11.22.2008

Microsoft Dinner...

last week we had an amazing opportunity to cook for a group of "distinguished fellows", 70 some-odd to be exact, which was orchestrated by a former colleague of mine, who used to work side by side with me at the Salish Lodge, many moons ago. Her in the front of the house, and I in the kitchen, it was a long-overdue time coming for sure! She now runs her own Event Planning & Management company and previously ran the Gates' Estate! Way cool. We started planning this event which was to take place at the club probably a month and a half ago. It started out to be a guest chef event with Bobby Flay and I, teamed up and some speaker to the likes of Bill Clinton or Tiger Woods entertaining the masses. Next...scrap the guest chef(bummer) and bring in Collin Powell. Stuffy most likely, but we'll never know. Nope, scrap that also. They settled on William Shatner, yes, that William Shatner. Beam me up Scotty(sorry, couldn't resist). The meal though was all mine. How selfishly happy I was, although I was extremely looking forward to cooking with Bobby. How cool would it have been to expose that level of celebrity-ism to us and visa versa?!? I offered some awesome alternatives like Mario Batali, Thomas Keller, Todd English. No bites. So, after a many weeks of planning, going back and forth with the Microsoft team, the event team, and our team, we entered into this hella~cool dinner which went down like this~
Ambiance & Mood~ a cool, sleek set of rooms set with leather furniture, bistro tables, candles, gold and amber linens, and the giant fireplace roaring.
Passed Hors d'Oeuvres~ Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Tartare "High Heels", crispy Ginger, Yuzu Aioli, Smoked Paprika...Maine Lobster "Martinis", Citrus, Mango, Golden Caviar, Spicy Langue du Chat Wafer
Fireplace Station~ Whole Lobes of Spice Rubbed Foie Gras, roasted in the embers until silky and with a nice crust of spice. Sublime! Served with a Cocoa Nib Financier, Wild Huckleberry Gastric and Cocoa-Caramel Powder. Freakin wicked good!...Also, Roasted Portobello "Pave" as a vegetable offering. Bobby would have loved it.
Fish Course~ "Trio of Seafood"...Potato-"Brandade" Terrine, Heirloom Tomato Jam, Boquerone, Red Endive, Smoked Paprika Aioli...Dungeness Crab Salad "en Oeuf" with American Sturgeon Caviar, Avocado, Chervil and Yuzu Foam...Crudo of Japanese Hamachi, Togarashi, Citrus, Radishes and Sea Salt. A very nice, yet complex tasting of fresh ingredients from "le mer".
Meat Course~ Fire roasted "Saddle of Lamb", paired with roasted Striped Sea Bass, grilled Lamb Sausage, Baby Carrots, Hubbard Squash, Truffles, Caramelized Onions and a Douglas Fir Essence. A bit busy, but good, solid flavors. Should have backed off on the ingredients, yet was not anticipating the sea bass. MS had to have it for their distinguished fellows. No worries.
Fruit & Cheese Course~ a composition of three cheeses and various fruit embellishments. Shaved Cypress Grove Midnight Moon, with Melted Grapes and Mostarda,...Cabecous Feuilles Chevre rolled into "Truffles" with Pistachios and Truffle-Apricot Conserve,...Raw Sheep's Bleu with Heather Honey and Marcona Almonds.
...then we followed by an hour long chit chat about this and that from our guest speaker; "Captain Kirk", we wrapped up the evening with the
Dessert Course~ Back to fire again! This time, dressed Bananas with Lemon and Brown Sugar, slow roasted to caramelize in the fire. This was accompanied by Pumpkin Cake, Warm Gianduja Pudding, Toasted Hazelnuts and Graham Cracker Crumble. Very tasty. Our Anti-Griddle Station was flanked to the side with various frozen nibbles and lollipops(Dark Chocolate, Caramel, Lemon, Yogurt-Elderflower). Mignardise flowed throughout the room which consisted of Strawberry Pates de Fruits, Olive Oil Chocolates, Hazelnut Macaroon & Mascarpone Sandwiches and Salted Caramels. As the evening wound down to a close, the overall consensus was that it was an awesome soiree. The food, the service, the rooms and the planning all came to fruition. The guests, who came from various points on the globe such as Paris, India, Dubai, and beyond, were stoked. Our team showed it's true colors. They rocked! I am one lucky guy. Until next time...in good food and cooking...cuisinier.

2 Comments:

Blogger rho said...

Oooh sounds like a nice time. I do love the fireside feasts. Will have images soon? - rho

5:27:00 AM  
Blogger cuisinier said...

yo rho...it was a fantastic time, as always. The bummer was that with so much emphasis on timing and the whole discreet nature of things, no shots were fired so-to-speak. I will post some other sooon though. Hope you are well and had a great T-day! Missed ya as always, Bill

3:07:00 PM  

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