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The tasting menu concept ... is it doable?


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Johnathan's 'rules' for a degustation are very wise. I've done a fair number of them myself and can vouche for the sanity of these rules.

A tasting menu has become a birthday tradition for my son and his freinds...so I mix a little of the new and unusual with the safe. My favorite part is when my son comes in and says, Mom, you don't have enough food. And then the little plates start coming out. Fortunately over the years I've trained my son to be an excellent server, his help is invaluable!

The best part about an at-home degustation is that you can control the guest list, the food, the wine, the music, it becomes a showcase for what you are 'feeling' at that moment. Naturally, once the guests, food and wine mingle its best to let nature take its course! :biggrin: Buon'avventura! Buon'appetito!

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I'm planning a 10 course tasting menu for 4 on the 11th and it certainly has required a bit of ingenuity on my part thus far, every time I see something beautiful in the market, I instantly want to add it to the menu.

Heres what the current menu looks like:

General Notes:

Luckily, I have 2 refridgerators in our house, one in the back "messy kitchen" where we go to cook any especially oily or messy foods and one in the front, the day before, I plan to move everything I can to the back and leave the front counters, pantry and fridge as empty of unneccesary crap as possible, everything that can be pre-plated will be. I plan to start the main, a roast as soon as dinner has started and then pace the dinner based on the progress of the roast.

Pre-Dinner nibbles:

Home made potato chips deep fried in beef tallow and served with atlantic sea salt and crushed black pepper.

Notes: I plan to mandolin the potatos early in the morning and keep them under iced water in the fridge, as soon as the guests come in, the oil starts getting heated and I can fry the chips while doing last minute prep. Should take about 10 minutes and just gives them a quick snack to nibble on while I do last minute prep on the main.

Served in a communal bowl and eaten with fingers

Pre-Dinner Palate Cleanser

Chinese Tea Ceremony

Notes: This is where I actually break out and get some face time with the guests, Slow and serene is the plan here and cooking completely stops for the time being.

Served in Traditional chinese tea cups.

Amuse Bouche

Meal on Toast

Notes: This requires the most elaborate prep and several items need to be hot at serving. Liberal use of the microwave is going to be a help here but, it seems inevitable that a wait of several minutes is introduced, can't be helped.

Served on my large white plates

Soup

Cold Gazpacho Soup

Notes: made the day before, all it requires is spooning into a cup, garnishing with some creme fraiche and herb oil and serving, 30 second wait at most.

Served in coffee cups.

Entree

Seared Sea Scallops in the shell with a mini-salad, garlic butter sauce and red pepper sauce.

Notes: Went to the market today and the local fishmonger says he can get scallops in the shell for $12 a dozen which is quite reasonable and the plating becomes obvious. The scallops need to be seared a la minute so theres an inevitable wait on those, but I can take a breather and check up on the progress of the main as well as work on the plating. Probably at least a 10 minute wait but I can slip out of the soup course a little early.

Served on my large white plates again which I would wash while the scallops are cooking.

Palate Cleanser

Watermelon Slice with sea salt and mint

Notes: Cut a la minute but shouldn't require intensive prep, maybe 2 minutes to serve

Served on my small white plates.

Salad

Greek Feta... maybe? still up in the air, a lot depends on how the market looks on the day.

Notes: the dressing and the salad would already be prepped early in the day, just need to toss and plate.

Served on my small white plates, rinsed and dried quickly.

Main

Roast leg of lamb served atop a bed of marinated, grilled summer vegtables with an au jus reduction and a rosemary and garlic infused oil.

Notes: This is the most complicated one as everything needs to be done at the same time, lamb comes out to rest when the salad is being served, the jus and the vegtables will be cooking at the same time and should hopefully have everything done, the infused oil would be pre-prepared, plating might take a while as well. Maybe as much as a 15 minute wait but I might forgo the salad couse completely and eat the salad with the main to get it out with minimal delay.

Served on my large white plates, rinsed while making the jus.

Dessert 1

2 fruit sorbet, depending on what looks good at the markets.

Notes: Pre-frozen, just needs to be scooped, garnished and served.

Served inside wine goblets.

Dessert 2

Rich Chocolate mousse with raspberries

Notes: The mousse is made the day before, just need to arrange some raspberries on top, dust with some icing sugar, possibly a chocolate curl and serve.

