Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Gluten Free week at the Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta!

This post is a little late in coming, since the week long event was back in April. I was planning for vacation then and somehow never got around to posting about it. Chef Robert Gertenecker is the Executive Chef at Park 75, at the Four Seasons Hotel. He got involved with the gluten free community last October, when he participated in the Gluten Free Cooking Spree hosted by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. After that event, he added gluten free lobster chili and cornbread to his lunch menu. With two days notice, you can also enjoy Afternoon Tea there, complete with gluten free scones, sandwiches and desserts! Naturally when the Park 75 manager told me about Chef's gluten free week in April, I was overly excited. They came up with a gluten free dinner menu with choices for the starter, entree and dessert. For $45, it was quite the bargain for this caliber restaurant.

I got an early preview of the menu and though it looked great, I really miss ordering crab cakes out. And so I did what I urge everyone to do, all the time. I asked for what I wanted - gluten free crab cakes. As always, Chef Robert did not disappoint and gladly added Blue Crab Cakes to his gluten free dinner menu.

Our original plan was to have a romantic evening out but it turned out a gluten free friend was having a birthday that week. So we ended up with a small group of friends to enjoy this great evening together. We were seated at a prime location in the restaurant at a round table, and within a minute a bread basket appeared on the table. I recognized the gluten free cornbread muffins but there was something else in there. Oops...they must have put gluten rolls in the basket, rendering everything in it unsafe for us. No actually, they had made gluten free rolls just for us. They were fairly good, but could not compete with the cornbread...it's some of the best cornbread I've ever had, regardless of ingredients.

To keep things simple and worry free, the entire table ordered from the gluten free menu. My husband started with the gluten free mushroom ravioli with truffle cream sauce and I had Chef's signature white bean lobster chili. The crab cakes were actually offered in the appetizer section on the special menu, but Chef made an exception for us and gave us two cakes as an entree choice. They were some of the best I've ever had and certainly the best gluten free version I've tasted. This is probably because it was comprised mostly of crab...some of the best tasting I'd had in a while. All crab cakes should be this decadent....I could have eaten them continuously until morning. But we still had our dessert course coming.

My husband ordered the creme brulee and I had the berry parfait with a gluten free cookie. I wasn't crazy about the cookie part but the rest of my dessert was fabulous. The creme brulee was excellent and presented beautifully, with a caramelized sugar spray on top!

Just as we thought our night would soon end, the server and manager appeared with a special birthday dessert for my friend...what?! Though I had asked for something special for her (at her husband's secret request), when they brought her dessert out with ours, I assumed they hadn't come up with anything special. Since the dessert offered is not available at present, I can't tell or show what exactly it was. But trust me when I say it was out of this world delicious and they should be offering it all the time. It was so unbelievable that as I stuffed a few bites down (very full from dinner), I kept thinking this could not possibly be gluten free - but it was. Pastry Chef Christopher Jennings really outdid himself this time. I can't wait to see what he'll come up with next!

So a very late but sincere thanks to Chef Robert, Managers Augustin and Mike, and the entire staff at Park 75, for making that night so wonderful for all of us. And an extra special thank you goes to Pastry Chef Christopher, especially from the birthday girl! None of us will ever forget the special treatment we received at the Atlanta Four Seasons Hotel! And seriously Chef Robert, you really should consider packaging the lobster chili and selling it retail....

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you had a wonderful time at the 4 Seasons. Lobster chili sounds simply fabulous.

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go


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