Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sauteed stomach butterflies, side of intense fear

Words of wisdom: If you volunteer, half-jokingly, to make dinner for a famous chef in your house, make sure the half of you that wasn't joking is prepared to follow through. When I say follow through, I'm not talking just about producing the meal, I'm talking about not bloody freaking the hell out with nerves prior to the meal.

Seattle Tall Poppy, as she is often in the position, was given the supreme task of taking Mr. Famous Chef out to dinner. I, via Twitter (of all things), in less than 140 characters as Dana of Tasting Menu pointed out, planned a 6 course menu with Dana handling the dessert, making this the most succinctly formulated dinner party ever.

As my nerves mounted, my most wonderful friends/support team stepped up to the plate. My assistant Elaine helped prep, Ashlyn from Tilikum Place Cafe, volunteered to cook (on her day off), Jet (of nettle "fame") pitched in both front and back of the house, and April scurried home from, uh, just the little matter of getting a restaurant open, in order to pour wines (graciously donated from A&B Imports. Thanks Vito!).

Ashlyn, me, and Jet (aka the kitchen "bitches")

Dana Cree and April start the evening off with some bubbly

Shucking some gorgeous Kumomotos donated by Taylor Shellfish (thanks Bill!)

Kumomotos with spring onion mignonette,
Virginicas with champagne gelee and sea beans

Port Madison goat cheese tart with port-soaked cherries, leeks,
thyme and pickled red onion

Ladling on the ginger-vermouth fumet for the third course

Dungeness crab and apple sandwich, ginger and vermouth fumet,
Skagit River bacon and shiso salad

Just prior to adding the wok-smoked halibut, pictured here are fiddlehead ferns,
stinging nettle dumplings, porcini, and nettle sauce

Foraged miner's lettuce salad, rhubarb-thyme jam, dandelion crackers, Estrella Creamery cheeses

Dana Cree's wildberry sherbet with DuChilly hazelnuts and cocoa caraway streusel

Jet striking a pose

Chef de cuisine of La Provence Erik Loos, April, William Leaman,
Owner of Bakery Nouveau, me, Ashlyn, Chef John Besh, Andy McShea,
Theo Chocolates COO and Head Scientist,
Jet, Andrew Daday,
Operations Claudio Corallo Chocolates, my dog Bubba

Chef Besh was a gracious guest, an all-around nice guy and a pleasure to cook for. You come back soon now, ya hear?

Many thanks to Ashlyn and Traca for taking the photos.


Carrie Oliver said...

Becky, this looks amazing and like a lot of fun. How does that Traca do such a good job at hiding behind the camera? Pretty soon, restaurants will be posting grainy underground images of her in the kitchen so that wait staff knows that she's in the house!

Seriously, congratulations on the dinner.

Chris said...

This is awesome. Thanks for posting.

Jeanne said...

So very cool. Looks delicious and like everyone had a wonderful time.

Charles G Thompson said...

Very brave of all of you! Looks like an amazing menu. Hope to meet you at the IFBC next month.

Becky said...

Carrie: You've just unearthed one of the great mysteries of the Western World.

Chris: I think I dropped 10 pounds in nervous sweat. Thank god that's over :0

Jeanne: Thanks for stopping by. I hope it was delicious, I didn't eat for days. :)

Hi Charles: Nice to meet you. Yes, would love to meet you at IFBC. Just checked out your blog, makes me want to take another trip to LA.

The Well-Tempered Chocolatier said...

Beautiful plating! If it tasted anything like it looks (as I suspect it did), I'm sure it was a hit. Looks like you all had fun, anyway.

Looking forward to meeting you this weekend at IFBC.


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