Tuan's 50th Birthday - 4/26/2014

A culinary trip with the French Laundry

Table Set up  5 course dinner

Tonight I am throwing a surprise Dinner party for Tuan's 50th birthday.  The essence of the is party is the surprise element so how I am going to surprise him?  It is not an easy task since Tuan definitely expected some type of celebration for reaching a big milestone. Of course on his actual birthday date (Thursday) Hanh arranged for a fancy dinner with the boys in San Francisco.   She also put together a list of things for them to do and see during their 2 days in Francisco.  By the time Saturday rolls over, the celebration was ending and they were suppose to drive home after lunch.  I worked out all the details with Hanh and my job was to call mid day and pretended I was not aware of Tuan's birthday and simply asked  them to come over for an impromptu dinner.

So far so good! Tuan has no clue and there is no reason for him to suspect anything but a casual dinner.

50th birthday is a milestone so to make it a special evening I pull out my French Laundry cookbook and work out a special menu for the evening.  Recipes in the French Laundry are intricate and tedious to put together as there are so many steps in each dish, but this is a special dinner so I am up to the task.

Table set up

At the French Laundry the dinning table is classic elegance with white table cloth and white napkins so here I created the same feeling but I scattered rose petals for a pop of color.


Table overview.


There is no misunderstanding about the age of the birthday boy!


Roses and flowers freshly cut from our garden.

The flowers turned out to be really nice!

More views of the table.

Laundry clips are used to create the French Laundry atmosphere.

Close look at the Laundry clips.

I created a special 5 course dinner menu for Tuan.

Every single dish is from the French Laundry's cook book.

The back of the menu complete with famous jokes.


I told everybody to come 15 minutes earlier so when Tuan and Hanh walk in the door we can shout: "Surprise".

Tuan seems to be genuinely surprise and then when he saw the balloons and the decorations he simply laugh.  Mission accomplished!


Next... 5 course dinner



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