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post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey all.

 

I'm the sous chef at a golf course/resort. We do a charity auction every year & a couple of the items is a chance to have us(being primarily myself or the head guy or both) do a multi course dinner in someone's home. The head guy will be out of province for this one so it's all mine. I did the last one solo too, so nothing too new. I've got the F&B manager coming to be the sommalier(since i don't drink that's a really good thing). The clientele are well off. Most people in that neighborhood are retirees, & alot of them are of the upper income group. They appreciate good food, as well as variety. But nothing too over the top. No roasted tarantula this time i'm afraid.

 

I have a budget & outside of the protein everything so far is pretty cheap. I'm going to come in at a pretty good cost.

 

Anyways, i've come up with a menu that i think is pretty decent. There's a couple of weak spots that i have not addressed as yet. I didn't really have a theme in mind for this one. That'll probably be pretty obvious.

 

I'm curious to see what kind of feedback it generates. I've seen some of the stuff that has come up here & know this is the right place for it.

 

Anyways, fire away.

 

Amouse-Hot steamed saltspring mussel, tomato relish, drizzle(lime/tobasco/olive oil) on one half shell, bloody mary sorbet on the other half.

 

Apps-Proscuitto wrapped date stuffed with lemon/rosemary mascarpone

-Smoked salmon & prawn terrine

-Duck confit crostini, roasted garlic clove, asiago

 

First course-Raddichio, herbed chevre, brasil nuts, grapefruit segments,blackberry & lemongrass reduction

 

Second course-Watermelon & basil gazpacho with mint creme fraiche

 

Third course-Marinated & grilled swordfish, capers, olives, tomatoes, sultanas, pine nuts, olive oil, fresh spinach,  with sweet potato gnocchi sauteed with butter & tarragon

 

Palette cleanser-Orange granita

 

Fourth course-Duck fat larded bacon wrapped buffalo striploin, sauce viande, shitakes, parsnip puree, fennel crisp

 

Fifth course-Pecan(or almond not sure yet) caramel amaretto tart/flan, peach creme glace, raspberry coulis

 

Sixth course-Classic aged gouda-sharp & nutty

-Pierre Robert/Saint Andre triple cream-buttery with a tangy finish

-Buttermilk blue-creamy blue as opposed to a crumbly

-Grapes, Armenian flatbread, maybe some nuts or dried fruits

 

Like i said, there's a couple of weak spots/works in progress. I think the basic framework is there it's just a matter of hammering out the specifics. I do think i've overused tomatoes, though.

 

Ramble, ramble....ignore me. Anyways, fire away. Thx, G.

post #2 of 14

First, this comes across as solid evidence that you're a talented and thoughtful cook.  So, don't take what I'm going to say as an obituary.  It's a good menu, but it can be improved. 

 

The front end of your menu is overloaded. 

 

For intsance, you've got an amuse that's really two amuse -- one in each shell; and then an app that's a trio of amuse. 

 

You have two cold course in a row -- a salad and a cold fruit soup (which for whatever reason you're calling "gazpacho") with a granita not long after.  You've got to lose one of the cold courses. 

 

The back half of the menu makes a lot more sense, but the way you're preparing the buffalo seems heavy for the season.  And, you're right about not having a theme.  I don't really see how you can fit the Mediterranean swordfish with the Canadian plains buffalo strip -- especially since the buffalo strip isn't exactly screaming "summer."  You may want to go with a fish that feels more local and tweak everything towards North America, or go with a more Mediterranean red meat -- lamb for instance if your members are into it.  Or maybe -- dare I say it -- poultry for the second course.

 

You may also want to handle either the fish or meat as a simple grill with a very light sauce to leave some room for contrast with the more complicated protein.  Your swordfish squeaks in under the line, but just barely.