Served inside Ramekins.

It's going to be a long dinner and timing is going to be a bitch but, I think, with very careful menu planning and a game plan, the flow of the meal can be maintained and you dont need an excessive amount of plates. But great attention needs to be payed to how the courses mesh together to give the appearance of seamless dining.

PS: I am a guy.

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Can we come?

Sounds delicious! Let us know how it turns out.

I'm not sure the main is that complex. Lamb is pretty tolerant, especially if you have cooked it long-time-low-temperature. You could take it out even a hour or more before, carve, and just keep it warm.

The jus can be prepared ahead, and kept warm in a bain-maire.

You want veg that can be mostly pre-prepared, and just refreshed - that is was a restaurant would do, so roasted or steamed or puree is a lot easier than grilling or anything that needs to be cooked a la minute.

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Certainly not complicated in terms of techincal difficulty or sophistication but it's the one where timing is the most crucial and everything needs to come together at the right time. The au jus is going to utilize the fond from the roast lamb so it can't really get started until the lamb has finished. It's a simple preperation: defat, deglaze with some sort of alcohol, reduce, add demi-glace, strain, serve. but it requires constant attention as soon as the lamb is out of the oven.

In part, the grilling of the vegtables was chosen deliberately as a way to distinguish home cooking from restaurant cooking. My philosophy has always been that I may not be able do things faster or better than a restaurant kitchen so I'm going to focus on my inherent advantages, that is, I have 1 chef for 4 diners whereas a restaurant may have 10 chefs for 300 diners.

PS: I am a guy.

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I will confess to an increasing bias away from fancy, multi-course meals, both at restaurants and at home. I'm not alone in this. Richard Olney, the American food writer, wine authority and gourmand who spent most of his life in France, was reportedly a formidable cook and could produce amazing dishes in a simple kitchen. I find it striking that as he grew older, the meals he loved to eat and prepare grew simpler: a fish soup followed by roast lamb followed by a green salad and cheese ... all served with the finest wines. If the fish is perfectly fresh and the lamb cooked just so and the salad from the garden, who needs another 8 courses?
Jonathan Day that is a beautiful thing, it somehow parallels life; we get older and show our prowess much less, once we show ourselves that we can do it, we begin to look for quality not quantity, drink better not more. Things tend to lean to what we love and what we are good at, after years of practicing, we begin to know ourselves and tend to grab the straight lines, bravado requires so much energy

I for one after 25 years in the restaurant business am able to sit back, watch; I do not have to prove anything, not to others and especially to myself. I am comfortable with with food, sometimes I even learn from a young gun, the energy is addictive.

Right now I work in a higher volume restaurant and miss cooking in fine dinning, the level of some of the tasting menus on the page is amazing, to this day it blows my mind how Amateur cooks (who do not do it for a living), can excel at a incredible level, as good and even better then the pros, the passion and pursuit of excellence is extraordinary.

Hats off to you all

steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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I've done it before and posted a response but can't remeber where.

Long story short, a friend asked if I would help him prepare a twelve course for 12 people in his home. He worked two solid days in prep, I worked 16 hours straight that day with him and it was maginificent. It was however, the hardest day of work in my life and I spent 4 summers as a contractor, working 16 hour days, 7 days a week.

It comes down to doing as much as humanly possible in advance, keeping it very simple, layering flavors rather than integrating them is important. Interspace soups and mousses between labor intensive courses, have a salad with marinated something or other, build on courses and try and serve a trio of something prepared three ways (veal cheek, sweet bread, shank or brain).

When I do it all by myself, I usually strick to Asian dishes, from Nobu et al.

Homer: Are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?

Lisa: No.

Homer: Ham?

Lisa: No.

Homer: Pork chops?

Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal.

Homer: Heh heh heh. Ooh, yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal. (The Simpsons)

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I've done it before and posted a response but can't remeber where.

Long story short, a friend asked if I would help him prepare a twelve course for 12 people in his home.  He worked two solid days in prep, I worked 16 hours straight that day with him and it was maginificent.  It was however, the hardest day of work in my life and I spent 4 summers as a contractor, working 16 hour days, 7 days a week.

