“Cuisine From The Collections: Cocktail Edition” This Weekend
We’re not saying that the Academy of Natural Sciences’ upcoming Cuisine from the Collection gala will feature bat guano burritos or live millipedes as garnish to your Manhattan … but we’re not saying it won’t, either. Chefs and bartenders at the annual fundraiser, taking place this Saturday from 7 (6 p.m. for VIPS) to 10 p.m., derive inspiration from the academy’s collection of 18 million animal and plant specimens, and we can only imagine that means that at least one creepy and/or crawly thing edged its way into the psyche of those planning the event…
For the first time this year, the gala leans heavily on cocktails as the star of the night’s food/drink pairings, and you know how crazy some mixologists can get with their back-to-nature witches’ brews — even at a normal bar. So don’t be surprised if some prehistoric fern leaves get muddled into your Monarch butterfly mojito.
Actually, we kid the academy. The menu looks so normal we can’t quite figure out what the inspiration was. Aside from passed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, cocktail and food pairings will be set up in — different rooms. They each feature a type of cuisine – from Middle Eastern to seafood, and if we may borrow from the Latin room, they look something like this:
* Cocktail: MEZCALITA DE PINA — Mescal, Grilled Pineapple, Jalapeno, Lime
* OAXACAN GREEN MOLE RUBBED BEEF TENDERLOIN with Black Kale, Queso Fresco, Toasted Almonds, Oranges & Currants with Cumin Honey Lime Vinaigrette
* CORN THREE WAYS — Hominy, Huitlacoche & Silver Queen
* CACTUS SALAD — Prickly Pear, Grilled Cactus Pear & Pickled Red Onion
* SEARED TIGER PRAWNS with Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa
So you don’t have to imagine what you’re drinking, scientists will display and explain the rarely seen items that inspired the drinks, which could mean anything from a variety of cacti to ancient corn breeds.