Serving a sandwich of caviar-graced scallop stacked between potato chips, Joachim Splichal kicked off the 22nd anniversary of his ground-breaking Downtown fine-dining temple, Patina, this week. Six distinguished alumni of Patina's kitchens, Octavio Becerra, Theo Schoenegger, Walter Manzke, David Feau, Eric Greenspan, and Michael Otsuka, joined Splichal, current chef Tony Esnault, and pastry chef Sarah Koechling to create an epic seven-course feast showcasing the ingredient-worship, unshakeable technique, vision, risk-taking, artistry, and refinement that keeps the restaurant vital in its twenties. From Becerra's robust rabbit, foie, and squab terrine with pomegranate seeds to Greenspan's mole and lobster to Walter Manzke's tourte of duck offal, each chef pushed their personalities onto the plate while demonstrating the all-encompassing perfectionism one has come to expect from this upscale standard-bearer. Check out our slideshow of everything the chefs cooked for Patina's 22nd birthday, as well as a review of the years they each served at Patina.
From left, David Feau, Walter Manzke, Octavio Becerra (with back to camera), Eric Greenspan, Theo Schoenegger, Patina's resident emcee, Tony Esnault, and Michael Otsuka.
Michael Otsuka, 1995-1996
The Flourish Baking Company chef prepared hors d'oeuvres, including this porcini and barley-stuffed cabbage.
Octavio Becerra, 1989-2005
The Palate Food & Wine chef prepared one of the night's best dishes, a fall terrine of rabbit, foie gras, and squab, with persimmons and seasoned pomegranate seeds in a pistachio aillade.
Tony Esnault, 2009-Present
The current Patina chef made a glazed vegetable mosaic of perfect, individually cooked ingredients in navette oil and braised in "jus de cuisson."
Theo Schoenegger, 2003-2008
The chef, visiting from Las Vegas's Sinatra at Encore, was on a bit of a butter bender in this egg-dough ravioli with shaved Burgundy truffles and white truffle butter.
David Feau, 2008-2009
The Royce chef prepared Saint Pierre Vent Basque, John Dory with a side of Iberico.
Eric Greenspan, 2001-2004
The Foundry on Melrose chef made a sinful lime brown butter-poached lobster on cavolo nero with grapefruit, butternut squash, and a dollop of his "mole Santa Cruz," a peanut-tinged mole of his own creation.
Walter Manzke, 2001-2004
Manzke, currently working to open his Republique in Downtown, made our favorite dish of the night. Beside his roast duck breast was his "tourte gibier," a thin blanket hugging a rich mixture of duck offal, including heart and liver. Both waded in salmis.
Sarah Koechling, 2011-Present
Patina's pastry chef made a refreshing green apple and coconut battera.
After the show comes the after-party, with ta spit-roasted pig at Kendall's Brasserie.
The Patina founder with Church & State's Yassmin Sarmadi.
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