The Belly Rules The Mind… A Closing Comment and Brief Synopsis

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“i love instant or short term gratification. (although who isn’t into gratification in general?) brainstorming for 2 weeks, followed by an hour of shopping and finished off with 3+ frenzied hours of cooking for 17 people makes for a really satisfying evening.

some people came exactly at 8, right when we started on the appetizers. the mini yorkshire puddings were in the oven, the red onion balsamic relish was caramelizing away, the filet mignon was being seared. tea sandwiches were hastily being made, the stress factor being that they had to be beautiful. cream cheese was smeared on bread, then layered with long cucumber slices. others were topped off with a cranberry jam. they were tiled in a checkerboard pattern on the plate and hit the (coffee) table. the second round of yorkshire puddings took their sweet time in the oven. i saw someone take the communal serving fork and stuff a tasty morsel of filet mignon into their mouth and put the fork back! i guess you can’t keep people from skillfully prepared, quality goods.

our cocktail and canapé course lasted a bit longer than we had anticipated since the stuffed pork loins took over an hour. it might have been a good thing since it gave both cooks a chance to socialize with the herd. after a few drinks, it was time. what had started out as an 18″ long, 8 pound pork loin had been halved, double butterflied, stuffed and roasted. the larger portion was rolled up with ricotta, pine nuts and sage. the slightly smaller one was rolled up with fig sesame jam and spinach. as the meat was taken out of the oven to rest, the 2 kabocha pumpkins, filled with goat cheese, mushroom, tomato and onion, and eggplant roulades went in. 3 lbs of spinach was sauteed in garlic olive oil. we plated beds of spinach on 4 platters and placed the sliced meat on top. none of the compliments seemed forced or polite. the only things left on the table were hollowed out pumpkin carcasses and a few stray hunks of spinach.

dishes were washed, wine was poured, bellies were stuffed. amaretti cookies, a chocolate tart and lemon cheesecake were served. as if a mark of a successful party needed to be made, a glass was broken while the last group was heading out. 5 hours of feasting had concluded right on time at 1am.”

-Diana Kwan (Guest Executive Chef)

Thanks to all who came, thanks for adding to my spirit collection and special thanks to Joe and Nicole for bringing a Lemon Cheesecake! It was gorgeous…

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