SOURCE: Marriott

Marriott

May 17, 2011 13:11 ET

Florence Alabama Chefs to Be Featured in New York's James Beard Foundation on May 21

FLORENCE, AL--(Marketwire - May 17, 2011) - From visionary Helen Keller to musical legends W.C. Handy and Sam Phillips to fashion icon Billy Reid, Muscle Shoals, Alabama has made a tremendous impact on society globally. Now the culinary world is experiencing a new treasure from atop a revolving structure overlooking the Tennessee River -- Three Sixty Grille at the Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa in Florence, Alabama.

The culinary team from Three Sixty has been invited by the prestigious James Beard Foundation in New York to host a dinner on Saturday, May 21 for foodies in the Big Apple. Executive Chef Josh Quick, a native New Yorker, immediately began planning an extensive menu featuring fresh Alabama ingredients. His meal, themed "Home-grown Alabama," is already sold out.

"Alabama is fortunate to have a variety of talented farmers that enable us to serve fresh ingredients to our guests on a daily basis," said Quick. "In addition to packing clothing for the trip, we are bringing world-class goat cheese, sausage, grits and other Alabama ingredients to showcase at the James Beard Foundation. From crawfish over fried green tomatoes to moonshine infused truffles, our guests will experience a playful yet exceptional menu."

The James Beard Foundation was established in 1986 in honor of James Beard, a cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food. The James Beard Foundation is the center of America's culinary community. In addition to its annual awards competition which has honored Frank Stitt, Chris Hastings and other Alabamians, the James Beard Foundation showcases culinary artists at the historic James Beard House. This is the first time that chefs from an Alabama hotel restaurant have been invited to be showcased at the James Beard House.

Known as New York's best-kept gastronomic secret, the James Beard House is in the heart of Greenwich Village in James Beard's former townhouse. Over 200 days a year, a chef from somewhere across America is creating the best of his or her craft for a meal diners won't forget. Chef Quick has paired his Alabama theme with wines from around the world.

"We are confident that Chef Quick and the culinary team for Three Sixty Grille will continue the James Beard House tradition while bringing a new awareness to other legendary talents from Muscle Shoals, Alabama," said Larry Bowser, general manager of the Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa. "Our culinary team has worked very hard in preparing for this experience and the James Beard Foundation guests are in for a real treat." Tickets are no longer available for this sold out event in New York, but the chefs hope to replicate it at Three Sixty in the near future.

The Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa is a four diamond hotel in Florence, Alabama overlooking the Tennessee River. Part of the Resort Collection on Alabama's Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, the Marriott Shoals continues to be among the highest Marriott properties for guest satisfaction. The hotel and the entire resort collection are owned by the Retirement System of Alabama.

Three Sixty Grille's James Beard Dinner

"Home-Grown Alabama"

Passed Hors d'ouvres
Potato and Conecuh Sausage Croquette with Chive Crème Fraiche
Crawfish with Dill Remoulade on Fried Green Tomato
Candied Beet and Belle Chevre Goat Cheese Terrine with Fingerling Potato Gaufrette
Alabama Country Pork Pate with House Cured Pickles
Rabbit and Caramelized Onion Crostini
Wills Creek Vineyard Muscadine-Gin Cocktail
Domaine Carneros Brut by Tattinger 2006 Carneros, California

Dinner Service
Roasted Yellow Tomato and Crab Soup with Seafood Sausage and Tomato "Caviar"
Cordero di Montezemolo Arneis 2009 Piemonte, Italy
Jack O'Lantern Farms Baby Lettuces, Lettuce Gelee, Carrot Foam, "Whipped" Buttermilk Dressing
Domaine Coudoulis Rose 2009 Lirac, France
Fried Quail Breast with Roasted Garlic Waffle, Baby Mustard Greens, Steve's Spiced Honey, Foie Gras Foam
Seghesio Zinfandel 2009 Sonoma, California
BBQ Glazed Country Pork Rib and Roasted Loin, Oakville Farms Grits with Alabama Hoop Cheese, Green Bean "Casserole"
Camille Cayran Gigondas 2007 Gigondas, France
Blueberry Sponge Cake with Buttermilk Ice Cream, Strawberry Jalapeno "Jell-o," Strawberry Apple Cider Gastrique
Adami Prosecco Garbel 13 NV Veneto, Italy
Mignardise Truffles: Good People Brewery Imperial Stout, Alabama Moonshine, Fresh Lavender

Chef Josh Quick Bio

Chef Josh Quick was born in New York and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. After touring the Culinary Institute of America at age fourteen, his plans of becoming a chef became clear. He turned down a music scholarship to Huntingdon College in Montgomery to open a coffee house and bakery -- all of this at the ripe old age of eighteen.

A few months after opening his business, Chef Quick's high school sweetheart, Miranda, informed him that she was moving to Tampa, Florida. After doing some research, Chef Quick inquired about Disney's Culinary Academy; soon after, he was accepted and relocated to Orlando. Josh and Miranda are now married with two beautiful children, Rylee, age eight, and Cameron, age four.

During his three-year apprenticeship at Disney, Chef Quick worked with many talented, world-famous chefs including Julia Child, Jean Louis Paladin, and Michael Lomonaco. At Disney, Chef Quick learned skills such as speed and precision by landing in kitchens such as the ESPN Club, doing 2000 dinners nightly, and Le Cellier Steakhouse, doing 400 high-end meals nightly. In these kitchens he met his mentors, Chef Jeffrey Mayer and Chef Brian Piasecki, and they remain friends today.

After five years at Disney, Chef Quick returned to his roots -- sweet home Alabama. It was at the Birmingham Marriott where he learned the ins and outs of a hotel kitchen and met Chef Einar Gudmundsson. Three years later, Chef Quick was given the opportunity to open a sister Marriott property, the Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort and Spa, as Banquet Chef. Nine months into that position, Chef Quick received a phone call from his previous employer, Gudmundsson, who was in need of assistance in turning his banquet facilities around at the Marriott Shoals in Florence, Alabama. Once Chef Quick visited the area, he knew he had found his home. After nine months in banquets, Chef Quick took on the position as chef of Three Sixty Grille, the property's fine dining restaurant in Florence, AL.

After a little over two years, Chef Quick decided to sow his entrepreneurial oats once more and assisted in conceptualizing and opening Crocodile Ed's, a more casual restaurant with an adjoining fish market. But alas, his heart remained with the refined cuisine that he'd made a name for at Three Sixty Grille and after a one year absence, he returned, much to the excitement of co-workers and the local community.

Today, Chef Quick leads the culinary team at Three Sixty Grille, an elegant rotating restaurant that overlooks the Tennessee Valley in North Alabama. Chef Quick's menu features regional American cuisine with a commitment to locally grown produce and sustainable farming practices taking the forefront. A five course chef's tasting offers innovative takes on some classics, while the a la carte menu presents refined renditions of Southern favorites.

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