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gfron1

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

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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:

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Outstanding choice - and soooo good.

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

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Staff went crazy over this.

Soup was cauliflower with sweet basil and toasted pine nuts

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I brought out the next round of bottles:

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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.

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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.

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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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