 

Here's an example of a California/Mediterranean Summer themed menu: 

  • App:  Trio of Amuse
  • First:  Moules Mariniere
  • Second: Salad (as proposed)
  • Fish:  Grilled Swordfish with Chile-Clementine Compound Butter
  • Palate Cleanser:  Teacup of Minted Watermelon Soup
  • Meat: Roast Loin of Lamb with Green Olive Cream, Roger Verge
  • Cheese Plate (cut it to three of the proposed cheese, plus grapes and nuts)
  • Dessert: Choice of Fresh Wild Berry and Peach Gallette; or All From Scratch Double Chocolate Sundae

 

I'm not saying you should do this, just that it's an example of a themed seasonal menu -- in this case pointed towards an older clientele looking for great quality and excessive amounts; but who don't want to be challenged, and expect to be treated as more sophisticated than they actually are. 

 

Also, something you want to look for is a sequence of dishes with a good flow -- nothing too difficult for the back or service staff.

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 8/25/10 at 11:40pm
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

First, this comes across as solid evidence that you're a talented and thoughtful cook.  So, don't take what I'm going to say as an obituary.  It's a good menu, but it can be improved. 

 

The front end of your menu is overloaded. 

 

For intsance, you've got an amuse that's really two amuse -- one in each shell; and then an app that's a trio of amuse. 

 

You have two cold course in a row -- a salad and a cold fruit soup (which for whatever reason you're calling "gazpacho") with a granita not long after.  You've got to lose one of the cold courses. 

 

The back half of the menu makes a lot more sense, but the way you're preparing the buffalo seems heavy for the season.  And, you're right about not having a theme.  I don't really see how you can fit the Mediterranean swordfish with the Canadian plains buffalo strip -- especially since the buffalo strip isn't exactly screaming "summer."  You may want to go with a fish that feels more local and tweak everything towards North America, or go with a more Mediterranean red meat -- lamb for instance if your members are into it.  Or maybe -- dare I say it -- poultry for the second course.

 

You may also want to handle either the fish or meat as a simple grill with a very light sauce to leave some room for contrast with the more complicated protein.  Your swordfish squeaks in under the line, but just barely.

 

Here's an example of a California/Mediterranean Summer themed menu: 

  • App:  Trio of Amuse
  • First:  Moules Mariniere
  • Second: Salad (as proposed)
  • Fish:  Grilled Swordfish with Chile-Clementine Compound Butter
  • Palate Cleanser:  Teacup of Minted Watermelon Soup
  • Meat: Roast Loin of Lamb with Green Olive Cream, Roger Verge
  • Cheese Plate (cut it to three of the proposed cheese, plus grapes and nuts)
  • Dessert: Choice of Fresh Wild Berry and Peach Gallette; or All From Scratch Chocolate Sundae

 

I'm not saying you should do this, just that it's an example of a themed seasonal menu -- in this case pointed towards an older clientele looking for great quality and excessive amounts; but who don't want to be challenged, and expect to be treated as more sophisticated than they actually are. 

 

Also, something you want to look for is a sequence of dishes with a good flow -- nothing too difficult for the back or service staff.

 

BDL


Hmm....right you are. I didn't even pick up on the two cold courses in a row. I've got a guy at work who's been making cold fruit soups all summer & calling them 'gazpacho.' I'm getting slack in my attentiveness. 3 kids under the age of 7 will do that.

 

I'll start with your last comment. There will be one service staff, the F&B & myself cooking in these people's home. Basically i come in & take over their kitchen, & start pumping them full of wine & food.

 

I'm thinking dump the swordfish. I really want to lean towards the Canadian/game side of things for the main protein. The strip preeration does seem a bit heavy, but it's not going to be a huge portion. That was one comment from the last dinner i did. They were stuffed by the fifth course so i'm conciously scaling back the ptn size this time around. & i really want that nice lean strip to get some fat.

 

There's so much fresh local fish right now it'll be fairly easy to replace that.

 

Thanks for the input. I really do appreciate it. I've seen alot of your comments on this site & was kinda hoping you'd chime in.

