Whoa, yes, it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged, but you’re about to see why. Well, I guess I can’t blame it all on this project but it was definitely the largest event I’ve ever catered. Add two new freelance jobs (food/wine related, yay!) to the pile and hopefully you can see why I’ve been away. Now that I’m on vacation (in Tokyo!) I’ve finally found the time to blog.
I’ll break this into two or three parts, because I cooked four meals for this incredible group of people over the course of two days. The owner, some employees and loyal customers of Pearl Paradise spent one weekend in a mansion in Los Angeles to talk pearls and catch up with each other. It was such a pleasant experience catering for this friendly, down-to-earth and very interesting group of people. I met pearl farmers, a caviar supplier and learned so much about pearls over the course of two days. Not only did I get to do the thing I love most (cook!) but I did so in a state-of-the-art kitchen for a wonderful group of passionate people. What more could you ask for?
Friday night was the inaugural dinner of the weekend, so I wanted to make sure everything was accessible and fresh. The menu:
- Caprese skewers with balsamic reduction (tomatoes/mozzarella/basil)
- Bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with gruyere (not very pretty, but they don’t have to be because they’re totally addictive!)
- Panzanella salad (mixed greens with tomatoes and cubes of crusty bread) with balsamic vinaigrette
- Herb and garlic marinated skirt steak (Thomas Keller’s technique makes the most flavorful meat)
- Olive oil roasted chive fingerling potatoes
- Three cheese macaroni and cheese with a crisp panko crust (one of the biggest hits of the night- two ladies asked for the recipe)
- Roasted asparagus with sea salt and garlic
- Individual cheesecakes with a blueberry coulis (only had time to take this quick shot so you can’t see the blueberry coulis but the beautiful, deep blue color looked striking against the white cheesecake)
I did a lot of the prep ahead of time, and my trusty sous chef M was with me that evening to cook, serve and clean. Everyone seemed to enjoy everything (especially the dates and mac ‘n cheese) and it was a lovely time.