Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Dinner Party


A few years ago, Sherpa "Stephen" Wood and David Perez-Lauterbach decided to turn into chefs for a day and host a dinner party for a handful of friends. Now, when most people host dinner parties, they'll place a few dishes around the table and guests will be treated to a good, home-cooked meal. When Sherpa and David host dinner parties, they plate multiple courses that would not look out of place in any fine dining establishment. David jokes about carrying photos of past dinners around in his wallet like a proud parent, and after Saturday night and the fourth incarnation of the dinner party, I'd say he's entitled. The two chefs and their wives Sonya and Grete turned a Pilsen apartment into a miniature restaurant for 10 of their friends, and I will personally vouch that everything tasted as good as it looks.

Photos courtesy of Joel and Rachel.


Poached quail egg with edible flowers and greens.


Gnocchi.


A twist on the typical Insalata Caprese: tomato consommé with a slice of tomato, mozzarella, and basil.


The plates-in-progress look like pieces of modern art. The black comes from squid ink.


The next step in plating: a dab of color. We're still in art gallery mode.


The finished dish: baby octopus with squash and egg, squid ink, and spinach noodles.


Watermelon with pistachios, balsamic vinegar, and tomato purée.


Lamb with sunchoke and puréed cauliflower. My favorite course.


Mini cakes with pomegranate seeds, mascarpone, and citrus wedges, served with limoncello. The liquor reminded me of visiting Italy last spring and being served complimentary limoncello after a meal on a patio overlooking the Tuscan countryside.

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