This isnâ€™t just any rice.
The 360 guests at the La PaulĂ©e Gala Dinner in New York already know that.
Itâ€™s laced with chives and minced black truffles. And thereâ€™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 wouldnâ€™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 canâ€™t help himself. He pours the sauce all over the rice and just starts chowing down. The taste is unreal. But heâ€™s quickly interrupted by a look from down the line that says, â€śTime to get back to work.â€ť La PaulĂ©e is one of the finest wine and food events in the world. This isnâ€™t the place for that.
But he isnâ€™t being admonished. The look comes with a hint of a smile.
After all, Weber-Gale isnâ€™t a chef. Heâ€™s an Olympic gold medal swimmer.