On Monday, I mentioned that Ger’s cousins were coming for dinner. I think I mentioned (and am too lazy to go check) that one of the cousins coming, Ben, was trained by and still occasionally caters with Jamie Kennedy. No small thing cooking for or with the likes of him.
Though lord knows, this is not the first time I’ve found myself cooking for working chefs & professional cooks, all of whom are way better with food than I will ever be. (Diane & Jeff, you know I’m looking at you!)
The upside of cooking for working chefs is that:
- they always offer small suggestions, and these small suggestions are often brilliant.
- they usually can’t stay out of the kitchen. So you get help who knows how to use a knife, gets out of your way before you say “move”, and shows up before you have to say “help”.
- not to mention the fact that sometimes they show up at your door with armloads of wonderful treats which they call “antipasto” and I call “gifts from heaven”
- and the best part is that they never, ever, ever, complain about anything I cook. (Well except that one time with the big chunk of frozen garlic in the hummus that Jeff thought was a Werhter’s candy. But I think he was justified.)
Though Tuesday’s dinner was a group effort. Gerry did the tidying (not a small task). Laura & Andrew brought the wine. Ben looked after the Antipasto course with delightful treats, cheese & olives from Pasquale Brothers (where he is working this summer). Laura, Andrew & Gerry formed the Orecchietti, which I cooked & sauced for our pasta course; Anna prepared the Insalata Caprese; I whipped up the Bistecca alla Diavolo; and Ben served us Panna Cotta con Prugne al Brachetto with Laura’s help plating.
And we all ate, talked, ate, laughed, ate, and had a fantastic time.
Here’s what it looked like… or at least some of it.
(not sure why the slide show shows these backwards… but there you go.)