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Chef Mel Pearson: Silver City, NM

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I have noted some of Chef Mellisa Pearson's creations in a previous topic. Right now she is only doing private caters and special favors. She has previously been at The Orchid Cafe at Cienega Spa. Mel is a graduate of Johnston & Wales in RI, but is a hometown girl from Silver City. We asked her to cater our holiday staff party on Friday. Since we're a gourmet and international grocery, this is the only window we have all year to host a party like this (after the holidays, but before V-Day, Easter...).

Here's what we had:

Thai Lime Sauteed Shrimp


This is one of her standard hits. She keeps promising the recipe for me to share on eG. I always love the taste, but I hate having to deal with shell. She leaves the shell on to maintain the structure for presentation - I say screw structure - give me food!

I picked the wine with the assistance of KL Wines in San Fran. We started with this:


Outstanding choice - and soooo good.

Then we had a stacked salad: Crab, avocado, bacon and red pepper


Staff went crazy over this.

Soup was cauliflower with sweet basil and toasted pine nuts


I brought out the next round of bottles:


This was good and the more expensive of the two wines, but not my favorite. A bit too crisp for my taste.

The entree was sweet ginger glazed halibut with saffron corn porridge and wilted spinach.


The fish was super and the glaze was plate licking good. I loved the porridge, but those who don't have sweet tooths weren't as wild about it.

It was hard for me to let someone else do dessert, but I did - playing guest instead of host. Mel made Peach Phyllo Strudel with Goat Cheese Cream.


We all agreed that this was the best meal we've had in town in years. Now that's a way to thank our staff for a great year!

[Edited to add: I see that my pics became progressively blurry - must have been the wine.]

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