Even if you’re unfamiliar with the culinary legacy of the Waldorf Astoria, you've surely tasted it. Many iconic dishes were invented at this legendary New York City hotel, with the very first eggs benedict, red velvet cakes, and Waldorf salads emerging from its kitchens.
Soon guests at Waldorf properties around the world will enjoy what's sure to become a new classic: Celery Risotto alla Waldorf, created for the Taste of Waldorf competition by 2013 and 2014 JBF Rising Star Chef of the Year semifinalist David Posey and Waldorf Astoria Master Chef Heinz Beck. The elegant "risotto"—celery root finely chopped to resemble rice, cooked in a creamy rice stock, and served with Granny Smith apple gelée and shaved truffle—was conceived and fine-tuned at the Rome Cavalieri, the Waldorf property where chef Beck is based. The chefs, along with four other teams of Beard Award semifinalists and Waldorf Astoria Master Chefs, presented their dish to a panel of judges during an elegant gathering at the Waldorf Astoria New York last month. Posey has also joined the star-studded chef lineup at next month's James Beard Awards and will serve the Celery Risotto alla Waldorf to gala guests.
Posey's collaboration with Heinz was part of a week-long apprenticeship at the Rome Cavalieri, complete with trips to the market, cooking on the kitchen line, and a meal at La Pergola, the property's three-Michelin-star restaurant. "The creative process was easy for us," says Posey. "We took a classic dish, the Waldorf salad, and turned it into something that made sense with where we were and that could be relevant with mostly every season. Heinz improved on the technique of the dish to make it something exceptional, with his healthy and seasonal voice."
The Taste of Waldorf will return later this year, whisking five new competitors to Waldorf Astoria kitchens in five different cities. Meanwhile, visitors to Waldorf Astoria hotels can book their own one-of-a-kind Taste of Waldorf experience at waldorfastoria.com.
Learn more about the Taste of Waldorf.