For me it was a chance to cook again with my good friend Chef David Gilbert. For him, a chance to trial some dishes that he will use at a later occasion. For the guests, an elegant party where they could let their hair down, have great food and appropriate wines.
The main theme was "modern Thai" although we deviated a bit. Thai cooking is often difficult to pair with wines because the core elements of Thai cooking simply aren't terribly wine friendly. So we used Thai accents on some familiar ingredients and then added some extra flourish.
It's not that easy to completely silence a table of 8 people, just with the presentation of food. But we did. A stunning achievement in the service of the dessert.
Most of what we did can be found at the Beyond The Kitchen (BTK) blog - Dave's online location for his cooking, eating and travel experiences. However there are a couple things that didn't make it there.
The first is the wine pairings - I mentioned them in the BTK piece, but didn't show them, so here they are:
- The first course had the Gewurtztraminer - since the soup had the sweetness of some roasted garlic, we wanted to make sure the wine didn't fight with it.
- For the scallops, a bone dry Sancerre did the trick
- For the beef a well aged Haure Cotes de Beaune worked well. It had lost its youthfull fruit (such as it was!), and had developed into a mature long, slightly leathery wine that developed beautifully as it opened up.
- For dessert, the Ume blanc from Japan. A low alcohol (around 7% v/v) it, again exhibited the sweetness required for the dish.