Hartford Symphony Orchestra's "Playing With Food" event returns for a third year March 21 at the Bushnell Performing Arts Center, featuring performances driven by culinary talent and creativity.
After tasting dishes prepared by three local chefs, music director Carolyn Kuan will select musical pieces inspired by the flavors, textures and presentation of each plate.
Chef William Reardon of VIVO Seasonal Trattoria at the Marriott Downtown offers an appetizer of lump crab and crimini gratine with butternut mornay, American sturgeon caviar and creme fraiche, and an entree of braised veal osso buco with chanterelles, risotto Milanese and tomato espuma. (The osso buco will be on VIVO's next menu release.)
Chef James King of m&m Bistro at the Hartford Hilton presents a Medley de Mar of Atlantic cod and salmon, mussels, clams, and shrimp, spiced bouillabaisse consommé, potato and Applewood bacon hash Lyonnais, braised greens and garlic. For dessert, he prepared a limonatta napoleon: layered limoncello infused sponge cake, citrus zested mascarpone and raspberry crème anglaise. (Both dishes are now on m&m's menu for diners to enjoy.)
Chef Steve Rosen of the Connecticut Convention Center prepares an appetizer of smoked duck breast and honey roasted pear salad, candied pecans with pomegranate vinaigrette, and entree of Korean BBQ beef short rib with baby bok choy and kimchee slaw.
March's live performance features a guest appearance by "Top Chef" star Fabio Viviani, who will chat live with Kuan and the Hartford chefs about their dishes, techniques and inspirations. During the second half of the show, Viviani will cook a full course on stage as the Hartford Symphony Orchestra performs the selected musical pieces. Guests will be able to purchase samples of Viviani's prepared appetizer and dessert during an extended intermission and after the concert.
The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in the venue's Mortensen Hall. Tickets are $22.50 to $64.50. Information: hartfordsymphony.org.