This isn’t just any rice.

The 360 guests at the La Paulée Gala Dinner in New York already know that.

It’s laced with chives and minced black truffles. And there’s an extra tray of it just sitting off to the side of the kitchen, next to a sauce made from an intense chicken stock and emulsified with foie gras.

One wouldn’t expect anything less from a team of culinary all-stars like Daniel Boulud, Michel Troisgros, Daniel Humm and Tom Colicchio. But now everyone in the kitchen is focused on the next course.

Well, almost everyone.

Garrett Weber-Gale can’t help himself. He pours the sauce all over the rice and just starts chowing down. The taste is unreal. But he’s quickly interrupted by a look from down the line that says, “Time to get back to work.” La Paulée is one of the finest wine and food events in the world. This isn’t the place for that.

But he isn’t being admonished. The look comes with a hint of a smile.

After all, Weber-Gale isn’t a chef. He’s an Olympic gold medal swimmer.

-- Click here for the complete story of Garrett Weber-Gale's journey from the gold-medal stand to an elite culinary circle.

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