Upscale Italian Dinner for the holidays- December 2011

Table set up Chef's 6 course menu Wine/Guests/platting

Tonight I am cooking Italian food! Italian cuisine characteristic is simplicity, with many dishes having only four to eight ingredients.  Italian cooks rely on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.  Traditional Italian food is often the creation of grandmothers rather than chefs and this makes many recipes ideally suited for home cooking.  People usually associate Italian food with pasta or Pizza but tonight I am taking Italian cuisine to another lever by using fresh ingredients, a bit of fusion cuisine, and unexpected ingredient such as Pork brain to make this dinner memorable.  The menu is inspired by Felidia but I definitely put my stamp by adding a few twist here and there.

Table set up

The first thing my friends are going to see is the dinner table so decorations are a must to inject the festive spirit into a holiday meal.  To me by far the best colors for any festive Christmas decorations have to red and green.  I decided that red will be the main color for decorating my dinning table.

In the center of the table I set up candle holders of different size,  giant gold ornaments, silver garlands,  pine wreath, etc..

I filled the taller candle holders with red and gold ornaments.  Personally I like to mix up some round red Christmas ornaments with other shapes of Christmas ornaments to give a beautiful but subtle mix of shapes and styles.

I wanted a festive setting so I used red chargers for a burst of color, Christmas plates, and gold tassels are used to bundle the napkins.


More decorations on the table.

Table overview.  Making it as festive as possible.


Close look at each individual plate setting.



 Crystal glasses on a row.

Red candles holders of different size in the middle of the table accented with gold ornaments and glittering red leaves.

Menu Front page with appetizer and Amuse Bouche to start the evening.


In the back is the Chef's 6 course tasting menu



Time to sit down for dinner.  The lights are dim down and the candles are lit up to create a nice and cozy atmosphere.

Next... Chef's tasting Menu



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