Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fine Food Factory

Remember how I mentioned guerrilla dining a while back?

Check out this table.

The Legend Series II dinner took place in an old
Ford assembly plant on the St. John's River.

Check the view.
The band, The Mast, straight from Brooklyn. 

They played a set while cocktails were enjoyed on the loading dock.

And of course, 
there was the food.

This is my favorite picture of the evening.
I love it because it captures the culinary spirit of the evening.
It is a picture of the dessert course, and the chefs as they put their finishing touches
 on these gorgeous plates. Take a slightly closer look.

The Legend Series Two dinner was a four course meal, each chef prepared an hors d'oeuvre, a single course and a dessert...which you see pictured here. While each course was created by an individual culinary artist, it was executed by the collective of chefs and sous present.

Pictured here from right to left:
Chef Tom Gray, Bistro Aix
Chef Scott Schwartz, 29 South
Chef Sam Effron, Taverna
They work fresh mozzarella.

This is Guy Ferri of Black Sheep Restaurant
 and sous from Bistro Aix and Black Sheep.
They are putting the finishing touches on the second course.
It was amazing to watch these professionals.
The synchronicity was extraordinary, as if they worked together every night of the week.

The food was beautiful.

4th Course. Chef Scott Schwartz
Sausage-stuffed quail with soft polenta, chestnuts, natural jus

The drink was plentiful, thanks to
Palm Bay Imports.

Prosecco, Barolo, Amarone, sense a theme?
Extraordinary Italian varietals each paired with an exquisite dish.
It all came together in a fabulous evening thanks to this lady here:

Mrs. Cari Sanchez-Potter

I am sure she is plotting the next underground dinner...
Curious?  Go here.

Shhh. Keep it on the DL.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Zombie Chomp

Hello folks. It has been a while. The past few months have been maddeningly busy, but that is no excuse. There is so much to share, I don't even know where to begin. In the spirit of existentialism, I suppose I will begin with the present. The picture above is a shot of my bedside table on Wednesday. Tomato soup and grilled cheese are a combo to two choice comfort foods, that I yearn for when I feel vulnerable.  

After having skin cancer surgery, which left my face looking like a zombie chomped my sweet little button nose...lets just say I felt a bit wounded. Yup. The big C. I was told three weeks ago that I have two sites of skin cancer on my face. The first a squamous cell carcinoma on my nose, and the second a basal cell carcinoma on my upper cheek. This Wednesday, I had the former cut off through Mohs surgery. The process is simple. They cut your skin one layer at a time, freeze each layer, make a microscope slide, and look at it for cancer cells. If there is more they cut out another layer, until they get a slide that reads no cancer. 

A girlfriend recommended that I listen to a book on tape during the procedure.  There is a lot of waiting time in between cuts, and this idea seemed like the most brilliant distraction.  When I listen to music, my mind tends to wander off. I didn't want my mind wandering down any dark fearful tunnels. I wanted it safely enveloped in an engaging work of fiction, and as a high school English teacher I felt a certain obligation to read The Hunger Games...but just haven't wanted to dedicate the time. So I took this opportunity, and popped on my head phones as they began to carve and snip away at my face.

The cancer was deep. So deep that they could not sew my nose up with out leaving me disfigured. So they sent me home with a dime size hole in my face to tend to until my skin graft next Friday. They want the wound to "granulate in" so the skin graft will be level with my skin.  I prefer the word "granulate" in the context of sugar, and this new definition left me feeling queasy.

 I love gory horror flicks, but when a nurse tells you, "I want you to look at your face here so you don't have to worry.  This is what it is supposed to look like..." brace yourself. I glanced in the mirror, and then in total shock turned away in disgust. I took one more peek then demanded they take the mirror away. At the end of my nose was a hole the size of a dime. Like someone took an over-sized hole punch to my face.

"You let people go home with gaping holes in their bodies?" 

"All the time." Yikes. I told Chef, as we got into the car to go home, that I could not bear to look at my mangled face. He was going to have to change the bandages on my zombie nose. He tried to make me feel better by talking about all the fabulous hats I am now going to start collecting.

This brush with mortality has made me realize something. I am getting old. There is no more pussy footing around my health now that I am in my 30's. This was my first major health crisis as an adult, and I gotta do something to keep this from snowballing into a mid-life avalanche.