Aspiring Iron chefs, Valentine and birthday celebration! 2/18/12

Table set up

Iron chefs



Tonight we have cause for a double celebration: belated Valentine's day and my birthday!  My actual birthday date is February 11th but since it is so close to Valentine's day (which is on a week day) so it makes sense to combine both event into a great party!

Tuan wanted something out of the ordinary so he decided to do an Iron chef theme!  Tuan challenged people who seldom venture into the kitchen to be inspired and cook a dish for the event! The challenge is to create an appetizer or a dessert that is, not necessarily fancy, but thoughtful and inspired. 

Normally Iron chefs get only an hour to do five dishes, but  since these aspiring chefs are rookies, Tuan gave them 3 weeks to come up with a dish.  When Tuan said "cook" he meant cooking from scratch,  No pre-made store bought, no short cut, no help, no suggestion will be given to prepare a dish.  These aspiring chefs will need to research on their own and come up with a dish, so hopefully the challenge will bring out hidden talents that are buried so deeply!  Will we see new talent emerge after this challenge?

 Tonight the stage with be for the aspiring chefs so let's hope we will be in for a good surprise but just for back up real Chef Tuan will have a few main dishes for the evening. I was nominated to be the Chairwoman and not allowed to cook for the evening!

The set up

As soon as we came in the house, the first thing that pops out right away is a row of red lanterns floating above the dinning table!  The red balloons were so fantastic and so unexpected and they definitely took the atmosphere to another level.   The table was also so beautifully decorated, it looked so festive, so welcoming, the red and white have long been the colors of love, but they are also very striking in the home!

Hanh spent a lot of time decoration the table and it is definitely worth all the effort!  It looks like a million bucks!

Red lanterns floating on top of the table.

They remind me of the movie "Raise the red lanterns".

Red roses are arranged at different heights and Hanh also used various shapes of red vases to complete a beautiful table-scape.

Centerpieces add beauty to the table and help set the stage for the event.  You can't find colors much more symbolic of love than Red and white and what better time to get inspired by these colors than around Valentine's Day? 

Hanh was able to capture the essence of Valentine which translate to a romantic atmosphere when the candles are lit and the lights are dimmed down.


Individual plate setting with white napkin wrapped in a red bow, a red heart shape candy is set in the center and sparkling red little hearts are tossed on a beautiful white tablecloth.

The red really gives a burst of color against the white tablecloth.



Overview of the Dinning table.

Close look at one of the centerpiece.


 The decorations looks classy, impressive and definitely set the tone for a romantic atmosphere!

Next.. Aspiring Iron chefs



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