This weekend I produced canapes and a three course meal for a client celebrating a significant birthday. Working with my wine expert partner, Alistair Cooper, the evening had everything. A tour around the world in the selection of the wines and a varied menu which I think also reflected the experience and range of the 10 guests also celebrating with the host.
It was a fabulous experience for me, with the challenge of cooking in a totally unfamiliar kitchen and work space, it meant that the whole evening was spontaneous. Alistair talked about the wines, why he selected them based on the menu and the client’s travels around the world. The guests, all great foodies, and experts enjoyed the scene setting before each course, with a little bit of explanation of some of the dishes as required. The enthusiasm for the wine and food was visible, with the result that there was little wasted. I have not seen plates that devoid of leftovers in a long time!
Here is the menu with the wine choices below each course.
Smoked Trout and Horseradish Cream on Dill Scones
Jansz Sparkling Vintage 2006
Smoked Chicken and Cream Cheese Verrine
Three Peppers and Feta Wrapped in a Grilled Courgette
Loimer Gruner Veltliner 2012, Austria
McWilliams Lovedale Semillon, 2005, Hunter Valley, Australia
Halibut Steak with a Caribbean Salsa
Mint crusted Rack of Lamb
Salad of Seasonal Leaves
Spinach and Strawberry Salad
Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
Peas and Pancetta with Onion and Garlic
Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Marlborough, NZ
Lammershoek Cellarfoot Underwater Syrah 2011, Swartland, South Africa
Penfolds Grange 1991, South Australia
Limoncello Crème Brulee with Hazelnut Crisp
Sticky Toffee Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream
Pellegrino Passito di Pantelleria 2009, Sicily
A few pictures here as well to give a little sample of the flavour of the food and wine served.
The evening was so much fun and our client had a great time which is the result that Alistair and I were aiming for. The chance to cook and provide both wine and food freshly cooked worked extremely well. We both enjoyed the experience, as much as we hope our clients did.
These evenings are why I really enjoy my job and passion, seeing the two most important elements come together in a way that is appreciated and enjoyed makes the effort, hard work totally worthwhile. A big thank to our client for giving us the opportunity to be part of the celebrations and contributing to what was a special evening!.