Recently I had an opportunity to do what to me, was very special and exciting opportunity. As a member of The Foodie Blog Roll I was able to join a new and upcoming program called Swoop. Swoop is still a baby for the most part, but its “sweeping” the internet with is innovative way of advertising! I am very happy and excited that I am a part of this program!
Just a few weeks ago I was presented with an invitation from Swoop to attend a private event hosted by them at Marc Forgione’s namesake restaurant. I was excited to receive the invitation but so very nervous to take a trip to NYC by myself. I’m a pure country girl and only have lived the “city” life for a couple of years here in Albany – which when you look at it, isn’t a very big city at all. However, because we now do live in Albany, it was a much easier decision to actually make the trip there and back in one day. When I told Grumpy about it, he didn’t even hesitate. His word was “GO”. So, I went!
What an experience! I was the first guest to arrive as I went down early in order to meet up with my cousin Ryan who lives in the city. Ryan graciously spent the afternoon with me and catered me around the city, finally depositing me off at the restaurant before he had to head off to work himself. I love that boy, he has turned into a awesome, thoughtful, and attentive young man!
I can tell you that although I felt slightly out of place at first, it didn’t take me long to be enjoying the evening. Kurt Holloway, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Business Development greeted me when I arrived, Kurt was my contact on this invitation and I must say that he was extremely helpful with my worrisome questions about travel into the big apple! I also met CEO and Founder of Swoop, Ron Elwell, who had a great inviting smile and personality.
I thoroughly appreciate the opportunity the presented me with and it is one I will not soon forget! Chef Forgione created a menu based on “Childhood Favorites” which was one like I never experienced before but definitely hope to experience again! Favorites that I enjoyed were his version of Bagel with Cream Cheese, a mini everything bagel bite with vegetable cream cheese and gravlax – a bite of pure heaven and one I want to experience again. His version of PB&J was a warm homemade mini english muffin with homemade nut butter, jam, served along with Foie Gras and assorted flavored salts. The memory of that first bite and the pure enjoyment of the feel of it all in my mouth was unforgettable. It was my first experience with Foie Gras and I can guarantee, if I can have it again like I did there, it won’t be my last! His “Baked Potato” was sour cream ravioli, leek, bacon, and white truffle. As soon as the plate was presented the wonderful odor wafting to my nose was one I will not forget and will likely look to experience again! And lastly, the dessert was another very memorable treat for me. His version of an Apple Pie where the apple was the crust, served with black pepper ice cream, whipped cream and cracker jacks. Just a few bites were enough to satisfy and put a perfect end to the food experience of the evening.
At the end of our meal, I noticed Chef Forgione standing in the doorway of his kitchen. I decided I could not let the experience go past me without introducing myself and thanking him for the wonderful meal experience I had just completed. Chef Forgione is a wonderful young man with a beautiful smile and humble presence. I was totally impressed with his attentiveness when talking to him and all I can say is he must make his momma proud. Now, when watching him on The Iron Chef, I can’t help but feel my heart swell knowing that a great person he is. Just the perfect end to a wonderful evening of great company, food, and an experience to not soon forget. Thank you Swoop Team!