Ciclismo Classico's first Ride and Dine event with Chef Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park, October 20th, exceeded even the highest expectations of those who planned and attended the event. The foliage laden ride in Westchester followed by a bruschetta and vino lunch break, to our four hour dining experience over convivial good company and memory making food, was reminiscent of a day in the life of a Ciclismo Classico tour.... Dialed up a notch of course, as the opportunity to ride alongside and share genuine conversation with one of the most esteemed chefs today, in his 3 star Michelin restaurant, was intensely special and a unique experience for all.
Just like on a Ciclismo tour in Italy, we offered an additional loop ride so there was a mix of pace and distance between 30 and 40 miles. Riding along the Titicus Reservoir was heard as the highlight by many... though the peak fall colors, on a 70 degree day nonetheless, was indeed what fueled everyone's pedals up the rolling hills. Daniel Humm is a competitive racer, and what we would qualify as an Advanced rider certainly on our tours. This ride however was designed on Intermediate terrain, with three guides pacing so as to support the span of levels on this special occasion Ride & Dine day.
Especially appreciated was the intimate nature of the event, both on the bike, and in our private room over looking the Eleven Madison Park main dining room. In fact one guest learned, while riding alongside Daniel, that he first started cooking as a teen to afford his cycling habit and professional mountain biking life and expense. To say we are glad that he did is an understatement. The mackerel with horseradish passed hors'deouvre is a bite of food I won't soon forget. Nor the roasted chestnut vichyssoise soup that was brought out as a surprise, or that filet of beef roasted with bone marrow and rutabaga. Truly exquisite. What was originally thought to be a three course meal, turned into five with the two surprise amuse bouche appetizers served- not to mention the five passed hors'deouves we grazed on before sitting. The creativity, simplicity and elegance in the food we experienced, is Daniel Humm and Eleven Madison Park's trademark, and what you'd expect in a 3 star Michelin restaurant- of which there are only 10 in the US and ~100 in the world!
While these pictures (see Related Media below) capture the foliage, smiles on our faces, and artistry of food, they can't possibly depict the mood and conversation among our 30 guests and Chef. Alumni of Ciclismo Classico tours were swapping stories of our guides, ranking their trips and getting advice for their next. New friends were being made and reunions from former trips happening too. A consistent question being, when is the next Ride & Dine?? Sign me up! Stay tuned... Based on last night, we hope to do it again. Until then, all you advanced riders, Daniel Humm is joining us on our July 14th French Alps to French Riviera tour. His bike prowess will certainly impress, though not nearly as much as the genuine humble demeanor and sincerity you will most certainly meet.