Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Dinner in Paris

This past weekend I started seriously working on my menu project that is due in a few weeks. I’ve picked a theme – Sunday Dinner in Paris – and the food will have a South of France flavor. My inspiration came from my affinity for my Mom’s Sunday afternoon dinners that we had while growing up. While the food I am presenting in this menu is far off from what Mom would have served – the love and intent is the same.

I’m finding that photographing the food has become the most difficult thing to do. Capturing the right angle and positioning the dishes is tricky. I’ve included some of my attempts at being a food photographer. The menu begins with an Amuse Bouche of Gougère (a simple pâte à choux pastry dough with Gruyère cheese) a white bean puree with parsley and a French Martini to start the celebration of the meal (thank god for cocktail culture!).

My second dish is a Soupe au Potiron (Butternut and Acorn Squash soup) with crème fraiche with herbs de Provence essence and chive oil. The nasturtium flower came from my sister’s garden and is an edible garnish. Next a fish course that is still under consideration then Lamb Persillade with Parsnip puree, sautéed Swiss Chard with crispy garlic and a Niçoise olive tapenade.

After the lamb a digestif salad (still being composed) and then dessert – most likely a Tarte Tartin with a Lavender scented Crème Chantilly. After photographing all the food, I need to pair wine with one of the courses, figure out some costing, write up a summary and bind it in an attractive way. Not a simple task but it’s been fun to eat through my mistakes.

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