August 20: Our First dinner party
Last night we serviced our first dinner party for 6 people in Otter Rock. I received the call on Monday morning and went to the client’s home that afternoon. After discussing a few options, we came up with a menu and then went over to the home of the hostess to meet her, review the menu, and tour the kitchen. The kitchen was really nice; it was open, had lots of counter space, and a 6 burner Viking cooktop. We set the date for Friday the 20th, I produced a proposal that detailed everything we had discussed along with a pricing estimate later that day. The client agreed to it and we were off! I provided a custom menu for them to share with the participants.
We did a wine pairing with 3 of the courses and served limoncello with dessert. We do not have a liquor license, so we can’t serve wine, but we can make recommendations and purchase it for the client as a courtesy service. I picked up the wine from a local shop in Newport: Nye Beach Gallery. Zach is very knowledgeable and he was able to provide me with some nice choices. I did the shopping yesterday morning, and by 1:30 PM was on my way to cook.
I had to get there early because I made cannelloni from scratch which is not hard to do, but it is time consuming. The pasta was a light red in color (I added tomato paste) and the filling (spinach, mushrooms, shrimp, goat cheese, mascarpone, and chives) was green. I made a shrimp and scallop sauce with a shrimp stock I made from the shells. I added lemon zest, tarragon, lemon basil, and chives to the sauce. Here’s a picture of what the cannelloni and sauce looked like. I learned this method while I was in school in Italy (yes, I did pay attention). A chef from Trentino Alto-Adige did a demo of his dishes and this one was a WOW!
The dessert was one I learned to make while I was at Alla Lanterna called Soffio: a whipped cream made with equal parts yogurt, cream, and a little sugar. I served fresh strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries macerated in a little limoncello and tossed with lemon zest over the top.
The grand finale was a cheese plate of local, California, and French cheeses. We left our guests very full and happy! Just like when we have people over to eat at our house. I had a lot of fun; it was nice to be working for a wage again. Bruce got to wear a chef uniform for the first time, and he had a smile from ear-to-ear all night (he also got tomato pulp all over himself within 30 minutes after he arrived on site). It was truly a dream come true for both of us and a great start to, what we hope, is a successful business! A Presto!