National Press Club

Club's Delbert and Equinox's Grays Team Up for Fourth Estate Dinner

October 1, 2013 | By Cary Pollak | wokmancary@comcast.net

Equinox Restaurant's co-owners, Executive Chef Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray

Equinox Restaurant's co-owners, Executive Chef Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray

Photo/Image: Cary Pollak

Equinox restaurant co-owners Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray teamed up with Club Executive Chef Susan Delbert to host a sold-out dinner featuring dishes from the Grays’ latest cookbook, The New Jewish Table, in the Fourth Estate Restaurant on Sept. 25.

After the dinner, Kassoff Gray called it “one of the best dinners we have ever done - and we have done close to 1,000.”

The evening began with a steady stream of hors d’oeurves:" Yukon Gold and sweet potato latkes, Gruyere cheese puffs, falafel, eggplant caviar and smoked trout on crostini. They were paired with the first of six Israeli wines selected to accompany each course.

Gray's many accolades include being a five-time James Beard Award nominee, and being named Chef of the Year in 2011 by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington. Kassoff Gray is a winner of the RAMW award for Restaurant Manager of the Year.

Gray regaled the audience with stories about the creation of new cookbook, his romance and partnership with his wife, and some of his projects. Delbert also addressed the crowd periodically, but much of her time was spent in the kitchen.

The first plated course was pumpkin risotto with sautéed wild mushrooms, an homage to the fall and to the Grays' seasonal approach to cooking. This was followed by a salad of roasted heirloom beets, capers and almonds. Next up was barbecued wild salmon with sweet corn, followed by pistachio-crusted loin of lamb with caramelized cauliflower and wilted spinach. Apple strudel and vanilla ice cream ended the meal.

Between courses, the Israeli Wines Direct team, Mayer Jacobovitz and Agnes Goldberger, introduced the wine that had been chosen for the upcoming dish.