My mother always told me to choose my friends wisely and I certainly did that when I chose a chef to be my friend and better than that, a chef who loves to invite friends over for a very fine feast.
Stumbling out of the Hilton on Sunday morning then foolishly filling up on Eggs Benedict, we drove to the Northern Beaches to have lunch with our friends where the husband is a chef. Normally a Sunday lunch would be off limits as he would be up at his restaurant taking charge of the lunch service but he’s just sold his restaurant so can now catch up with friends on weekends.
On Sunday the weather was glorious and perfect for dining al fresco. When we walked into the house and admired the stunning kitchen, I could see nothing going on. There was no cooking happening and no food out on the bench waiting to be prepared and nothing going on in the oven. This is the thing with chefs; they make entertaining look effortless.
We started with a glass of Champagne that we enjoyed while helping ourselves to an antipasto platter and taking in the view of Curl Curl Beach.
Then the chef moved into his stainless steel kitchen (I was only a wee bit jealous of his stainless steel kitchen complete with all its appliances and gadgets), and started up the built-in bar-be-cue. Then he reached into the fridge and pulled out numerous containers and onto the BBQ went prawns and scallops and green and white asparagus. Then he took a large platter and piled it with lettuce and red quinoa then when the seafood and asparagus were cooked they were arranged on the platter and everything was topped with avocado. He dressed the salad with a homemade vinaigrette and it was taken to the table as the entree to be served communal style.
I love watching professional chefs at work – you can always learn something like how they bring a dish together. We enjoyed the seafood entree with a very crisp and dry French white wine.
The main course was also plated onto a large platter that you could help yourself to. The chef had bought whole geese then taken the legs and made confit goose legs. He reheated these on the same indoor BBQ along with some pancetta batons and a variety of mushrooms. This was piled onto a platter along with some steamed green beans, foie gras and toasted walnuts. The platter was dressed then brought to the table with some hot and crunchy freshly made baguettes that we broke into pieces and dipped in olive oil. The main course was served with a Pinot Noir.
No one was hungry after that.
But there was dessert. And it was raspberry ripple where homemade raspberry sorbet had been swirled through vanilla ice cream and we again helped ourselves to this and it was served with a berry salad, homemade biscotti and fresh cream.
The meal so was fabulous that I just had to share it with you. It was such a lovely way to spend a Sunday and we certainly felt relaxed and refreshed by the time we arrived home. But so full we couldn’t eat any dinner!
The good news is that they love entertaining and next month they’re having a Christmas party and we’re on the invite list. I’ll be first through the gate!
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