If you can recall from my interviews with McCallister and Elliott, the two hadn’t met up until this very dinner at FT33. But even so, they worked flawlessly together. Each of them served an entrée and dessert that were very different, but equally good. The drink pairings were prepared without any prior tasting of the dishes (impressive) and matched each course well, according to my table. Two of our favorite pairings had to be with McCallister’s pasta dish and Elliott’s stewed peaches dessert. Favorite dishes of the seven-person table (not including me or Kyle) were McCallister’s crab and Elliott’s trout.
‘This is one of the easiest dinners I’ve ever done because Matt was so accommodating,” Elliott said. “It was great to see Matt’s style of food and his use of the great farm sources he has.”
Elliott said his experience was a lot of fun and easy. McCallister said it went well, but there are always times when they get crushed and have to rush.
“It’s about trying to be perfect, but that’s near to impossible so now that we’ve done a few [dinners], we have an idea about the best way of doing everything,” McCallister said.
Jump and take a look at these awesome photos by Kyle Pennington.
McCallister had two options for the hors d’oeuvres: his garden carrot and black pepper macaron with rocky ford melon and arugula. Elliott’s was shrimp, beef tongue, ricotta, and benne seed toast.
First course (Elliott): Summer squashes with buttermilk, red miso, and chiles. This was paired with a birdie from Sparkman Riesling.
Second course (Elliott): Trout tartare, mustard seed, avocado, and caramelized lime. I believe there were pickled strawberries on this plate, too, topped with a blueberry. The wine pairing was Le Pétillant Originel from Le Rocher des Violettes. This was the second favorite of the group I sat with.
Third course (McCallister): Crab and a nduja (someone explain this to me as a spreadable sausage) beignet with popcorn, nectarine slices, and a green tomato chutney. This was an outstanding favorite among my table. This was paired with a beer for a change of pace. The Hitachino Nest White Ale from Kiuchi Brewery is one of the few actually brewed and bottled in Japan, then shipped over to the states. Most Japanese brews come from Canada.
Fourth course (Elliott): Chanterelles, pickled rhubarb in a tomato broth with shiso and dill. This one smelt like winter and the broth was very tasty. The accompanying drink was a Sancerre Rosé from Henri Natter.
Fifth course (McCallister): Rye casarecce (pasta) with smoked corn, onion, chicken liver, and oregano with Les Terres Blanches from Domaine Patrice Rion. The pasta was another loved dish – the thicker pasta balanced out the creamy sauce.
Sixth course (Elliott): Quail pastrami with watermelon, corn, and black radish. This plate was presented beautifully with a Abbazia di Novacella Lagrein. The quail pastrami had a nice kick to it and the watermelon balanced out the spice.
Seventh course (McCallister): Red wattle pork belly inspired by Thailand. The broth reminded me of tom kha soup. One guest commented, “That broth is dangerous.” The wine was Le Pré de Col from Bergström Pinot Noir.
Eighth course (Elliott): Stewed peaches with thyme ice and a honey cracker with a Carpineto Farnito.
Ninth course (McCallister): Chocolate malt, pretzel, cherry, banana, and peanut with a 1986 Niepoort Colheita.
Marley Dablo is the culinary intern at D Magazine. She will be an online journalism senior at the University of Oklahoma this coming fall. She plans to attend culinary school upon graduation in hopes of combining her writing and kitchen skills to ultimately have her own cooking show one day.