Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010: Dinner #1

Sometimes dinners take on a life bigger than the food, bigger than the milieu; these are dinners where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. Tonight was such a night: my guests were amazing, the wine exceeded expectations and, yeah, the food stepped up. I'm well pleased.

Herewith, a recollection of the evening...


Above is a shot of the pre-plated amouse bouches: smoked Scotch salmon, creme fraiche, chopped chives and paddlefish caviar (background) and the dessert: blackberries in allspice/cinnamon/powdered sugar topped with butter and fast Irish oats. I like to prep and preplate as much as possible so I can enjoy time with my guests. If I did everything in real time I'd never have a moment with them, defeating the very purpose of a dinner party.


I chose a central floral theme of alstroemeria, on account of their color, size and simplicity. Petal for petal, they create mass and function beautifully as single blooms in the bud vases by the place cards. The remainder of the setting is consistent with all my previous dinners with the exception of the new decanter to the left of the main vase.


Here's a typical timing sheet I do for multi-course dinners and gatherings with multi-faceted operations. I recommend creating a run of show, working back from the time your guests arrive to incorporate the various actions one must take before the doorbell rings. At the very least, this keeps you from being overwhelmed by executing everything at the last minute.


The horses are on the track.


Saffron is a sensual spice. It creates an experience both in the nose and on the palate. Combined with various Gruyéres and lobster takes it another plane entirely. I'd add more lobster to this (one tail per serving) and it would make a glorious main course.


Center cut filets mignon sided with steamed green beans and thick, hand-cut bacon. That's a disc of Stilton butter on the filet, laid on from the ramekin.


Missing from this cork collage are the Bollinger and the Perrier Jouet Fleur de Champagne. The educated will thrill, the clueless should Google.

This is me.

This is His Grace Lord Alex of Windows.

This is Jared. His eyes are naturally that way.

Say hello to Josh. He's our ginger prince. His carpet doesn't match his drapes.


Here's Ross. He's an icon.

And thus endeth the dinner. Beautiful food for beautiful people -- that's our brand promise.

Happy New Year!

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