The Gold Medal Dining Experience

By Christina Collins

I had the honor and opportunity to meet Chefs Daniel Boulud & Tom Colicchio at a special fundraising event held at the David Bouley Test Kitchen in New York City. It was a stunning cocktail hour followed by a 6 course sit down meal prepared by some of the world’s most renowned and accomplished chefs, namely Tom Colicchio, Daniel Boulud, Daniel Humm, David Bouley and Florian Bellanger. These chefs are the royalty of the culinary world.

The Gold Medal Dining Experience mission was to raise money for the USA Swimming Foundation, with a focus primarily on teaching under privileged children how to swim to reduce the high number of young victims of drowning. Having married into a notable swim family with strong ties to USA Swimming, this event was an important one to me. My father in law, John Collins is one of the world’s most accomplished swim coaches in America producing numerous gold medalists and world record holders and my mother in law, Linda Ludgrove, was an olympian and world record holder herself.

I was one of only 52 guests who had the privilege to be a part of this epic culinary experience that included Venison with heritage grains and huckleberries. Wild mushrooms with toro and black truffles. John Dory poached with citrus. Peekytoe crab with apple and walnut dressing. And a caramelized phyllo dough with lemon sherbet and passion fruit sauce.

Each course was masterfully prepared by one of the chefs and then presented to us describing every element of the dish from the inspiration behind it to the ingredients and preparation. Each course was then paired with a carefully selected wine from a reserved collection.

This experience was truly once in a lifetime and one I am most grateful to my father in law and long time supporter of USA Swimming, John Collins, for providing to me. It inspired me to continue working on my skills in the kitchen, and expanded my pallet to experience some of the best flavors I’ve had the opportunity to taste.

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