how I like to use the fruit. It was pretty amazing looking down at this scientific community and relating my experiences. After I was done everyone came into the lobby and experimented. It was a great event. After it was over I got to talk to Harold about a few therioes that I have. It was nice that he did not lauph in my face rather talked through my therioes with me. It was a plesure meeting him and Linda.

As I walked out of World Trade Center 7 all I wanted was my pizza fix. It was 11:00 and not a pizza place in sight. I settled for a banana, a snapple and retreated to my hotel. I only had to call the police ounce that night on the couple beating each other up in the room next to me. I got my 45 minutes and was back up at 6. I would like to say that my plane ride out the next day was better. A plane had gone down the night before out of Newark so everyone was a little on edge. It made for great flying. As I landed back home I could not believe what I had just done.
There is podcast of the event coming out on Friday that I will post

1 comment:

chad said...

Congratulations, Ian. Sounds like a whirlwind of an experience. Good times, right?