[video grab from NY Times YouTube channel]
The New York Times Magazine’s Fall 2014 issue features a dining experiment entitled, ‘Small Plates’ to see what happened when six second graders are treated to a $220 per person seven-course tasting meal.
For Brooklyn second graders Maya Colombo, Amira Patrick, Chester Parish, Rohan Gelber-Higgins, Caylan George and Phoebe Spickler it was an exciting experience not only to because it was a new place and new taste they've experienced. But for these six schoolchildren, that Saturday afternoon it was a discovery of fine dining experience at its best from one of New York’s best French fine dining restaurant – Daniel. World renowned French chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud delighted his young guests with his signature French cuisine menu his restaurant was famous for.
Their amazement started from the moment they entered the French inspired restaurant’s revolving door, on to the waiting doorman greeting and receiving them cordially. The waiters made them sit leisurely on the table even arranging throw pillows rested on their backs to accommodate them on the high back dining chair supposedly meant for adult dining guests.
The $220 seven course menu which include a trio of canapés and an amuse-bouche, naturellement was a moment of extraordinary small plate discovery of flavors, layers and texture spectacle that were out of their ordinary and everyday home and school meals. Witnessed by Chef Daniel Boulud himself, the exquisite dishes earned him remarks from the young diners ranging from ‘the most foreign thing for them of the Smoked Paprika Cured Hamachi to ‘This is, like, the only good course. It’s yummy.’ remark of 7-year old Chester Parish on the custom made non-alcoholic cocktail served to them. Chef Daniel toured them through each of the course explaining in details what each were made of.
Of the prepared dishes presented to them, the Crispy Japanese Snapper was among those they loved to see. Whereas, the Wagyu Beef Rib Eye was “a big success” to them. But just like most kids dining as and each course was served to each of them, they are so anxious to wait for the desert to be served. The fine dining experience of these schoolchildren was captured for The New York Times by Director Jeffrey Blitz of the Oscar nominated documentary "Spellbound."