Last night was the annual At The Table event for Women Chefs & Restaurateurs, a group that supports “education and advancement of women in culinary fields.” Chefs, culinary school students, and supporters gathered at the Prince George Ballroom for a sweet and savory tasting, general networking, and to raise awareness for the group’s scholarship and internship programs.

Savory highlights included Patti Jackson’s pork belly braciole with broccoli rabe, lobster rolls from Rebecca Charles of Pearl Oyster Bar, and vibrant buffalo mozzarella antipasti with air-cured beef, fresh marjoram, and coriander seed dressing from Katy Sparks. Meredith Kurtzman of Otto served coconut panna cotta with strawberry granita and lime curd, and Bobbie Lloyd of Magnolia filled the ballroom with mini cupcakes, which were so cute that several attendees reportedly “almost died.” Twenty-nine women chefs donated their time and food to the event.

Vera Tong of Dovetail served butterscotch pudding with bananas and homemade BBQ potato chips (above). It was delicious. We asked what led her to pair chips and puddin’. “The real inspiration?” she asked, as if we couldn’t handle the truth. “It was McDonalds.” Tong mentioned that while growing up in Queens, her friends implored her to top off Mickey D’s soft serve with french fries. “It was like my after-school special,” said Tong of the gateway food experience. The chef also name-dropped Wonder Bread, Aunt Jemima, and her mom as influences on another Dovetail dessert, brioche bread pudding with bananas, bacon brittle, and vanilla-rum ice cream. Nobody tell Mrs. Butterworth!

Photos: Tejal Rao.