Sunday, August 5, 2007

30th surprise birthday party out east

Chef Andrew Crossan and Host Duane King

the fire roasted asparagus were delish
and look so pretty with the edible petals

happy birthday Jenn

- now you know why I was trying to get you out of the house

Killer Heath Bar Trifle Birthday Toast!

before the birthday girl arrives
a table of goodies for guests to nibble while mingling and waiting for jenn to arrive

med rim breads and spreads

~spanish chorizo salami corenets wrapped around assorted olives

don't the salami coronets look fantastic!
~chili jam shrimp atop seedless cucumber crowns

~brie topped with olive tapenade

~rondele cheesecake layered with roasted pepper tapenade and pesto

~mango salsa with golden tortilla chips

~blue and gold potato and multi colored terra chips

~artfully arranged crudités vegetables

various crostini,
housemade grana padano flatbreads,
european crackers and sesame sticks

CuisinEtc's everchanging breads and spreads display

once Jennifer arrives we will start passing hors d’oeuvres

.…shrimp tempura with chipotle mayo or japanese ginger ponzu dipping sauce
served in a three masted wicker sail boat.

…crab critters – delicate version of crab cakes – fresh crab mixed with vermicelli pasta ginger, scallions & garlic, flash fried and crispy outside with crab tendricals and delicious crab filling – skewered coming out of wheatgrass.

…big city country biscuits filet mignon,
and red pepper pesto or wasabi cream in a mini parmesan buttermilk biscuit

…mini Italian garlic and herb chicken sausage and peppers on garlic crostinis –
with roasted fresh fennel and grilled red peppers, served on a onion brioche

…finger poppin' honey boneless buffalo strips with dragon wing dust
and ''bluer than blooze'' cheese dip

…portebello chicken marsala bytes served on an asian spoon

…mushroom truffle risotto luxurious flavors in a crisp phyllo flower
served on chinese long beans atop a piece of driftwood

…pot of gold mac and cheese balls – gooey mac and cheese
enlivened with peppered pepato cheese
and rolled in panko crust,
served skewered in a gold pot.

…italian lollipops – fresh mozzarella, farmstand
sweet 100's cherry tomatoes
and basil on pretty skewers
floating on a bed of greens.

we were so busy once Jen arrived we forgot to take photos of the hors d'oeuvres,
I was a tad mad at myself for that because we used some new serving trays and presentations but at least this time I was able to get some great shots of the martini mashed potato bar, our gorgeous new copper chafers from and the garden of buffet - as well as the tablescapes. There just isn't enough time to do everything and we were a bit set back when the tables and chairs arrived a few hours late and I had a piece fall on my head and had to patch myself up a bit... The life of a caterer is never dull!

garden of eatin’ main course buffet
…..rosemary & garlic marinated london broil served with

watermelon, feta and mint salsa - an amazing summer relish!
so many guests asked me the recipe for this,
by the way, simple to make
farmstand seedless watermelon cubed
fresh feta cubed
fresh mint chopped
fresh lime juice

typical of most chefs I don't have an exact recipe but just kept tasting until it was right - isn't my job "awful". Seriously we are so blessed with our work and our clients. Last night was another great event where we felt so priviledged to be able to contribute and help Duane, a veteran of the Iraq war, who just got back in March, to honor his wife and celebrate with friends and family.

minted watermelon feta salsa in pretty 1940's bowl

…..sliced stuffed chicken breast with mushrooms, broccoli & carrot

…..romaine with buttery herbed croissant croutons,

fresh mozzarella, farmstand sweet cherry tomato & olive oil and balsamic dressing

Waiter and Chef's Assistant Tom Kaelin
serving the grilled veggies
he so artfully arranged

… roasted asparagus (plattered seperately) grilled portebellos and baby mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash & peppers with garlic balsamic herb glaze

…..quinoa pilaf with peppered provolone and portebello mushrooms

martini mashed potato bar – traditional and wasabi mashed potato

sharp cheddar
crispy bacon

and short plate station with
…..tilapia fish tacos with mango salsa and avocado butter

delicious desserts: the final indulgence

decadent lava dipping pond
with belgium milk chocolate and carmamel dipping sauce

and dipping goodies such as
marshmallows, fresh fruit, cookies, fingers of cake,
twizzlers, nostalgic candy, and more...
Finger food desserts like fruit tarts, cream puffs,
and Duane's Kaluha Toffee Crunch Trifle

Duane wanted the party to be not the same old same old and so I suggested we do some interesting tablescapes using wheatgrass, flowers and some of the collections of display items Andrew and I have collected in our travels around the world. The head table had a goddess theme in honour of Jen with the Asian 1940's womans's head flanked by a wise sitting Oaxacan market woman in that stunning black Oaxacan pottery and the flying funky goddess hand crafted by an artist named Barbara xx from Emeryville, California that incorporates old silverware and funky findings.

the batik sarongs complimented the modern Ikea fabric runners and wheatgrass.

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