 

I'm going to get some reorganization done on this & get the flow in there. I liked the items, but it just didn't seem to fit. Kind of like ADD on a menu.
 

post #4 of 14

You're making a lot of sense.  The quality of thought behind a few of your suggestions said you were going to make a lot of sense before all was said and done, anyway.  Writing stuff down so you can really take a look at it.  For a few unfortunates like us, it seems to help to publish it before we can take enough of a step back to use what critical facilities E. Saint-Ange,  the Other Goddess of Cooking, gave us. 

 

I edited out a lot stuff before posting.  One of the things gone was the speculation your buffalo would probably work quite well with your group.  It's not an "ideal" choice in an academic sense, but it's the sort of thing that's right up their alley and should wow the heck out of them if the ingredients are good and the execution's there.

 

Because your meat's so rich, you should keep the fish course very streamlined.  Grilled is good.  Charcoal grilled, would be fantastic -- not only for the sake of the menu but to keep the aroma of cooking fish from lingering indoors.  Besides, does anything whisper "summer" like fish over charcoal?  The downside is that logistics might be tough with only two of you.   On Top Chef Masters, Hubert Keller did a salmon topped with a white-fish mousse which would fit your menu and clientele, and be significantly easier onsite.  You could do that, or something very much like it, and serve it with some sort of salsa verde or even a pesto.  Not too heavy, lots of textures, and nice, summery colors.

 

Watermelon gazpacho.  Kids today.  Ask him, "If it's gazpacho what kind of bread crumbs, junior?"    

 

Your food ideas are "cheffish" in the best way.  If you can handle the other stuff, you might think about finding a way to move up.

 

Anyway, glad if I could help.

 

BDL

post #5 of 14

As far as grouping is concerned, I think you should serve passed all the amuse and apps together with the cocktails or champagne.  Then sit down for the salad, the swordfish, palate cleanser, then meats, then finales.

 

To me there is some awkwardness as to where the salad should be served.  If you pass the apps then you take away the problem of when to serve the salad and the swordfish becomes the "appetizer."

 

Then again that is just my style.  I like to have one centerpiece and in this case it would be the bison.  This is where I would also serve my best bottle of wine.  :)

 

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

Well, the day after i posted i found out there is two celiacs in attendance. So, some minor alterations were made. I checked out the house where i'm doing this yesterday afternoon. Wow. Words cannot describe. I think i'm going to ask them to adopt me.

 

Anyways-

 

Amuse-Hot steamed mussel, tomato relish, on one shell, bloody mary sorbet on the other shell(made the sorbet yesterday. It's got a kick to it. Going to be a nice starter)

 

Apps-Proscuitto wrapped medjool date stuffed with lemon & rosemary mascarpone mousse

-Wild mushroom duxelle, white truffle oil, asiago, served on white ceramic spoon

-Pan seared Qualicum Bay scallop, pomegranite red pepper jelly(found this yesterday, really nice stuff), cucumber slice

 

First course-Brazil nut, herbed chevre, raddichio, grapefruit segments, lemongrass & blackberry reduction, honey drizzle

 

Second-Sweet potato & carrot puree, parsley oil, mint creme fraiche

 

Third-Panseared sablefish, stewed compote(capers, olives, sultanas, pine nuts, tomatoes, olive oil) over zucchini linguine

 

Palette cleanser-Orange granita

 

Fourth-Duck fat larded bacon wrapped buffalo striploin, sauce de viande, shitake mushrooms, parsnip puree, fennel crisp

 

Fifth-Pecan caramel amaretto tart with almond & raisin crust, peach creme de glace, raspberry coulis

 

Sixth-One year aged gouda

-St Andres

-Saint Agur blue

-Armenian flatbread, grapes, maybe some nuts & dried fruit

 

So the people will come in for cocktail hour, have their wine/beer, etc. Weather dependent they'll sit out on the deck where the amuse & apps will be served. If not i'm pretty sure they can find suitible space inside for it(did i menton the house is huge & beautiful?).

 

Second course-ditched the cold fruit soup( the breadcrumb question brought the deer-in-the-headlights look to the surface). Went with something simple, earthy & warm.

