The ancient Greeks had a four-day binge drinking fest, Anthesteria, and the Romans had their binge-and-purge food orgies. Today, fancy folk who self-identify as foodies have The Grand GELINAZ! Shuffle — think of it as Wife Swap, but with chefs.
For one day only, 35 of the world’s best male chefs and two of the best female chefs, will travel to one another’s restaurants to cook dinner. The event takes place July 9, and McCrady’s Sean Brock is among them.
We learned of the event after coming across GELINAZ!’s Inception-like website. On the site, a video pops up of a giggling Chef David Chang. Seated before a charcuterie cooler he spookily calls out: “The Grand GELINAZ! Shuffle is officially boarding!”
The price of embarkation? €125 ($147.52) per person for the one-night only dinner which will take place locally at McCrady’s.
According to founders chef Fulvio Pierangelini (one of the swappers) and creative directors Andrea Petrini, that’s a small price to pay for a ticket to dine at the ultimate chef exchange student banquet.
“GELINAZ! Shuffle celebrates the very core of the hospitality industry: sharing knowledge, exposure to new ingredients and learning new practice — creativity without fear. There is no voting system, there is no No. 1 and there is no judgment. Instead, a collaboration that will offer the diner a unique and exciting experience and leave each kitchen and participating chef with a fresh understanding of a different culinary culture in an international exchange of knowledge.
Each chef will travel to the country of destination three days before the event to prepare an eight-course menu. They’re not allowed to bring ingredients from home, but must use locally sourced items instead. Guests won’t discover who their chef is until the night of the event. And, we have to admit, when you consider who might win the McCrady’s lottery spot, the options are pretty astounding. Check out the full list below.
Personally, after watching Netflix’s documentary series Chef’s Table this week, we’d be psyched to dine on anything Osteria Francesca’s Massimo Bottura or Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson put forth. But Fäviken’s viking wunderkind already made a McCrady’s appearance back in 2012. So it’s anyone’s guess as to which celebuchef will appear. And while we can’t help but find some hypocrisy in flying nearly 40 chefs around the world to spread the eat-local message (carbon footprint, anyone?), GELINAZ! certainly has us intrigued. If someone’s willing to buy us a ticket, we’re more than willing to let the concept invade our subconscious. To buy tickets, click here.
Andoni Luis Aduriz
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