Here's a preview of our menu for tonight's dinner.
The story behind this dinner is that instead of buying a wedding present for both of these couples (who both live in the Lofts, or used to) I opted to cook dinner for them instead. I believe Miss Manners says that I have one year from the wedding for the present. I have since past that mark, so it is finally time to delivery the gift. Luckily, I have met a wonderful cooking companion in Lorna who so generously wanted to help with this meal!
The nature of the menu is for every course to represent one of the guest's geological backgrounds. Which makes for an ecclectic menu since we have Pacific Northwest, Australia, the South, and the Midwest represented. I think the Midwest course is my favorite. You can't go wrong with meat and potatoes!
The story of the Amuse Bouche is related to a speech I gave at a wedding comparing the bride and groom to foie gras and sauternes:
"When I think of the bride and groom, two things immediately come to mind... goose liver and rotten grapes. (pause for laughter)
You see, the French take the fattened liver of a goose, and call it foie gras. To taste it is to know that it is one of the most extraordinary culinary experiences known to man.
The French also use grapes that have been infected with something called botrytis, also referred to as noble rot. What noble rot does is dehydrate the grape, greatly increasing its sugar to water ratio. So when that grape is pressed for juice, the liquid that comes out is immensely sweet and complex. The wine that is made from this juice is called Sauterenes, and is one of the most rare, expensive, and complex wines on Earth.
Now, the incredible thing about both foie gras and sauterenes is that each of these things can stand individually as a remarkable thing. They would never need anything to add to the greatness they've already achieved own their own....However, if you take a bite of foie gras, and then a sip of sauternes, something remarkable happens. They each bring something out of the other that you didn't know was there before. Creating a whole which is somehow greater than the sum of its parts. This is a phenomenon many chefs refer to as "a Perfect Pairing." There are so few perfect pairings in this world that I feel honored and privelidged to take part in another such perfect pairing."
So that's the story of the Amuse Bouche.
Time to start cooking. We'll try to post our dinner photos tonight.