 

Third-i did want to play with swordfish, but some other time. Instead i went with a nice West coast fish, nice fat content & kept the basic flavors from the first dish but with a different angle. I'm going to stew it all down a bit & use it as a garnish/topper i believe. The zucchini linguine will be a nice substitute with the silly-yaks in mind.

 

Fourth-i've been told by my lovely sysco rep that the buffalo strip will be close to not making it. So beef tenderloin will be on there instead if that occurs. I'll find out tomorrow(i'm gonna be p'oed if that happens. Oh well. Maybe i can kill a local buffalo before Friday. It is the Great White North & those things roam freely throughout our neighborhoods).

 

Fifth-going to use nuts & raisins in a 2to1 ratio & blindbake it to get some crunch for the celiac sensitive crust. In my head it sounds really good.

 

Cheeses-found close to exactly what i was looking for. There a specialty shop downtown with a wise cheesemaster running it. As usual i ended up with more st.andres than i actually need. Going to the gym after this.

post #7 of 14

Looks very, very good to me.  The invitation is in the mail, you say?

 

BDL

post #8 of 14

Is the Armenian flatbread gluten free?

 

I've always wondered about squash "pasta."  Do you precook and rewarm or how do you do it?

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan View Post

Is the Armenian flatbread gluten free?

 

I've always wondered about squash "pasta."  Do you precook and rewarm or how do you do it?



The armenian flatbread is not gluten free. I'm just an idiot. Writing without thinking again. I'll figure out a suitible alternative tomorrow sometime. I've got 144ppl coming in tomorrow night for Mens Night. Yeehaw.

 

Mandoline the zukes for thickness, run a knife through them, saute at service. Little bit of olive oil, S&P & finish with garlic & a splash of white vino.

 

I don't see any way that you could precook it without having a real mess at service time. But i'm not always real imaginitive at this time of night.

 

Sous vide squash? ;)

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Dinner was a smashing success. Buffalo didn't show so i went with tenderloin. Sigh...

 

It's alright, though. The wine pairings were outstanding as well. Everyone had a good time.

 

Think i may even post some pics.

post #11 of 14

Just getting around to reading this.....

great menu!

blue cheese is a no-no for celiacs.

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by shroomgirl View Post

Just getting around to reading this.....

 

blue cheese is a no-no for celiacs.


Why?

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #13 of 14

the mold comes from bread....

soy sauce, some spice blends are on the no no list too.

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #14 of 14

With respect, there's a fair amount of new reseach on this including a quite comprehensive study by the Canadian Celiac Association which relies on actual data rather than supposition and inference.   Few "blue" cheese are made with bread starters (to get the mold going) anymore.  Of those cheeses which are made that way, none in the CCA study had detectable amounts of glutens, and could not trigger a celiac response in even the most sensitive human being.  

 

I'm aware that the U of C Celiac Center, among others, has blue cheese on its list of verboten substances.  How the conclusion was reached is not stated.  It could have been just a guess.  Whatever.  Studies should have use-by dates, just like milk. 

 

Unfortunately, nutrition "science" is especially rife with old conclusions that degenerated into obsolete dogmas as new information became available.  Blue cheese seems to be another example. 

 

Also unfortunate, that which was "known," often stays that way despite compelling evidence to the contrary; and the people who post information on internet websites are not quick to respond to new information -- including people and organizations with the very best qualifications and associations.  Also, it's only natural for intelligent, reasonably well-informed lay people, to learn something and pass it on without checking the state of the art every month. So there are several reasons it's hard to know what and/or whom to take seriously, and why quotation marks around "science" are so appropriate when it's joined to "nutrition." 

 

And that's not even counting the many, many nutrition charlatans.

 

It's still more unfortunate in light of the fact that we laymen depend on good information to help us decide what and what not to eat.  It would be nice to have reliable sources. 

 

Intelligent design anyone?

 

BDL 


Edited by boar_d_laze - 9/13/10 at 1:04pm
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