STURBRIDGE – The chef at Old Sturbridge Village, Bill Nemeroff, would like to take you on a journey. His journey starts with champagne and a horse-drawn carriage and ends with his best dish – fried chicken.
Nemeroff is hosting this delectable journey next month as the first event of WorcesterScene‘s new dinner series called Chef’s Best.
“This is a dinner that allows a chef to ‘put their best dish forward,'” explained Luke Vaillancourt, founder of WorcesterScene. “The Chef’s Best gives carte blanche to the chef to do whatever they want.”
This new series is part of WorcesterScene expanding its reach beyond Worcester. Normally, the Worcester Foodies group order off the menu of a new restaurant once a month and post group reviews on WorcesterScene. This new program allows them to try dining outside of Worcester-proper and opens up the unique experience to the general public.
Tickets to Nemeroff’s dinner, which will feature fried chicken among other Southern delights, are on sale to anyone interested in attending.
“I’m more of an honest cook,” Nemeroff said. “I like to take very ordinary items and try to elevate them.”
Growing up in the south, Nemeroff said this Chef’s Best dinner menu will be an ode to his childhood.
Nemeroff was asked to host the first Chef’s Best dinner after a Worcester foodie asked on social media where to find the best fried chicken. Nemeroff volunteered to make some of his for a dinner with a few friends and the idea grew from there.
When asked what makes his fried chicken the best, Nemeroff described some secrets of southern cooking that make the dish perfect.
“It’s patience,” Nemeroff said. “To get fried chicken right, it’s a 48-hour process. It has a lot to do with seasoning it properly and letting it weep in the flour. It’s a trick we use down south to get a nice crust, but that you’re not breaking your teeth on.”
Nemeroff said he’s excited by the prospect of the Chef’s Best dinner and he thinks diners should be, too.
“With a restaurant and a menu, people generally go for the same things and stay in their comfort zone. With this, you can put something in front of them they normally wouldn’t have,” Nemeroff said. “I’m sure chefs are going to enjoy doing it and, that being said, the diners will certainly reap the benefits of it.”
The $60 ticket to the first Chef’s Best event buys not just a three-course meal, but the entire experience.
The evening will begin with a horse-drawn carriage ride through Old Sturbridge Village to the historic covered bridge that will be converted to a dining room for the night. The three-course meal will kick off with a champagne welcome including local vegetables, cheese and crackers. The meal will include a starting salad and a banana pudding dessert.
Tickets can be purchased online for the Sept. 1 dinner, which will begin at 6 p.m.
Vaillancourt said WorcesterScene plans to host a Chef’s Best event every quarter.