Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Did This Really Just Happen In My House?

Food Fight Judges from left to right: Debbie Gold,
Katie Van Luchene, Doug Frost, and me.
(Debbie appears super interested in my story)
Apparently not all home-cooked meals are created equally. We regularly attend an annual fundraiser for the Children's Center for the Visually Impaired (CCVI). The event, known as Food Fight, includes an "Iron Chef-style" cooking competition between several local chefs. I have been fortunate enough to sit at the judges' table at this competition for the last two years. The fundraiser also includes a live auction of some really incredible experiences one of which this year was a dinner for eight cooked in your home by Chef Jennifer Maloney of Cafe Sebastienne at The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art here in Kansas City. Our good friends (and CCVI patrons) Bill & Laura agreed to team up with us to win this particular auction item. And win we did.
Chefs Linda Duerr and Jennifer Maloney showing me what's actually possible in mu suburban kitchen.

It's not always easy getting busy people together for a dinner like this but eventually we landed on a crisp autumn evening that happened to be last Sunday. Now this was my kind of dinner. All Shelly and I had to do was get most of the pet hair off the furniture and set a table for eight. What happened after that still makes my brain spin.

Two hours before our guests arrived the kitchen crew showed up. I expected Jennifer Maloney to show up solo with a knife roll and a lot of enthusiasm (and that would have been just fine btw). To my surprise a team of five arrived and including the very talented Linda Duerr of The River Club and local wine guy Ryan Sciara with enough bottles to keep my party well lubricated through the evening. They immediately took control of our kitchen and turned it into the command center for the best meal I've ever had in my own home.

My stovetop never looks like this when I'm cooking.

Did I mention Ryan Sciara? This guy knows wine and he expertly paired
some amazing bottles with our meal and kept it flowing all evening.

Anyway, you're here for the photos… Herewith are the courses that were presented to us. There were no leftovers.

Farm to Market raisin walnut bread crostini with cranberry mustard and Green Dirt Farm bossa cheese

Fried pork belly with apricot caselvetrano olive tapanade

Waygu beef carpaccio, rosemary oil, horseradish panna cotta, tempura fried greens,
shaved pine mushrooms and pickled watermelon

BTW… there was a soup course. Lobster Bisque. Exquisite. Loaded with lobster. 
The photo was a disaster however. Use your imagination.

Crum's spicy greens with pickled root, Burgers bacon, country fried sweet breads and buttermilk dressing

Pan-seared grouper with seared foie gras, roasted kabocha squash,wild persimmon butter sauce, ragout of roasted chanterelles, Parisienne potatoes, roasted pears and a red wine reduction

Sorghum brined quail, pan-seared with sweet and sour apples, pan jus,
Crum's cheddar grits and Crum's Brussels sprouts

Spumoni with toasted pistachios, cherry sauce and dried cherry and oatmeal cookies
Happy dinner party guests.
Kelly, Doug, Sara, Paul, Laura, Bill, and Shelly

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