It comes down to doing as much as humanly possible in advance, keeping it very simple, layering flavors rather than integrating them is important.  Interspace soups and mousses between labor intensive courses, have a salad with marinated something or other, build on courses and try and serve a trio of something prepared three ways (veal cheek, sweet bread, shank or brain).

When I do it all by myself, I usually strick to Asian dishes, from Nobu et al.

I'm interested, do you think it was the 12 course or the 12 people that did you in? It seems to me that with such tiny courses, it gets quite fiddly making for 4 and 12 would be a relief in some instances, but in other courses, just the prep for 4 is driving me mad and I don't know if I could handle 12.

PS: I am a guy.

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I've done it before and posted a response but can't remeber where.

Long story short, a friend asked if I would help him prepare a twelve course for 12 people in his home.  He worked two solid days in prep, I worked 16 hours straight that day with him and it was maginificent.  It was however, the hardest day of work in my life and I spent 4 summers as a contractor, working 16 hour days, 7 days a week.

It comes down to doing as much as humanly possible in advance, keeping it very simple, layering flavors rather than integrating them is important.  Interspace soups and mousses between labor intensive courses, have a salad with marinated something or other, build on courses and try and serve a trio of something prepared three ways (veal cheek, sweet bread, shank or brain).

When I do it all by myself, I usually strick to Asian dishes, from Nobu et al.

I'm interested, do you think it was the 12 course or the 12 people that did you in? It seems to me that with such tiny courses, it gets quite fiddly making for 4 and 12 would be a relief in some instances, but in other courses, just the prep for 4 is driving me mad and I don't know if I could handle 12.

The larger number of people actually allowed for larger quantities to be prepared and simplified the prep, however, it did produce logistical challenges in presentation and serving at proper temperature. The number of courses is clearly the issue. With practice, we learned to use a stock to create a consomme as a course, later you use the stock as a braising liquid and again as the basis for a meat sauce. Like I said, try and layer flavors rather than incorporating them, you can build on tastes rather than taking your guests in completely different directions.

Homer: Are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?

Lisa: No.

Homer: Ham?

Lisa: No.

Homer: Pork chops?

Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal.

Homer: Heh heh heh. Ooh, yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal. (The Simpsons)

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  • 1 year later...

Resurrecting this old thread for some advice...

I'm putting together my first at-home tasting menu, an anniversary dinner for my wine club. It's going to be a big challenge, because it looks like we're going to have around 16 people, but we all live in a cohousing community and are used to cooking for a crowd. I'll have plenty of help in the prepping, cooking and plating.

Here's the menu:

Hors D'ouevres: Rosemary Parmesan Coins

Prosecco

Beet, Goat Cheese and Walnut Salad

Sauvignon Blanc

Farfalle with Smoked Salmon and Creamy Vodka Sauce

White Burgundy

Seared Duck Breast with Dried Cherry Sauce, French Lentils, Swiss Chard

Burgundy

Braised Short Ribs with Five Spice Powder, Parsnip-Turnip Puree, Snow Peas

Australian Shiraz

Tasting of Blue Cheeses

Alvear Carlos VII Amontillado

A little citrusy dessert

Ice Wine

A little chocolate dessert

Banyuls or Port

I'm trying to puzzle out timing issues. The salad is easy, since it's cold. The sauce for the pasta comes together while the pasta is cooking, so that's just a quick break between #1 and #2.

It's the duck breast I'm worried about. All the recipes/cooking methods I'm seeing call for cooking the breast skin side down for 15 minutes to crisp the skin and render the fat. I can make a pan sauce and saute chard while the duck is resting, but add plating time and we're looking at at least 25 minutes between #2 and #3, and that seems way too long! Can I partially cook the duck in advance, and then keep it warm or finish it off without overcooking it? Any ideas?

#4 is fine, since the short ribs are braised, so there's no time crunch there. I'm thinking I'll actually finish them early, degrease and reduce the sauce, and then just reheat for service. Same thing with the veggie puree, so it's just stir-frying the snow peas and plating that has to happen between #3 and #4.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Resurrecting this old thread for some advice...

I'm putting together my first at-home tasting menu, an anniversary dinner for my wine club.  It's going to be a big challenge, because it looks like we're going to have around 16 people, but we all live in a cohousing community and are used to cooking for a crowd.  I'll have plenty of help in the prepping, cooking and plating.

