One of the Hudson Valley’s most unusual food events, the Beefsteak, will be hosted by the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Hyde Park, NY, on Saturday, February 6, 2016. It will be led by Waldy Malouf, CIA Special Director and former owner of the Beacon restaurant in New York City, who was instrumental in the revitalization of this classic culinary tradition.
What is a Beefsteak? They are celebratory meals held by organizations wishing to raise money for politicians and/or friends. Originally, they were for men only, and no eating utensils were used. Men sat on crates and consumed the all-you-can-eat feast with their hands. It was definitely a “hands-on” gluttony of meat and shellfish, with plenty to eat and – especially – drink. A raucous brass band kept the evening lively.
Originating in Manhattan in the 1800s, the Beefsteaks gradually became more civilized in the early 1900s as women were invited to the festivities. They brought chairs, eating utensils and a refinement not seen up until then. Orchestras replaced rowdy bands and the spark of the boisterous evenings was dampened. Finally, the tradition, a mere shadow of its early days, eventually ended with the onset of prohibition. The most popular beefsteak banquet was at William S Miller’s carpenter shop on West 40th Street.
The CIA’s reiteration of the Beefsteak harkens back to the brass band era and includes the CIA’s new craft beer micro-brewery featuring a brew created exclusively for the event by the students. A legion of up-and-coming chefs, led by Waldy Malouf, will recreate the historic event in this, the third annual Beefsteak.
You can see a video of what to expect here. Meanwhile, here’s a peek at the menu:
First Course – Celery, Carrots, Radishes and Olives (crudité) / Aged New York State Sharp Cheddar / Roasted Oysters / Lump Crabmeat Salad / Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail
Second Course – Mini Burgers on Parker House Toast / Lamb Kidneys wrapped in Bacon / Grilled Lamb Chops
Third Course – Certified Angus Beef / Roast Dry-Aged Sirloin of Beef / Blood & Butter Gravy / Home Made Potato Chips / American Bounty’s Smokey Catsup / Fresh Horseradish
All followed by a luxurious assortment of desserts. Cost for this over-the-top debauchery is $150 per person. The Beefsteak will be held at Farquharson Hall in the CIA campus in Hyde Park on Saturday, 2/6/16 at 6:00 PM. Tickets must be pre-paid, and can be purchased here.
For more information see the Culinary Institute’s website.