While the first practice dinner was long, crazy, energetic, and loud, our second was reserved, quiet, and organized. During the first dinner, we had a bunch of wine people. Drinks flowed freely while chef and I labored away. The food was more difficult to prepare, everything being cooked a la minute. We had about 12 pots and pans floating around, some on the small counter tops, some on my desk, and some on the floor. The dinner went from 8pm-1am, with some people staying til around 3am.
Our second dinner was way more organized; chef finished 90% of the prep before he arrived, and only used 2-3 pots. Easy peasy. This time we had a bloggers. They were quieter, more pensive, really focusing on the food. They took pictures, and didn’t drink much. And when dinner ended at 1030pm, they all said they’re thanks and quietly slipped away. These two dinner parties were as different as they can get. Definitely night and day.
Here’s the menu:
“Chilled almond soup with figs.” Also with almonds, almond oil, and a mahon tweel.
“Warmed nicoise salad nouveau.” A deconstructed nicoise salad with pan-seared tuna, boiled potato, haricot vert, olive; arugula, spinach and sherry vinaigrette “dots.” An absolutely beautiful presentation.
“Braised veal cheeks, artichoke fava ragout, cooking jus.” YUM.
We ended the dinner as usual with cheese. Same as the first dinner: cana di cabra with honey.