Seared Duck Breast with Dried Cherry Sauce, French Lentils, Swiss Chard

Burgundy

It's the duck breast I'm worried about.  All the recipes/cooking methods I'm seeing call for cooking the breast skin side down for 15 minutes to crisp the skin and render the fat.  I can make a pan sauce and saute chard while the duck is resting, but add plating time and we're looking at at least 25 minutes between #2 and #3, and that seems way too long!  Can I partially cook the duck in advance, and then keep it warm or finish it off without overcooking it?  Any ideas?

You have several options here.

You can put a hard sear on both sides of the duck before service, then finish in a 400F oven for around 10 minutes (to just shy of med rare).

Or, what I would do -- Finish cooking the duck just as the pasta course goes to the table, remove the duck from the heat and let it rest. You can combine this with the sear and roast method above. Enjoy the pasta course then, slice the duck and plate it. Just make sure your plates are warm and and the sauce is ripping hot.

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Are you committed to duck breasts? I would blanch at the thought of cooking 16 duck breasts perfectly (medium rare, not too dried, very crispy skin, perfectly seasoned).

For the citrus dessert, sorbet is a lovely make ahead dessert that is very easy.

PS: I am a guy.

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Are you committed to duck breasts? I would blanch at the thought of cooking 16 duck breasts perfectly (medium rare, not too dried, very crispy skin, perfectly seasoned).

For the citrus dessert, sorbet is a lovely make ahead dessert that is very easy.

Well, I actually only have to cook 8 duck breasts perfectly, since we're only planning 1/2 breast per person. I'm not too worried about that part of it - two pans of four ought to be easy to handle, and I can ask someone else to watch the second pan if need be.

I think we're planning some sort of meyer lemon or passionfruit tart or something for the first dessert. I've passed primary dessert planning responsibility off to someone else.

But I am thinking that I could add a sorbet course/intermezzo to fill in some of the time while I'm messing with the duck.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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It's the duck breast I'm worried about.  All the recipes/cooking methods I'm seeing call for cooking the breast skin side down for 15 minutes to crisp the skin and render the fat.  I can make a pan sauce and saute chard while the duck is resting, but add plating time and we're looking at at least 25 minutes between #2 and #3, and that seems way too long!  Can I partially cook the duck in advance, and then keep it warm or finish it off without overcooking it?  Any ideas?

A subject near and dear to my heart as I cook duck breasts all the time - your cooking time sounds too long. Below is a photo from a similar meal I made (but I decided to plate several of the courses together, the opposite of how you're doing) - but the method I use for cooking the duck comes from D'Artagnan's cookbook, and you really only need to cook the skin side down in a (really hot) pan for 8 minutes, turn them once to cook the other side 4 minutes, and then lucky for you, they actually need to rest a good fifteen to 20 minutes in a warm place - a 110/5 degree oven or anything that approximates that. If you go much over the 12 minutes you're going to overcook the breasts (I've done it too often), and similarly if you don't give them a "good" rest they won't turn out as nicely either.. I also don't think that you're going to get much from the pan (even after you pour off tons of darkened duck fat) to help you with a sauce, so that could be something you make in advance. Also, there's no reason you can't make the chard in advance. I usually leave things for "the moment" and then regret it, but for this dinner I started at 4:30 in the morning and had my lentils and pureed yam/turnips all done and ready to reheat, and then it was just a case of heating and plating while the duck was resting.

plated.duck-650.jpg

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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It was in the eGullet duck breast thread that I was hearing all these people saying 15 minutes, and while I usually trust my eGullet sources, it did seem too long to me as well. Other recipes that I can find online are all over the map as far as times are concerned. I think one of the big differences is people's expectations for how much fat should render off versus remain on each piece. I think the 15 minute method aims to render as much fat as possible.

Also, it occurs to me that there is considerable variability in the size of duck breasts, and the ones I'm getting are on the smallish side (about 6 oz each, I'd guess), so will probably take less time.

Thanks for the advice and timing suggestions. My reason for saving the chard for the last minute was so I could cook it in the duck fat. But I think I'll definitely plan to do the sauce in advance instead.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone. Here's my next challenge for Course #3. We have two vegetarians coming for this dinner. So I need to figure out alternate dishes that will still match the wines we're serving for each course.

