A Romanesque Feast in Richmond

Two heavy-hitter chefs pair up to benefit OutRVA.

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What do you get when two James Beard Foundation Award semi-finalists convene to conjure a seven-course meal?

Well, to start with, at six o’clock, a before dinner cocktail of chicory-dandelion tea spiked with Reservoir Distillery bourbon, followed by a dainty teacup of hearty white bean-corn soup with a pillow tender brisket hiding in the bottom the bottom of the cup and a sprinkle of shaved truffles on top.

When the teacups were cleared, plates of escargot appeared, paired with a biscuit stuffed with house-cured ham.

For five hours, the courses kept coming, each paired with a Virginia wine. It was like one of those ancient Roman banquets or a scene from the movie, “Big Night.”

The event – that night likely the hottest dinner ticket in the commonwealth – took place this past weekend at L’Opossum in Richmond where Chef/Owner David Shannon welcomed Chef Sydney Meers of Stove, the Restaurant, in Portsmouth. It was a signature event in Richmond’s third annual Fire, Flour & Fork epicurean extravaganza, and it sold out in three minutes flat, leaving lucky ticket holders feeling as if they’d won a gourmet lottery.

Which they had. Courses started with back story from the chefs and vintners.

“I’ve always been fascinated and horrified by the whole turducken thing,” Shannon said, while introducing the fourth course. His solution: turducken Rangoon, a crisp wonton purse filled with chicken liver mousse on a shallow pool of foie gras gravy, paired with cranberry relish spiked with Chinese five spice.

A plate of impossibly-creamy shrimp and grits followed, then lamb, chicken, pork, collards, persimmon and finally, at 10:18 p.m., Shannon announced, “Congratulations! You made it to dessert!”

Of which there were two. And finally, a standing ovation for the chefs and the staff at L’Opossum, and memories of a singular meal that no one in that dining room could ever forget. Bravo!

This story originally appeared on Pilotonline.com.

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