Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Culinary Experience for the Ages

If your family is anything like ours, when someone's birthday rolls around it is a sheer test of creativity to find something fun and different that the celebrated individual has 1) mentioned they want and more importantly 2) not already purchased it for themselves.

In the age of Amazon Now and 24 hour delivery, our family has found that the gift of an experience is so much more fun than another year of the gift card and sweater vest!

When my dads birthday rolled around the day before Thanksgiving this year we were all in a quandary trying to figure out what he might need when the idea came to my brother that an experiential gift would be something my father would enjoy so much more than anything we could purchase at a store.

This is where our dear friend, and culinary mastermind, Chris Cunningham comes into the picture!  He and his wife Sam have been friends of ours for years and we have loved picking Chris' brain over the years about a better way to cook paella, or what his favorite seasonal veggies he is using in his kitchen, or basically anything that pertains to cooking....typically over a beer while sitting around the pool.

Sam mentioned to us a while back that Chris has been doing private parties in people's homes where he will come and cook a three-course meal in the comfort of ones own home.  This was exactly the type of experience we were looking for for dad's birthday and it couldn't have been more perfect!
On an unseasonably warm day in February, Chris went to work on a meal consisting of seared scallops on top of a quinoa bellini with crushed pistachios, pickled raisins, avocado sauce all topped with the most decadent caviar (a first for many in my family...or at least for me!)
followed by beef tenderloin with sautéed brocollini, root au gratin consisting of celery root, sweet potatoes and turnips, all topped with a porcini truffle hollandaise and crispy fried onions. Are you drooling yet?  Because I am!
To complete this delicious meal, we were served a decadent chocolate tart with fresh berries and homemade whipped cream.  Absolutely amazing!
Entertainment and puppies to top out the night!
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