Winter Wonderland -Elephant gift exchange- 1/25/2014

Set up The food Gift exchange Behind the scene

A dinner party with so many courses like this one takes a lot of work.  I usually do some preparation the night before and then I'll be cooking and preparing in the kitchen the day of the party for the whole day (easily 10 hours straight). Once the guests arrived I still have to re-heat, plate, do some light cooking, and put all the dishes together. When it is a large dinner party with 10 or more people I always hire Miriam to help me doing the dishes and to help me with platting and serving.  She is great and I certainly cannot do it without her help.

Here is a quick glimpse at what is going on in the kitchen while my guests are sitting down.

Behind the scene

Course 1- Oysters

Everything is prepared ahead of time and all I needed to do is to bake the oysters (5 minutes), reheat my celery emulsion foam, and I am ready to plate.

Lining up 12 plates and putting the whole thing together before serving.

Final presentation...

1- Cauliflower chaud-frois with celery emulsion foam served with fresh oyster on the side.

2- Baked oyster in butter, shallot, and parsley.

3- fresh oysters with lime


Course 2- Tuna

Tuna are sliced and then thinly pounded. The Tuna are prepared ahead of time and when it is time to serve I just remove the tuna from the refrigerator.

The first thing is to toast a thin piece of bread and then it is smeared with foie gras.  Next, I put a thinly pounded tuna on top.

Re-arranging the tuna on the plate.

You can see Miriam in the background in this picture.

Final touch - salt, pepper and chives are sprinkle on top of the Tuna and then a drizzling of good olive oil on top to finish off the dish.

Final presentation of the dish


Course 3- Pan seared Foie gras

The foie gras are prepared a head of time and store in the refrigerator until it is time to serve.

I use a very hot pan to cook the foie gras as I like to have a nice caramelized crust on top of the foie gras.

Pan seared Foie gras resting on a cooler rack while I am cooking a 2nd batch.

While waiting for the 2nd batch the whole tray goes in the oven to keep the foie gras warm.

Here I am platting the foie gras with sautéed blueberries in butter and brown sugar.


Final presentation.

Pan seared Foie Gras is so decadent!  It simply melt it your mouth and it is so delicious!


Course 4- Foie gras ganache

This dish is prepared ahead of time.  First I am preparing the ganache by melting butter and Foie gras.


Ground almond is added to the butter and Foie gras mixture.  Pouring the ganache mixture into ramekins and piece of foie gras is added in the center of each ramekin.

When it is time to serve I just put the ramekins into the oven and cook for about 10 minutes.

Final presentation: serving the foie gras ganache with duck confit, sautéed cherries in butter and brown sugar, and reduced balsamic port sauce.


Course 5- Grilled wagyu culottes with red wine sauce

Cutting the wagyu into steaks and marinating them with salt, pepper and good drizzle of olive oil.

Phuc grilled the steaks for me and I am just letting them rest for a bit before serving.

Final presentation: grilled waygu culottes with red wine sauce and served with a bone marrow foam.


Course 6- Lobster pot pie

lobsters are poached and vegetable are pan seared ahead of time.  Here I am putting together the pot pie.


Adding the crust on top of each bowl and then brushing some egg white on top.  The pot pie goes into the oven for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

Final presentation of the pot pie.  Each port pie is for two people

 This is a lot of work but it was really worth it!  Dinner was really wonderful and it was elevated to another notch with Phuc's wine (forgot to take a picture).

I must say life is good surrounded by good food, good friends, and excellent wine.  What else could you ask for more?  Nothing comes to mind for sure.

Until the next meal! 


Filed under: BBQ/Thanksgiving/Holidays parties



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