Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wine Dinners, Wild Deer, and Missing Guacamole

iMOCA Art/Wine Dinner: Bravo to Neal and his entire team for the terrific job last night on the art dinner at L'explorateur. The dishes were interesting, worthy of discussion, and most importantly delicious! My favorite? The chicken "a la King" with foie gras, green peas, and a lavender tuille inspired by Vincent Lamaroux's wavy wood floor at iMOCA two years ago. Neal sauteed the foie, then made the roux for the sauce with the foie gras fat. How can that not be good? The sweetness of the tuille and as another diner at our table noted, the peas, really made the dish a great combination of old style comfort food and new school flavors. There were also raves about the amuse (prosciutto with berry goat cheese and concord grape), the scallop (one perfect scallop, three sauces inspired by the LOVE sculpture), and the rich, braised short ribs with the chestnut panna cotta. But possibly the best of the night was the dessert based on Robert Boyd's recent visual work, Xanadu -- a pistachio custard topped with spicy bright pink cotton candy (I think Neal used ras al hanout), topped with a wonderfully light chocolate truffle "disco ball" coated in silver powder. The truffle wasn't too dense to enjoy in one bite with the cotton candy providing an almost crunchy texture. (You all know that combination of melty and airy that I mean.)

The wines were fantastic -- a step above many wine dinners and well paired. (Loved the opening Chandon Riche sparkler, the old vine carignane, and the sherry almost as old as me.) Best of all we ran into lots of iMOCA, L'explorateur, and Feed Me/Drink Me fans! (A big shout out to so many of you who said you read every day and many of you who I've seen at other dinners!) Thanks to all who attended. Maybe we'll do it again next year!

Fresh Venison, Anyone? I saw this news story over the weekend and almost posted it here in "news of the weird". Personally, I don't really care that kitchen workers in Greencastle Mexican restaurant butchered a deer in what seems like the most logical place, the kitchen where they work. What grosses me out is that the deer was roadkill!

A Lost California Avocado Crop: Last night, at our table, we were discussing the loss of the California avocado crop due to the wildfires in and around San Diego. Dallas Eats has more on that very topic this morning citing reports that due to unseasonal freezes in S. America and fires in S. California, avocados may be in short supply over the winter. Nearly 40% of the S. American crop is lost along with 30% or more of the crop in California.

1 comment:

scubachef said...

"What grosses me out is that the deer was roadkill!"

They didn't just find it along the road; sounds like it at least came through official/DNR channels. It's pretty common to offer deer killed by cars to needy families; in fact there is some kind of official waiting/notification list. I've helped process a few. Really only grosser than usual if the intestines have been badly damaged/ruptured. Even then, it's way better than cleaning chitlins (deer poop>pig poop)!