Course #2 I've picked out a ricotta-almond tortellini with truffle oil. Course #4 I'm just going to subsititute similarly-seasoned portabella mushroom for the short ribs. But I'm totally stuck on Course #3. I'd be really happy if I could come up with something thematically similar (lentils and dried cherries?) but at this point I'll take any suggestions!

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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But I'm totally stuck on Course #3.  I'd be really happy if I could come up with something thematically similar (lentils and dried cherries?) but at this point I'll take any suggestions!

Tammy, I make this dish of roasted butternut squash, lentils, and walnuts quite often, and have also paired with greens (kale and spinach, I think, but chard would work). I think you could exchange your seasonings for the curry powder, throw in some cherry sauce and/or dried cherries and be good to go. I've also used sweet potatoes instead of the squash, which will cook a bit faster if that helps you out.

Post pics later, please. Sounds delish.

Bridget Avila

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This thread is quite timely for me. I'll be graduating from culinary school in April, and would like to plan a multi-course tasting menu to honor all the people who have encouraged and helped me along the way. I have a couple of questions for you all:

1) How do you manage to get all the food out in a timely manner and still spend time with your guests? I want to give them a nice meal and a good time, but I feel that involves spending time with them as well. Wouldn't it be a bit awkward if I invited all these people over and stayed holed up in the kitchen the entire time?

2) Any advice with budgeting such a meal? Do you buy things in stages that can be kept (ie. confits, stocks, etc) or do you just make one mega-trip to the store and get every single thing in one go? How far in advance to you plan your menu, and how rigidly to you stick to it once the prep as begun?

3) Would it be gouche to hire a culinary friend to act as sous chef and said friend's neice to act as dishwasher/waiter/bus girl without actually inviting them to the party?

4) Is it ok to serve some courses like amuse and other apps family style on one large serving platter, or would that be declasse?

Thanks for this thread.

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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Although it's a bit too much for 8 duck breasts. For one or two, my preferred method is to score it and cook it skin side down over low heat and continually spoon the hot duck fat over the top of the breast. This cooks the breast with a much more gently heat which leads to, IMHO, more tender meat and you get maximum skin crispness without having to use the oven. Just continually feel the breast until it feels medium rare.

PS: I am a guy.

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But I'm totally stuck on Course #3.  I'd be really happy if I could come up with something thematically similar (lentils and dried cherries?) but at this point I'll take any suggestions!

Tammy, I make this dish of roasted butternut squash, lentils, and walnuts quite often, and have also paired with greens (kale and spinach, I think, but chard would work). I think you could exchange your seasonings for the curry powder, throw in some cherry sauce and/or dried cherries and be good to go. I've also used sweet potatoes instead of the squash, which will cook a bit faster if that helps you out.

Post pics later, please. Sounds delish.

I think you're onto something with lentils and butternut squash and dried cherries. I'm thinking maybe some shiitake mushrooms too. Thyme and sage and onion for seasonings instead of curry powder.

Okay, now I'm thinking about plating. I'm thinking of doing a whole layered thing in a little round - lentils braised in (veggie) stock as the base, then a layer of roasted butternut squash, then some sauteed shiitakes on top. With the dried cherry sauce on the plate around it. But I'm worried that the lentils won't have the structural integrity to hold up the rest. Thoughts?

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks again for all the help. I've posted the whole rundown of the meal here, but someone asked for pics, so I thought I'd oblige.

The final menu, with wines, and some pictures:

<b>Rosemary Parmesan Coins</b>

<i>NV Collabrigo Prosecco Spumante Brut</i>

<img src="http://images16.fotki.com/v300/photos/2/246486/3420727/Parmesancrackers-vi.jpg">

<b>Mixed Greens with Zingerman’s Creamery Goat Cheese, Roasted Red and Gold Beets, and Toasted Walnuts</b>

<i>2004 Jardin Sauvignon Blanc, Stellensboch, South Africa</i>

<img src="http://images17.fotki.com/v294/photos/2/246486/3420727/P4080336_edited-vi.jpg">

<b>Farfalle with Smoked Salmon and Creamy Vodka Sauce</b>

<i>2004 Domaine Cordier Père& Fils “Terroir de Charnay” Macon</i>

(Boring plate - I had planned on making a chive oil to drizzle on the plate to jazz things up a bit, but didn't have time.)

