Italian Chef's Tasting Menu - 2/29/13

Set up/wine Tasting Menu  Opening gifts Behind the scene

Behind the scene

It takes a lot of work and effort to put together a meal like this.  I usually set the table a few days ahead of time and I really take my time doing it.   I spend at least 4 to 6 hours on Friday doing the preparation work and on Saturday I woke up around 7ish and worked until 6:00PM.  Yep, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and tried to have everything ready so when the guests arrived it just a matter of heating up a dish, sautéed or frying something quickly and then I put it together.  The difficult part is to make sure every single dish is hot when it is served.

Even though everything is prepared ahead of time there is still work to be done until the dish is served.

 Here is a quick look in kitchen where I am putting a dish together.

There are 14 people tonight + 2 kids.

Here I am spreading out all the plates and starting to put the Tuna on each plate.

Adding garlic chips, Serrano chile, and fried basil leaves to each plate.


Moving on the clam mojito...


Freshly chucked clams are prepared ahead and refrigerated. Here I am pouring the Mojito into each shot glass.

Putting together the salmon with ponzu and grated ginger into a bowl.

Here is the final presentation of the dish.

Reheating the creamy polenta.


Once the polenta is hot it is spooned inside an glass jar.  Here I am adding a layer of sautéed shitake mushrooms (I warmed them up in the microwave).


The bread are toasted and ready to go on each plate.

By the way, Miriam is my helper in the kitchen.  With an elaborate meal like this I always hire her to do the dishes and help me serve.  Worth every penny!

Here is the final presentation of the dish.


Here I am making the squid galette by heating an oiled pan the batter is poured into the pan.


Loan helping putting the arugula salad on each plate.  Waiting for the galette to crisp up.


Final presentation of the dish.



Boiling the potato gnocchi into a pot of salted hot water.


Once the gnocchi are ready they float up on top and they are ready.  Putting all the gnocchi on a plate, adding bacon bits, fried crispy sage and adding the carbonara sauce.

Final presentation of the dish.


The lamb shank is prepared a few days ahead and here I am just reheating it!

Final presentation of the dish.


The pork belly are put in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes so that the skin crisp up.

While the pork bellies are in the oven I am working on the pan juice by extracting all the juice that I can.  The sauce is then reheated and served.

Final presentation of the dish.


It was a lot of work but I enjoyed every minutes of it and seeing that our friends had a great meal.

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