Thursday, September 2, 2010

29 South Family Feast

Last Sunday we threw the staff at 29 South our annual employee appreciation dinner...aka Feast Party for the people who strive to keep our restaurant booming.  Seven courses for twenty-two people cooked by Chef and served by yours truly to celebrate the job they do for us.  I am not trying to brag, okay maybe just a little bit...but Chef and I pulled it off without a single harsh word... all seven courses in exactly 2 hours. In order to keep the peace between us, there are 3 rules I must follow when Chef and I embark on a production like this:

1. Don't give suggestions. 2. Don't ask questions. 3. Keep my head down and do what the man says.

Chef begins prep for parties of this nature about 2 days out, depending on what he is cooking. A sure sign that something delicious is going on in the kitchen is when you pop open your garbage can and a pile of lobster shell is looking back at you.

Sweet pea panna cotta in process...a precarious set up. 

While he cooks, I clean. And clean. And clean some more. I clean during prep, during the meal, and afterwards as well.  But I am not singing the dishwater blues...I also get to make lovely little arrangements for the tables. This year I wanted to use things from our garden we have buckwheat, sage, and rosemary.  Simple and fresh.

The first course of the evening, served with a yummy Pinot Gris was Crispy Pork Belly with Honey Roasted Peaches.   I am a huge fan of sweet and savory and this plate nailed the best of both.

The second course,  Braised Veal Cheek Lasagna with Chestnut Cream.  I don't eat baby animals, but if I ever did this is how I would want to do it.  There is eight sheets of paper thin hand rolled pasta in this little cheeky bite.  I was really tempted to lick the chestnut cream pot...

Remember the peas from earlier and the lobster..well this is how it turned out...not too shabby huh?  Lobster on Sweet Pea Panna Cotta with Creme Fraiche and Caviar


The next course was not served with a glass of wine...because it was a Prosecco and Elderberry Gelee with fresh berries. A nice little palatte cleaner don't you think?

The picture below does not do this course justice. Ballotine of Quail with Boar Sausage and Chevre Filled Marrow Bones. To the left is a faux marrow bone.  Chef carves them out of potato and fills them with a savory custard.   As I was clearing the tables after this course I practically had to pry the plate out of the hands of our chef de cuisine.  

The cheese course...Roasted Pears in Vin Santo with Pecorino.  It was just gorgeous.  Chef is a true could I not love this man.


I mean he is adorable is he not?  


This is the final course, Sea Salt Caramel Coppetta with Rosemary Chocolate Sauce and Candied Bacon.  Yes, candied bacon.  This little sundae was extraordinary. 


The aftermath.  We knocked it out of the park. Yes, I am so tooting my own horn.  It was a blast.  Chef had to spend the evening in the kitchen, but I mixed and mingled while serving.  It was great to see our entire staff,  the front and back of the house together, all smiles, enjoying a meal that they didn't have to cook or serve.  It was our gift to them for all they give to us...a 29 South family feast.



Anonymous said...

I soooo wish I could have been there to help again this year...yum! Good to hear y'all pulled it off & I hope there were fewer tears this time around. I love you guys! Xo Claire

candace fasano said...

You guys are amazing! This was wonderful to enjoy vicariously....ooooo that Prosecco & Elderberry Glee!! He truly is an artist and I am sure it would not have gone nearly so beautiful without all your help!

Anonymous said...

He is adorable and so are you!

Ike said...

it doesn't surprise me at all that you guys do this. the staff there are always awesome, almost as awesome as the food.