GRACIOUS GOURMAND, a biweekly dinner event presented by The Discerning Brute & Second Stop Cafe, is not for the weak of palate. Featuring a rotating cast of chefs specializing in avant-garde, gourmet, sustainable fare, our series aims to challenge ordinary perceptions and preparations of fine food, expose visionary talent, and celebrate conscientious hedonism.

The next event is September 10, 2010, featuring Chef Neal Harden. See below for details.

PURCHASE YOU TICKET, $50 PRIX FIXE (drinks not included), click below:

Neal Harden’s Four-Course Menu:

♦ Phyllo Beggars Purse of Roasted Mushroom, Poached Apple, and Hawthorne Valley Sauerkraut, Beet Mozaic, Roasted Shallot Jam, Fresh Thyme

♦ Salad of Wild Arugula, Asian Pear, Maple Glazed Acorn Squash Lavender Dijon, Spicy Pralines, Pickled Leek

♦ Lasagnette: Fresh Cut Pasta, Eggplants of the World, Anise Scented White Bean Puree, Tuscan Kale Pesto Port Wine and Heirloom Tomato Marinara, Wax Beans, Herb and Garlic Relish

♦ Terrine of Single Origin Venezuelan Chocolate with Pink Peppercorn Passion Fruit Gelee, Candied Ginger, Puffed Black Rice, Fleur De Sel

♦♦♦ To Drink: Muddle of Kanon Vodka, Summer Berries, Lime, and Fresh Basil or Virgin. Drinks are  $8, $5 respectively


Neal's interest in food began in his mother's kitchen at the age of 6, and continued in the professional kitchens he began working in at the age of 18. Early on he developed an interest in cuisine involving vegan, natural, healing, and healthy foods. After working at a variety of different restaurants, he attended and graduated the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health in 2005. In 2006 he became the Executive Chef of Pure Food and Wine, New York City’s premier fine dining vegan raw food restaurant. His personal culinary philosophy includes support of individual and community well being and health, which includes a focus on fresh, local, organic, and bio-dynamic foods and wines. He is a contributor to the cook books Living Raw Food and New York Cooks: 100 Recipes from the City’s Best Chefs. He has been featured on The Learning Channel, and his cuisine has received praise in Forbes Magazine, Taschen’s New York, Time Out New York, and The Michelin Guide, among other publications. Most recently Neal has been consulting on a spa/restaurant property in Bali, Indonesia, and doing freelance private chef work.

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