<img src="http://images16.fotki.com/v298/photos/2/246486/3420727/P4080337_edited-vi.jpg">

<b>Blood Orange - Rosemary Sorbet</b>

Very good. The blood oranges were totally anemic though.

<img src="http://images16.fotki.com/v277/photos/2/246486/3420727/P4080341-vi.jpg">

<b>Seared Duck Breast with Dried Cherry Sauce, Lentils and Swiss Chard</b>

or

<b>Lentils, Butternut Squash and Shiitake Mushrooms with Dried Cherry Sauce</b>

<i>2004 Domain Robert Chevillon Bourgogne Passetoutgrain</i>

Duck

<img src="http://images9.fotki.com/v182/photos/2/246486/3420727/Duck2_edited-vi.jpg">

Veggie

<img src="http://images17.fotki.com/v293/photos/2/246486/3420727/P4080344_edited-vi.jpg">

<b>Five Spice Braised Short Ribs (or Portabellas), Parsnip-Turnip Puree, Snow Peas</b>

<i>2000 J.L. Chave “Offerus” Saint-Joseph</i>

<img src="http://images17.fotki.com/v296/photos/2/246486/3420727/P4080345_edited-vi.jpg">

<b>Tasting of blue cheeses</b>

<i>NV Alvear Carlos VII Amontillado</i>

The cheeses were Cashel Blue from Ireland, Stilton from England, Roquefort from France, and Gorgonzola from Italy.

<img src="http://images16.fotki.com/v277/photos/2/246486/3420727/P4080347_edited-vi.jpg">

<b>Lemon Sabayon Tart with Pine Nut Crust and Honeyed Mascarpone Cream</b>

<i>2002 Peller Estates Riesling Icewine</i>

<img src="http://images17.fotki.com/v295/photos/2/246486/3420727/P4080351_edited-vi.jpg">

<b>Gianduja Gelato Filled Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce</b>

<i>Warres Otima 10 year Tawny Porto</i>

<img src="http://images17.fotki.com/v296/photos/2/246486/3420727/P4080353_edited-vi.jpg">

And because there's no such thing as too many photos, here's a few more:

<img src="http://images17.fotki.com/v295/photos/2/246486/3420727/Platingsalad-vi.jpg">

<img src="http://images16.fotki.com/v300/photos/2/246486/3420727/ManySalads_edited-vi.jpg">

<img src="http://images16.fotki.com/v288/photos/2/246486/3420727/PlatingDuck-vi.jpg">

<img src="http://images16.fotki.com/v289/photos/2/246486/3420727/Table-vi.jpg">

<img src="http://images17.fotki.com/v297/photos/2/246486/3420727/PlatingBeef_edited-vi.jpg">

<img src="http://images17.fotki.com/v295/photos/2/246486/3420727/Cleanup-vi.jpg">

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Wow! That was a tasting menu? No small plates those. That was a lot of food. Your guests did not leave hungry. It looked delicious.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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When I first considered this idea, it was back in 2004 .. never did I imagine that someone would be able to do something so intricate and elaborate as a tasting menu in a home setting ...Tammy, I am beyond impressed with your 'vision' and tenacity in making all of the elements work so beautifully!

Even at $25 it was an incredible bargain for an 8 course dinner with 7 wines.
:shock::shock::shock: No kidding! In a restaurant, the bill would top $125 if not more ... bravo for watching the cost factor as well as everything else ...

Stooopid Question: does living in the same city as Zingerman's make for a more interesting selection? Could one do this type of thing in a city without such a "treasure"? :rolleyes:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Wow! That was a tasting menu? No small plates those. That was a lot of food. Your guests did not leave hungry. It looked delicious.

Yeah, I definitely erred on the side of too much rather than too little. But it was my first time doing a tasting menu kinda thing and I'm still surprised by how far you can stretch things in the concept. We had 16 people and one pound of pasta, for example. For the duck dish, it was half of a small duck breast per person, and one bunch of chard across 14 people. And about 2 cups of lentils in pre-cooked volume. I wouldn't have thought it would be too much. (I also think that the pictures may be making things look a little more generous than the actually were.)

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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